Notes and Documents
WAACs in Texas during the Second World War
CLARICE F. POLLARD *
WHILE I GAZED AROUND AT MY FRIENDS WHO WERE SEATED OR
slouched in relaxed positions or strolling with open collars and
loosened ties in the aisles of the moving train, I thought that as mem-
bers of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, now familiarly known as
the WAAC, we presented a harmonious symphony in beige cotton, and
I mused on how and why we came to be there.
It was April, 1943. My thoughts drifted to the declaration of war by
President Roosevelt that first week in December, 1941, our country's
full-fledged participation in the conflict, and how a long-planned-for
auxiliary arm of military women became a reality when the Senate of
the United States passed the bill on May 15, 1942, that brought us into
existence. The task of forming and leading the first female soldiers in
the history of our country fell to Mrs. Oveta Culp Hobby (subsequently
Colonel Hobby) of Houston, Texas.
As the war was ongoing and with constant newspaper and radio re-
ports to keep us abreast, the air all around was charged with word of
the hostilities. Friends, brothers, sons, cousins, and fathers whose calls
to duty affected nearly every family led me to wonder what further con-
tribution I might make. I was already an air raid warden on my street
and hostess at a United Service Organization Club (U.S.O.) in Brooklyn,
my native borough.
Since my business was designing and selling interior decorations
based on antiques, I decided to donate my art training and minor office
skills to benefit the armed services, so I was sworn into the Army Auxil-
iary Corps in New York City.
*After the war, Clarice Pollard returned to Brooklyn, New York, where she resumed design-
ing accessories for home interiors. She has worked at the Adams Memorial Theater m Wil-
liamstown, Massachusetts, both on stage and as costume designer. In April, 1985, she repre-
sented the Women's Army Corps in Nacogdoches, Texas, at Stephen F Austin State University
for a symposium on the Second World War and is currently at work on additional writings,
interrupted by travel.
1989 Clarice F Pollard
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101213/. Accessed April 20, 2014.