The strange and stylish uniforms of WWII servicewomen


Flame resistant suit with hood and bulletproof vest.

Image: Herbert Gehr/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images

In World War II, women in Allied countries served their nations in numerous roles, both on the homefront and in the theatres of war.

The American Women’s Voluntary Services trained hundreds of thousands of volunteers to provide services in support of the war effort, from aircraft spotting to firefighting to ambulance driving.

Across the pond in Britain, the Women’s Land Army put women to work farming and feeding the country.

In 1942, LIFE photographer Herbert Gehr arranged a photoshoot to show off a small sample of the uniforms of different kinds of servicewomen, from standard nurse’s garb to outfits to help women survive gas, fire, and other hazards of war. Read more…

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