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US Marine Corps Women's Reserve (Paperback)

‘They Are Marines’: Uniforms and Equipment in the Second World War

Military > Frontline Books > Frontline: WWII Military > Pre-WWI > American History WWII Women of History

By Jim Moran
Frontline Books
Pages: 208
Illustrations: 100
ISBN: 9781526749055
Published: 1st April 2019



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When the US Marine Commandant, Major General Thomas Holcomb, announced the formation of what became the US Marine Corps’ Women’s Reserve, legend has it that the portrait of the fifth Commandant, Archibald Henderson, fell off the wall and crashed to the floor – ‘in disbelief’. This branch of the US Marines was authorized by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on 30 July 1942.

This law allowed for the acceptance of women into the reserve as commissioned officers and at the enlisted level, effective for the duration of the war plus six months. The purpose of the law was to release officers and men for combat and to replace them with women in shore stations. The result was that between 1943 and 1945 the women of America enlisted in their thousands to ‘Free A Man to Fight’.

This book, the first of its kind, explores in detail the role of Women Marines, or WRs as they were known at the time. It also presents a detailed study of the uniforms of the WRs supported by numerous colour photographs.

This book has been written with the full support of the US Marine Corps Histories Division, the Women Marine Association and surviving WR veterans.

I served in the Marine Corps in the early 70's. Some of the history of Women Marines that is in this book was not taught to us! I really appreciate it!

Trudie F. Turner, Amazon Reviewer

This book is a helpful and colourful addition to the field of research concerning female Marines in the Second World War.

The Northern Mariner/Le marin du nord, 2018 – reviewed by Jane Plummer Pensacola, Florida

Using a mix of detailed colour modern photographs and period black and white, the uniform and equipment portions of the book fills a large void in a uniform collector's reference library!

Moran's work provides a much needed in depth examination of these exceptional Marines.

Association of American Military Uniform Collectors

Article: 'Incredible photos reveal how women Marines were thrown into the thick of it in WWII' as featured by

The KHA News, 8th March 2019 – words by Karama Ahmed

The book provides us with the background to the creation of the Women's Reserve, how it was formed, what the new Marines went through as the joined up and were trained. It goes on through their various jobs and job assignments, along with Administration and Polices (assignment, housing, women's authority etc), along with Specialist Units & Decorations (Band, Drill Team and more), Hawaii Duty (Overseas Duty, Staging areas etc) and their Demobilisation at the ned of the war. These all lead into the main topic of the book, with details and photos of the many items of uniform and insignia, including headgear and accessories using modern photos with preserved examples of the many uniform items. Then a significant set of 9 Appendices which provide even more specific detail, including the wartime quartermaster photos that illustrate the uniforms and how they should be worn.

Another excellent book and the ideal companion for Jim's other book on the Marine Combat uniforms.

Read the full review here

Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

Author interview as featured by

Living North (online), 20th March 2019

The fascinating gallery is part of historian Jim Moran's latest book - U.S. Marine Corps: Women's Reserve

Mail Online 8/3/19

Competition as featured by

24seven Lifestyle magazine, February 2019

Editor's Choice

Jim Moran's excellent book is split between the history, training, job assignments, administration, duty in Hawaii, special units and decorations, and then has a superb look at uniforms and equipment with both period and modern photos. Printed in colour on nice paper.

The Armourer, March 2019

Jim Moran offers us again a fresh and interesting work, a perfectly documented account with all the details of the role assumed by the women during the war (known as WR at that time) together with an in-depth study of the uniforms and Complements, all supported by numerous photographs in color and b/w that will delight the painters of figures, historians and researchers.

Read the full Spanish review here

Miniaturas JM

This book must be the best reference work on the WR - especially their uniforms and
equipment. This subject has been previously neglected so I am very pleased that the
author has taken the time and effort to produce this superb tome.

Military Archive Research, Dr Stuart C Blank

Click here to listen to interview.

NOTE: set cursor to 11:06

BBC Radio Sheffield with presenter Rony Robinson, 10th October 2018

Newly-published images have given a rare glimpse into the groundbreaking role female marines played during World War Two.

The photos appear in a new book, US Marine Corps Women's Reserve by Jim Moran, which explores in detail the role of female Marines, or WRs as they were known at the time. It also presents a detailed study of the uniforms of the WRs, supported by numerous color photographs.

Daily Mail 20/4/18
 Jim Moran

About Jim Moran

Born in 1954 in Sheffield, England, JIM MORAN lives in Yorkshire. Following a grammar school education, Jim has had a forty-year-long career as a civil engineering surveyor working on major highway and airbase construction projects, both in the UK and overseas. Jim has been a student of the history of the United States Marine Corps, amassing a huge collection over the past forty years. He has assisted Hollywood productions on uniform and equipment details for Flags of our FathersThe Pacific (HBO mini-series) and Windtalkers. Jim is an associate member of the Second Marine Division Association, US Marine Raider Association, Marine Corps Association, and US Marine Corps League as well as being the 'on-board' historian to the US Marine Corps League, Det 1088 (UK).

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