1940’s WW2 Nurse Uniform Fashions

Dress Uniform Identification –

WW2 Nurse Uniform - Navy Nurses Ensign Dorothy Swallen Ensign Dora Eggleston
Navy Nurses Ensign Dorothy Swallen Ensign Dora Eggleston

It was the era of World War, the fight to defeat fascism across the world. Equality in the forces had a long way to go ( with the notable exception of the Soviet Armies and air forces). Women were not allowed to join direct combat, there were many roles filled by women. Here we examine the uniforms worn by women serving in the various 1940s nursing units during World War Two.

The Navy Nurse Corp Uniform NNC

WW2 Nurse Uniform - Navy-Nurses---Display-the-variety-of-nurse-corps-uniforms

Like their WAVES or SPAR counterparts, women who served as nurses in the US Navy turned heads wherever they went.
The winter dress uniform in Navy blue was a more feminine version of the male uniform, consisting of a double breasted navy blue jacket closed with six gold buttons, and A lined skirt, white shirt and black tie. Black stockings worn with black oxfords. Gloves were grey or white. The high wide brimmed hat was navy blue for winter.

WW2 Nurse Uniform - Navy Nurse Corps Summer Uniform Image - People-of-Pancho
Navy Nurse Corps Summer Uniform Image – People-of-Pancho

The summer dress uniform was white single breasted jacket and matching A lined skirt, white stockings and white oxfords. The jacket had a more feminine count of just three gold buttons. Both seasons came with various options to combine depending on rank or station.

The Army Nurse Corps Uniform ANC

WW2 Nurse Uniform - womens-army-corps-nurse-1942

Like their WAC counterparts, nurses who served in the Army corp wore olive green drab. Heavier Barathea cloth for winter and tropical worsted for summer. Skirts were gored green, worn with tunic closed by four gold buttons. Worn with a visor hat similar to the WAC.
Summer ANC uniforms were a more pleasant beige color and similar to the winter.

There were some colorful differences in braiding which were in maroon. Off duty summer uniforms came in three choices of blue, olive-drab or beige one piece dresses. These were in preference to a jacket and skirt, specifically for women serving in tropical climates.

Download direct to your device the 1940s Wartime Women Guides Pack

1940s war time women pack

The Cadet Nurse Corps Uniform CNC

WW2 Nurse Uniform- Cadet-Nurse-Corp-Winter-and-Summer

The winter dress uniform was an attractive two-piece suit of grey wool, contrasted by red epaulets, silver insignia buttons and the Cadet Nurse sleeve insignia. The cocky Montgomery beret matched the uniform. Over this was worn a grey wool winter topcoat, with trim guard’s coat lines. Like the uniform it had red epaulets and sleeve insignia.
The summer dress uniform was of cool grey and white striped cotton accented by red epaulets. The upper left sleeve showed the Cadet Nurse insignia – the Maltese cross, which was the earliest of all nursing symbols dating back to the First Crusades.
Over this was worn a swagger topcoat styled with officer’s collar, large pockets and wide belt. Epaulets of same material. Both uniforms were so smart they drew salutes from men wherever they went.

The Army Red Cross Uniform

WW2 Nurse Uniform - ARC-Nurses summer uniform
Army Red Cross Nurses summer uniform

The ARC Winter dress uniform came in blue grey; a single-breasted jacket with a matching six-gore skirt and white shirt closed at the top button with a round ARC pin. Bronze insignia pinned on either side of the jacket collar. The Red Cross epaulet was sewn on the upper left sleeve below the shoulder. She wore a visor cap of blue grey, with a Red Cross pin in the center. The topcoat was in matching blue grey and red inner lining.
The Summer Red Cross army uniform came in lightweight Palm-beach cloth, and was of a lighter grey coloring. The topcoat was of a matching color and made of lighter material.

An excellent source for re-enactment enthusiasts is Katy of Blitzkreig Baby, who is true scholar of American military fashions. It’s full of wonderful images, and packed full of detail. Highly recommended.

Read all about the uniforms of the WAVES and the SPARS

WAVES Summer Uniform

That’s all !
©Glamourdaze 2018

Images : Navy Archive and People of Pancho.

Download direct to your device the 1940s Wartime Women Guides Pack.

1940s war time women pack

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