Named WWII Women’s Defense Corps Tunic & Cap
The named WWII jacket and cap of a member of the Massachusetts Women’s Defense Corps. The MWDC was an organization that was affiliated with the Massachusetts State Guard. The members provided war-related and emergency services to the citizens of Massachusetts during the war. Its origins began with the Gloucester Civic Patrol which was founded by several prominent women in August of 1940. In May of 1941, the Governor approved the establishment of the Massachusetts Women’s Defense Corps under the Massachusetts Committee on Public Safety. The MWDC worked closely with the Massachusetts State Guard, the United States Army, state agencies, and local communities. Its function was to assist in five areas: Medical, Transportation, Communications, Canteen, and Air Raid Protection/Warden Services. In December 1944, the MWDC’s name was changed to the Massachusetts Women’s Corps.
Both the tunic and cap are constructed from a brown-red wool. The tunic buttons bear the seal of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The jacket is tailored, with a name label inside the interior pocket which sets forth the measurements of the uniform and identifies the owner as “2nd Lt. L.B. Mann”. The matching uniform cap displays the pin back insignia of the MWDC, the reverse of which is marked as “Sterling” and which bears a design copyright date of 1941. The cap actually still has newspaper balled up inside of it, the newspaper being dated in 1943. The cap and the tunic are in excellent condition.