This collection contains correspondence, newspaper articles, and other records of the Women’s Ambulance and Transportation
Corps, a military-trained civilian organization operating in San Diego during World War II.
The Women’s Ambulance and Transportation Corps was founded by Colonel Julia Dowell in May of 1940. Dowell was the commander
in chief, and records show that the WATC was gathering volunteers to provide aid in conjunction with other organizations such
as the American Red Cross. The organization was trained by professional military, including first aid procedures, swimming
instruction, infantry drill, ambulance driving, mechanics, rifle and pistol practice, gas mask use, chemical warfare, and
aviation and parachute skills. By September of 1940, there were roughly 250 women enlisted, and by March of 1941 there was
a Los Angeles branch. The organization became incorporated in January of 1942. The requirements to join were that the women
be 18-45 years of age, US citizens, white, of sound health, and able to devote two nights a week to training.