Polk County

Selma G. Thompson


Swear in 38 Iowa Girls In Wac Unit

Thirty-seven Iowa girls, the first contingent of all-Iowa WAC unit, were sworn into the women's army corps amid impressive ceremonies on the west steps of the state capitol Thursday.

The girls, including a Des Moines girl who was at Hickam field when the Japs bombed Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7 1941, will leave immediately to begin their training at Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.

"I saw the start of it and I want to be in on the finish," declared Selma G. Thompson, 1504 High st, who was working in a commissary at Hickam field when the famous bombing occurred. "I helped take a few slightly wounded men to shelter nearby and believe me those Japs must be made to pay for that attack, Miss Thompson said.

Miss Thompson returned to the United States in January, 1942. Until her enlistment a few days ago, she had been private secretary to T.J. Nolan, state director of the state-federal housing service here.

Source: The Des Moines Tribune, October 21, 1943

Iowa WACs at Fort Oglethorpe

Members of the first Iowa contingent of WAC recruits in the All-States division now are in basic training at Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. Filing out of a classroom are Privates Lucille W. Ross and Selma G. Thompson followed by Privates Grace Wachter and Naomi Harris, all of Des Moines. They attend classes in first aid, map reading, military customs and courtesies and other subject which teach them to be good soldiers.

Source: The Des Moines Register, November 20, 1943 (photo included)

Miss Selma Thompson recently visited Des Moines after serving in the women's army corps in Australia, the Netherlands East Indies and the Philippines and most recently as a civilian employee in Tokyo.

Source: The Des Moines Register, November 10, 1946