"WAAC Signal Corps trainee Bunelle Merrit Rehber, of Brooklyn, N.Y., is one of the WAAC's Signal Corps trainees at the Second Service Command Signal Corps Training School at Paul Smith's College, Paul Smiths, N.Y. She's taking a six-month course which will fit her for a highly skilled job. Above she's shown testing resistors on a radio set. Photo taken on June 22, 1943. Courtesy of the New York Bureau. During World War II, the Army used Paul Smiths College as a facility for training women to serve as radio operators in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC)


Essex County Republican, May 21, 1943

Recruiting WAACS For Signal Corps At Paul Smith's

120 Women Needed For Signal Corps Training at Adirondack Center

Recruiting has already been started for a group of one hundred and twenty women for Signal Corps training at Paul Smith's College, Paul Smiths. N. Y. The plan is for a program for the Women's Army Auxiliary corps, similar to the Signal Corps Enlisted Reserve program for men which was conducted at Paul Smiths during the past year. Women qualified for both WAAC and Signal Corps training will be enrolled in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, placed an inactive duty status, and entered in the Signal Corps Training, School. Upon completion of that training, they will be returned to active duty and ordered into one of the WAAC basic training centers.

Applicants must be high school graduates and must have completed a course in elementary algebra. A course in high school physics is also desirable; although not absolutely essential. Applicants will be given an Army general classification test and a WAAC physical examination. Final interview and acceptance will be given by the WAAC recruiting officer.

Applicants will execute two applications: one WAAC and one Civil Service. The training period will be from three to six months, unless at the discretion of the Chief Signal Officer it should be reduced in individual cases. In general, all trainees will be enrolled in a three months Mechanic Learner course in radio after which it is planned to place them in one of the following specialties:

1. Radio operator, high speed.

2. Radio operator, fixed station.

3. Radio repairman.

4. Radio repairman, fixed station.

5. Radio telephone operator.

6. Teletypewriter operator.

Each trainee will be placed on the Signal Corps payroll at the rate of $1020 per year for the first three months and $1440 per year for the succeeding three months, but will be expected to pay for board, room, books and small tools during the training period. For information regarding enrollment, write to Second Service Command, Technical Training Section, Room 607, 52 Broadway, New York, N. Y.

It is expected that the first group of sixty will begin this training at Paul Smith's within two weeks. The decision to devote the facilities at Paul Smith's to the WAAC program was influenced by the ideal surroundings for such a program which this famous Adirondack resort affords. The success of the Paul Smith's school in training men was also a factor.  When the new ruling eliminating enlistment for men in the Reserve terminated the program, Paul Smith's was selected as the only radio school in the Second Corps Area to be continued as a radio training center for women.