Clarine Moore staffed Jay Point Lookout near Powell Ranger Station and the Idaho-Montana border for several seasons during World War II. Although there were women staffing lookouts prior to World War II, it became much more common in the 1940s. A wartime shortage of men provided women an opportunity to fill the gap.
On the west and east coasts of the United States they sometimes doubled as Aircraft Warning System (AWS) ground observation posts, watching for enemy aircraft. Under the direction of the U.S. Army, the AWS began in 1942 when the threat of enemy air attack on both U.S. coasts was a concern among many military strategists. Duties of the AWS ground observers included the 24- hour tracking of the number and type of planes, approximate speed, altitude of planes and direction of flight.
Although there were no AWS observation posts on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests, there were many of them in national forests on the west coast.
This photograph of Clarine Moore at Jay Point Lookout was taken by Henry “Hank” Viche in 1942.
From the Bud Moore Collection, University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library.