PT expired but stayed back till H1 approved


Registered Users (C)
I was on OPT from August 2000 to July 2001, I had applied for H1 in May 2001 itself but it finally came in Mar 2002 due to some delays( My student visa expired in Dec 2000).
For the period from August 2001 to March 2002, was I out of status even though my H1 had been filed and I had the WAC number?
Are we allowed to stay in the country even though your OPT expired, just because I had the WAC number for H1 processing and was waiting for H1 approval/denial?
Will this be a problem when I apply for my GC?
Please let me know as I have to apply for a GC and do not know if this will affect it in any way.