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May 1946 WAVES News Letter - Final Issue (NAVPERS 15,002)

May 1946 WAVES News Letter - Final Issue (NAVPERS 15,002)

WAVES News Letter MAY 1946

Published for the information and interest of the Women's Reserve of the United States Naval Reserve by the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Navy Department, Washington 25, D. C. Official. Navy photographs. Final issue this month.


The WAVE on the cover is Lottie Coltoniak of Rochester, New York. She was formerly on duty in Washington, D. C.


The May issue of the WAVES News Letter marks the publication of the thirty-sixth and final issue.

Published by the Women's Reserve office in BuPers since April 1943 for the information and interest of all WAVES, it has been distributed monthly to all activities to which WAVES have been assigned in this country and overseas.

At the time the first News Letter appeared there were approximately 17,200 WAVES on duty, a number which increased to a peak of approximately 86,000 in July 1945. Demobilization has now decreased the Women's Reserve until it was estimated that there were approximately 25,000 WAVES in the service May 1.

In the past three years the News Letter has reported on nearly every large activity to which WAVES have been assigned, as well as the policies affecting procurement, training, assignments, transfers, promotions, and demobilization. Now that the final demobilization schedule has been announced and provisions have been made for volunteers to remain on duty until July 1, 1947, the wartime functions of the News Letter have been completed and its publication must therefore come to a close.

WAVES may continue to keep up to date on Navy news and on policies affecting members of the Naval Reserve by reading ALL HANDS magazine, NavPers-0, which is published by BuPers for all members of the Naval Service. ALL HANDS not only contains summaries of AlNavs, AlStaCons, and circular letters affecting women, but it will run full information on the outcome of the Women's Reserve legislation now pending in the Congress.

ALL HANDS is distributed to each station on the basis of one copy for each 10 officers and enlisted personnel. In addition, those who wish to obtain personal copies of ALL HANDS may write to the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington 25, D. C., where it is on sale. ALL HANDS is 20 cents per copy, with a subscription price of $2.00 per year, domestic, including FPO and APO addresses for overseas mail. Remittances should be made directly to the Superintendent of Documents and subscriptions are accepted for only one year.

WAVES are urged to look to ALL HANDS for future news of interest to them. In addition, it is suggested that all WAVES keep in touch with their Women's Reserve representatives and refer questions concerning Women's Reserve policies and procedures to them, as they keep up to date an developments in the program.

Those in BuPers who have been associated with the publication of the News Letter are glad to have had this method of communication with activities in the field, and it is with real regret that the last issue is published. Many thanks are given to all those who have contributed the information which has made the New Letter possible and particularly to the WAVES everywhere who made the news and the wartime record of accomplishments which the News Letter has reported.


The final demobilization schedule, which is in addition to the point system, was announced by the Navy last month in AlNav 161-46. It provides for the transfer of all Naval Reserve personnel, with a few exceptions, to separation units by August 20, 1946.

The following Women's Reserve personnel are excluded from the provisions of AlNav 161-46:

  1. Officers who have applied for retention on active duty until July 1, 1947, in accordance with AlStaCon 141455 of March 1946 and whose applications have not been disapproved.
  2. Officers engaged in completing a specific assignment who have applied for retention on active duty beyond August 15, 1946, but not extending such duty until July 1, 1947, in accordance with AlStaCon 141455 of March 1946 and whose applications have not been disapproved.
  3. Enlisted women who apply for retention on active duty until July 1, 1947, in accordance with AlStaCon 292349 of March 1946 and whose applications have not been disapproved.
  4. Personnel hospitalized or under medical or dental treatment authorized or required by the provisions of Bu Med-BuPers-MarCorps Joint Ltrs dated August 2, 1945, and October 31, 1945, and AlNav 5.46. Such personnel shall be processed for separation upon completion of treatment or hospitalization in accordance with the provisions of those letters.
  5. Personnel in disciplinary or probationary status.
  6. Personnel attached to ship's companies of separation centers and units and receiving stations, and essential logistics personnel from commands previously designated by BuPers to furnish such logistics support to these centers and units. Separate instructions will be issued providing for the demobilization of this personnel by, September 1.

All other Women's Reserve personnel will be transferred to separation activities by August 20, 1946, for processing and separation. Commanding officers will send personnel to the centers in four quotas, the composition of which will be at the discretion of the commanding officer.

Insofar as possible consideration will be given first to high point personnel, second to low point personnel, and third to those who have remained on active duty as a result of voluntary agreements. Personnel may be retained on voluntary agreements, military necessity, and extreme military necessity until the time to transfer the final quota, but no personnel except those exceptions listed above may be retained beyond the final quota.

Change of duty orders for personnel, except those listed above, will be considered cancelled if detachment from the duty station has not taken place prior to July 1, 1946.

The first quota assigned by commanding officers to separation activities will consist of 30% of the eligible Reserves on board as of July 1. This quota will arrive at the appropriate activity between July 1 and July 14.

The second quota will consist of the second 30 per cent of eligible personnel and will arrive between July 15 and July 28. The third quota calls for 25 per cent of the personnel to arrive between July 29 and August 11. The fourth quota, the remaining 15 per cent of eligible personnel, will arrive between August 12 and August 20.

Each of the above quotas will consist of the designated percentage of male officers, of WAVE officers, of nurses, of male enlisted personnel, and of enlisted women, and not the percentage of the combined total. In order to maintain an even flow of arrivals at the separation centers, commanding officers have been directed to transfer quotas in daily groups or several small groups.

The point scores for women which were announced in AlNav 131-46 are as follows: on June 2, officers 23 points, enlisted women 18 points; and on June 15, officers 22 points, enlisted women 17 points.


If an officer is admitted to a naval hospital for hospitalization while on terminal leave and the medical officer in command determines that she will require continuation of hospitalization beyond terminal leave, her separation orders will be modified in order that she may not go to inactive status while hospitalized.

This policy was announced recently by BuPers in AlStaCon 222258 of March 1946. No terminal leave shall carry over beyond the date originally identified in her orders as the expiration of terminal leave, and none will accrue during hospitalization.

When the officer is no longer in need of hospitalization and if no medical survey is ordered, she will be reexamined. If she is found to be physically fit for release to inactive duty, she will be detached from active duty and her orders endorsed accordingly.


Legislation which provides for WAVES to serve in the peacetime Navy was introduced in Congress March 27. At the time the News Letter went to press, hearings had not yet been held, but it was anticipated that they would be held in the near future.


Beginning April 15, members of the Women's Reserve on duty in the continental United States will no longer be transferred for separation to the separation unit serving the area to which they are entitled transportation upon release from the service but instead shall be transferred to the Women's Reserve separation activity serving the area in which their duty station is located. WAVES will of course still receive transportation from the separation point to the address to which they are entitled to be returned.

The new areas and the corresponding separation activities serving those areas are prescribed as follows:

  • First Naval District, Naval Barracks (WR), Boston;
  • Third Naval District, Separation Unit (WR), New York City;
  • Fourth and Fifth Naval Districts and Potomac and Severn River Naval Commands, Separation Unit (WR), Washington, D. C.;
  • Sixth Naval District, District Headquarters, Charleston, for officers, and Receiving Station, Naval Shipyard, Charleston, for enlisted women;
  • Seventh Naval District, District Headquarters, Miami;
  • Eighth Naval District, Separation Unit (WR), New Orleans, Naval Air Technical Training Center at Memphis, Naval Air Station at Pensacola, and Naval Air Station at Corpus Christi;
  • Ninth Naval District, Separation Unit (WR), Great Lakes;
  • Eleventh Naval District, Training and Distribution Center, Camp Elliott, San Diego;
  • Twelfth Naval District, Separation Unit (WR), San Francisco;
  • Thirteenth Naval District, Separation Center, Seattle, for officers, and Naval Air Station, Seattle, for enlisted women.

WAVES on duty in the Fourteenth Naval District will be transferred for separation via the Women's Reserve intake station, San Francisco, to the above listed Women's Reserve separation activity which serves the area to which they are entitled transportation upon separation from the service, except in those hardship cases separated in accordance with the provisions of AlNav 234-45.

Those entitled to be transferred for separation from the Fourteenth Naval District to the Eighth Naval District will be transferred only to the Separation Unit (WR), New Orleans.

These new provisions for the separation of members of the Women's Reserve are contained in AlStaCon 122137 of March 1946.


An officer who holds a spot appointment which is restricted by its terms to any particular duty will upon reassignment return to the same unrestricted temporary rank in which he or she last served under unrestricted temporary appointment, according to AlNav 159-46. (-

For example, a WAVE, originally commissioned a lieutenant (jg) and subsequently advanced to the rank of lieutenant by AlNav, holds a spot promotion as lieutenant commander, effected under AlNav 325-45 or BuPers Cir Ltr 95-44.

She will upon reassignment revert to the rank of lieutenant, which she held before she was assigned to her present duty, rather than to her permanent rank as a lieutenant (jg) as under procedures formerly in effect.

She should then forward to BuPers, attention Pers 321, an original copy of her acknowledgment of notice of temporary appointment to lieutenant, together with a certified copy of her endorsed orders, and should also furnish two certified copies of her acknowledgment and endorsed orders to her disbursing officer.


Scientific organizations and bureaus within the Navy Department are in continuing need of technically trained personnel at the Office of Research and Inventions, the Naval Ordnance Laboratory, and the Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D. C., the Naval Ordnance Test Station, Inyokern, Calif., the David Taylor Model Basin, Carderock, Md., the Naval Proving Ground, Dahlgren, Va., the Post Graduate School, U. S. Naval Academy, and the Bureaus of Naval Personnel and Medicine and Surgery.

The following provisions for naval personnel to participate in the Navy's research program during this postwar period were contained in AlNav 148-46.

Naval personnel who are interested in becoming technical civilian employees of one of the activities are invited to send their application for naval transfer to one of the above-named commands through official channels to the Bureau of Naval Personnel, attention Pers 3126 for officers, or Pers 63 for enlisted personnel.

Statements of education and experience and endorsements of commanding officers should be furnished. Persons with college degrees in aeronautical, electrical, hydraulic, mechanical, and radio engineering, naval architecture, physics, chemistry, mathematics, educational psychology, or administration psychology, or more advanced work in those fields, are invited to apply.

It is anticipated that personnel accepted for the research program will serve in the activities as naval personnel until they are eligible for release from the service, at which time they may become civilian employees at the same activities.

Veterans desiring to be employed as civilians at these activities should apply to the Officer of Industrial Relations, Office of the Secretary of the Navy, Navy Department.


Officers and enlisted personnel of the Women's Reserve were given the opportunity last month to volunteer to remain on active duty until July 1, 1947. The officer applications are now being processed in BuPers and notification will be sent to each officer as soon as possible as to whether or not she has been selected for retention. Enlisted personnel will be notified as soon as possible after quotas have been assigned sometime after May 1 to the various commands.

Officer applications were made under AlStaCon 141455 or March, and the procedure for enlisted applications was renounced in AlStaCon 292349 of March.


The following WAVES received awards of commendation ribbons and citations from Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal recently:

Comdr. Grace Cheney of New York, N. Y., for services as Special Assistant to the Director of the Office of Naval Officer Procurement, ComThree, and from June 1943 as Executive Assistant to the Director of the Women's Reserye, BuPers. Miss Cheney is now serving as Assistant Director of the Women's Reserve for Operations.

Orvetta Blanche Dowell, Chief Yeoman of Arcadia, Okla., for services in the Postal Affairs Section of the Division of Naval Communications. She is still on duty in that section.


As the News Letter went to press, news was received of the award of the Bronze Star Medal to Comdr. Louise K. Wilde of Concord, N. H., and Lieut. Comdr. Winifred R. Quick of Pasadena, Calif., at ceremonies in the Fourteenth Naval District last month.
Miss Wilde received the Bronze Star in recognition of her services as District Director of the Women's Reserve in the Fourteenth Naval District since August 15, 1945.

In that capacity she has been responsible for coordinating all policies concerning the administration of the Women's Re, serve overseas and for establishing plans and procedures for WAVES in that area during the demobilization period. Before her assignment to ComFourteen, she was Assistant to the Director of the Women's Reserve in BuPers.

Miss Quick was awarded the Bronze Star for her services as District Personnel Officer for the Women's Reserve from October 30, 1944. As one of the first WAVES to go overseas Miss Quick prepared a job analysis of the requests for WAVES overseas and later assigned approximately 3,600 enlisted women and 400 WAVE officers to billets in Hawaii. She formerly served as a job analyst in the officer distribution division, BuPers.

Both Miss Wilde and Miss Quick continue on duty in ComFourteen.


The Good Conduct Medal now takes precedence over the - area campaign medals in accordance with the provisions of BuPers Circular Letter 353-45.

As explained previously in the News Letter, ribbons are worn in rows of three, taking precedence from the top down and from inboard to outboard, and the rows spaced one. quarter of an inch apart. If the ribbons are not in multiples of three, the upper row shall contain the lesser number and the center of that row should be over the center of the row below it.

For example, a WAVE entitled to the World War II Victory Medal, the American Theater Campaign Medal, the Expert Pistol Shot Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, and the Pacific-Asiatic Theater Campaign Medal would wear the ribbons in the following order: bottom row of three from inboard to outboard would be one of the campaign ribbons, the World War II Victory Ribbon, and the Expert Pistol Shot Ribbon; centered a quarter Of an inch above in the next row would be from inboard to outboard, the Good Conduct Ribbon and the other area campaign ribbon.

The area campaign ribbons take precedence in the order in which they were earned, so if this WAVE earned the American Theater Campaign Medal first, this ribbon would be placed on the outboard side of the Good Conduct Ribbon, whereas the Pacific-Asiatic Ribbon would be placed in the inboard end of the bottom row.


WAVES at the Naval Air Station, Banana River, Fla., have been trained to perform duties in connection with the Ground Controlled Approach project. As operators of this ground radar system WAVES direct the movement of air• craft so that a safe approach may be made to a runway under conditions -approaching zero visibility.

Station Activities


The number of WAVES on duty at the Naval Air Station, Norfolk, Va., increased from 52 to 1,152 at the peak of the war and has now decreased to 450 WAVES. WAVES have participated in many activities on the station and have done everything from repairing the planes to helping to train the pilots.

The large volume of air traffic handled at Norfolk has meant that there are varied billets for WAVES in the operations department. Two specialists (Y) are assigned to the control tower, and 11 specialists (X) are working in the air traffic control section. Three WAVES serve as drivers. WAVES are also watch officers and one air traffic control officer is assigned to the flight clearance desk.

Yeomen work in the operations office itself, the log room, and the ferry and boat divisions. WAVE aerologists make analyses of weather maps and receive 'the most recent reports of winds aloft. Two officers are assigned to the supervision of the loading of cargo and passengers on the Naval Air Transport Service planes.

Communications during the war has been largely manned by WAVES serving as communications watch officers, coding officers, and radio and teletype operators.
At one time the assembly and repair department of this station employed nearly five hundred WAVES.

The storekeepers in the planning division are responsible for the receipt, stowage, and preservation of aeronautical materials.' Aviation metalsmiths are assigned to the wing shop and to the metal shop division, where they do cowling repair, welding, and other technical jobs related to their skill. Aviation machinist's mates overhaul every accessory used on an engine and do the assembly work in all stages of engine buildup.

The radar division has a WAVE as the planning officer. WAVES in the parachute shop helped handle 1,000 chutes a month at the peak of the war. Approximately half this number were in need of packing, and the others were chutes requiring repairs.

WAVE specialists (P) have learned every phase of photography, including how to develop and enlarge negatives, and how to operate the 16 millimeter, processing machine. Nineteen specialists (T) and two women officers are associated with the air navigation training program.

The officers have given instruction, using the link celestial navigation trainers operated and maintained by the enlisted women. A WAVE officer was formerly assigned as assistant to the head of the inspection department, where she was responsible for checking such vital equipment as the electrical system of planes, machine gun parts, and oxygen tanks.

Forty-one WAVE storekeepers and two Supply Corps officers now fill billets in the supply department. A WAVE officer is in charge of clothing and small stores, and at one time almost the entire staff of the store was composed of enlisted WAVES.

Storekeepers also work in the ship's service. In the medical department WAVES of the Hospital Corps serve as dental technicians and assist in the operating room.

Seventy enlisted WAVES are attached to the Air Force Atlantic Fleet, where they serve as yeomen and storekeepers.

The enlisted WAVES live in comfortable barracks on the station. Early last year a recreation center was established for the use of enlisted WAVES and their guests. It includes not only a fully-equipped kitchen and dining room, but a music room, a reading room, and an art room.

WAVES guide planes to safe landings from the control tower at NAAS Mustin Field

From the control tower at NAAS Mustin Field, Specialists (Y) Sally Seibert, Shirley Ritter, and Betty Smith guide planes to safe landings.


WAVES have been closely associated with the new developments in naval aviation in the course of their duties at the Naval Air Material Center in Philadelphia, Pa. A hundred of the 150 WAVES formerly on duty there are still serving at the center and its four subordinate commands.

The largest group of WAVES are assigned to the Naval Auxiliary Air Station at Mustin Field, which carries on the flight tests for the departments of the material center.

WAVES at this station service and repair aircraft, refuel planes, warm up engines, and signal planes for parking. In the operations office, WAVES are, handing out flight gear, parachutes, and air maps, as well as assisting the flight clearance officer in handling clearance for incoming and outgoing flights.

Six WAVE aerologists are preparing local forecasts for surface craft or aircraft operation and make pilot balloon soundings to determine the force and direction of the wind. Pilots working for their instruments tickets do so under the watchful eyes of the link trainer operators. All pilots in the area are familiar with the voices of the WAVE control tower operators.

A number of WAVES have been assigned in the past to the Naval Air Experimental Station, where planes and plane equipment are tested. They have worked in connection with radio and radar, with precision flight instruments, and in the low pressure chamber. Hospital Corps WAVES have participated in the test work of the aero-medical department. WAVES have also worked on enlarging and printing photographs in addition to repairing equipment and assist. ing in test work on new projects.

Yeomen and Hospital Corps WAVES are working at the Naval Aircraft Modification Unit. Formerly aviation machinist's mates, radiomen, storekeepers, and radio and radar officers of the Women's Reserve were also on duty there. The WAVES working on the Naval Air Material Center staff help perform administrative functions for the four commands. They handle personnel records, communications work, and also serve in the supply department.

WAVE issues a parachute to one of the pilots at Naval Auxiliary Air Station

Berry Bruns, Aviation Machinist's Mate 2c, issues a parachute to one of the pilots at Naval Auxiliary Air Station, Mustin Field, Pa.


Approximately 96 WAVES are on duty at the Naval Center at Farragut, Idaho, once the largest naval training center in the West. A hundred more WAVES are assigned to the Naval Hospital, near the center.

The "Lzest number of WAVES at the center are in the activities associated with supplies and accounts. They work in disbursing, the commissary store, the supply offices, and other departments. Other WAVES are on duty in the personnel office, handling transfers, discharges, leaves, and records.

The five WAVES in the legal office are skilled yeomen who act as reporters in all types of court proceedings. They write up complete reports on all cases and also assist the legal officer in his official duties. In the communications office WAVES receive and send all official dispatches and also occasionally serve as telephone switchboard operators.

The WAVES assigned to the main gate entrance issue visitors' passes for pedestrians and motor vehicles and also handle the photography and fingerprinting of naval person. nel and civilian employees for their identification buttons and cards. Four Hospital Corps WAVES work in the medical and dental dispensaries, and other WAVES work in the various administrative offices.

One WAVE is the welfare and recreation officer for the center. She has two WAVES in her office who help plan recreational activities, organize athletic events, and manage the financial and clerical operations of the department. Another WAVE serves as Women's Reserve representative, and a third officer is in charge of passenger transportation and also assists the disbursing officer by standing duty in the pay lines,

WAVES at the hospital serve as technicians in the dental, X-ray, and pharmacy departments. Additional WAVES are in the occupational and physical therapy departments or have duty in the wards and administrative departments.
There are numerous recreational activities both at the hospital and at the center. Horseback riding, skiing, and swimming are among the favorite sports. Both the hospital and the center have WAVE basketball teams which compete with each other and with teams from local high schools and colleges.


WAVES working in the office of the Director of the Eastern Pacific Division of the Bureau of Yards and Docks in San Francisco, Calif., participate in the activities of the office which is directly concerned with the design and construction of public works for shore establishments in the Pacific area.

This includes many details of planning and coordinating the movement of construction battalions and of BuDocks material for the construction and maintenance of advance bases. At the peak of the Women's Reserve program in August 1945, there were 11 officers and 73 enlisted women on' duty there. This number has now decreased to approximately 16 WAVES.

WAVE officers, storekeepers, and yeomen in the logistics department helped fill requests from the Pacific for material, equipment, and supplies. They gathered information on requirements and on procurement and the availability of materials, and they assigned priorities for the shipment of critical items.

Two lieutenants (jg) served as assistant shipping officers and handled various aspects of shipping materials. They compiled data on requirements for shipping space and on the space available and coordinated the movement of the BuDocks cargo overseas. A third officer was in charge of the section which keeps records on the status of the action taken by continental activities on shipping directives and overseas requisitions. These WAVE officers were assisted by 21 enlisted women serving as yeomen and storekeepers.

Five WAVE yeomen acted as stenographers and maintained the records of advance base construction and facilities. They kept files of reports from CB units and of engineering data and allowance lists.

The assistant to the personnel officer was a WAVE officer, and 13 enlisted women worked in the personnel department. There records were maintained of the assignment and location of all civil engineer corps officers and of construction battalion units in the Pacific area. The WAVES also helped process orders for transient officer personnel.


Shouldering their seabags, plus assorted parcels, packages, and boxes, the WAVES at Naval Barracks, Navy #128, Pearl Harbor, T. H., bid a reluctant "Aloha" to their quonset but home recently as the entourage slowly trailed up the highway to their new barracks at BOQ #9. WAVES have been billeted in the Quonset Hut Village since their arrival on the island in January 1945. The entire station, constructed by Seabees, could accommodate 2500 service women.

The new barracks was formerly occupied by male officers. One wing on the main deck now houses SPARS. The opposite wing boasts a fully stocked ship's service, a well-equipped beauty shop, uniform department, sewing room, crafts' room, dispensary, library, recreation office, and administrative offices. The WAVES occupy rooms on the second and third decks. Large and comfortably furnished lounges are available on each of the three decks.

The recreation center directly opposite the barracks includes a snack bar and facilities for ping pong, music, and dancing. The nearby BOQ swimming pool is available daily to WAVES and SPARS. A separate mess hall for the service-women is also located directly opposite the new living quarters.


WAVES are assigned to three stations at Astoria, Ore.: the Naval Hospital, the Naval Air Station, and the Naval Station. More than 50 WAVES are serving at the hospital, and but 30 remain of the 130 WAVES who were formerly at the Naval Air Station. The Naval Station formerly had 70 WAVES, of which 12 now remain working in the dispensary and in communications.

The 50 WAVES at the hospital share a great deal of the overall responsibility for the hospital's smooth operation. WAVE officers are in charge of the occupational therapy and physical therapy departments, and there is a WAVE on duty in nearly every ward and special department on the base. Approximately 40 of the WAVES deal directly with the medical care of the patients, and the others serve in positions related to the administration of the hospital offices or with welfare and recreation.

The laboratory, which is under the supervision of a WAVE officer, handles all laboratory work for the hospital and for the nearby naval activities. One pharmacist's mate deals with pathological preparations, preparing surgical specimens for microscopic examination. Another pharmacist's mate maintains and operates the electrocardiograph and basal metabolism machines.

In the central supply room for surgery three WAVES pre-put packs for operations, sterilize material, set up instruments f or operations, clean and maintain gloves and surgical equipment, and scrub and set up the operating rooms. The preparation and care of plaster for orthopedic work is also a part of their duties. Another pharmacist's mate in the civil readjustment office has been conducting civil readjustment interviews for personnel about to be discharged.

The WAVES participate in many recreational activities at the hospital. They plan and produce play sketches in the hospital auditorium, design and prepare costumes for floor and stage shows at the hospital, sing over the semi-monthly radio broadcasts on station KAST, and act as librarians on week-ends.

At one time the Women's Reserve was represented in all departments of the Naval Air Station. They have been on duty in the dispensary, in supply, disbursing, ordnance, transportation, and in the personnel offices. When the training program was at its peak, four WAVE specialists (T) in the link trainer division instructed pilots of F6F's, SB2C's and TBF's in advanced operational and refresher courses in aerial navigation, fighter direction, radio-homing, and lost plane procedures.

WAVES have also instructed air and ground crewmen in radio navigation and basic instrument flight.

WAVES in the operations department have received pilots' flight plans in the air traffic office and relayed them to Seattle and to the station control tower. Specialists (Y) in the control tower have kept a watchful eye on aircraft passing over the field and directed planes to safe landings.

Other WAVES have served in aerology, in communications, in the assembly and repair department and in the photographic laboratory. During 1945, when a PBM school used the station facilities, 20 yeomen and two officers were attached to the school. Most of the WAVES still on duty at the air station serve in the personnel office, in operations, communications, and the dispensary.


Night and day, six days a week, the service schools at the Naval Air Technical Training Center, Norman, Okla., operated to supply naval aviation with a constant flow of trained mechs, ordnancemen, metalsmiths, and maintenance crews.

WAVES have both been trained at Norman to be aviation metalsmiths and machinist's mates, and they have also been a part of the ship's company of the station. Only 65 enlisted women and five officers remain on duty there today, in contrast to the 1,200 enlisted women and 40 officers there at the peak of activities on the station.

WAVES worked in the disbursing office, handling both civilian and Navy pay rolls. They saw that incoming pay accounts were adjusted immediately so the men could be paid promptly. They stood watches and were responsible for any emergency which arose during that period of duty regarding the payment of personnel. In the supply department WAVES took inventory of spare parts in the storage group, did accounting, bookkeeping, purchasing, and stock control.

In communications WAVES handled government dispatches and worked at the TWX and teletype machines. Mailmen worked in the directory room where all mail for personnel reporting to and transferred from the station was processed. WAVES also sorted mail and handled parcel post and money orders.

WAVES officers taught at the radar school and other WAVES worked at the ordnance school where they kept muster rolls Tap to date, recorded grades, and made out class schedules. WAVES did nearly all the office work at the school for aviation machinist's mates, and they handled records and reports at the metalsmith's school. The personnel office, the chaplains department, and the medical depart. ment all had WAVES on duty.


WAVES participate in nearly every phase of the activities at the Naval Hospital in Charleston, S. C. The WAVES work in laboratories, and WAVES are also on duty in the physical therapy and occupational therapy departments, and in the many offices of the hospital which handle such matters as disbursing, property and accounting, supplies, and personnel.

Joanna Herring is on duty in the pathology department at the Naval
Hospital, Astoria, Ore. Fifty WAVES are assigned to this station.

Photo showing WAVES assigned to a variety of duty stations


  • April 1943 First issue of WAVES News Letter published.
  • May 20, 1943 Mary T. Arrison, Seaman lc, and Ruby G. Chisler, Yeoman 2c, are first enlisted women to be selected for officer training.
  • July 30, 1943 Women's Reserve observes first anniversary with 27,000 WAVES on duty in the continental shore establishment.
  • Nov. 9, 1943 An Act of Congress provides that Waves are entitled to all benefits and allowances available to Navy men, except that husbands may not be considered as dependents. Restrictions which had formerly been placed on the numbers of women in each rank are removed, and provision is made for one officer to hold the rank of Captain, exclusive of women in the medical department of the Navy.
  • Nov. 13, 1943 The Director of the Women's Reserve, Mildred H. McAfee, is promoted to the rank of Captain.
  • April 24, 1944 The Assistant Director of the Women's Reserve, Lieut. Comdr. Tova Petersen Wiley, is the first WAVE to hold the rank of Commander.
  • June 16, 1944 Lieut. Elizabeth Reynard receives a commendation ribbon and citation from the Secretary of the Navy in recognition of her services in connection with recruit training for women. She is the first WAVE to receive a military decoration.
  • July 30, 1944 Second anniversary of the Women's Reserve finds 72,350 women in the Naval Service. WAVES man 10 per cent of the jobs in the shore establishment at home and are on duty at 500 shore stations from coast to coast. Motor torpedo boats 484 and 485, purchased by WAVES through the allocation of their war bond investments during the Fifth War Loan Drive, are launched at New Orleans, La. The sponsors are Imogene Elliot, Yeoman lc, and Barbara Marie Gibson, Yeoman 2c, with Katherine I. Dykes, Yeoman 2c, and Ruth N. Jeffery, Storekeeper 2c, as maids of honor.
  • Sept. 27, 1944 An Act of Congress permits WAVES to volunteer for service outside the continental United States in the American Area and in the Territories of Hawaii and Alaska.
  • Oct. 16, 1944 The first WAVES to go overseas, Lieut. Comdr. Jean T. Palmer and Lieut. Comdr. Joy B. Hancock, arrive in Hawaii to make a survey of housing conditions and billets prior to the assignment of WAVES to that area on permanent duty.
  • Dec. 21, 1944 The last class graduates from the Naval Reserve Midshipmen's School (WE.), Northampton, Mass. Over 9,000 women officers had been trained there, including women Marines and SPARS before those services had separate facilities.
  • Jan. 6, 1945 The first large contingent of WAVES to report for duty in Hawaii march down the gangplank at Pearl Harbor.
  • July 30, 1945 Approximately 86,800 WAVES are on duty at 900 stations in the United States and in Hawaii on the third anniversary. Four thousand of these WAVES were on duty in Hawaii, and 20,000 of them were in the nation's capital, where they composed 55% of the uniformed personnel of the Navy Department, Washington, D. C.
  • Aug. 15, 1945 The Navy announces its demobilization plan and the critical scores for men and women.
  • Oct. 1, 1945 The last class graduates from the recruit school at The Bronx, New York. Commissioned in February 1943, the school trained as many as 5,000 enlisted women at one time in 1944.
  • Oct. 13, 1945 The first WAVES sail home from Hawaii for demobilization.
  • Nov. 7, 1945 Captain Mildred McAfee Horton receives the Distinguished Service Medal for her war services.
  • Jan. 10, 1946 Last WAVES graduate from the Hospital Corps School at Bethesda, Md., bringing to a close the training program for WAVES which at its peak in 1944 was carried on at approximately 40 naval activities and which covered a wide range of training for duties in communications, supply, aviation, and hospital and administrative activities.
  • Feb. 2, 1946 Captain Jean T. Palmer becomes Director of the Women's Reserve, replacing Captain Horton, who resigned from the service. The Assistant Director of the Women's Reserve for Plans is Comdr. Joy B. Hancock and Comdr. Grace Cheney serves as Assistant Director for Operations.
  • Mar. 14, 1946 WAVE officers may volunteer to remain on active duty until July 1, 1947.
  • Mar. 27, 1946 Legislation is introduced in Congress to provide for the utilization of WAVES in the peacetime Navy.
  • Mar. 29, 1946 Enlisted women may volunteer for retention on active duty until July 1, 1947.
  • April 6, 1946 Final demobilization plans announced.
  • May 1946 Last issue of WAVES News Letter is published.
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