Friday, April 6, 2012

Booty: Making WAVES

On March 17th I tweeted one of my favorite #Onthisday tweets to commemorate the founding of the U.S. Navy WAVES corps. On March 17, 1917, the U.S. Navy allowed women to join their ranks – officially – for the first time in history. The WAVES, which stands for Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service, became an integral if secondary part of navy service and the corps was particularly effective during and after World War II.

In response to my tweet, Triple P’s mate Mike from The Pirate’s Lair (see sidebar) sent me this link to his collection of pictures of some of the first WAVES in history. These “yeoman” were almost exclusively shore-based and most often utilized as clerical support to gentlemen officers. Women as a group did not gain active status – again, officially – until 1978 when the Navy became the first of the U.S. armed forces to integrate their all female reserve unit into service. The formation of the WAVES was a landmark step forward for women sailors and is well worth remembering. The pictures collected over at The Pirate’s Lair are a wonderful celebration of that memory. Thankee, Mike (follow him here on Twitter, by the way).

Enjoy your Friday, Brethren. I’ll spy ye tomorrow for Sailor Mouth Saturday.

Header: U.S. Navy recruiting poster from World War II


Jack Durish said...

I am convinced that the success of the United States has been greatly influenced by its willingness to accept women and allow their contributions to enhance the nation's economy, defense, enlightenment, etc. Looking now at the choice for President, I wish there was a woman among them. Condoleeza Rice anyone?

Pauline said...

Absolutely, Jack; from Molly Pitcher to Rear Admiral Grace Hopper and beyond, the U.S. knows women can contribute on all levels.

Timmy! said...

Ahoy, Pauline! And Huzzah! for U.S. Navy WAVES. I loved the collection of pictures from Pirate Mike.

As you and I have discussed many times, it is unfortunate that misogyny remains the last bastion of acceptable bigotry in this country.

Pauline said...

It is too. And in our current contentious political climate, that bigotry is being used to staggeringly repulsive ends on both sides of the gate.

Thank goodness for Katniss Everdeen! At least my daughters are getting the right message.