Women in the US Navy – July 30, 1942


Recruiting posters, 1940s.

On this day – July 30, 1942 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill creating a women’s auxiliary agency in the US Navy known as Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service – WAVES. Mildred McAfee, President of Wellesley College in Massachusetts, was sworn in as a Naval Reserve Lieutenant Commander in early August of 1942. She was the first female commissioned officer in U.S. Navy history, and the first director of the WAVES.

Massachusetts Fifth District Congresswoman Edith Nourse Roger’s Women’s Army Corps Bill, which granted official  military status to the volunteers by creating the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) within the Army successfully opened the way for other uniformed women’s services in both the Navy (WAVEs) and then in Air Force  – WASPs.

Read more and see more images here: http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/prs-tpic/females/wave-ww2.htm