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World War II - American - Waves

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  • Margaret E. Brakel (c.1923 - 2008)
    Margaret E. Brakel, 85 years old, July 17, 2008, in Reading, Pa., of complications from a fall. Born Margaret Anderson in Marshall, Minn., in 1923, she earned a bachelor's degree in music from the Univ...
  • Mildred H. McAfee (1900 - 1994)
    Mildred Helen McAfee Horton (May 12, 1900 - September 2, 1994) was an American academic who served during World War II as first director of the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) ...
  • Rhea Mae Sommer (1923 - 2006)
    Rhea Mae Sommer Born in Lima, Ohio on Sep. 21, 1923 Departed on Aug. 30, 2006 and resided in Sedona, AZ. Rhea Mae Sommer, 82, resident of Sedona for 38 years, passed away Wednesday, August 30, 2006 in ...

After a twenty-three-year absence, women returned to general Navy service in early August 1942, when Mildred McAfee was sworn in as a Naval Reserve Lieutenant Commander, the first female commissioned officer in U.S. Navy history, and the first Director of the WAVES, or "Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service". In the decades since the last of the Yeomen (F) left active duty, only a relatively small corps of Navy Nurses represented their gender in the Naval service, and they had never had formal officer status. Now, the Navy was preparing to accept not just a large number of enlisted women, as it had done during World War I, but female Commissioned Officers to supervise them. It was a development of lasting significance, notwithstanding the WAVES' name, which indicated that they would only be around during the wartime "Emergency".

Wikipedia notes these other about women in the military:

  • SPARS (the United States Coast Guard Women's Reserve)
  • United States Marine Corps Women's Reserve
  • Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP)
  • Women in the Air Force (WAF)
  • Women in the United States Navy
  • Women's Army Corps (United States Army)
  • Women's Auxiliary Air Force (British)
  • Women's Royal Naval Service (British)