It was on this day in 1942 that the ‘Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service’, also known as the WAVES officially became a WWII division of the U.S. Navy as authorized by the U.S. Congress. Composed entirely of women, the WAVES were entitled to hold the same rank and rating, be subjected to the same military discipline and earn the same wages as their male peers. In just one year the WAVES had boomed into a 27,000 woman strong division working mainly in the administrative, medical, communications, intelligence and science fields. Although initially not permitted to serve aboard combat ships, aircrafts or beyond the barriers of the United States, the WAVES represented a brand new era in the liberation of women within service and today marks the momentous anniversary of that move. They even had a catchy ditty which we at Cockpit USA have been humming to ourselves all morning!
WAVES of the Navy
WAVES of the Navy,
There's a ship sailing down the bay.
And she won't slip into port again
Until that Victory Day.
Carry on for that gallant ship
And for every hero brave
Who will find ashore, his man-sized chore
Was done by a Navy WAVE.