Pictorial History of Navy Women 1908 - 1988, Volume I

Pictorial History of Navy Women 1908 - 1988, Volume I

Pictorial History of Navy Women 1908 - 1988 - Volume 1 - Hardback First Edition book published in 1990 by WAVES National. This book is formatted like a yearbook and has hundreds of photos and short bios of women who served in the U.S. Navy through 1988.

Book Description

The official story of women in the U.S. Navy, from the beginning days before the First World War through today, with particular emphasis on the World War Two era. Profusely illustrated with hundreds of photos and individual biographies of the women who served as WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WWII), Yeoman (WWI) Nurses, and in administrative positions. Reserves, regular Navy, training schools, history of the WAVES National organization, and more.


History of WAVES National

  • Introduction, Navy Women 1908-1988
  • Navy Nurse Corps
  • Navy Nurse Corps 1908-1940
  • World War II 1941-1947
  • Legislation/Policy 1942-1959
  • Education and Training
  • Vietnam 1961-1972
  • Co-Ed Nurse Corps

Yeoman (F)

Women's Reserve (WAVES)

  • Introduction
  • The Women's Reserve of the Navy — the WAVES
  • Midshipman School (W)
  • Recruiting
  • Naval Training Schools — Enlisted
  • Boot Camp, Cedar Falls
  • Hunter College Boot Camp
  • Basic Job Schools
  • The Women's Reserve Organization
  • Rules of the Road for Women
  • Uniforms
  • Overseas Duty
  • Demobilization

Regular Navy

  • Introduction
  • Swearing-In

Training Schools

  • Korean War
  • Overseas Duty
  • Anchors Aweigh
  • The All-New Navy

Directors of WAVES 1942-1972


Tributes and Memorials


Book Acknowledgements

Sincere Thanks to:

  • The members of WAVES National in convention in Albuquerque in 1986, who had the vision and the faith to undertake this project, and who voted for it;
  • The Navy women who made this book possible by submitting their biographical materials and by purchasing their books long before publication;
  • Sue Fischer, our tireless Project Director, and her committee, who wrote, edited, and typed the manuscript, a truly monumental and heroic task;
  • Thelma Beaton, Finance Officer, who received and cataloged all materials, kept records, and took the brunt of frustration caused by the inevitable delays in a work of this magnitude;
  • all committee members who assisted in any way in bringing this book to its finalization;
  • Jeff Millet, Publisher's Representative, who "knew it would be a big job but never dreamed it would take so long";
  • Luayne Kendrick, State Director for Alabama, who first suggested the idea of publishing a book on Navy Women;
  • And especially to Anne Anderson, Past President of WAVES National, whose foresight, encouragement, positive attitude, and dogged determination served to inspire us all.


This history is dedicated to all the women who have served in the Navy from the earliest days until the present.

In war and peace and around the world, Navy women have served their country in every capacity of naval service.


It has not been the editors' intent with this work to uncover any new facts concerning the history or achievements of the U.S. Navy women. That has already been undertaken by many other books and done well.

Instead, it is hoped that this volume will hold fast the bonds between those who have lived and served together as "shipmates" over the past forty-plus years.

Perhaps it will serve as a valuable tool for future historians.

As the submission of biographical sketches and articles was wholly voluntary, the story is necessarily incomplete. It depicts, however, a cross-section of those who have served and their lives and activities today.

It reflects the drama and excitement, joys and sorrows, the fear and courage of young women at war — and far from home.

The editors regret that not all materials contributed were included herein, perhaps in the following volume. Every attempt was made to verify the accuracy of the material, yet errors naturally may occur as events grow more distant in time and memories fade.

Our sincere appreciation to all who participated.


To all Navy Women,

WAVES NATIONAL presents this book with "Navy Love." We sincerely hope that you will be pleased and happy with the final result of our book. It could not have been done without your contributions.

A special thanks to the 1,600 women who ordered this book and pre-paid so that we might begin work on it.


Anne M. Anderson
Past National President

History of WAVES National

WAVES National Corporation was chartered in California in 1979 by the three founders: Jeanne Palermo, Loda Mae Dobbins, and Esther Govorchin. Jeanne Palermo had been tasked at the San Francisco reunion in 1978 to maintain a mailing list for future reunions. At some point, she and other founders decided to apply for a charter as a social locator organization.

The first WAVES National Corporation convention was held in Sacramento, California, in 1980, with about 200 in attendance. The first elected officers were: Mary Pogue Jahn of Missouri, President; Beulah Johnson Rupert, Arkansas, Vice President; Helen Taylor, Indiana, Treasurer; and Mary Dahnke, Nevada, Secretary.

Both the Secretary and Treasurer resigned the same year, and Myldred Baker Stebbins of Missouri was appointed to fill both offices until the next election. Thelma Beaton of California assisted the President on a volunteer basis at this time.

The second convention was held in St. Louis in 1981, with Mary Jahn being reelected as President. Charlotte Post Davis of Pennsylvania was elected 1st Vice President; Gloria Johnson, California, 2nd Vice President; Alice Smith, New Mexico, Secretary; and Bernice Gardner, Illinois, as Treasurer.

Appointed officers were: Editor, Marie Alsmeyer, Arkansas; Historian, Mary O'Connor, California; Parliamentarian, Trudy Millward, New Mexico. Trudy did all the essential work on the original bylaws and continued as parliamentarian until the 1988 convention. The first Unit was chartered in 1981, Unit #1 Arkansas.

The third convention was held in Seattle, Washington, in 1982, as one day out of the national reunion convention. Charlotte Davis became President, Gloria Johnson, 1st Vice President, Martha Dexter, Kansas, 2nd Vice President, Catherine Stambaugh, Pennsylvania, Secretary, and Bernice Gardner, reelected Treasurer.

In 1983 the convention was held in Philadelphia, with Charlotte Davis reelected as President and all other officers reelected except Gloria Johnson Farwell, who decided to step down. Anne Anderson, California, was elected 1st Vice President in her stead.

In 1984 the term of office was changed from one to two years, with Anne Anderson being elected at the one-day convention in Washington, D.C., connected with the national reunion convention.

Other elected officers: Martha Dexter, 1st Vice President, Catherine Dailey, 2nd Vice President, Margaret Curry, Illinois, Secretary, and Miriam Wellington, New Jersey, Treasurer Anne, set a goal of 3,000 members and 25 Units for her term, which went over goal in both cases.

In 1986 we convened in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with Trudy Millward as the General Chairman. Over 500 members were in attendance. New officers elected to the Executive Committee were Berenice George, Florida, 1st Vice President, and Jane Gefvert, Massachusetts, 2nd Vice President. Both Margaret Curry and Miriam Wellington were reelected to their respective offices.

Two State Directors were elected to the Executive Committee by the Board of Directors: Aline Arceneaux, Louisiana, and Bonalyn Selb, New Jersey. Anne set her goal at 4,000 members and 50 Units by the end of her second term. Again her goals were exceeded: 57 Units, 4,830 members.

Hershey, Pennsylvania, was the site of the 1988 national convention. All three Pennsylvania Units hosted this event: Blue Mountain WAVES assisted by Three Rivers and Keystone Units. There were 685 members in attendance, with 179 guests.

Dottie Artevich and Alice Coon were co-chairmen. Berenice George was elected President, Dottie Artevich, 1st Vice President, Bonalyn Selb, 2nd Vice President, Janice Roy, Michigan Secretary, and Irene Weeks, Massachusetts, Treasurer.

The two State Directors elected to the Executive Committee were Anne Marie Adkins, Kansas, and Luayne Kendrick, Alabama. Berenice George set a goal of 10,000 members and 100 Units for her Board, and they were off to a great start.

Highlights from the first nine years included:

  • Deleting the word "Corporation" from the official title.
  • Obtaining veterans non-profit status from IRS.
  • Installing two stained glass memorial windows — at Washington Navy Yard Chapel and NTC San Diego Chapel.
  • The publication of this first volume of the photographic history of Navy women.

A Pictorial History • NAVY WOMEN • 1908-1988, sponsored by WAVES National
Volume One
First Edition, April 1990
Copyright © 1990 by WAVES National

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