Collins, Winifred Quick (1911-1999)
Captain, U.S. Navy (Retired)
Based on two interviews conducted by Paul Stillwell in October and November 1986. The volume contains 123 pages of interview transcript plus a comprehensive index. The transcript is copyright 2013 by the U.S. Naval Institute; the interviewee placed no restrictions on its use.
This memoir covers the experiences of a naval pioneer. She was among the first officers accepted when the WAVES were established in 1942; one of the first female officers commissioned in the regular Navy, which happened in 1948; and at the top of her profession as the only woman line captain at the end of her career. She was selected for the Navy experience as the result of being one of the first five women to undergo Harvard Business School training, which she studied at Radcliffe College in 1937-38. She received naval officer training at Smith College in 1942 and subsequently served there as personnel officer until 1944. She was assigned 1944-46 as a personnel officer for the 14th Naval District in Hawaii and from 1946 to 1950 with the Potomac River Command and Bureau of Naval Personnel. She served on the staff of the Secretary of Defense, 1950-51. After postgraduate study at Stanford University, 1951-52, she was personnel officer on the 12th Naval District staff, San Francisco, from 1952 to 1956. She served 1956-57 on the staff of Commander in Chief U.S. Naval Forces Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean (CinCNELM) in London. Her final tour of active duty, 1957-62, was as Assistant Chief of Naval Personnel for Women.