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Volume I

Based on eight interviews conducted by John T. Mason, Jr., from May 1969 through September 1970. The volume contains 451 pages of interview transcript plus indices. The transcript is copyright 1971 by the U.S. Naval Institute; any restrictions originally placed on the transcripts by the interviewees have since been removed.

Captain Mildred McAfee Horton--Horton left her position as president of Wellesley College in 1943 to become the first director of the Women's Reserve. She recalls her difficulties concerning uniforms, integration, and prevailing attitudes about the "correct" use of the women. Two interviews in August 1969; transcript contains 115 pages.

Captain Jean Palmer--Palmer became the second director of the WAVES in 1946. She discusses her wartime service in Washington, political influences on the budding WAVES program, and assesses her predecessor, Mildred McAfee Horton. One interview in May 1969; transcript contains 53 pages.

Captain Joy Bright Hancock--Hancock's naval service spanned three wars, starting with duty as a yeoman (F) in World War I. From service in the Bureau of Aeronautics in the early 1920s she discusses her dealings with Admiral Moffett and other early naval aviators. She was later the third director of the WAVES from 1946 to 1953. Three interviews from November 1969 through March 1970; transcript contains 139 pages.

Lieutenant Commander Mary-Josephine Shelly--Shelly adds her recollections of duty as the WAVES training representative in the Bureau of Personnel during World War II. Later, she became Colonel Shelly, USAFR, recruited by the Air Force to head its women's program. One interview in February 1970; transcript contains 68 pages.

Captain Dorothy Stratton--Stratton was selected as a senior Navy lieutenant at the beginning of the war to head the Coast Guard's budding women's program, which she named the SPARs. One interview in September 1970; transcript contains 76 pages.

Volume II

Based on eight interviews conducted by John T. Mason, Jr., and Etta-Belle Kitchen from May 1969 through September 1970. The volume contains 369 pages of interview transcript. The transcript is copyright 1979 by the U.S. Naval Institute; any restrictions originally placed on the transcripts by the interviewees have since been removed.

Commander Elizabeth B. Crandall--As ranking woman officer at the Smith College training facility, Crandall discusses discipline imposed on the women, the lack of supplies allocated to their training program, and other situations she encountered there. In 1943 she was assigned to the staff of Commandant, Third Naval District, where she was faced with the logistical problems of organizing the women attached to various commands in New York. One interview by Kitchen in July 1970; transcripts contains 56 pages.

Commander Etta-Belle Kitchen--This former lawyer joined the women's reserve in 1942, and saw wartime duty at the shipyard in Bremerton. After the armistice, she left the Navy for two years, and in 1948 was one of only six women selected for lieutenant commander in the regular Navy. Her final tour was as commanding officer of the recruit training center at Bainbridge, Maryland in the early 1960s. One interview by Mason in May 1969; transcript contains 20 pages.

Captain Rita Lenihan--A career naval officer who retired in the mid-1970s, Lenihan came to the Navy in 1943 from a position as a home lighting engineer. She recalls her work with real estate acquisitions for the Navy and congressional appearances from her wartime service. One interview by Mason in September 1970; transcript contains 43 pages.

Lieutenant Commander Frances L. Rich--Rich came to the Navy as a civilian engineer draftsman at Lockheed. She returned to her alma mater--Smith College--for training, and describes that process and the personnel there. She discusses V-mail from her experiences in the Navy's communications department and the general attitudes of the WAVES. One interview by Kitchen in September 1969; transcript contains 71 pages.

Commander Eleanor G. Rigby--Rigby returned to her alma mater, Smith College, first to go through naval training, and then was tapped to stay there on the training staff. From her experiences in this position she provides a thorough description of life for Navy women during the hectic days of World War II. After legislation was passed in 1944 allowing women overseas, she was among the first females sent to Hawaii. One interview by Kitchen in July 1970; transcript contains 60 pages.

Commander Tova P. Wiley--Hesitantly plucked from a training position at a large department store to be a procurement officer, Wiley describes recruiting tactics and anecdotes from her service. She also discusses recreational facilities and living arrangements for WAVES. One interview by Kitchen in September 1969; transcript contains 60 pages.

Captain Louise K. Wilde--In describing her entry into naval service, Wilde discusses the arbitrary assignment of ranks by local procurement offices and the fine reputations of the women holding key WAVES positions. Wilde's specialty became public relations, where it was necessary to support the women's position in the service to the civilian population. One interview by Mason in December 1969; transcript contains 46 pages.

Senator Margaret Chase Smith--Smith, a supporter of the movement to utilize women in the military and champion of their efforts to obtain permanent status, discusses key congressional figures concerned with the issue of service women. She also discusses her role in this and her relations with the top-ranking Navy women. One interview by Mason in June 1969; transcript contains 13 pages.


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