Dr. Dorothy C. Stratton was serving as dean of women at Purdue University when she was recruited by friends to become one of the first officers in the Navy WAVES in 1942. Following World War II, she would return to a distinguished civilian career, including as the first director of personnel for the International Monetary Fund and national executive director of the Girl Scouts of America. She was awarded several honorary degrees in a remarkable life of 107 years. In 2010, the Coast Guard christened the third Legend-class cutter USCGC Stratton (WMSL-752) in her honor.
Following graduation from WAVES training, Lieutenant Stratton had a three-week tour at the University of Wisconsin radio operators’ school before being summoned back to Washington by the Navy. As she recalls in these edited excerpts from her Naval Institute oral history:
There I was taken into a room full of admirals. These were Coast Guard admirals. Admiral Russell Waesche was Commandant, a wonderful man.
Then I was asked a good many questions. They told me what they wanted and why I was there.