As the U.S. Navy ramped up for WWII, its leadership began the unprecedented task of recruiting 27,000 female sailors called WAVES, or Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service. Previously, it was only during the first world war that the Navy accepted females into its ranks, and mainly for clerical roles and as nurses, not as officers. According to the USN History and Heritage Command, in 1942 the WAVES performed previously atypical duties in the aviation community, Judge Advocate General Corps, medical professions, communications, intelligence, science and technology.
As I browsed through the U.S. Navy history site I came to find these color photos of WWII WAVES in denim and chambray. I couldn’t help but to think how great these photos are â€” especially the first image of the woman in the rolled up jeans. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. I need to get down to the Washington Navy Yard to spend some time in the Navy photo archives.