Skip to content


March 29, 2012

Elizabeth Reynard is credited for being the woman who came up with the name for the WAVES. According to Virginia Gildersleeve, in her book Many a Good Crusade, the Navy wanted something that was “nautical, suitable, fool-proof, and attractive.” Reynard took up the challenge, as she wrote to Gildersleeve:

I played with those two letters [w and v] and the idea of the sea and finally came up with ‘Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service’ — W.A.V.E.S. I figure the word ‘Emergency’ will comfort the older admirals, because it implies that we’re only a temporary crisis and won’t be around for keeps.

This photograph of Reynard comes from the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies.

No comments yet

What are you thinking?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: