Protecting Each Other

Josette Dermody (second from right in this photo) remembers the gruff-with-a-heart-of-gold Chief who commanded her group of WAVES and sailors.

He was a great big guy, regal guy. He probably would have been retired but he came back for the war. He was wonderful to us.  He had one rule: the sailors shouldn’t use bad language around ladies. So we had this thing because the sailors would swear. The chief would say, “No bad language!  We’re going to take your names!”  We had devised a face for “the man,” you know? And we’d put on our innocent faces and we’d say, “Bad language? Bad language? Did you hear anything???”  (laughs)  We didn’t want the guys to go on report for something stupid like that.

This photograph comes from the collection of Josette Dermody Wingo.

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