Ready for Bed


WAVE recruits Joy Shrader, Winifred Smith and Estelle Slominski (left to right) heading to the showers before bedtime during boot camp at Cedar Falls , Iowa, early 1943. Boot camp would move to Hunter College in the Bronx by February of that year.

The photo comes from the National Archives.

Trial Run


WAVES at the Hunter College boot camp get a chance to try out the Link Instructor first hand, c. 1943. The machine was used to train pilots during World War II. In this photo, you see a WAVE in the cockpit holding a mic, and in the background a second WAVE giving her “instructions” from the controller desk.

The photograph comes from the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

Cedar Falls

Shortly after the “combined” training facilities opened in Stillwater, Madison and Bloomington, the Navy decided a separate boot camp to train WAVES recruits would make more sense. The women could learn the Navy basics at boot camp and then move on to the other facilities for their specialized training.

Iowa State Teacher’s College (now Northern Iowa University) in Cedar Falls was selected as the first boot camp and women entered for training in the fall of 1942. The campus, however, did not have the room that the Navy would eventually need, so by February 1943 it was shifted to a yeoman training school alongside Oklahoma A&M in Stillwater. Hunter College in the Bronx, New York, surrendered its campus to the Navy for a WAVES boot camp facility through the end of the war.

This photograph of WAVES marching indoors at Cedar Falls comes from the National Archives



The Navy gave each  boot a battery of shots (all the women we’ve talked with remember them). That experience is featured in both photographs and comics like this image.

It comes from Marjorie Sue Green’s booklet From Recruit to Salty WAVE! The Ordeal of Seaman Green held by The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project at the University of North Carolina Greensboro.