On the first anniversary of the establishment of the WAVES, this comic was published staking out their history. Take a look at the last milestone: by July 30, 1943, there were 27,000 women in the service. By the end of the war, nearly 100,000 would have served as WAVES.
Who doesn’t like a dust ruffle? Certainly adds a bit of flair to those Navy bed corners.
This comic comes from the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
This likely isn’t what the military was thinking about when they released the film Why We Fight or when they came up with the slogan “Free a Man to Fight.”
The comic from an unknown magazine comes from the collection of Liane Rose Galvin.
Comics about the WAVES’ experiences appeared in the dozens of military training center and base newspapers/newsletters across the country. But mass market newspapers and magazines also offered cartoons and other drawn interpretations of the WAVES’ experience. Some, like this one, offered an inspirational message, showing the women as part of a larger military team which included military men, WACs, Women Marines and even a Red Cross “donut Dolly” woman.
And note the dates of the War Bond Drive.
This comes from the archives at the University of Northern Iowa.
This image comes from the newsletter at the Cedar Falls training station for WAVES. It shows how the daily base newspaper was used to communicate information with WAVES about things like the uniform of the day – in this case women were assigned to wear their grey striped searsucker dresses (the summer uniform) with raincoats.
The image comes from the archives of the University of Northern Iowa.
This odd snipped from a newsletter is another example of the comic-inspired images used by WAVES. The newsletters were generally run off on a mimeograph machine. For those who came of age after the 1970s, the mimeograph was a forerunner of the photocopy machine that used used a stencil for duplication. The stencil/printing ink combo had a very distinctive smell, and it wasn’t photo-friendly. Hence, the drawings.
It comes from the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies.