“Come Rain or Snow”


The caption from this photograph of WAVES from the Iowa State Teachers’ College yearbook reads:

Come rain or snow, the students merely put on warm weather-resistant coasts and rubbers and march as happily as if the sun were shining. I like to watch them. Almost always they are singing as they march and I like that too.

It comes from the archives and special collections at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls.

A Pin-Up Christmas

In case you missed our series of holiday pin-ups on Facebook, here they all are (and a few more), put to the tune of “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” sung by Zooey Deschanel and Leon Redborn. Have a wonderful wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice or whatever winter holiday you celebrate!

Winter Belles

The Navy published a number of photographs of the WAVES working and playing in the snow. We thought we’d share them with you for the holidays.

In this photograph, WAVES at Cedar Falls build a snowman, c. 1943.

Snowball fight, c. 1943.

Playing in the snow, c. 1943.

Winter inspection of the troops at Northampton, c. 1943.WAVES in Bethesda, MD, wrap holiday gifts in December of 1944.

I’ll Be Home for Christmas

WAVES could, of course, get leaves to spend time with family and friends. But holiday leave – that was another thing. It was highly desirable and tough to get. And the Navy, unlike civilian businesses, didn’t take a day off because it was Christmas.

Betty Lord
Betty Bruns Lord in Uniform

It wasn’t until 1945 that Betty Bruns Lord would be allowed home – to Mason City, Iowa – for the holidays.

You didn’t get a lot of leave and sometimes you couldn’t get off because you were so busy.  Just couldn’t take it when you wanted to. And I know when the boys started coming home — the last year, in ’45, I did get home for Christmas which was something you didn’t get at that time. A lot of the boys said, “Well, uh, uh?”  He said, “These girls haven’t been home for Christmas since they joined.”  “Oh.” And so Commander Fair, we did get our leaves.  We thought for sure we were going to get cancelled. But no no no no.  He said, “No, you girls are going home. You haven’t had yours.”

On the airstrip with Betty Bruns Lord

Betty was stationed at Mustin Air Field in Philadelphia working on planes. She was one of the WAVES who not only worked on planes, but knew how to fly them. Her uncle had trained her as a pilot before the war.