Hinges of History

WAVES received this notice from President Harry Truman at the end of their military service.

I think the WAVES are kind of the hinges of history. They were there when the world changed.  And they didn’t cause it particularly bu t it wouldn’t have happened in the same way if the women hadn’t have been there. The Navy was such a different world. Men and women learned to get along with each other in different ways.  (laughs) As I say, we were the hinge. We grew up in this old world watching our mothers and our fathers and then our marriages were completely different.

– Josette Dermony, World War II Navy WAVE.

This comes from the collection of Josette Dermody Wingo.

End of the War

Dorothy Turnbull says the most meaningful thing she got from the Navy was this letter from Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal, which she received after she resigned from the WAVES at the end of the war.

There was no need for me to sell the Navy anymore. I mean to represent it. I felt that they were big now, they could take care of themselves (laughs). That I had nurtured them along?  No, the Navy did more for me than I ever did for it.

After the war, Dorothy returned to college to get an M.A. in counseling. She taught for years, and also counseled veterans.