Separation Units

The Navy set up five separation units for WAVES. In this article from the WAVES’ newsletter, it describes what women could expect as they moved from their stationed posts and gradually were decommissioned and released from duty. It comes from the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College.


The WAVES were always scheduled to serve “for the duration plus six months.” By September of 1942, the Navy had developed a plan for releasing the women who served. As this article illustrates, it wasn’t as simple as just letting the women go. The reality was then Navy had hundreds of thousands of people – men and women – who would need to return to civilian life. And so a plan needed to be put into place,.

This clipping from the WAVES’ newsletter outlines the initial release plan, which was based upon time served and a complicated system of “points.”  It comes from Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College.