Women were first allowed into the navy during World War II in order to increase the number of able body men in active military duty on the seas.  They performed the behind the scenes jobs traditionally handled by men in the military.  Towards the end of  the war, women were not only being trained as secretaries but also as airplane mechanics, storekeepers, occupational and physical therapists, yeomen, mailmen, cooks and bakers.  Waves produced something close to 8,000 officers and 76,000 enlisted women for military service.

The Waves National Collection was donated by Dorothy Battle.  While living in Little Rock during World War II, Dorothy Battle volunteered her time dancing with the young soldiers stationed at Camp Robinson.  Short after receiving her 500 hour pin from the UCO, Dorothy decided to join the Navy on May 5, 1944.  She was sent to Hunter College in New York for boot training, and later she found herself stationed at Memphis, Tennessee as a receptionist for two officers.  After the war, Dorothy Battle was accepted at the University of Wisconsin.  Instead of attending the University, Dorothy met and married a “discharged Seabee.”  They had three “very special children and 38 great years together” before his death in 1983.  Her original uniform is currently housed at the Confederate Air Force museum in Midland, Texas.


Box 1

File 1 – Dorothy Battle World War II Wave Newsletters “Arkansas Traveler” (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service)

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