Bronx, New York; Cedar Falls, Iowa. 1944. Ca 1944. 50 leaves. 32 greeting cards with ms sentiments, 25 news/magazine clippings, 109 original b/w photos, 15 postcards, 3 letters et al. Many loose (and tipped in) ephemeral items. 14-1/2" x 11 3/4". Embossed cream faux leather boards, tan thick paper leaves 2-hole punched, bound with brown cord. A few leaves toward the end are loose, chipping (along with small tears) at edges of most leaves, letters (with envelopes) are well preserved, VG+. Item #47660
WAVES or the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service was established during WWII and authorized the U. S. Navy to accept women into the Naval Reserve as commissioned, enlisted officers. The WAVES served at 900 stations and at its peak included 86, 291 members, including women of color. The advisory council chosen to lead the program included many prominent women to ensure its success: Elizabeth Reynard, Mildred H. McAfee, Meta Glass, Lillian Gilbreth, Ada Comstock, Alice Crocker Lloyd, Gladys Graham, Harriet Elliott and Alice Baldwin. Officers were trained at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. Initially, the Navy selected Oklahoma A&M College, Indiana University, and the University of Wisconsin for recruiting and training of enlisted WAVES, but found it more suitable to establish one recruit training center in esprit de corps on the campus of the Iowa State Teachers College. By December 1942 it was decided by the newly appointed Captain Randall Davis that all future recruits in training would study at Hunter College in the Bronx, New York City. This scrapbook belonged to Lois Lee Thompson of Company 90, Section 22. She studied at both Hunter College and the Iowa State Teachers College. This archive includes a dense selection of materials from her enlistment, including over 100 original photographs (with ms names to verso of portrait of her graduating class), 32 greeting cards with personal ms sentiments inscribed, 25 news and magazine clippings (including issues of The Iowave, Supply Lines and Conning Tower), 2 brochures, her Naval Officer procurement letter, a typed list of the women she enlisted with, their addresses and a list of the supplies she would need, 4 programs from religious/memorial/music/theatre programs, her enlistee handbook, one broadside, 2 change of address cards, 15 postcards, 2 ticket stubs, one radio show program, 3 detailed letters, one certificate of completion from her training, one WAVES pennant likely worn on her uniform, a packet from TWA and two luggage tags, and one WAVES pin-up trading card. The sum is an amazingly well preserved story, from beginning to end, of Lois’s journey as a member of WAVES. She was full-heartedly devoted to her service and kept a meticulous record of the events she attended, the places she traveled, the women she befriended and the accomplishments of WAVES during this period. An important piece of history for both the navy and women in the U. S. Military during WWII.