Photos of WWII Coast Guard SPARS

Coast Guard SPARS

The Women's Reserve of the Coast Guard (SPARS) was created on Nov. 23, 1942 "to expedite the war effort by providing for releasing officers and men for duty at sea and their replacement by women in the shore establishment of the Coast Guard". Women were not to serve outside the continental United States, and no woman, officer or enlisted, could issue orders to any male serviceman. The first 153 enlisted SPARs and 15 SPAR officers were former WAVES who agreed to be discharged from the Navy and join the Coast Guard.

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Two African-American SPARS pause on the ladder of the dry-land ship U.S.S. Neversail

Two African-American SPARS pause on the ladder of the dry-land ship U.S.S. Neversail during their boot training at the U.S. Coast Guard Training Station, Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn, NY, during WWII.

SPAR Aileen Anita Cooke, apprentice seamen, is receiving her 'boot' course

SPAR Aileen Anita Cooke, apprentice seamen, is receiving her "boot" course at a United States Training Station, Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn, New York, 1941-1945.

Two SPAR recruits take the oath

Two SPAR recruits take the oath.

Coast Guard SPARS

Coast Guard SPARS.

More than 1,900 SPARs survived the harsh Bronx winter climate

More than 1,900 SPARs survived the harsh Bronx winter climate along with WAVEs at Hunter College, N.Y. Hunter's SPARs lived in a five-story converted apartment house that served as their barracks.

SPAR recruits at the training center in Palm Beach during morning calisthenics

SPAR recruits at the training center in Palm Beach during morning calisthenics.

Coast Guard SPARS

Coast Guard SPARS.

Shooting range practice at the Coast Guard Academy

Shooting range practice at the Coast Guard Academy.

The officers of the High Frequency Radio Direction Finding Evaluation Control Center

The officers of the High Frequency Radio Direction Finding Evaluation Control Center.

Newly commissioned SPAR officers talk with a Coast Guard Academy cadet

Newly commissioned SPAR officers talk with a Coast Guard Academy cadet.

SPAR Helen O'Brien on duty at Coast Guard Headquarter's communication center

SPAR Helen O'Brien on duty at Coast Guard Headquarter's communication center.

SPARS Lewis, Davis, Cooper, Statham; Kneeling: SPARS Rapier, Rathburn, Nicit

SPARS Lewis, Davis, Cooper, Statham; Kneeling: SPARS Rapier, Rathburn, Nicit.

For inclement weather, SPARS wore a navy blue cap cover

For inclement weather, SPARS wore a navy blue cap cover of water-resistant material, that was patterned after gear worn by British soldiers in 1857.

SPAR officers inspect LORAN stations in Alaska

SPAR officers inspect LORAN stations in Alaska.

SPAR officers, on an inspection tour of quarters for the SPAR contingent headed for Alaska, meet one of the local children

SPAR officers, on an inspection tour of quarters for the SPAR contingent headed for Alaska, meet one of the local children.