Navy Women of World War II

While women served in the U.S. Navy during World War I as both nurses and Yeomen (F), the latter of which served primarily in secretarial and clerical positions, their numbers increased dramatically in World War II with the creation of the WAVES and the expansion of the Nurse Corps. And in the case of the WAVES, their responsibilites increased as well – while secretarial and clerical jobs still made up a large portion of WAVES positions, they also performed many more nontraditional jobs such as aviation mechanics, control tower operators, parachute riggers, and metalsmiths. Navy nurses found their roles in World War II expanded as well, taking to the air as flight nurses to evacuate the wounded out of combat zones, as well as training the thousands of male Hospital Corpsman who had to learn to perform nursing duty on combat ships.

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