Today's Articles

People, Locations, Episodes

Thu, 10.19.1944

The First Black Women are Admitted To Navy WAVES

Harriet Ida Pikens and Frances Wills

On this date in 1944, the Navy integrated their Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service better known as WAVES.

Up to that time, Black women were barred from the WAVES. The efforts of Mildred McAfee and Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune helped the Secretary of the Navy push through the admittance of Black women into military service.

The first two Black WAVES officers, Harriet Ida Pickens and Frances Wills were sworn in on December 22 of that year. Of the 80,000 WAVES in World War II, 72 Black women served, normally under integrated conditions.

To Have a Military Career

Reference:

History.Navy.mil

Library of Congress
101 Independence Avenue S.E.
Washington D.C. 20540

New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

They shall go down unto life’s Borderland, Walk unafraid within that Living Hell, Nor heed the driving rain of shot and shell That round them falls; but with uplifted hand Be one with... SONNET TO NEGRO SOLDIERS by Joseph Seaman Cotter Jr.
Read More