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


National WW2

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

New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

What desperate nightmare rapts me to this land Lit by a bloody moon, red on the hills, Red in the valley's, Why am I compelled To tread again where buried feet have... LEGACY: MY SOUTH by Dudley Randall.
Read More