Aug 2

Founding the WAVES

Thursday, August 2, 2018 12:01 AM

By

Captain Mildred McAfee Horton. Courtesy of NHHC.

Captain Mildred McAfee. Courtesy of NHHC.

 

On 3 August 1942, Mildred McAfee (later Mildred McAfee Horton) was commissioned as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Naval Reserves, making her the first female line officer in the U.S. Navy. Future Captain McAfee was the president of Wellesley College when she was recruited to become the first director of the newly established WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). In this excerpt, Captain McAfee discusses how she became involved with the WAVES and her early introduction to rank.

 

Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) learning to repair and maintain Navy fighter plane engines at Naval Air Technical Training Center, NAS Norman, Oklahoma. October 1943.

Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) learning to repair and maintain Navy fighter plane engines at Naval Air Technical Training Center, NAS Norman, Oklahoma. October 1943.

 

To read more about the Naval Institute Oral History Program, go to https://www.usni.org/heritage/oral-history-catalog.