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Navy Department Press Release: 19 October 1944

Negro Women to be Accepted in Women's Reserve, U.S. Naval Reserve.

The President today approved a plan submitted by the Navy Department providing for the acceptance of Negro women in the Women's Reserve of the Navy. The plan calls for the immediate commissioning of a limited number of especially qualified Negro women to serve as administrative officers. They will assist in the subsequent planning and supervision of the program for Negro women which will be administered as an integral part of the Women's Reserve. Enlistment of Negro women will be undertaken as soon as these plans have been completed and it is presently indicated that the first Negro recruits will enter training shortly after January 1. Officer candidates and enlisted women will be trained at existing schools for the training of WAVES. The number to be enlisted will be determined by the needs of the service.

Source: Navy Department Press Releases, World War II Command File, Operational Archives Branch, Naval Historical Center.
[Document is also reproduced in MacGregor, Morris J. and Bernard C. Nalty Blacks in the United States Armed Forces: Basic Documents. vol.6. Wilmington DE: Scholarly Resources, 1977, p.124. ]

Definition: WAVES - Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service (US Navy Women's Reserve)

October 1998