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Online Library of Selected Images -- Picture Data

Photo #: NH 95359 (complete caption)

WAVES Aviation Metalsmiths

Members of the first class of WAVES to graduate from the Aviation Metalsmith School, at the Naval Air Technical Training Center, Norman, Oklahoma, 30 July 1943.
Those present are (as identified by the donor):
Standing, left to right -- unidentified; Betty Lewis, Alice Hays, ?? Herman; Betty Brown, Dorothy Brown (Worley), Edna Stromberg, Madge Gallagher, Marge Colvin, Alice ??, Robbie Young.
Seated and kneeling, left to right -- Rosalie Lawrence (Werdin), Shirley Feldstein (Bell), Helen Carter (kneeling directly behind Shirley Feldstein), Ann Daniels, Emma Gwatkins, unidentified, and Martina Elizabeth Watson (Honor Student).
Phyllis ("Stormy") Joelson (Morgan) is in front, with the dog.

Donation of Shirley Feldstein Bell.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 135KB; 740 x 600 pixels


Text of letter from Shirley Bell, dated 4 November 1983:

The enclosed picture is of the first WAVE class to graduate Aviation Metalsmith School at the Naval Air Technical Training Center, Norman, Oklahoma, July 30, 1943.
The jumpsuits were designed by Mainbacher who designed the first uniforms. These jumpsuits were made of light blue cotton denim.
We went to school with sailors, learning riveting & welding.
My duty station was at Naval Air Station, Seattle, Washington (Sand Point).
I was the only woman in an Emergency Repair Squadron of 150 men.
There was only one other woman, a mechanic, on the flight line & since we had so much freedom we often went on test flights after repairs had been made. The pilots would turn their backs whenever we went aboard since WAVES had no insurance to cover flight accidents & we were not supposed to fly.
I enlisted at Portland, Oregon, September 1942.

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16 February 2001