World War II era WAVES
Recreation, Leisure & Good Deeds



The thousands of WAVES, generally stationed a long way from home, were unlikely to be much interested in many traditional Sailors' liberty pursuits. A variety of more congenial leisure activities had to be created on their own initiative, or that of their superiors. In some locations, sightseeing, theater attendance and other "off base" entertainments were attractive options. In others, diversions had to be found close at hand. Base chapels were well-attended, with the WAVES' presence enhancing male turnout as well. Lounges were provided in quarters, providing opportunities for entertaining, games and other appropriate spare-time undertakings. Base recreational facilities were frequently expanded to accomodate women.

Civic-minded WAVES also found occasions to perform good works for the benefit of others. Navy hospitals, with a large population of convalescents, were a natural focus of welcome support. Wartime rural manpower shortages also presented opportunities to assist farmers at harvest time.

In an organization containing large numbers of young, active men and women, certain social ventures came along rather naturally. After months of wavering, the Navy accepted the realities, and in early 1943 allowed WAVES to marry Navy men once they had completed their initial "boot" training.

This page features views of World War II era WAVES' leisure time activities.

Additional images of World War II WAVES'

Overview of WAVES of World War II Overview and Special Images


Click photograph for a larger image.

Photo #: 80-G-K-5568 (Color)

WAVES on liberty in Honolulu

Yeoman 3rd Class Margaret Jean Fusco photographs three friends by King Kamehameha's statue in Honolulu, circa spring 1945.
Posing are (left to right): Yeoman 2nd Class Jennie Reinhart; Yeoman 2nd Class Muriel Caldwell and Yeoman 2nd Class June Read.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives.

Online Image: 68KB; 570 x 765

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 
Photo #: 80-G-K-13755 (Color)

WAVES sightseeing in Washington, D.C.

Three WAVES stand by the north side of the Tidal Basin during the springtime cherry blossom season, circa 1943-45. The Jefferson Memorial is in the distance.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives.

Online Image: 125KB; 740 x 600

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 
Photo #: 80-G-K-14460 (Color)

WAVES sharpen their aim with bows and arrows

At a wartime recreation facility, circa 1943-45.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives.

Online Image: 63KB; 740 x 510

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 
Photo #: 80-G-87242

Naval Air Station, Ottumwa, Iowa


WAVES serve as cheerleaders for the Air Station's football team, 21 October 1943.
They are (from left to right): Virginia Gervais, Dorothy Nicoll, Mary Kneller and Nancy Lanford.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives.

Online Image: 83KB; 740 x 605

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 
Photo #: 80-G-K-14439 (Color)

Seaman 2nd Class Eleanor Fern Hancock (center) and
Seaman 2nd Class Nelda Jeanne Roark

Enjoy a day in the field with dogs and shotguns, during a break in their training at the Yeoman Training School, Cedar Falls, Iowa, circa 1944-45.
Shotguns include one pump action and one semi-automatic model.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives.

Online Image: 102KB; 740 x 515

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 
Photo #: 80-G-K-14444 (Color)

Yeoman Training School, Iowa State College, Cedar Falls, Iowa

WAVES yeoman students take time out from classes to roll a big snow ball on the Iowa State College campus, circa 1944.
Seaman 2nd Class Dorothy Gasperi is at right, in uniform. Seaman 2nd Class Mary Swamberger is wearing the gray snowsuit.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives.

Online Image: 74KB; 740 x 610

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 


For higher resolution images see: Obtaining Photographic Reproductions





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