World War II era WAVES - Quarters & Meals



The arrival of large numbers of women in the Naval service prompted significant changes in enlisted housing arrangements. Though some WAVES were quartered in traditional "open bay" structures, with dozens of personnel living together in large rooms, Women's Reserve leaders were successful in their efforts to change this standard to one of smaller two or four person accomodations. Similar enclosing was accomplished for washing and toilet facilities. The improved privacy greatly enhanced morale, and, as the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery had contended earlier, also reduced the spread of communicable diseases. With wartime experience proving their benefits, many of these changes were extended to male Sailors' housing during the postwar era.

In urban areas, such as New York City and heavily WAVES populated Washington, D.C., Navy women were often quartered in existing hotels and apartment buildings, many with integral dining, recreation and other support facilities. Whatever the housing, the double-decked bunk bed was a ubiquitous feature. The Navy being a disciplined activity, there were also WAVES Masters at Arms in quarters to enforce standards of behavior, decor, tidiness and other elements of service life.

This page features views related to World War II era WAVES' quarters, and provides a link to images of their meals.

Additional images of World War II era WAVES quarters


Click photograph for a larger image.

Photo #: 80-G-1010884

WAVES relaxing in their rooms


At Quarters "D", Washington, D.C., circa 1944.
One is reading a copy of "Our Navy" magazine.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives.

Online Image: 98KB; 740 x 610

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 
Photo #: 80-G-40576

WAVES at "home"


In their new quarters in a Washington, D.C., apartment house, 11 February 1943.
They are (from left to right): Storekeeper 3rd Class Helena Huse, Storekeeper 3rd Class Helen Barr, Radioman 3rd Class Wilma Crilry, and Seaman 2nd Class Lee Gridley.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives.

Online Image: 87KB; 740 x 610

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 
Photo #: 80-G-27874

WAVES Barracks Life


WAVES in double bunks in their barracks, typical of their World War II living quarters.
Photographed circa 1943.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives.

Online Image: 89KB; 595 x 765

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 
Photo #: 80-G-211170

Specialist (S) 3rd class Aspasia Phoutrides, USNR(W)
(in upper berth), and
Specialist (S) 3rd class Doris Saunders, USNR(W)

Share reading material, while occupying a double bunk in their barracks at the Advanced Naval Training Station, Lake Union, Seattle, Washington, 16 September 1943.
The copy of "LIFE" magazine is marked "WAVES Reading Room".

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives.

Online Image: 96KB; 590 x 765

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 
Photo #: 80-G-K-14462 (Color)

"That Perfect Corner"

Bunk inspections pay special attention to corners, as this WAVE trainee knows.
Photographed circa 1943-45.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives.

Online Image: 59KB; 490 x 765

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 
Photo #: 80-G-K-13879 (Color)

Navy WAVE trainee

Leans on a swab while cleaning her barracks, soon after she arrived at a Naval Training Center during World War II.
Photographed prior to April 1944.
Note suitcases at right, and dungaree working uniform with button fly.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives.

Online Image: 95KB; 740 x 605

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 


For higher resolution images see: Obtaining Photographic Reproductions





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