Between Korea and Vietnam
Women continued to serve in the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps following the Korean War. Despite the signing of Public Law 585-64 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, which enabled the promotion of small numbers of female lieutenant commanders and commanders, enlisted females seemed to be still only relegated to medical or clerical ratings. In 1961, Lieutenant Charlene T. Suneson, USNR, became the first line WAVES line officer to be ordered for shipboard duty. Enlisted females also began to serve onboard Military Sea Transportation Service ships and at more overseas stations during this time.
Image: USN 709022: WAVES and friends on liberty, October 1953. These WAVES were amongst the first to serve on board ships attached to the Military Sea Transportation Service. Official U.S. Navy photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.