Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Women in the Navy - Susan H. Godson Research Collection

Dates: 1981-1982, 1994-1997

While doing research for her book Serving Proudly: A History of Women in the U.S. Navy  (Naval Institute Press, 2002), Susan H. Godson completed oral histories with 24 individuals.  She donated these oral histories to the Navy Archives in 1998.

Beers, Dorothy Ditter Gondos
Date of Interview: 11 September 1995
Quantity: Transcript
WAVES lieutenant during World War II.
Topics discussed include: her background, family, and education; her decision to join the U.S. Navy; her recruitment training at Mt. Holyoke; her first assignment in Washington, DC with the Bureau of Ordnance in the logistics planning section and her responsibility for the war plans book; her working relationship with other women and men (officers and enlisted); her opinion of the WAVES uniform; the misunderstanding about WAVES overseas duty; and her use of the G.I. Bill after her discharge.

Collins, Winifred Q.
Date of Interview: 15 July 1996
Quantity: Digital Audio and Transcript
A WAVES officer during World War II (the second woman sworn into the U.S. Navy) and Assistant Chief of Personnel for Women, 1957-1962.
Topics discussed include: her background, family, and education; her decision to join the U.S. Navy; her training at Smith College; her assignments in personnel during World War II and Korean Conflict; her tenure as ACNP(W); her working relationship with other women and men (officers and enlisted); sexual harassment; lesbians in the U.S. Navy; her reminiscences of Admiral Mike Boorda.

Conder, Maxine
Date of Interview: 1 May 1997
Quantity: Written Responses
A Navy Nurse for 28 years and former Director of the Navy Nurse Corps.
Topics discussed include: her background, family, and education; her decision to join the U.S. Navy during the Korean Conflict; her service on USS HAVEN (1953-1954); polio nursing while stationed in Guam (1954-1955); the progress in nursing in the 1960s and 1970s; opportunities for promotion and diverse duties in the Navy Nurse Corps; her relationship as Director of the Navy Nurse Corps with the Surgeon Generals--VADM Donald Custis and Willard Arentzen; recruitment and retention of Navy Nurses; the main Navy Nurse issues she dealt with during her directorship and her accomplishments; the male reaction to female nurses in command; the reactions from Hospital Corps males toward female and male nurses; the subsidized education programs for nurses which ended in the late 1970s.

Coxhead, Helene Jackson
Date of Interview: 6 February 1994
Quantity: Digital Audio and Transcript
A former Yeoman(F) during World War I.
Topics discussed include: her background, family, and education; her decision to join the U.S. Navy when Josephus Daniels was Secretary of the Navy; her assignment and clerical duties at the Naval Medical Supply Depot, Mare Island; flu epidemic of 1918; her reminiscences of being a Yeoman(F). Her daughter, Diane C. Meckel also makes comments. 

Diduk, Elsa Scharles
Date of Interview: 8 March 1996
Quantity: Digital Audio and Transcript
A WAVES lieutenant during World War II.
Topics discussed include: her background, family, and education; her decision to join the U.S. Navy; her training at Smith College; his assignment to a Bureau of Aeronautics office in Allentown, PA; her working relationship with men (enlisted and officers); her opinion of the uniform; her use of the G. I. Bill for graduate school.

Duerk, Alene B.
Date of Interview: 11 October 1996
Quantity: Transcript
A Navy Nurse and former Director of the Navy Nurse Corps.
The interview includes comments by CAPT Jo Ann S. Watkins, USN (Ret.).

Erickson, Ruth A.
Date of Interview: 1 October 1995
Quantity: Written Responses
A Navy Nurse and former Director of the Navy Nurse Corps.
Topics discussed include: her background, family, and education; her decision to join the U.S. Navy; her naval service during World War II including USS RELIEF (1938-1940) and what she saw at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941; comparison of Navy nurses with civilian nurses regarding training, performance, dedication to duty; her duty on USS HAVEN (April 1945-March 1946); her evaluation of Beatrice Bowman, Myn Hoffman, Sue Dauser, and Nellie Dewitt as superintendents/directors; sexual harassment; performance of the Navy Nurse Corps during the Korean Conflict; Navy nurses as flight nurses; her tenure and accomplishments as Director of the Navy Nurse Corps (1962-1966); the policy change to allow male nurses into the corps; her overall opinion of the U.S. Navy and the Navy Nurse Corps.

Grady, Doris Locke
Date of Interview: 8 July 1995
Quantity: Digital Audio and Transcript
A former enlisted member of the WAVES during World War II.
Topics discussed include: her background, family, and education; her decision to join the U.S. Navy; her naval service during World War II as a LINK trainer; her rating as a technical specialist (T); her working relationship with men (officers and enlisted).

Hall, Mary F.
Date of Interview: 23 June 1997
Quantity: Digital Audio and Transcript
A Navy Nurse and former Director of the Navy Nurse Corps.
Topics discussed include: her background, family, and education; her decision to join the U.S. Navy; her naval service as Commanding Officer of the Naval Hospitals at Guantanamo Bay and at Long Beach (first nurse commanding officer); her working relationship with men (MSC officers and physicians); competition between men and women for CO and XO jobs during the 1970s and 1980s; her tenure as Director of the Navy Nurse Corps which began in 1987 and her goals relating to recruitment, retention, and education; her working relationship with ADM Edney, ADM Mike Boorda, and Surgeon General, ADM Zimble; the relationship between the Nurse Corps and the Hospital Corps.

Hamblet, Julia
Date of Interview: 28 November 1995
Quantity: Digital Audio and Transcript
Former Director of the Marine Corps Women's Reserve (1946-1948) and former Director of the Women Marines (1953-1959).
Topics discussed include: her background, family, and education; her decision to join the U.S. Marine Corps; her naval service during World War II as an adjutant of the women's training regiment at Camp LeJeune and Camp Pendleton; the Armed Services Integration Act; her working relationship with men (officers); the effectiveness of DACOWITS; her tenure as Director of the Women Marines during the 1950s and utilization of women; the efforts of CAPT Joy Hancock to make a permanent place for women in the military.

Hancock, Joy B.
Date of Interview: August 1981-September 1982
Quantity: Interviews Summary
Former Yeoman (F) during World War I, a former member of the WAVES during World War II, and former Director of the Women's Reserves (WAVES).
Topics discussed include: her background, family, and education; her decision to join the U.S. Navy; her service as Yeomen (F) in WWI; her life as a Navy wife and her civilian jobs with Bureau of Aeronautics; her service with the WAVES during WWII; specialized training for WAVES and how her beliefs differed from those of WAVES director, CAPT McAfee and others; her seven years as Director of the Women's Reserves (WAVES) which began in 1946; her role in securing passage of the legislation giving women a permanent place in the military (the Women's Armed Services Act of 1948); the pride in her WAVES; her post-Navy life (she retired in 1953).

Hazard, Roberta L.
Date of Interview: 8 April 1997
Quantity: Digital Audio and Transcript
32 years of service in the U.S. Navy.
Topics discussed include: her background, family, and education; her decision to join the U.S. Navy; the disestablishment of the WAVES by CAPT Quigley and how it affected recruiting and retention; the Navy's efforts with Equal Opportunity and Affirmative action in the 1970s and 1980s; DACOWITS; her working relationships with men (officers and enlisted) while in command in the early 1980s at the San Francisco Naval Technical Training Center, at the San Diego Naval Training Station, and at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center after her selection for flag; the Women in Ships Program.

House, Sandra Lee Binek Doppelheuer
Date of Interview: 26 February 1996
Quantity: Digital Audio and Transcript
Naval service in the Medical Service Corps from 1967-1994 (seven years on active duty and nineteen in the Reserves.

Hurt, Dorothy Brown
Date of Interview: 30 July 1996
Quantity: Digital Audio and Transcript
A former Lieutenant in the WAVES during World War II.
Topics discussed include: her background, family, and education; her decision to join the U.S. Navy; her officer indoctrination course at Smith College; her WWII duty in the Navy Department in Washington, DC as a clerk in the Communication Division, an office that was the liaison between intelligence and communications; her working relationship with men (officers and enlisted).

Lindner, Mary J.
Date of Interview: 2 May 1995
Quantity: Digital Audio and Transcript
A Navy Nurse.
Topics discussed include: her background, family, and education; her decision to join the U.S. Navy; her service on hospital ship USS RELIEF in 1938; her service during World War II in the South Pacific and her duties as chief nurse in American Samoa; her tenure at the receiving hospital in San Francisco; the Navy Nurse Corps under various directors; her working relationship men (officers and corpsmen).

McKee, Fran
Date of Interview: 26 August 1996
Quantity: Transcript
Naval service from 1950 to 1981.
Topics discussed include: her background family, and education; her decision to join the U.S. Navy; her officer indoctrination course at Newport, RI in 1950; her first assignment with the Office of Naval Research, Washington, DC in the administrative section of the Physical Sciences Division and later as Administrative Aide to the Chief of naval Research; motivation for women joining the Navy in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s; the decision to allow women into the NROTC program and the U.S. Naval Academy; the effectiveness of DACOWITS; her notification in February 1976 that she was the first woman line officer in the history of Navy to be selected for flag rank; her working relationship with men during her assignments as commanding officer of various commands; sexual harassment; homosexuals in the military.

Nickels, Janell Osborne
Date of Interview: 14 September 1996
Quantity: Digital Audio and Transcript
Lieutenant in the Chaplain Corps (active duty four years and three years in the Reserves).
Topics discussed include: her background, family, and education; her decision to join the U.S. Navy; her training at Chaplain School at Newport, RI; her duties as a hospital chaplain at Portsmouth Naval Hospital and Orlando Naval Hospital during the 1980s; her working relationship with male chaplains; sexual harassment; homosexuals in the military.

Nielubowicz, Mary J.
Date of Interview: 8 April 1997
Quantity: Digital Audio and Transcript
A Navy Nurse and former Director of the Navy Nurse Corps.
Topics discussed include: her background, family, and education; her decision to join the U.S. Navy; her naval service as a staff nurse and later as a charge nurse at various duty stations; her assignment at hospitals at Iwakuni, Japan and Guam during the Vietnam Conflict; her goals for the Nurse Corps during her tenure as Director; the impact of DOPMA on the Nurse Corps; her responsibilities with dual commands--the director was to be part of the Surgeon General's group at the Pentagon and then she had to report to the Naval Medical Command; reverse discrimination towards male nurses; shortage of nurses in specialties during the 1980s; the reorganization of Navy medicine and quality assurance.

 

Nyce, Barbara R.
Date of Interview: 2 March 1997
Quantity: Transcript and Written Responses
A line officer, 1962-1986.
Topics discussed include: her background, family, and education; her decision to join the U.S. Navy; her opinion of CAPT Robin Quigley's decision to disestablish the WAVES; the role of OP-01(W) after the disestablishment of Per-K; her responsibilities as the Women's Program Officer, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Subspecialty Management Office (1972-1976); implementation of Z-116 (Women in Ships program); her responsibilities as Assistant for Women's Policy (OP-01(W), Bureau of Naval Personnel; her main problems as OP-01(W); sexual harassment; the caliber of enlisted women; her working relationship with men as CO of the Naval Technical Training Center in San Francisco and CO of Recruit Training in Orlando. Also includes a questionnaire which includes biographical information, her answers to questions relating to negative experiences which confronted her because she is a woman and the inequalities she perceived after women were integrated with men, and her evaluation of her military service.

Paroubek, Ann Clendenin
Date of Interview: 15 March 1996
Quantity: Transcript and Written Responses
A former Ensign in the Navy Nurse Corps at the end of World War II (January 1945 to September 1946).
Topics discussed include: her background, family, and education; her decision to join the U.S. Navy; her naval service at the hospital at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center with skin graft patients and former POWs.

Prise, Mary B.
Date of Interview: 15 July 1997
Quantity: Transcript and Written Responses
A former Senior Chief Petty Officer.
Topics discussed include: her background, family, and education; her decision to join the U.S. Navy (she had previously served in the U.S. Air Force as a dental technician); the impact of the dissolution of the WAVES (she joined the Navy in 1976); the shortage of senior women in the late 1970s and 1980s as role models for the younger enlisted women; as a single parent the effect on her son when she went to sea in the late 1970s; her experiences in the Women in Ships program and her service on USS VULCAN (crew had 66 women in a crew of about 700), USS TRUCKEE, USS AINSWORTH, and USS JOHN C. STENNIS; hostility from the wives of the crew; the dependence of the Women in Ships program on the effectiveness of the CO of the ship; her placement of a CO on report for sexism and harassment in 1992; TAILHOOK; her work on the Presidential Commission for Women in Combat; homosexuals in the military; sexual harassment.

Roy, Susan Davis
Date of Interview: 10 July 1996
Quantity: Transcript
A former Lieutenant in the WAVES, 1942-1950.
Topics discussed include: her background, family, and education; her decision to join the U.S. Navy; her training as an Ensign at Mt. Holyoke; her WAVES uniform; her assignment in Postal Affairs, Washington, DC, which was tasked with the responsibility of getting mail (official and personal) to Navy stations and ship; her final assignment during World War II as assistant to the Postal Officer, Pearl Harbor; her civilian life after her release from the WAVES in 1946; her reapplication in 1948 to the WAVES after Congress passed the law which made WAVES part of the regular Navy; her assignment (as a Lieutenant) as assistant operations officer at Newport, RI, planning berthing space and other assistance for ships in the harbor; her marriage and resignation (a second time) after she became pregnant.

Shea-Buckley, Fran
Date of Interview: 21 April 1997
Quantity: Digital Audio and Transcript
A Navy Nurse and former Director of the Navy Nurse Corps.
Topics discussed include: her background, family, and education; her decision to join the U.S. Navy; her recruitment to naval service during the Korean Conflict; her return to active naval service in November of 1960 (she had been in the Naval Reserves since 1954); her naval service during the Vietnam Conflict on hospital ship USS REPOSE (AH-16); her goals as Director of the Navy Nurse Corps; the decision of SecNav John F. Lehman to reorganize the Medical Department in the 1980s; her assignment by the Surgeon General to also be the CO of Health Sciences, Education, and Training Command as well as to continue as Director of the Navy Nurse Corps; her additional assignment as deputy commander for all Medical Department personnel; her working relationship with Surgeons General VADM Arentzen, VADM Cox, and VADM Seaton; the excellent caliber of nurses in the 1970s and 1980s; the impact of DOPMA in equalizing the promotion opportunity for nurses; the effectiveness of DACOWITS in removing the combat exclusion restriction policy for women and insuring that women flag officers could be promoted to O-8 (rear admiral upper half); the advantages and disadvantages of disestablishing the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery and establishing the Naval Medical Command; nurses as COs and XOs; male nurses; training of Hospital Corpsmen; sexual harassment.

Zumwalt, Elmo B. Jr.
Date of Interview: 23 September 1996
Quantity: Transcript
Former Chief of Naval Operations, 1970-1974.
Topics discussed include: the challenges that faced the Navy in 1970 when he began his tenure as CNO---low reenlistment rates, anti-military/anti-war mood in the country, racism; his program of changing the personnel system with a series of Z-grams; the impact of the women's movement---equal sacrifices as well as equal opportunities; pilot program on hospital ship USS SANCTUARY; pilot program for women going into flight training; opposition relating to aviation training for women; his anecdote about RADM Duerk's promotion (she was the first female flag officer); the disestablishment of the WAVES by CAPT Robin Quigley.

Published: Mon Mar 22 11:12:18 EDT 2021