Women and the Sea logo
Introduction
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Myths and Mermaids
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Life in Port
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Going to Sea
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Lighthouse Keepers
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Changing Roles for Women
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Women in the Military
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Women in Wartime Production
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Early Yachting and Racing
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Women and the Sea in the 20th Century
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Timeline
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Resources
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In This Chapter

Introduction

Naval Nurses
The Yeoman (F)
Navy WAVES
Coast Guard SPARS

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Introduction

Women began serving as nurses in the "man's navy" as early as 1811. During World War I, women were called on to "free a man to fight" by taking the place of men in administrative positions on the home front. As World War II intensified two decades later, the Navy "WAVES" and Coast Guard "SPARS" became a vital part of the war machine.

By mid-century, women's roles in the navy were well established, and in 1978, female sailors began serving aboard U.S. Navy ships. Women's roles continue to move forward today as more and more women join the men as pilots, captains, and astronauts.





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