WAVES fulfilled various positions and worked at Naval bases across the US, ranging from yeoman to chauffeur, baker to pharmacist, and artist to aircraft mechanic. Most WAVES worked in naval aviation units–maintaining aircraft, testing parachutes, and working as domestic air traffic controllers or weather specialists.
Even though I work in a maritime museum, my art training still brings a sense of wonder to certain images. I know that this photograph is documenting a step in a process, but this was not my initial response to this image.
Upon first glance, this vessel appears to be just another steamboat. But tinclad vessels? Sounds a bit wimpy to me. It turns out that Cricket has a great history, albeit not significant, in the American Civil War.
During World War I, a Navy vessel ‘sailed’ the concrete of New York City for three years. The only water it ever encountered was from the sky and the city’s municipal water supply. The battleship, nicknamed “USS Neversail” and the “Street Dreadnaught,” was officially christened USS Recruit.