The WAVES weren’t the only women to serve in the U.S. Navy in World War II. Since 1908, Naval Nurse Corps personnel have served as both regular and reserve members of the Navy. Depicted here are Naval Nurse Corps members at Naval Hospital Jacksonville in the station complex in 1942.

Becoming a pilot or flight trainer required rigorous training. Here an ensign trains other WAVES in the use of oxygen masks in the low pressure chamber at NAS Jacksonville’s main dispensary on October 14, 1943. This exercise simulates altitudes between 18,000 and 30,000 feet. The exercise teaches trainees to use equipment, recognize the symptoms of hypoxia and practice recovery.

The WAVES officer helps a trainee adjust her oxygen mask.

Low pressure training underway. An observer monitors the exercise through a porthole behind the officer’s head.

An instructor helps WAVES suit up for an indoctrination flight simulation in the chill chamber at the NAS Jacksonville main dispensary. This exercise teaches trainees how to operate in the extreme temperatures experienced in high altitude flights.

An instructor briefs the trainees before the chill chamber exercise.

WAVES putting on their oxygen masks.

Article by Bill Delaney. Contact Bill at