WAVES Anniversary Volume Eats and Sweets


Shop Notes:

This is fun and well-loved cookbook written for the WAVES 25th National Convention in July 1967.  There is something about this book that just pulls the reader into the joy, excitement, and pride of truly remarkable women coming together to celebrate their contributions to the success of the US war effort in WWII.  The cookbook itself is as expected: thorough, well organized, well notated, and just a fun book to read.  

This copy includes an inset of addresses for recipe contributors, which I've never seen before in a community cookbook.  As I said, it's thorough and well organized.  I would expect nothing less.

From the Publisher:

This book is dedicated to all the women of the United States Navy, past, present, and future - long may they "WAVE."  It is with this thought in mind that we have compiled this volume of recipes.  Some are old treasured recipes.  Some are our own and some are brand-new, but all of them in the love of good cooking.  We hope this book will be a pleasure to all.

The recipes in this book may not have been laboratory tested, but their merit has been established by the most critical group of all - our husbands and friends.

About the Authors:

While this cookbook is primarily written by and for the WAVES, I'm including information here about the women's programs in Army, Navy, and Air Force programs in order to amplify the contributions of these badass women in American History.  It's a bit of a long read, but very very worth the time.

When the U.S. officially entered the war in December 1941, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, pressed for a women's branch of the armed forces and General Dwight D. Eisenhower, commander of U.S. forces in Europe, agreed that womens' service would be essential for victory and the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (later renamed Women's Army Corps or WAC) was organized.

Initially, more than 100,000 women enlisted in the WAC (6,000 were officers) and were trained to serve in three roles: switchboard operators, mechanics and bakers.  By the end of the war, WACs were employed in every theater in the war from Europe to Asia in a wide variety of critical support roles.  An 855 woman-strong African-American unit called the "Six-Triple-Eight," not only cleared multiple warehouses of mail and package backlogs across England and France, but they organized and maintained mail operations for 7 million military ID card holders (the logistics of this kind of operation is astounding to me).  Other black WACs were trained as nurses and other medical support roles.  In all it's estimated that 350,000 women were involved in the WAC program by the end of the war.

The Air Force signed up approximately 1,000 women for the Women's Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs).  These women were licensed pilots who flew planes transporting essential cargo from factories to bases and participated in military training exercises, such as simulated strafing and target missions where soldiers would "fire" test rounds at targets being pulled by female pilots. 

Now, back to the cookbook...who were the WAVES?

In 1942, the Navy established the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) program, with more than 100,000 women joining.  WAVES were not permitted to function outside of the US borders, but fulfilled about 20% of the stateside administrative roles.

More than 30% of the WAVES worked as naval aviation training pilots, air traffic controllers, and parachute testers (a job I'm not sure I'd be willing to occupy myself). They also excelled as weather specialists, chemists, and lawyers. World War II marked the Navy's first female doctor, lawyer, bacteriologist, and computer specialist.  One notable WAVE Grace Murray Hopper was a pioneer in early computer development and programming language design. Truly, without her work, you wouldn't be reading this page today.

In 1948, President Truman signed the Women's Armed Services Integration Act, which recognized WACs and WAVES as full members of the armed forces and gave them access to the same benefits as male counterparts.  The WASPs' service went unrecognized until 2010, where they were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, one of the highest civilian honors, under the Obama Administration. 

But, their role in military history had much more far-reaching implications - when the American public saw women excelling in these military roles that were previously thought to be reserved for the realm of men, it expanded the cultural view of what women were truly capable of and provided a springboard for furthering more progressive opportunities for women from that point on.

Condition:  Used - Good, some cover wear may be found or light staining on outer edges appropriate for the book's age.  Copy has owner's notations that do not impact the overall text or content.