Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) worn by SK1 Cecile Irene Boyd
The US Navy first enlisted the help of women for support duties in the World War I. With the World War II, women were once again recruited, this time with the establishment of the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) in 1942. The new female recruits had full military status as reservists in the US Naval Reserve. WAVES served at 900 shore stations in the United States in jobs from administrative and clerical to parachute riggers and non-combat aviation crew members. The peak strength of the WAVES was 86,291 members.
A native of East Liverpool, Ohio, Cecile Irene Boyd (1921-2011) enlisted in the WAVES and was sworn in on November 13, 1942, at age 21. Boyd served as a Petty Officer First Class Storekeeper (SK1) during her service in the WAVES, including at Naval Air Station 29 in Honolulu, Hawaii. As a storekeeper, her duties would have included maintaining a supply store. Following the war, Boyd married Walter James “Pado” Bennett, also a US Navy veteran. She and her husband later settled in Petal, Mississippi.
This WAVES uniform was worn by Cecile Boyd. The insignia patch sewn onto the upper left sleeve of the service coat indicates Boyd’s rank of Petty Officer First Class Storekeeper (SK1). Ribbon bars for the WWII Victory Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and American Campaign Medal awarded to Boyd are attached on the left lapel. An Honorable Service Lapel Patch is attached on the right, denoting her honorable discharge from the military.