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The FReeper Foxhole Profiles SPARS - March 28th, 2004 ^ | by Robin J. Thomson, USCG

Posted on 03/27/2004 10:51:48 PM PST by snippy_about_it


Keep our Troops forever in Your care

Give them victory over the enemy...

Grant them a safe and swift return...

Bless those who mourn the lost.

FReepers from the Foxhole join in prayer
for all those serving their country at this time.

...................................................................................... ...........................................

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The Coast Guard & the Women's Reserve in World War II

The 1940s bring memories of tearful train-station good-byes, war bond drives, ration cards and much-feared telegrams. To the soldiers, sailors and airmen of that era, World War II was not just a far-off conflict, it was a reality. These young men were in the forefront in war-torn Europe and the battle grounds of the Pacific.

But for the women left behind, the reality of war was also close to home. These mothers, daughters, sisters, wives and fiancées of the brave young men wanted to do their part too and became soldiers, sailors and airmen - and even Coast Guardsmen in the global war.

On Nov. 23, 1942, legislation was approved creating yet another arm of the U.S. Coast Guard, one that would pave the way for Coast Guard women of today - The U.S. Coast Guard Women's Reserve, also known as the SPARs.

Although the Coast Guard had done many jobs since 1790 without taking women into its enlisted or officer ranks, the onset of a world war changed the course of history for women in all the armed services. When World War II came, the Coast Guard and the other services found themselves in great need of more men at sea and more troops on foreign soil. They acknowledged that filling U.S. shore jobs with women would allow more men to serve elsewhere and hasten the war effort.

SPARs provide the answer

The SPARs were the answer to the Coast Guard's problem. These women were under military direction, and they were subject to assignment according to the needs of the service. This was one of the key factors in using women as part of the military force. The jobs they were filling could not have been done by civilians working for the armed forces because they were not as mobile and did not fall under military law and discipline.

The establishment of the SPARs also showed legislative recognition of a democratic woman's right to directly participate as members of the armed services in the joint war effort. Even their male counterparts thought highly of the SPARs. "Uncle Sam needs the SPARs or he'd never have them in uniform," said Coxswain Frank Bartlett. "They are a saving to the government. If they were civilian employees in civil service, they would be drawing high wages."

"As it is, they are drawing the same as we are for the same job we once had," he said. "We welcome them. They gave us our one and only chance for the job we want, - the sea."

This new influx of personnel on the horizon raised some questions for the previously all-male service. Separate housing and messing facilities and personnel policies were among the issues under consideration with this revolutionary concept. The service dealt with the berthing and messing problem by providing separate housing - often dormitory style - for the newest Coast Guard personnel.

When it came to personnel policies, the Coast Guard reflected on the issue as a whole. Since fairness and individual consideration of personnel had long been standard, if not a tradition for the Coast Guard, the service welcomed the newest ranks - women reservists - in the same manner as those before them. The Coast Guard's policy did not change with the onset of women. It remained to make use of its personnel to carry out the varied duties and responsibilities and to equally reward those who gave faithful service.

10,000 women volunteer

The Coast Guard and the nation were in need, and America's young women responded. More than 10,000 women volunteered for service between 1942 and 1946. This reserve corps also had its own commanding officer, Dorothy C. Stratton.

Stratton was the dean of women on leave from Purdue University and a lieutenant in the Navy Women's Reserve, also known as WAVEs. She was promoted to lieutenant commander when she became the director of the SPARs and was later promoted to captain. In fact, it is believed that she was the originator of the nickname SPARs. Their original name, WORCOGS, gave way to the nautical term and the contraction of the Coast Guard's motto - Semper Paratus, Always Ready.

Patriotism is key

There were many reasons why these young women joined the SPARs. One of the main reasons enlisted SPARs joined was patriotism. They expressed a desire to be of more direct help in the war effort. Other reasons included a wish to relieve a man for active combat elsewhere, a chance for self improvement or advancement, an opportunity for travel, and a desire for excitement and adventure.

Soon after the legislation was passed in November 1942, a recruiting drive began to build the SPAR corps. Although military services had been recruiting their members for many years, SPAR recruiters faced two challenges - recruiting women and recruiting them for one of the least-known services.

In fact, in early 1944, Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, issued a guidance memorandum for SPAR recruiting officers. The recruiters were told not to sit in an office and wait for the women to walk in; they should go to the field and talk to prospective applicants and their families.

They did just that, according to LT Kay Arthur, a former SPAR and co-author of Three Years Behind the Mast: The Story of the Coast Guard SPARs. "When the memo arrived at a southern recruiting office, the staff had just returned from a trek through a cotton field to secure enlistment permission from a girl's irate parents who were at work there," Arthur said.

Another aspect of SPAR recruiting was the much-debated Tars and Spars music and dance show. The show was on the road in East Coast cities during the summer of 1944. It is not known how much the show drew the attention of applicants, but SPAR officers did agree that the show raised the level of Coast Guard-consciousness as a whole.

Coast Guard begins recruiting black women

While the recruiting drive was moving forward, it wasn't until October 1944 that the Coast Guard authorized its recruiting officers to accept black women for enlistment, provided they were fully qualified.

This initiative came after a Department of the Navy directive. Because the officer training program for recruited civilians had come to a close, no civilian black women were accepted as officer candidates. However, some black women were interested and applied for enlistment. Within the first six months after the new initiative, four black women had made application and were accepted into the SPARs.

SPAR recruits Julie Moselsy Pole, on the left; Winifred Byrd, on the right.

Even though the officer corps was closed to civilian black women, it was possible for prior-enlisted black SPARs to attend officer training."There were six nurses of my heritage who were ensigns," said Yeoman Second Class Olivia J. Hooker, the first black woman to enlist in the SPARs. All SPAR applicants went through a relatively similar experience called processing. Similar to the enlistment process of today, the young women waded through a mountain of forms, interviews, physical exams and a mental aptitude test.

The average woman applying for enlistment was a single, 22-year-old high school graduate. She had worked for more than three years in a clerical or sales job, earning $26.94 per week before joining. The chances were good that she came from Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio or California, according to a May 1943 survey. In a similar survey done in July 1943, it was discovered that the average SPAR officer applicant was a single, 29-year-old college graduate. She worked for seven years in either a professional or managerial position, in the field of education or government, earning $50 per week before joining the SPARs. In most cases, her service in the Coast Guard used the tools of her profession or civilian experience. After the rounds of paperwork and exams, the eager applicants were finally on their way.

"The Women's Reserve of the United States Coast Guard was officially established by act of Congress on 23 November 1942, but for each of us it really got underway on the date when, as a shakingly triumphant civilian, we raised our right hands and repeated the oath that made us a SPAR," Arthur said.

Enlisted training begins

Like their male counterparts, SPARs also arrived at an embarkation point on their way to basic training. With tearful goodbyes and well wishes from family and friends, the SPARs departed and the training began. Enlisted SPARs trained at a variety of places, beginning with the first group of WAVEs who transferred to the SPARs and trained at a college campus in the mid-west, to the last few to leave the training station at Manhattan Beach, N.Y.

For SPARs, the indoctrination period was a mad rush of classes, physical education, aptitude tests, physical exams, shots, drill, mess and watch. It was the job of the training stations to convert the enlistees as soon as possible. It was the boots' responsibility to hurry up and wait. And wait they did, for graduation day, when they received orders.

It was this experience that transformed a young woman of the 1940s from Miss Smith with casual posture, wearing a fashionable bob and the latest women's clothing styles, into Seaman Smith with her shoulders back, sporting neatly trimmed hair and enormous pride in her uniform. Oklahoma's A&M University in Stillwater was the home to the first SPARs who transferred in from the WAVES. This training center also became a specialist school for the yeoman rating.

If the SPARs joined the Coast Guard to see the coast, they did not even come close as they were assigned to a training station in the Midwest for their first five weeks in the service. Although Stillwater may have seemed far removed from the Coast Guard by its location, the SPARs who went there came away with basic Coast Guard skills intact and a fondness for a place they entered with anticipation and fear.

"We fell into routine easily, working hard, trying to finish each day's homework and keep our rooms ship shape as well," said Yeoman First Class Margaret Gorley Foley, who trained at Stillwater. "The captain's inspection on Saturday was a white-glove inspection, and the wind that blew in the Oklahoma red dust certainly didn't help any."

Having once paid heed to rumors of field mice, snakes and wild indians running amuck on this wild frontier that was their training station, Foley said the Stillwater women left with a change of heart. "Our stay at A&M finally came to an end. It wasn't all fun, for we had worked hard, but they were perhaps the three most pleasant weeks I spent in service," she said. "After we were logged out, our train rounded a curve; we may not have said it, but I think we all felt that scuttlebutt had dealt unfairly with Stillwater," Foley said.

Another college campus, Iowa State Teachers College, became the site of the naval training station for the first group of 150 civilian women who enlisted as SPARs. These SPARs were trained, not by Coast Guard instructors, but by naval officers, both men and women. Later, SPAR officers arrived and the course of instruction included Coast Guard history as well as the usual military courses - rates and ranks, insignia, nautical terms and customs and courtesies.

Among many similar schools, Cedar Falls was one place where young and confused apprentice seamen arrived, but departed as competent seamen second class. This included Chief Storekeeper Mary Jane Klein. "I began guarding the coast in the corn state of Iowa," Klein said. "Not a drop of salt water, nor a sailor in sight. Yet I was directed to the first ladder, portside, to my billet on the second deck, and ordered to square the corners of my bedding and learn to tell time Navy fashion."

Much like their counterparts of today, the SPAR boots entered the training facility running and did not stop until graduation day. "The first day at boot camp was chiefly one of relaxation and getting acquainted with my bunkmates," Klein said. "At 0530 the next morning, however, I heard a shrill whistle and a booming voice give forth with 'hit the deck.'" Like her fellow SPARs at Cedar Falls, Klein said there was never a dull moment in those weeks of training.

"Frozen in my mind are the chilling memories of the fire drills at 0200 or any hour before dawn, as I picture the long line of pajamas and robes planted in two feet of snow like stalks of corn, while the officers pretended that the dormitory was afire," she said. "I often wondered if I didn't prefer burning to death to the slow tortures of exposure." Klein, her bunkmates, and all the SPARs that followed her, left the four weeks of intense drill, training and homework, looking forward to the day they would report to their new units as seamen second class.

SPAR boots move on to a training station in the Bronx

Even though two of the early training bases were in the Midwest, more than 1,900 SPARs survived the harsh Bronx winter climate along with WAVEs at Hunter College, N.Y. Like the indoctrination classes at Stillwater and Cedar Falls, the boots learned the basics of the Coast Guard. Hunter's SPARs lived in a five-story converted apartment house that served as their barracks. The billets consisted of two rooms and a bath shared by 10 women.

"It was hit the sack at 2130 and hit the deck at 0530," said Storekeeper First Class Toni Bassett, a former Hunter College SPAR boot. "I soon learned to slide in and out of the sack without disturbing the covers too much. The most difficult problem was the 10 of us trying to make the head in that half hour (before morning chow)."

Once again, these SPAR boots eagerly awaited the day when they passed their final exams and were on their way to serve at their stations. "Somehow out of the darkness of confusion, I managed to grasp enough Coast Guard history, organization and important facts to pass the final examinations," Bassett said. "At least they didn't send me back home. They sent me, as a reward, to Storekeeper School in Milledgeville, Ga."

Even though the first enlisted SPARs were trained at Navy schools, the needs of the Coast Guard soon mandated the establishment of separate Coast Guard indoctrination and training that was overseen by SPAR officers.

SPARs take over the Pink Palace

Just six months after the SPAR recruiting drive began, the service established a training center for SPARs. One month before it opened, the news had hit the streets about the opening of the SPARs new indoctrination facility - the Palm Beach Biltmore Hotel in Florida.

Although it sounded glamorous and sophisticated, the 430 rooms given up by the Biltmore were a far cry from their original pageantry when SPAR training began in June 1943. Walls were knocked out, partitions were built, rich decorations were removed and the first 900 women reported aboard. The former Pink Palace had changed to Coast Guard blue.

Over the next 18 months, more than 7,000 women were indoctrinated at Palm Beach. During that time the training course was expanded from four to six weeks to allow extra time for classes and uniform issue. The Biltmore also became home to the yeoman, storekeeper, and cooks and bakers schools.

The Palm Beach SPAR boots learned the ropes much like their shipmates at the three campus-setting indoctrination facilities. Photographers Mate Second Class Dorothy Wilkes, who went through boot camp at the Biltmore, said, "They fed us, issued linen, and took us to our deck where the mate taught us how to make up our bunks according to regulations. This was not new to me, but you should have seen some of those beds."

Along with basic Coast Guard skills, recruits at all the training centers, including Palm Beach, were also drilled in the art of deck swabbing. "Did you know there is a very definite art to swabbing a deck or mopping a floor as it used to be known?" Wilkes said. "Well there is, and I learned the hard way. I still have the impression, though, that the corridors had a faculty for elongating themselves each time I was on the end of a swab." (Right: SPAR recruits at the training center in Palm Beach during morning calisthenics.)

Whether it was basic training or a specialty school, one thing bonded these SPARs together - they were training for service in the Coast Guard. Even with something as small as a song, these women felt the significance in training at their own station and serving their country.

"To hear Taps from the patio of the training station, I tried to stay awake even if sleep was engulfing me," Wilkes said. "I felt closer to those fellows who were sacking in on rolling, tossing ships in enemy-infested waters somewhere over there."

Boots head to chilly N.Y.

After a year and a half, the SPARs left their warm Florida breezes for the chilly northeastern weather of New York once again. By December 1944, recruiting for SPARS ended except for replacements and special needs.

Because they no longer had the need for an extensive training station, all future SPARs were trained at Manhattan Beach, N.Y. The SPARS arrived in Manhattan in true boot style - in the rain, said Seaman Second Class Patricia M. Raddock.

"We weren't equipped, having come from California in high heels, no hats and summer clothes," she said. "We got up with the bugle and started right out in a military way, high heels and all, marching to chow." SPAR training at Manhattan Beach differed from the other training stations in one dramatic way - their competition at this regular training station included men.

The men and women of Manhattan Beach lounged, drilled, ate and slept separately, but they all belonged to the same service. These women and men did, however, compete for station honors. "Right across the way, there were boy boot companies to compete against," Raddock said. "We were spared very few of the details of training that were given to the men, right down to the mess duty." For the 1,900 SPARs who went through Training Station Manhattan, their indoctrination also included the Never Sail, a dry-land training ship where they learned the difference between a garboard strake and a mizzenmast.

This training center also housed the yeoman, storekeeper, cooks and bakers and general office schools. Like the others before them, all of the trainees at Manhattan Beach looked beyond the mess duty, inspections, classes and competition to graduation day. "We were full-fledged and we were salty," Raddock said. "By gosh, we were Coast Guard."

No matter where they received their initial boot training, when the women completed the basic indoctrination period, they were either assigned to a specialized school or directly to a job in the field. Assignments were determined by the person's aptitude, previous training, work experience, personal preferences and the needs of the Coast Guard.

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Officers face the rigors of training

Even though they were fewer in number, SPAR officers also had to face the same rigors of training as the enlisted women. Their training stations and jobs were different, but all SPARs, regardless of rate or rank, were given an overall picture of the Coast Guard.

Unlike their enlisted shipmates, SPAR officers were trained in only two locations. The first SPAR officers were also former WAVEs who volunteered to transfer to the Coast Guard and attend the Naval Reserve Midshipman School in Northampton, Mass. Later, the recruitment of civilians for SPAR officers began and the women also began training at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. The officer candidates gained practical knowledge of leadership and organization during their six-week curriculum.

Of the 955 SPAR officers, 299 were prior enlisted. At that time, any qualified enlisted woman was eligible to apply for officer training. In fact, the last class of SPAR officer candidates was comprised entirely of former enlisted personnel. (Right: Newly commissioned SPAR officers talk with a Coast Guard Academy cadet.)

Northampton OCs march 10 miles a day

In December 1942, 12 WAVEs, who transferred to the Coast Guard, attended Northampton's naval training school. All together, more than 200 women followed in their footsteps at this school.

Marching to classes in both fair and foul weather was the norm. In fact, it was an order from headquarters. Known for its hills, Northampton's SPARs marched back and forth three times a day to classes, dormitories and their chow hall at the Hotel Northampton. In addition to the estimated 10 miles a day they put on their marching shoes, the SPARs also spent two hours a day doing physical education or drill just to stay fit.

Memorizing facts and figures, attending five classes per day, and marching and physical training filled the seemingly endless days of training for the OCs. Arthur, who attended officer training in Northampton, said the OCs even devised their own systems for remembering vital information for tests at the training station.

"One entire platoon astonished the instructor by murmuring aloud on a quiz: 'Bad Girl Eats Raw Yellow Mangoes Too Carelessly, Poor, Poor, Sap,'" Arthur said. "But they all managed to name the grades that could be warranted: boatswain's mate, gunner's mate, electrician's mate, radioman, yeoman, machinist's mate, torpedoman, carpenter's mate, pharmacist's mate, photographer's mate and storekeeper."

The OCs were afraid of bilging out - the SPAR term for being dropped from training - but they hoped and waited for the all-sought-after graduation day.

SPARs are first women at CGA

Relatively few women trained at the Navy school in Northampton. The primary training facility for the OCs was the Coast Guard Academy. Not only were the SPARs the pioneers for today's Coast Guard women, they also were the first women to attend a military academy. During the war, the Coast Guard was the only service that trained women OCs at its academy. Here, more than 700 future SPAR officers were immersed in the traditions of the nation's oldest, continuous seagoing service for their six-week indoctrination period.

These OCs learned their practical leadership and Coast Guard administration skills from two experienced women officers who were temporarily assigned to the academy. Like most new OCs at the school overlooking the Thames River, the new arrivals at the formerly all-male school were not triumphant. After being dumped out of a taxi cab at Chase Hall, the OCs fell into the school's routine. They went out on boats and marched the same paths as the future male officers. Here also, the training included classes, physical training, inspections, drill and watches.

"I've never been so bushed in my life," wrote an unnamed academy OC in her secret diary, which at the time was considered non-regulation. "If it weren't for the identification button on my chest, I couldn't even remember my name. We hit the deck around here at 0615 which is the Coast Guard way of saying 6:15 a.m., which is too darned early no matter how you say it. Before the New England dawn has thoroughly jelled, we are up, dressed, fed and marking time."

WAVE LT Dorothy Stratton is inteviewed by Coast Guard Commandant VADM Russell Waesche.

Through all the turmoil of academy life, the SPARs endured until their commissioning day to receive their first stripe as an ensign - a blue braid. Following the indoctrination period, the majority of SPAR officers did not receive any specialized training because those who were recruited into the officer ranks already had some civilian training or experience that would benefit the Coast Guard.

Seabags are issued

In addition to training in their first few weeks, both enlisted and officer SPARs were issued their seabags. Early recruiting pamphlets described the SPAR uniforms as a "navy blue, semi-fitted garment." With the intent of making the figures of all members as nearly equal as possible, the uniform consisted of a six-gored skirt of serge gabardine or tropical worsted and a four-button blouse with rounded lapels. The Coast Guard shield was worn on the sleeve and the seal on the lapels. Like the uniforms of today, rating badges and rank stripes were worn on the sleeves. One big difference was in the officer uniforms. Rank stripes on their whites were blue instead of gold - blue denoted reserve ranks. The SPARs had a variety of shirts, including work shirts, silk dress shirts and every-day cotton shirts.

Left to right: Standing: SPARS Lewis, Davis, Cooper, Statham; Kneeling: SPARS Rapier, Rathburn, Nicit.

They also had several covers depending on the occasion and their officer or enlisted status. For enlisted women, the round-crowned, snap-brimmed hat was known as jaunty or casual. This hat had "U.S. Coast Guard," in gold letters across the hatband. The officer's hat, often referred to as boat, was adorned with the same cap device that male officers wore: the Coast Guard gold eagle on a horizontal silver anchor. However, no provisions were made for women with the rank of commander or above to wear reserve blue scrambled eggs on the brim. For informal use, both officers and enlisted women wore garrison caps.

During the summer, SPAR's work wear included a gray and white striped short-sleeved seersucker dress with a removable jacket. Their head gear matched the gray and white seersucker; however, garrison caps were also authorized. For summer dress occasions, another version of the standard uniform was made in a white fabric. They even disguised the regular-issue handbag by removing the strap and covering the black bag with an envelope of white poplin.

Since glamour was not the intent with the SPAR uniform issue, inclement weather did not call for umbrellas. But rather, it called for a navy blue cap cover of water-resistant material, that was patterned after gear worn by British soldiers in 1857. Now that the SPARs were indoctrinated, trained and outfitted, they were ready and eager to serve their country. (See photo at right.)

The commandant of the Coast Guard sent word to field commanders that they were expected to use SPARs and release men for duty elsewhere wherever they could. Well over half of all Coast Guard men were at sea duty during the war and SPARs appeared in high proportion to men at shore establishments, according to Arthur. At the peak of the Coast Guard's reserve strength during World War II, one out of every 16 enlisted members and one out of every 12 officers was a SPAR.

Women serve in the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii

The first SPARs of 1942 were filling shore billets only in the continental United States. Working in district offices and field units alike, SPARs were assigned to every Coast Guard district except the 10th District in Puerto Rico. Finally in late 1944, Congress relaxed its ruling that kept service women stateside and allowed them to serve in Alaska and Hawaii. However, they were still restricted from duty in Puerto Rico because of a lack of housing suitable for women.

SPAR officers inspect LORAN stations in Alaska;

Thirty-seven percent of SPAR officers held general-duty assignments. Duties in this category included administrative and supervisory work throughout the Coast Guard. There were other billets for SPAR officers, including communications officers, pay and supply officers, barracks officers and recruiting officers.

SPARs hold a variety of jobs

Although all enlisted SPARs were not automatically slated for clerical work, a large portion did become yeomen and storekeepers. "Not all of us assigned to paperwork found it boring," Arthur said. "We didn't by a long shot. We may have liked that type of work to begin with or we may have had the kind of job where, if we had any imagination, we could see how our contribution fitted into the same pattern of victory which the men were weaving abroad."

SPAR Helen O'Brien on duty at Coast Guard Headquarter's communication center.

While traditional clerical work represented the bulk of the ratings for SPARs, many worked in other specialized fields. Billets for SPARs included parachute riggers, chaplains assistants, air control-tower operators, boatswains mates, coxswains, radiomen, ship's cooks, vehicle drivers and many more. For instance, a small group of women became pharmacist's mates. Those with prior practical nursing or medical experience were assigned as assistants in sick bays.

Another field was opened to women during the SPAR years - aviation. Only 18 women were rated parachute riggers, 22 were trained as Link trainer operators and 12 as air control tower operators. This small corps of women in the aviation field may not have been piloting the aircraft, but their jobs demanded the utmost in accuracy and skill because numerous lives depended on it.

Another non-traditional field that employed SPARs throughout the Coast Guard was the radioman technician rate. Because of the stringent qualifications, only a small number of women were both qualified and interested in performing the fundamentals of radio repair and maintenance at district radio repair bases.

The unknown specialty

Even though there were several non-traditional fields for women, one stands out among them all because it was probably the least publicized and most unique - LORAN. With the birth of this new long range aid to navigation in October 1942, it was not yet a household word for the Coast Guard. In fact, it was a secret. During this time of war, any kind of military communications was hush-hush enough - but loran was a word that was only said behind locked doors.

In 1943, headquarters decided that loran monitoring stations in the continental United States should be crewed by SPARs. The SPAR operators were to stand watch 24 hours a day. This job entailed recording measurements every two minutes of the radio signals transmitted from two shore-based stations. The signals were picked up by a receiver-indicator installed on ships and planes, enabling them to calculate their exact position.

The new concept of women in loran that was proposed by headquarters became a reality when the Coast Guard established its first loran station crewed with women in Chatham, Mass. Following a two-month loran operations and maintenance course at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, LTJG Vera Hamerschlag was assigned as the commanding officer of the Chatham station.

The officers of the High Frequency Radio Direction Finding Evaluation Control Center.

"Later, 11 enlisted SPARS were assigned to a one-week course in operations only," Hamerschlag said. "The selection of these SPARs was unique, to say the least. Loran was so hush-hush that not even the training officer had any conception of what the duties of these SPARs would be, nor what their qualifications should be."

The SPARs assigned to Chatham were volunteers with a sense of adventure for an unknown job. When Hamerschlag reported to Chatham, it was crewed 100 percent by men. Within one month, it was turned over to 100 percent SPARs, except for one male radio technician. This sole technician joined his shipmates in overseas duty six months after the SPARs took over. Hamerschlag was not only the CO of the 50- by 30-foot station, she was the operations officer, engineering officer, medical officer, barracks officer, personnel officer, training officer and even the captain of the head for the 11-SPAR crew.

In the station building, which provided sleeping quarters, a recreation room, office space, an operations room, a repair shop and sleeping space, Hamerschlag and her crew became experts in plumbing, coal heating and emergency generators. "I remember the feeling I had when I looked at the 125-foot mast for the station's antenna and wondered which SPAR would climb the rigging if something went wrong," Hamerschlag said. "I asked the CO I was replacing who took care of it. His nonchalant answer was not to worry since nothing would happen to it short of a hurricane."

Chatham's head SPAR said esprit de corps kept the unit together. "The human element of the work kept it from getting dull and routine for the operators," she said. "The thought that we were participating in a system that was playing such an important part in winning the war gave us a feeling of being as close to the front lines as it was possible for SPARs." Loran Station Chatham is believed to have been, at that time, the only all-woman station of its kind in the world.

World War II ends

Although the SPARs were serving in a wide variety of jobs including the non-traditional loran field and they were meeting critical needs of the service, their time was not forever. The Women's Reserve was not established to be a permanent branch of the service, but was intended to be activated during the war and remain for six months afterward. This day finally came for the SPARs. They had reached the goal toward which they and millions of other service men and women had been working. World War II was over.

Above: the staff of the Boston District personnel office celebrate VJ day.

Following V-J day in August 1945, the demobilization effort began and SPARs were discharged gradually along with the reserve men. Known also as the big day, discharge day loomed in the distance for the SPARs. As that day arrived for each woman, there would be many things about the service the SPARs would miss - comradeship; the feeling of belonging; a few special friends who shared gripes, good times and clean shirts; and the tremendous thrill of being a part of the nation's military forces, Arthur said.

10,000 SPARs say goodbye to the Coast Guard

On June 30, 1946, the SPAR demobilization-completion day came and the 10,000 members of the Coast Guard Women's Reserve departed the service in the same spirit with which they entered - with patriotism for a country they loved and helped to defend, and faithfulness to their Coast Guard which they served with pride and dedication.

Today's Educational Sources and suggestions for further reading:
1 posted on 03/27/2004 10:51:49 PM PST by snippy_about_it
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To: Don W; Poundstone; Wumpus Hunter; StayAt HomeMother; Ragtime Cowgirl; bulldogs; baltodog; ...

FALL IN to the FReeper Foxhole!

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2 posted on 03/27/2004 10:53:22 PM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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Veterans for Constitution Restoration is a non-profit, non-partisan educational and grassroots activist organization.

Tribute to a Generation - The memorial will be dedicated on Saturday, May 29, 2004.

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The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul

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"The FReeper Foxhole Compiled List of Daily Threads"

3 posted on 03/27/2004 10:54:05 PM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf
GREAT read! God bess them all for their service!

When our nations has needed them, Americans have risen to the challenge, great patriots of both genders doing their all for liberty.


BTW, Sam, a new excerpt from Volume V of the Dragon's Fury Series series is now up on FR HERE. Hope you are enjoying the entire series.

4 posted on 03/27/2004 11:02:00 PM PST by Jeff Head
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; bentfeather; Darksheare; Johnny Gage; Light Speed; Samwise; ...
Good morning to all at the Foxhole!

To all our military men and women, past and present,
THANK YOU for serving the USA!

5 posted on 03/28/2004 12:17:04 AM PST by radu (May God watch over our troops and keep them safe)
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To: snippy_about_it
Good morning Snippy.
6 posted on 03/28/2004 2:36:34 AM PST by Aeronaut (John Kerry's mother always told him that if you can't say anything nice, run for president. ....)
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To: snippy_about_it
Good morning, snippy and everyone at the Freeper Foxhole.

Congratulations OSU on beating St. Johns and advancing to the Final Four. Both teams played a great game.

7 posted on 03/28/2004 3:11:47 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: radu

8 posted on 03/28/2004 5:47:31 AM PST by GailA (Kerry I'm for the death penalty for terrorist, but I'll declare a moratorium on the death penalty)
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; All
Someone came from the ruler of the synagogue's house, saying to him, "Your daughter is dead." —Luke 8:49

God took that one. And in my lonely heart
He poured His special peace, His tender love;
I cannot doubt that God has drawn me near
To trust Him more until I'm drawn above.

In every desert of trial, God has an oasis of comfort.

March 28, 2004

Two Daughters

Read: Luke 8:40-42,49-56

Someone came from the ruler of the synagogue's house, saying to him, "Your daughter is dead." —Luke 8:49

Bible In One Year: Judges 4-6; Luke 4:31-44

I had never thought much about Jairus before. Oh, I had heard the story about this synagogue ruler, and I knew he had begged Jesus to come to his house and heal his dying daughter. But I never understood the depth of his sorrow. I never understood how his heart must have shattered in pain when a messenger came to him and announced, "Your daughter is dead."

No, I never comprehended his grief and anguish—until I heard those same words from a police officer who came to our house on June 6, 2002.

Jairus' daughter was 12, and she died from an illness. Our daughter was 17, and it was an auto accident that broke our family's heart.

Jairus' daughter was restored to life by Jesus' touch. My daughter Melissa—though we ache to know she wasn't healed physically—was healed spiritually by Jesus' sacrifice of love when she trusted Him as Savior early in her life. Now our comfort comes from knowing that her eternal existence with the Lord has already begun.

Two daughters. The same Jesus. Two different results. His loving and compassionate touch is a miracle that can bring peace to grieving hearts—like Jairus', like mine, like yours. —Dave Branon

God took that one. And in my lonely heart
He poured His special peace, His tender love;
I cannot doubt that God has drawn me near
To trust Him more until I'm drawn above. —Morris

In every desert of trial, God has an oasis of comfort.

9 posted on 03/28/2004 6:05:04 AM PST by The Mayor (Instead of grumbling because you don't get what you want, be thankful you don't get what you deserve)
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; radu; All

Good morning everyone.

10 posted on 03/28/2004 6:39:28 AM PST by Soaring Feather (~The Dragon Flies' Lair~ Poetry and Prose~)
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To: snippy_about_it
On this Day In History

Birthdates which occurred on March 28:
1468 Charles I Duke of Savoy
1472 Fra Bartolomeo monk, Florentine Renaissance painter
1483 Raphael Urbino Italy, painter (School of Athens)
1515 Theresa of Avila/Teresa de Jesus Spanish mystic writer/saint
1592 Jan Amos Komensky [Comenius] Moravian educational reformer
1660 Georg Ludwig German monarch of Hanover/King George I of Great Britain
1760 Thomas Clarkson English abolitionist
1811 Saint John Nepomucene Neumann(1st U.S. male saint)
1818 Wade Hampton Charleston SC, Lieutenant General (Confederate Army), died in 1902
1868 Maxim Gorki [Aleksei Peshikov] Russia, writer (Mother)
1890 Paul Whiteman Denver CO, orchestra leader
1905 Marlin Perkins Carthage MO, TV host (Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom)
1906 Robert (Bob) Allen actor (Texas Rangers)
1909 Nelson Algren US, novelist (Man with the Golden Arm)
1912 A[rthur] Bertram Chandler UK, sci-fi author (Empress of Outer Space)
1914 Edmund Sixtus Muskie (Senator-Democrat-ME), US Secretary of State (1980) (there's no crying in politics)
1914 Frank Lovejoy Bronx NY, actor (Man Against Crime, Meet McGraw)
1921 Dirk Bogarde Hampstead London England, actor (Death in Venice, The Servant)
1924 Freddie Bartholomew Dublin Ireland, actor (Anna Karenina, David Copperfield)
1928 Zbigniew Brzezinski Warsaw Poland, national security advisor (Carter)
1933 Frank Murkowski (Senator-Republican-AK)
1942 Brian Jones [Lewis B Hopkin] Cheltenham Gloucestershire England, guitarist (Rolling Stones)
1942 Neil Kinnock Wales, leader of the British opposition (Labour)
1944 Ken Howard El Centro CA, actor (Ken-White Shadow, Dynasty, 1776)
1944 Rick Barry Elizabeth NJ, basketball player (San Francisco Warriors/1966 NBA rookie of the year)
1955 Reba McEntire McAlester OK, country singer (Can't Even Get the Blues)
1969 Cheryl "Salt" James rocker (Salt 'n' Pepa-Shake Ya Thang)

Deaths which occurred on March 28:
0193 Publius Helvius Pertinax Roman Emperor (192-93), assassinated
1134 Stefanus Harding 3rd abbott of Cîteaux/saint, dies
1285 Martinus IV [Simon de Brion], Pope (1281-85), dies
1712 Jan van der Heyden Dutch inventor (street lantern), dies at 75
1758 Jonathan Edwards US theologist (Great Awakening), dies at 54
1863 James Cooper US attorney/senator/Union-Brigadier-General, dies at 52
1865 Albert G Bilders Dutch landscape painter, dies at 26
1908 John Eliot English meteorology, dies at 68
1910 Edouard [Judas] Colonne French violinist/conductor, dies
1941 Virginia [Adeline] Woolf-Stephen author (To Lighthouse), commits suicide at 59
1943 Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff Russian composer/pianist, dies at 69
1944 Rabbi Chayyim Most Maggid of Kovono, killed by Nazis
1953 James Francis Thorpe decathlete (Olympics-gold-12), dies at 64
1956 Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup vocalist, dies of a heart attack
1958 W[illiam] C[hristopher] Handy US conductor/composer (St Louis Blues), dies at 84

1969 - Dwight D Eisenhower, 34th president and general (WW 2),dies in Washington at 78. Born in Denison, Texas in 1890

1979 Emmett Kelly circus clown (Weary Willy), dies at 80
1980 Dick Haymes actor (Real Life, Betrayal), dies
1980 Jesse Owens (Olympics-gold-36), dies in Tucson AZ at the age of 66
1985 Marc Chagall French painter, dies at 97
1987 Maria Augusta Trapp singer (Trapp Family Singers), dies at 82
1995 Hugh Edward R O'Connor actor (In the Heat of the Night), ODs at 32



POW / MIA Data & Bios supplied by
the P.O.W. NETWORK. Skidmore, MO. USA.

On this day...
1556 Philip II crowned king of Spain
1738 English parliament declares war on Spain (War of Jenkin's Ear)
1774 Britain passes Coercive Act against Massachusetts
1794 Louvre opens to the public (although officially opened since August)
1796 Bethel African Methodist Church of Philadelphia is 1st US-African church
1797 Nathaniel Briggs of New Hampshire patents a washing machine
1799 New York State abolished slavery
1804 Ohio passed law restricting movement of Blacks, 1804
1834 Senate censure President Jackson for taking federal deposits from Bank of US
1845 Mexico drops diplomatic relations with US
1854 During the Crimean War, Britain & France declare war on Russia
1859 1st performance of John Brahms' 1st Serenade for orchestra
1862 Skirmish at Bealeton Station, Virginia
1866 1st ambulance goes into service
1885 US Salvation Army officially organized
1891 1st world weightlifting championship held
1910 1st seaplane, takes off from water at Martigues France (Henri Fabre)
1917 Jews are expelled from Tel Aviv & Jaffa by Turkish authorities
1920 Actor Douglas Fairbanks marries actress Mary Pickford
1922 1st microfilm device introduced
1924 WGN-AM in Chicago IL begins radio transmissions
1930 Constantinople & Angora changes names to Istanbul & Ankara
1935 Goddard uses gyroscopes to control a rocket
1939 Philip Barry's "Philadelphia Story" premieres in New York NY
1939 Spanish Civil War ends, Madrid falls to Francisco Franco
1941 Sea battle at Cape Matapan: British fleet under Cunningham defeats Italy
1942 234 RAF bombers attack Lübeck
1944 Astrid Lindgren sprains ankle & begins writing Pippi Longstocking
1945 Last German V-1 (buzz bomb) attack on London
1953 KCAU TV channel 9 in Sioux City IA (ABC) begins broadcasting
1957 1st National Curling Championship held
1959 11 days after Tibet uprising, China dissolves Tibet's government & installs Panchen Lama
1960 Pope John raises the 1st Japanese, 1st African & 1st Filipino cardinal
1960 Scotch factory explodes burying 20 firefighters (Glasgow Scotland)
1962 Military coup in Syria, President Nazim al-Kudsi flees
1963 AFL's New York Titans become the New York Jets
1967 UN Secretary General U Thant makes public proposals for peace in Vietnam
1969 Pope Paul VI names JGM Willebrands cardinal
1970 1,086 die when 7.3 earthquake destroys 254 villages (Gediz Turkey)
1972 Wilt Chamberlain plays his last pro basketball game
1979 British government of Callaghan falls
1982 JN Duartes christian-democrats win elections in El Salvador
1985 International Cometary Explorer measures solar wind ahead of Halley's Comet
1986 Extremist Sikhs kill 13 hindus in Ludhiana India
1990 President Bush awards Jesse Owens the Congressional Gold Medal
1991 Mike Tyson admits paternity to Kimberly Scarborough's son
1993 Conservatives win French parliamentary election
1993 Type II supernova detected in M81 (NGC 3031)
1994 Armed Zulus demonstrate in Johannesburg, over 53 killed
1994 Italy's right-wing alliance under Silvio Berlusconi wins election
1995 Julia Roberts & Lyle Lovett split-up
2001 A federal appeals court in San Francisco threw out a record $107 million verdict against anti-abortion activists, ruling that a Web site and wanted posters branding abortion doctors "baby butchers" and criminals were protected by the First Amendment.

Note: Some Holidays are only applicable on a given "day of the week"
Czechoslovakia : Teachers' Day
Libya : Evacuation Day
Alaska : Seward Day (1867) (Monday)
US Virgin Island : Transfer Day (1917) (Monday)
US : Beer Brewers Day
US : Respect Your Cat Day
Something on a Stick Day
Foot Health Month.

Religious Observances
Fifth Sunday of Lent
old Roman Catholic : Feast of St John Capistran, confessor (now 10/23)
Christian : Palm Sunday of the Passion of Jesus Christ

Religious History
1661 Scottish Parliament passed the Rescissory Act, which repealed the whole of the legislation enacted since 1633. Its effect was to overthrow Presbyterianism and to restore the Anglican episcopacy to Scotland.
1747 Colonial missionary to the American Indians David Brainerd wrote in his journal: 'Oh, how happy it is, to be drawn by desires of a state of perfect holiness.'
1915 Birth of Kurt Aland, New Testament textual scholar. He co-edited the two most definitive modern critical editions of the Greek Scriptures: the United Bible Society's "Greek New Testament" and Eberhard Nestle's "Novum Testamentum Graece."
1936 Birth of Bill Gaither, contemporary Gospel songwriter and vocal artist. Together with his wife Gloria, he wrote some of the most popular Christian songs of the 1960s-1970s, including "Because He Lives," "The King is Coming," "The Longer I Serve Him" and "Something Beautiful."
1961 English apologist C. S. Lewis wrote in "Letters to American Lady": 'The main purpose of our life is to reach the point at which one's own life as a person is at an end. One must in this sense "die," relinquish one's freedom and independence... "He that loses his life shall find it."'

Source: William D. Blake. ALMANAC OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1987.

Thought for the day :
"A religious awakening which does not awaken the sleeper to love has roused him in vain."

Newspaper Headlines in the Year 2035...
New federal law requires that all nail clippers, screwdrivers, fly swatters, and rolled up newspapers must be registered by January 2036.

New State Slogans...
California: As Seen on TV

Female Language Patterns...
I don't want to talk about it REALLY MEANS
Go away, I'm still building up steam

Male Language Patterns...
"Can I help with dinner?" REALLY MEANS,
"Why isn't it already on the table?"

This document should be read only by those persons to whom it is addressed. If you have received this message it was obviously addressed to you and therefore you can read it, even it we didnt mean to send it to you. However, if the contents of this email make no sense whatsoever then you probably were not the intended recipient, or, you are a mindless cretin; either way, you should immediately delete yourself & destroy your computer! Once you have taken this action please contact us.. no you idiot, you cant use your computer, you just destroyed it, and by the way, you are also deleted, but we digress
11 posted on 03/28/2004 8:04:13 AM PST by Valin (Hating people is like burning down your house to kill a rat)
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To: snippy_about_it
Great thread, snippy.
12 posted on 03/28/2004 10:41:51 AM PST by Samwise (I am going to need to be sedated before this election is over.)
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To: All

13 posted on 03/28/2004 4:42:45 PM PST by Samwise (I am going to need to be sedated before this election is over.)
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To: snippy_about_it
Thanks for the ping snippy, another excellent FReeper Foxhole thread.
14 posted on 03/28/2004 6:49:58 PM PST by Reaganwuzthebest
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To: snippy_about_it
Hot chicks with firearms! Talk about SpankenTruppen.

15 posted on 03/28/2004 9:12:31 PM PST by Professional Engineer (3/11/04 saw the launching of the Moorish reconquest of Spain.)
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To: snippy_about_it
Howdy ma'am. Very late reporting today. Msdrby and I have been painting Abigail's nursery.

16 posted on 03/28/2004 9:14:40 PM PST by Professional Engineer (3/11/04 saw the launching of the Moorish reconquest of Spain.)
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; E.G.C.; Victoria Delsoul; The Mayor; radu; bentfeather; Jeff Head; ...

SPAR Band circa 1942 from Coast Guard Band History

Scene from Columbia Pictures film TARS and SPARS. The cast contained actual members of the Coast Guard SPARS.

Coast Guard SPARS

Coco Davis: A "Tars and Spars" Adventure

Wartime Posters Drew Men, Women to Patriotic Duty

17 posted on 03/28/2004 9:23:27 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: PhilDragoo; Professional Engineer; Valin; bentfeather; Samwise; The Mayor; Colonel_Flagg; radu; ...
Hi All. All we could get is Dial up tonight and they charge by the minute. So much for stopping in the sticks.

We're doing fine and watching the country zip by is sort of sad, lots of places we'd like to stop and see. managed to go a whole day without stopping at a Starbucks. :-)
18 posted on 03/28/2004 9:47:25 PM PST by SAMWolf (Yeah, I fired a warning his chest)
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To: PhilDragoo
19 posted on 03/29/2004 3:07:33 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: SAMWolf; snippy_about_it
When [Jesus] suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously. —1 Peter 2:23

It was a hasty, thoughtless word,
Sarcastic and unkind,
That chilled the day and dimmed its light
And left a sting behind

When you're wronged, don't do what comes naturally; do what comes supernaturally.

20 posted on 03/29/2004 4:47:50 AM PST by The Mayor (Instead of grumbling because you don't get what you want, be thankful you don't get what you deserve)
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