Edna Shipley served for seven years in WWII as a Second Petty Officer in Naval Communications and Intelligence. She did so via WAVE – Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service – actually the first female branch of the U.S. Naval Reserve. Edna spent most of her time inputting data and filling out forms, but her work on shore vitally supported the work of men at sea. She worked in both Washington D.C. and in Wahiawa, Hawaii.
Edna was originally from the east coast but her husband was a Missouri man. Together they had three wonderful children, one of whom followed her mother’s footsteps into naval service. Edna recalls the moment her daughter saw her naval jacket and declared that she too, would someone want to wear her own.
Edna says that following the war she returned to visit Hawaii only to find it greatly changed – much more built up and commercialized than when she had been there working as she says “in the middle of a pineapple field.” Edna Shipley was a pioneer for women serving in the military.