I found some interesting information regarding WAVES who wore Navigator Wings in WWII:
U.S. Navy WAVES were the first American female military personnel whose duties were truly those of regular aircrew members.
Of the many thousands of individuals who wore wings and flew in support of America's massive war effort between 1941 and 1945, one small category has been virtually overlooked by the history books. America's unknown women fliers of World War II were a small handful of aerial navigation instructors in the U.S. Navy. The WAVES earned a place in aviation history as the very first American female military personnel whose duties were truly those of regular aircrew members.
The saga of how a small group of WAVES came to wear aerial navigator wings begins with a message distributed throughout Stateside naval bases in the early summer of 1943. A new class was formed at the NANS every two months, and by the end of the war at least 100 WAVES trainees had become qualified aerial navigators.
On March 30, 1945, the Navy authorized a distinctive gold wings insignia for rated air navigators (they had previously worn a 1920s-design "observer" wing), with a compass rose in the center over crossed anchors.
Since the criteria for wearing the insignia depended on current flight status, Burks believes that only about 80 of the WAVES navigators who graduated from NANS actually were able to wear the much-prized wings. "We found we had to carry a copy of the orders authorizing our wings on us at all times," she remembers. "Because senior officers might stop us and point out that we weren't allowed to wear our boyfriend's wings on our uniform. Well, seeing our orders would sort them out pretty fast!"
Wartime WAVES member Betty Turbiville, proudly wearing her navigator wings in the 1950s. Turbiville remained in the Naval Air Reserve until 1960, retiring with the rank of commander.
Three WAVES navigators pose in a U.S. Navy flying boat at Naval Air Station (NAS) San Diego in August 1945. From left: Lieutenant junior grade Cecilia Heimlich, Ensign Helen Mayer and Lieutenant Elizabeth Allan.
Edited by cutiger83, 12 June 2015 - 07:55 PM.