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United States. Coast Guard. Women's Reserve

 Organization

Dates

  • Existence: 1942 - 1973

Historical Information

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) Women's Reserve, also known as the SPARS, was the women's branch of the USCG Reserve in World War II. It approved the acceptance of women into the reserve as both commissioned officers and at the enlisted level for the duration of the war plus six months. United States Congress established this branch and President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed it into law on November 23, 1942. It's purpose was to replace male officers and men stationed at shore stations with women, releasing men for sea duty. Dorothy C. Stratton was appointed director of the SPARS with the rank of lieutenant commander and later promoted to captain. Previously, she had been the Dean of Women on leave from Purdue University and an officer in the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES). Stratton is credited with creating the nautical name of SPARS.

After World War II, SPARS was demobilized and in 1973 Congress terminated SPARS as a separate branch of the USCG, making women eligible to serve with men in regular and reserve coast guard units.

Citation

Coast Guard Women's Reserve. (19 September 2018). Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Coast-Guard-Womens-Reserve

Citation

SPARS. (8 September 2019). Wikipedia. Retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SPARS

Found in 6 Collections and/or Records:

Biographical Information, 1921 - 2003

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSF 334, Series 1
Scope and Contents This series contains materials pertaining to Schleman's education, career, and personal life. Types of materials include notes, programs, curriculum vitae, and personal files.
Dates: 1921 - 2003

Dorothy C. Stratton papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSF 366
Abstract This collection contains papers, clippings and photographs documenting Dorothy Stratton’s life, especially her role as Purdue Dean of Women and Director of the USCG SPARS.
Dates: 1935-2012; Other: Majority of material found in 1943-1947; Other: Date acquired: 11/09/1980

Dorothy Stratton U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Christening and Commissioning collection

 Collection — Box: Box 1
Identifier: MSP 111
Abstract This collection contains material documenting two events: the christening in 2010 and the commissioning in 2012 of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Stratton, named after Purdue University’s first full-time Dean of Women, and Director of the U.S. Coast Guard Women’s Reserve, Dorothy Stratton.
Dates: 2010 - 2012; Other: Date acquired: 04/10/2012

Other Purdue Material, 1940 - 1985

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSF 334, Series 6
Scope and Contents This series contains miscellaneous materials related to Schleman's tenure at Purdue, including her advocacy for equal rights for women students and faculty. Of particular note are materials that document Schleman's nomination of ten women for President of Purdue in 1970, the Schleman Gold Medallion Award and the 1979 TIAA pension lawsuit.
Dates: 1940 - 1985

Pamphlets and Publications, 1922 - 1988

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSF 334, Series 5
Scope and Contents Series 5 contains various pamphlets, programs, and other publications that range from Schleman's time as an undergraduate student at Northwestern to the SPARs reunion in 1988.
Dates: 1922 - 1988

Helen B. Schleman papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSF 334
Overview The Helen Schleman papers contain papers, clippings, speeches, and photographs documenting Helen Schleman’s life. The collection has particular emphases on her role as Purdue's Dean of Women and as an adovcate for women's rights.
Dates: 1920 - 2003; Majority of material found within 1934 - 1980