WWII Poster…

It’s the Coast Guard, and their women’s reserves… Called SPARS.

Coast Guard Rec WWII

I believe this was done by J. Valentine, but I can’t dig out much information on him. Sorry…

Oh yeah, a bit of history on the SPARS…

SPARS was the nickname for the United States Coast Guard Women’s Reserve, created 23 November 1942 with the signing of Public Law 773 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The name is the contraction of the Coast Guard motto: Semper Paratus and its English translation, Always Ready. The name also refers to a spar in nautical usage.

Like the other women’s reserves, such as the Women’s Army Corps and the WAVES, it was created to free men from stateside service in order to fight overseas.

Captain Dorothy C. Stratton was the first director of the SPARS, and she is credited with creating the nickname for the organization. Stratton also pointed out that the name also could refer to the “Four Freedoms”;Speech, Press, Assembly, and Religion. The Coast Guard closely followed the Navy WAVES model, with officer training at the Coast Guard Academy. Their goal was 1000 officers and 10,000 enlisted; 1,914 women were trained in boot camp at Hunter College’s Bronx campus.

The Coast Guard has named two cutters in honor of the Spar organization; USCGC Spar (WLB-403) was a 180-foot (55 m) sea going buoy tender commissioned in June 1944 and decommissioned in 1997, and USCGC Spar (WLB-206), a 225-foot (69 m) seagoing buoy tender currently home-ported in Kodiak, Alaska.


WWII Poster… — 12 Comments

  1. Very nice! Too easy to forget that really, women entering the workforce en masse was an unintended consequence of the war effort.

  2. Do you have any ideer why the stripes on the young lieutenant’s sleeves are blue and not gold? Does the color indicate “Reserves?”

  3. Semper Paratus Always Ready was what I was taught it stood for. I can’t honestly say I met one, dammit. I have to admire the artist rendition you have chosen, but can I point out the bad trigger discipline? LOL I did love the cinch waist on the ladies dress uniforms.

  4. Puddle Pirates…knee deep sailors…but actually a fine bunch of folks.

  5. MC- Exactly!!! This was truly a sea change for America…

    Buck- Not a clue, sorry

    Danny- Point… 🙂

    LL- That they are.

  6. Very well done article. As a proud Puddle Pirate I had to be able to swim cause I wasn’t six feet tall and tall enough to wash ashore without getting my face wet. LOL USCGC Rush WHEC 723 1976-1979 mostly ALPATS in the Bering Sea. Thanks for your service!

  7. Gary- Thanks! Who knows, we may have crossed paths in Kodiak or Adak back in the day…

  8. Absolute spitt’n image of a friend’s middle daughter. Her husband would have been too young to be a rounder in those days, or maybe not!
    Another great poster, thanks!