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Loretta Perfectus Walsh

1917: Loretta Perfectus Walsh

Although women had worked as civilian nurses in the Navy during World War I, they were banned from other positions. That changed in 1917 when Loretta Perfectus Walsh became the first woman to enlist in the Naval Reserves. She was sworn in just one month before the United States declared war on Germany. Newspapers around the U.S. covered the breaking news, which led to heightened enlistment numbers that helped bolster the military during the conclusion of World War I. You may also like: 102 iconic photos that capture 102 years of world history
Picture for 1917: Loretta Perfectus Walsh