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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

MARY KATE BONDS PAPERS

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BIOABSTRACT

Mary Kate Bonds (1920-2012) of Chickamauga, Georgia, served in the U.S. Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) and the United States Navy from 1942 to 1971.


BIOGRAPHY

Mary Kate Bonds was born on 21 September 1920 in Chickamauga, Georgia, and graduated from Gordon Lee High School. In 1941 Bonds graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a teaching certificate and then taught for a year at Tyner High School in Tennessee.

In November 1942, Bonds joined the U.S. Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service), and the following month was sent to Officers Training School at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. Bonds was first assigned as an instructor at the naval recruit training center opening at Hunter College in New York. She next served as a welfare and recreation officer at the Potomac River Naval Command in Washington D.C., and then was assigned to avionics mechanics support at Naval Air Station Quonset Point, Rhode Island. In 1945 she was sent to the separation center at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, where she assisted in aviation selection until her discharge from active duty in April 1947.

Bonds remained in the naval reserves, and after a few months teaching veterans at Gordon Lee High School went to the Sixth Naval District headquarters in Charleston, South Carolina, where she worked with the base’s addressograph system until women were allowed to join the regular navy in 1948. She then reported for active duty at Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois, where she trained female recruits. After meeting actress Esther Williams at the base in 1949, Bonds was asked to serve as a naval consultant in Hollywood during the making of training films. In the mid-1950s Bonds worked in the Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS) in Washington, D.C.

In 1958 Bonds attended Stanford University on a naval billet and graduated with a masters’ of arts. From 1964 to 1966 she served as the executive officer of the logistics command at the headquarters of the United States European Command in Paris, France. Upon her return to the U.S, she was assigned to the chief of naval operations office in the Pentagon. In 1967 Bonds was one of seven women promoted to the rank of captain, and served in the Office of the Secretary of the Navy at the Pentagon.

In 1971 Bonds retired from the navy and settled in Moore County, North Carolina, where she became an active volunteer. In addition to the U.S. Navy and Joint Service Commendation Medals, Bonds is a recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine award for community service She died in Southern Pines, North Carolina on 25 December, 2012.


CONTENTS AVAILABLE ONLINE:
Item
Mary Kate Bonds salutes, 1944
Item # WV0415.6.017
From the Mary Kate Bonds Papers
Portrait of Mary Kate Bonds, 1944
Item # WV0415.6.001
From the Mary Kate Bonds Papers
Portrait of Mary Kate Bonds, 1948
Item # WV0415.6.002
From the Mary Kate Bonds Papers
Mary Kate Bonds receives award, circa 1991
Item # WV0415.6.003
From the Mary Kate Bonds Papers
Esther Williams displays bathing suit for WAVES, 1949
Item # WV0415.6.004
From the Mary Kate Bonds Papers
Esther Williams at WAVES Training Center, 1949
Item # WV0415.6.005
From the Mary Kate Bonds Papers
Esther Williams beside a pool at Naval Station Great Lakes, 1949
Item # WV0415.6.006
From the Mary Kate Bonds Papers
Esther Williams on diving board at Naval Station Great Lakes, 1949
Item # WV0415.6.007
From the Mary Kate Bonds Papers
Esther Williams salutes, 1949
Item # WV0415.6.008
From the Mary Kate Bonds Papers
Mary Kate Bonds and Yeoman, 1945
Item # WV0415.6.010
From the Mary Kate Bonds Papers
WAVES apartments in Bronx, 1943
Item # WV0415.6.011
From the Mary Kate Bonds Papers
Hunter College, 1943
Item # WV0415.6.012
From the Mary Kate Bonds Papers
WAVES on New York sidewalk, 1943
Item # WV0415.6.013
From the Mary Kate Bonds Papers
Mess hall line at Hunter College, 1943
Item # WV0415.6.014
From the Mary Kate Bonds Papers
WAVES Platoon 3 at Hunter College, 1943
Item # WV0415.6.015
From the Mary Kate Bonds Papers
Mary Kate Bonds, 1944
Item # WV0415.6.016
From the Mary Kate Bonds Papers
Mary Kate Bonds in work uniform, circa 1944
Item # WV0415.6.018
From the Mary Kate Bonds Papers
Mary Kate Bonds in work uniform, circa 1944
Item # WV0415.6.019
From the Mary Kate Bonds Papers
Kathryn Dougherty and Mary Kate Bonds, 1948
Item # WV0415.6.020
From the Mary Kate Bonds Papers
Mary Kate Bonds in white service dress, 1944
Item # WV0415.6.021
From the Mary Kate Bonds Papers
Mary Kate Bonds in Hollywood, ca. 1951
Item # WV0415.6.022
From the Mary Kate Bonds Papers
Mary Kate Bonds receives medal, 1966
Item # WV0415.6.023
From the Mary Kate Bonds Papers
Mary Kate Bonds at desk, 1958
Item # WV0415.6.024
From the Mary Kate Bonds Papers
HQ European Command Women, 1966
Item # WV0415.6.025
From the Mary Kate Bonds Papers
Letter from Lt. Jenny Lea to Mary Kate Bonds, 1942
Item # WV0415.4.001
From the Mary Kate Bonds Papers
Oral history interview with Mary Kate Bonds, 2008
Item # WV0415.5.001
From the Mary Kate Bonds Papers

ADDITIONAL CONTENTS:
photocopies of newspaper clippings