Hancock, Joy, CAPT

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Primary Unit
1946-1953, Women Reserves/WAVES
Service Years
1916 - 1953
Captain Captain

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

64 kb

Home State
New Jersey
New Jersey
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by PO1 Jeff Frey (Ace) to remember Hancock, Joy, CAPT.

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Contact Info
Last Address
Date of Passing
Sep 25, 1986

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity:

  • After her retirement from the Navy, she married VADM Ralph A. Ofstie, then Commander, US Sixth Fleet.

  • Following his death in 1956 Capt Hancock spent time in the Virgin Islands, the Washington D.C. area, and in her home town of Wildwood, NJ, running the family business William H. Bright Real Estate and Insurance Company, along with helping her brother run the Wildwood Yacht Basin, as well as managing family-owned real estate.

Other Comments:

  • One of a few American Women to earn their wings in the 1920's by obtaining her Private Pilots License.

  • In 1922, during Capt Hancock's broken service she was hired as a cilivian by the Bureau of Aeronautics, her duties including editing the Bureau's "News Letter", which later evolved into the magizine "Naval Aviation News", being its first Editor in Chief.

  • She was instumental in getting a reluctant Congress into authorizing the Women's Reserve of the US Naval Reserve, later nicknamed the WAVES.

  • Capt Hancock served as a liaison to then LCDR Milred McAfee, Director of the WAVES, because McAfee and her adviors came from educational and professional worlds, they knew very little about the Navy. They found Capt Hancock's expertise invaluable. With a background as a Yeoman(F) in WWI, a Navy Wife, and as a civilian in the Bureau of Aeronautics, she was the only WAVE leader with a clear idea of how the Navy operated.

  • During her tour at the Chief of Naval Operations, she held the position of Deputy Chief of Naval Operations(Air).

  • In 1946 she became the Assistant Director(Plans) of the Women's Reserve (WAVES) and later promoted to Director of the Women's Reserve.

  • During WWII women's service in the Military was considered as temporary. When Congress passed legislation in 1948 allowing women permanent standing in the regular Navy, it was largely do to the untiring efforts of one woman - Captian Joy Bright Hancock. Then Secretary of the Navy Robert B. Anderson later acknowledged her role: "More than any one individual," he wrote in a letter to Capt Hancock, "you are responsible for the establishment of the WAVES as a component in the Navy. Your Ideals, energy, and enthusiasm are continually reflected in the intregration of women into the regular Navy."

  • One of two WAVES eligible to wear the World War I Victory Medal.

  • Her first two marriages ended with tragady. Following WWI she married LT Charles Gray Little who died in the crash of airship ZR-2 in 1921. Her second marriage ended when husband LCDR Lewis Hancock Jr lost his life in the crash of the USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) in 1925.

  • Namesake for the Joy Bright Hancock Organization at the US Naval Academy.


  1946-1953, Women Reserves/WAVES


From Month/Year
- / 1946

To Month/Year
- / 1953

Women Reserves/WAVES Unit Page


Not Specified

Base, Station or City
Not Specified

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 Women Reserves/WAVES Details

Women Reserves/WAVES

Shore Support

Parent Unit
Naval Reserve Forces Command


Created/Owned By
Not Specified

Last Updated: Dec 16, 2007
My Photos For This Unit
Capt Joy Bright Hancock
13 Members Also There at Same Time
Women Reserves/WAVES

Bright Hancock, Joy, CAPT, (1918-1953) Captain
SCHERER, M. Frances, LT, (1943-1947) Lieutenant
Kulp, Nancy Jane, LTJG, (1943-1945) Lieutenant Junior Grade
Freid, Bernice, PO2, (1944-1946) Seaman First Class
Morson, Edith, ENS, (1944-1946) Seaman Second Class
Wittich, Helen, PO2, (1943-1946) Seaman Second Class
McAfee, Mildred, CAPT, (1942-1946) OFF 290X Lieutenant Commander
Marley-Somerville, Kathleen, LTJG, (1943-1945) OFF 00X Lieutenant Junior Grade
Collins, Winifred, CAPT, (1942-1962) OFF 120X Ensign
Barr, Ann Marie, PO3, (1942-1946) YNT Other Service Rank
Lenco-Ault, Madalene, PO2, (1950-1955) YN YN-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Scheckler, Lillian May, PO2, (1943-1946) YN CYN-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
McCARR DAVIS, Harriet, PO3, (1942-1946) YN YN-0000 Petty Officer Third Class
Lenco-Ault, Madalene, PO2, (1950-1955) SR SR-0000 Seaman Recruit

McAfee, Mildred, CAPT, (1942-1946) OFF 120X Lieutenant Commander

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