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.


  1942-1943, Bureau of Aeronautics


From Month/Year
- / 1942

To Month/Year
- / 1943

Bureau of Aeronautics Unit Page


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Base, Station or City
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 Bureau of Aeronautics Details

Bureau of Aeronautics

Combat - Sea

Parent Unit
Major Commands


Created/Owned By
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Last Updated: Dec 16, 2007
My Photos For This Unit
LT Joy Bright Hancock
LT Joy Bright Hancock
19 Members Also There at Same Time
Bureau of Aeronautics

Ramsey, DeWitt Clinton, ADM, (1912-1949) Vice Admiral
Radford, Arthur William, ADM, (1916-1957) Captain
Ramsey, DeWitt Clinton, ADM, (1912-1949) Captain
Rosendahl, Charles Emery, VADM, (1914-1946) Captain
RILEY, Herbert, VADM, (1927-1964) Commander
Bright Hancock, Joy, CAPT, (1918-1953) Lieutenant Commander
Steichen, Edward, CAPT, (1942-1945) Lieutenant Commander
McCain, John Sidney, ADM, (1906-1945) OFF 131X Rear Admiral Upper Half
Richardson, Holden Chester, CAPT, (1897-1952) WO Captain
Sutton, Frank, RDML, (1917-1953) OFF 131X Commander
Merrill, Grayson, CAPT, (1929-1957) OFF 00X Lieutenant Commander
Taliaferro, Albert Pendleton, LCDR, (1917-1942) OFF 630X Lieutenant Commander
Towers, John Henry, ADM, (1906-1947) Rear Admiral Upper Half
Goodwin, Hugh Hilton, VADM, (1917-1957) Captain
Whiting, Kenneth, CAPT, (1905-1943) Captain
Akers, Frank Peak, RADM, (1918-1963) Commander
Durgin, Calvin Thornton, VADM, (1912-1951) Commander
Fraser, Archie Donald, RADM, (1931-1956) Commander
Hamilton, Thomas James, RADM, (1927-1949) Lieutenant Commander
Halverson, Harold William, LT, (1924-1942) Lieutenant

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