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Capt Joy Bright Hancock
Birth: May 4, 1898
Wildwood
Cape May County
New Jersey, USA
Death: Aug. 20, 1986
Bethesda
Montgomery County
Maryland, USA

Naval Officer and Women's Rights Pioneer. Her initiatives lead to the full utilization of women in the United States Navy. Raised in southern New Jersey, she attended business school in Philadelphia, and, during WWI, joined the Navy as a Yeoman (F), the only avenue of service, besides nurse, then open to women. One of the rare "Yeomanettes" to escape secretarial duty, she served as a courier in Camden, New Jersey and at Naval Air Station, Cape May, New Jersey. When the war ended, so did the women's service; Miss Bright saw no reason why a woman could not have a military career, and was to spend the rest of her professional life making this possible. After the war, she was a civilian employee at the Bureau of Aeronautics, editing "Naval Aviation News", and married her first husband, LT Charles Little, who died in the explosion of the ZR-2 in 1921. In 1924, she married her second husband, LCDR Lewis Hancock, Jr., who was killed in the 1925 crash of the USS Shenandoah (ZR-1). After Hancock's death, Mrs. Hancock returned to the Bureau, working in public affairs, obtained a pilot's license, and published her first book, "Airplanes in Action" in 1938. With the onset of WWII, Congress passed the law authorizing Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES), and she was commissioned a Lieutenant in the Naval Reserve. Still, there was resistance; a common joke of the time was "Many Admirals would prefer to enroll monkeys, dogs, or ducks". Through her efforts, women were admitted into technical career fields, and the General Line Officer's Course. She was able to obtain regulation changes allowing WAVES to serve overseas. When WWII was over, Hancock was determined to prevent the rapid mustering-out that had taken place in 1918, and to allow women peacetime Naval service; she was promoted to Captain, and made Director of the WAVES...for two years, she enlisted support, and lobbied Congress. On July 30, 1948, President Truman signed the Women's Armed Services Integration Act, and Captain Hancock was one of the first group of ladies sworn into the Regular Navy. After her 1953 retirement, she worked in real estate, dividing her time between Washington, D.C., and the Virgin Islands. Her autobiography, "Lady in the Navy", was published in 1972. Captain Hancock's decorations include the Legion of Merit. A school in San Diego, California is named for her. (bio by: Bob Hufford) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouses:
  Charles Gray Little (1895 - 1921)
  Lewis Hancock (1889 - 1925)
  Ralph Andrew Ofstie (1897 - 1956)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington
Arlington County
Virginia, USA
Plot: Section 30 Grave 2138
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
Record added: Jan 22, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 33145916
Capt Joy <i>Bright</i> Hancock
Added by: Bob Hufford
 
Capt Joy <i>Bright</i> Hancock
Added by: Anne Cady
 
Capt Joy <i>Bright</i> Hancock
Added by: Anne Cady
 
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- sjm
 Added: Aug. 20, 2014
Ma'am Thank You ma'am for your service, this is coming from the 5 Miller brothers who also proudly served Our Country.
- Robert David Miller
 Added: May. 5, 2014

- Doug Lind
 Added: Oct. 31, 2013
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