Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Navy Veteran Barbara June Stone, who served in the WAVES program as a yeoman third class during World War II.
Barbara June Stone was born in 1924 in Newark, New Jersey. The daughter of a Navy Veteran, Stone grew up listening to stories about her father’s service on USS Leviathan during World War I. She developed a strong sense of patriotism and, when World War II began, Stone wanted to enlist in the Navy herself. In an interview with the Veterans History Project, Stone said she enlisted because “there was a war on and [I] wanted to do something, something that was important.”
In June 6, 1944, the same day as the invasion of Normandy, Stone enlisted in the Navy Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) program. She completed six weeks of training at Hunter College in New York before transferring to Oklahoma State University, where she studied naval law and court procedures. She graduated as a yeoman third class.
Stone went to a naval base in Norfolk, Virginia, and served as a reporting officer’s assistant. She worked near the piers, organizing ship duty assignments and arranging air transportation to Guantanamo Bay. While the residents of Norfolk were not welcoming to the servicemen and women, Stone still enjoyed her time in Virginia. She recounted the celebrations on Victory in Europe Day and Victory over Japan Day fondly, explaining, “Everybody just went crazy… the ships that were in port sent up flares and ran their sirens and screamed.”
Stone discharged in 1946 and received both an American Campaign and a World War II Victory Ribbon. After the war, she married a fellow Veteran, settled down in New Jersey and had four children. She was a homemaker and, like her father, instilled a strong sense of patriotism into her children. Stone’s son served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War and died on active duty in 1976. Stone was a Gold Star Mother and an active member of the Veterans community. She often volunteered with the Jersey Shore WAVES society and was passionate about helping Vietnam Veterans.
Stone passed away in 2016 at the age of 92.
We honor her service.
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Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Writer: Maggie Allegar
Editors: Merrit Pope and Annabelle Colton
Fact checker: Giacomo Ferrari
Graphic artist: Brittany Gorski