Poster Frames
Learn About Military Posters - Sponsors

SPARS Women's Reserve

During WWII, the US Coast Guard played a very important role in St. Augustine as part of the Atlantic Coast defense system.

Coast Guardsmen, called "Coasties", were stationed at the lighthouse on Anastasia Island where they stood armed watches at the top of the tower and reduced the candlepower to prevent Allied ships from being sunk by German submarines.

In November 1942, the US government amended the Coast Guard Auxiliary and Reserve Act of 1941 to establish the Women's Reserve.

Women could now enlist in the Coast Guard and serve up to six months after the war ended. These new recruits took over clerical and other shore work thereby freeing vital male personnel for sea duty.

Dorothy C. Stratton, who headed the Women's Reserve, came up with the name for this group of women: SPARS. The word is derived from the Coast Guard motto Semper Paratus, Always Ready.

SPARS quickly joined the war effort and their numbers grew rapidly. In 1942 recruitment started with 15 officers and 153 enlisted personnel. By June 1944, the SPARS numbered 771 officers and 7,600 enlisted personnel. Overall, more than 10,000 women volunteered to help the war effort as SPARS.

SPARS Posters


Poster Index


Home | Contact Us