9.6 Linear feet
(9 document boxes, 5 oversized boxes, 1 oversize folder A)
The collection consists of papers of Joy Bright Hancock from 1918-1972. The papers include correspondence, mainly commendatory letters but some relating to Hancock's naval duties and inspection tours; speeches; printed material pertaining to WAVE policies, articles by and about Hancock, and naval aviation; manuscript articles for radio and television; photographs; clippings of Navy press releases; manuscripts, drafts, and corrected versions of Hancock's book LADY IN THE NAVY; certificates and citations; and scrapbooks (1943-1965) of clippings detailing Hancock's career.
Joy Bright Hancock (1898- ), enlisted in the Women's Naval Reserve in 1918 as a Yeoman, rose to the rank of Captain, Director of Women's Reserve by 1946. One of eight women sworn into the regular Navy under the Women's Armed Service Integration Act of 1948, retired in 1953.
For more than thirty years Joy Bright Hancock served her country in connection with the Department of the Navy. Born in Wildwood, N. J., the daughter of William Henry Bright, banker and former lieutenant governor of New Jersey, and Priscilla Buck Bright, she enlisted in 1918, following graduation from the Pierce School of Philadelphia, as a yoeman (F) first class in the Naval Reserve for the duration of World War I. She rose rapidly to chief yeoman (F) at the Cape May Naval Air Station. Following mustering out in September 1919 she became a civilian employee at Lakehurst Naval Air Station. After a stint as desk-secretary in the Navy Department's Bureau of Aeronautics, she married Commander Lewis Hancock, Jr. on 3 June 1924. A little over a year later he was killed in a dirigible accident in Ohio. During World War II she was to christen the destroyer
Lewis Hancock named in his honor. By 1928 Joy Bright Hancock had completed her pilot's training which was followed by study at the Crawford School of Foreign Service in Washington, D. C. from 1928-30. After rejoining the Bureau of Aeronautics she served from 1934-42 as chief of the editorial and research section and established herself as an authority on the evolution of naval aeronautics.
Soon after the formation of the Women's Reserve of the United States Naval Reserve (WAVES) in 1942, Mrs. Hancock was assigned as Women's Reserve representative for the Bureau of Aeronautics and promoted to lieutenant. She was later also named assistant to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Air) where she assumed an important role in the development, expansion, and administration of the comprehensive program designed to integrate women into the Naval Service. The now Commander Hancock was on 24 February 1946 appointed Assistant Director (Plans) for the Women's Reserve. On 26 July of that year she was promoted to captain and named Director of the Women's Reserve, remaining in that post until 15 October 1948. On that date she became one of the first eight women to receive commission in the Navy, being accorded the permanent rank of lieutenant commander and appointed assistant to the Chief of Naval Personnel with the temporary rank of captain. She retired from active service on 6 January 1953.
Through the leadership of Captain Hancock the U. S. Navy was able to activate a program of growth and stability as women became an important part of that branch of military service. She has been the recipient of the Navy Commendation Ribbon, World War I and II Victory Medals, and a special World War I medal presented by the state of New Jersey.
The establishment of the Joy Bright Hancock Fund continues to exemplify her interest not only in the University of Georgia, but in the principles of education and scholarship to improve the quality of life for students and the general public. Her service to America remains strong.
In 1973 Captain Joy Bright Hancock presented her papers to the University of Georgia Libraries. This outstanding manuscript collection numbering nearly 3000 pieces relates the distinguished career of Captain Hancock in the U. S. Navy. The papers contain correspondence with Bess Truman, Senator Margaret Chase Smith, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, Admiral Nimitz, Anna Rosenberg, Margaret Chung, and many other figures prominent in government and service in the World War II era. The collection gives invaluable insight into the history of women in the U. S. Navy.
Arranged into 9 series: Series 1. Letters and documents; Series 2. Speeches, Articles and Miltary Materials (see Subseries 2.1 to 2.4); Series 3. Naval Aviation Materials; Series 4. Women in the Navy; Series 5. Lady in the Navy; Series 6. Military Yearbooks and Commendations; Series 7. Scrapbooks; Series 8. Citations; Series 9. Edith Langdale Stallings Materials. Also included in the collection are a number of large-sized military portraits.