The WAVES could not serve aboard combat ships or aircraft, and initially were restricted to duty in the continental United States. Late in World War II, they were authorized to serve in certain U.S. possessions, and a number were sent to Hawaii. The war ended before any WAVES could be sent to other locations.
Within their first year, the WAVES were 27,000 strong. A large proportion of the WAVES did clerical work, but some took positions in the aviation community, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, medical professions, communications, intelligence, storekeeper, science and technology.