Following a long tradition of volunteerism in military communities, the Navy relied heavily upon wives' social networks as liaisons between commands and the families, especially during deployment. When the submariners were away, their families helped each other to meet the problems and crises of everyday life without husbands and fathers.

The wife of the chief of the boat (COB), a senior or master chief, usually became ombudsman—someone to assist in emergencies and to help resolve complaints equitably—and the reference point for enlisted submarine wives. The wife of the submarine's commanding officer or executive officer was usually the information link between the command and officers' families, informing them of missions, homecomings, and departures.

Dolphin Scholarship Foundation Calendars

Submarine officer's wives in 1961 offered a $350 academic scholarship to one child of an enlisted or officer submariner—a high school senior or college student. By 1991 the Dolphin Scholarship Foundation had grown large enough to provide $1,750 each for 100 students. Volunteer fund-raising activities by the Submarine Officer's Wives Club included selling calendars like those shown here, soliciting donations, and setting up Dolphin stores in submarine communities.



At Home During a Patrol
A kitchen in base housing, this one photographed in 1965, was always the domain of the submariner's wife.

Neighbors in base housing socialize, Groton, Connecticut, 1965

 

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