Navy WAVES from Dec 1944 to Aug 1946,
Navy Reserved Sep 1946-Dec 31,1950,
Navy from May 1951-Sep 1953 (recalled for Korea Conflict),
Naval Reserve until retirement.
Norma Schrader, YNCS, USN Reserve Retired turned 100 years young on Jan 14, 2020. After attending bootcamp at Hunter College Norma served as a Master-at-Arms in the WAVES from 1945 to 1946 overseeing the barracks and mess hall at Naval Station, Charleston, SC.
She once said that for a girl from Brooklyn to be stationed in Charleston, SC was a “life experience in itself”, but she enjoyed the area, remaining in the south after her active duty stint. She was recalled as a Reservist in 1951 for the Korean Conflict, serving as a Master-at-Arms at Naval Hospital, Bethesda, MD working with the MWR driving fellow WAVES to inter service sporting events in the Washington, DC area and overseeing the WAVES Barracks.
She retired as a YNCS in the Reserves in 1965. She also retired from a Civil Service career with the Department of the Navy, Naval Station, Charleston, SC after 20 years. Norma is the “Anchor” of Triangle Women Veterans Unit 144 of the MWAN (Military Women Across the Nation). She served as the President for many years and continues to be the lead recruiter for the unit.
Coming from a large family, Captain Lindsey Jefferies was the first of six siblings to graduate from college. She had her first taste for flying while in the Air Force Junior ROTC program in high school. Her passion for flying and fearless approach to life allowed her to pursue a non-traditional career path into the National Guard where she became the first and only African-American female Blackhawk pilot for the North Carolina National Guard.
She is has served as the MEDEVAC Detachment Commander of North Carolina’s only Medical Evacuation unit, where she helped in emergency and disaster rescue missions. When she is not flying for the military, she works as a civilian couple’s therapist.
In 2013, she became the first African-American Female pilot for the NC National Guard and credits her teachers and own insight into the field of aviation, as stepping stones to cultivate this passion. Her chosen path allowed her to thrive in an already scarce environment for women, and even less for women of color.
Women veterans’ military service and strength have provided invaluable contributions to America's history. The perspectives and experiences of America’s women veterans are vital to the VFW as we continue to work to serve ALL veterans.
In honor of their service, the VFW is proud to share their personal narratives depicting their service experience, their reasons for joining the military, the impact it has made on their lives and what they consider to be their greatest successes while in uniform.