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MC 774; T-432; DVD-077

U.S. WAF Band. Records of the U.S. WAF Band, 1950-2003: A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University


Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: MC 774; T-432; DVD-077
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: U.S. WAF Band
Title: Records of the U.S. WAF Band, 1950-2003
Date(s): 1950-2003
Quantity: 5.22 linear feet (8 + 1/2 file boxes, 1 oversize box) plus 1 supersize folder, 80 audiotapes, 1 DVD, electronic records)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Correspondence, photographs, orders, newsletters, clippings, etc., of the U.S. WAF Band.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession numbers: 99-M170, 2000-M194, 2003-M84, 2004-M75, 2004-M116, 2012-M1
The records of the U.S. WAF Band were given to the Schlesinger Library by Dixie L. Johnson between November 1999 and October 2004. Additional records were given by Bonnie Barclay-Winter in January 2012.

Processing Information:

Container List: October 2013
By: Samuel Bauer

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the records created by the U.S. WAF Band is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Preferred Citation:

U.S. WAF Band, 1950-2003; item description, dates. MC 774, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


The U.S. WAF (Women in the Air Force) Band was officially activated at Lackland Air Force Base on January 14, 1951. Its purpose was to assist with recruiting and to "enhance the prestige of the Air Force and the United States." Consisting of about 50 women at any given time, this popular band of musicians performed for military and public groups nationally and internationally. In 1961, amid debate within the military establishment about the propriety of women in the military, the band was deactivated.


The records described in this finding aid are unprocessed, but available for research. The majority of folder titles were created by Dixie Johnson or other members of the U.S. WAF Band; folder titles created by the archivist appear in square brackets. Files are listed in the order in which they were received. The collection includes correspondence, photographs, orders, awards, newsletters, lists of pieces performed, press releases, reunion programs, clippings, and a uniform. Audiotapes contain recordings of U.S. WAF Band performances and are all in reel-to-reel format. The U.S. WAF Band's web site is being captured periodically as part of Harvard University Library's Web Archive Collection service (WAX); searchable archived versions of the web site will be available through this finding aid in 2013. Later issues of the newsletter, Still Off-Beat, are available at the Schlesinger Library, consult HOLLIS, the online catalog.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Bands (Music)
DVD-Video discs
Electronic records
Musicians--United States
United States. Air Force--Women
Web sites
Women musicians--United States
Women soldiers--United States