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DID YOU KNOW, March 2023

Updated: Aug 8, 2023


March 6th - Eva Jane Hershey


Eva Jane Hershey enlisted in the Woman Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) as LT E.E. Griffith. She was the first WAVE to report aboard the Naval Proving Ground in October 1943. During the war, she was assigned to the exterior ballistics division as Administrative Assistant to CAPT C.C. Bramble. LT Griffith was discharged in September 1946 and immediately became a civilian employee at Dahlgren. Her first civilian job was providing technical assistance to Dr. Bramble and Dr. F.C. Dresch, a position she held until 1952. During this time, she became Dahlgren’s first female GS-9 mathematician and married Dr. Allen V. Hershey, a mathematician from K Department. Mrs. Hershey spent the rest of her career as a mathematician in the Science Research Group of the Computation and Analysis Laboratory. Along with her work on base, Hershey taught algebra, trigonometry, and shorthand at the University of Virginia’s extension school at Dahlgren and was an active member in the local Chapel Guild. Hershey retired after 24 years of combined military and civilian service on January 12, 1968.


(Material republished from the NSWCDD Blog article “Women’s History Month” by Theresa Cramer)


For more women of Dahlgren, please visit the UMW Dahlgren Campus and see the display “Extraordinary Careers, Unique Possibilities.” Although their usual business hours are from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, their hours are contingent upon the academic and event schedule. You can verify the hours for the day of your visit by calling (540) 663-4030. Please be mindful that classes may be in session during your visit.


Image: Eva Jane Hershey upon her retirement (U.S. Navy Photo)



March 13th - Doreen Daniels


Doreen Daniels grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, and was a college freshman at the start of World War II. At the end of the school year, she made the decision to leave the University of Rhode Island and join the U.S. Navy WAVES. She spent most of the war at Dahlgren, where she computed Navy range tables, became the first Female Specialist Chief at the Naval Proving Ground, and met her future husband, Bartow V. Daniels. After being discharged, she returned to the University of Rhode Island and continued to work at Dahlgren during summer vacations. Daniels became a full-time civilian employee at Dahlgren upon receiving her Bachelor’s in Mathematics.


In a 1960s newspaper interview, Daniels stated, “I have always been fortunate to work for men who did not discriminate because of my sex, but promoted men and women alike as they earned the promotion. This seems to be NWL’s policy.” There were times when her sex obstructed her research—like being denied access to study at-sea missile launches – yet these rare moments did not affect Daniels’ work. She was the first woman at Dahlgren to reach grade positions GS-12 and G-13, and the first female GS-14 branch head in 1969. As Branch Head, she was responsible for preparing presetting guidance data on all Polaris and Poseidon test flights.


Daniels retired as Head of the Quality Assurance Branch, Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile Software Development Division in the Strategic Systems Department on September 2, 1983. Throughout her 36-year career, she received multiple performance and achievement awards, as well as recognition from the Society of Women Engineers and “Who’s Who of American Women.” Daniels passed away on June 14, 2009, at the age of 85.


(Material republished from the NSWCDD Blog article “Women’s History Month” by Theresa Cramer)


For more women of Dahlgren, please visit the UMW Dahlgren Campus and see the display “Extraordinary Careers, Unique Possibilities.” Although their usual business hours are from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, their hours are contingent upon the academic and event schedule. You can verify the hours for the day of your visit by calling (540) 663-4030. Please be mindful that classes may be in session during your visit.


Image: Doreen Daniels (U.S. Navy Photo)



March 20th - Patricia "Patt" Pulliam


Patricia “Patt” Pulliam started working at Dahlgren a week after graduating from James Monroe High School in June 1967. Her first job was as clerk-typist in the Printing Division of the Administrative Services Department.


Six months later she reassigned to the Technical Library, where she remained for the next 51 years. Pulliam held many positions in the library, including Lead Library Technician, Head of Reference and Circulation Group, Supervisor Librarian, and Head of The Librarian Management Section.


In January 1999 she became Division Head of the Technical Information Services Office. There she managed the library, graphics, and technical publications. Pulliam’s career highlight was participating in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during a military library conference. She also loved working with staff, helping patrons, and most of all, watching the library’s evolution over time. Pulliam retired on September 30, 2012. Two months later she returned to the Technical Library to work as a part-time contractor, where she continues to assist with records management.


(Material republished from the NSWCDD Blog article “Women’s History Month” by Theresa Cramer.)


For more women of Dahlgren, please visit the UMW Dahlgren Campus and see the display “Extraordinary Careers, Unique Possibilities.” Although their usual business hours are from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, their hours are contingent upon the academic and event schedule. You can verify the hours for the day of your visit by calling (540) 663-4030. Please be mindful that classes may be in session during your visit.


Image: Patt Pulliam showcasing a Technical Library display in 1993 (U.S. Navy Photo)



March 27th - Captain Sheila Patterson


Captain Sheila Patterson became NSWCDD’s first woman commander on May 25, 2007. As Commander, she was responsible for the daily operations, which included financials, contracts, legal work, and each department’s technical efforts. Along with her military background, CAPT Patterson has a Bachelor’s in Chemistry from the Naval Academy and a Master’s in Astronautical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. Her scientific background helped her represent the work being done by Dahlgren. During her command, Dahlgren’s projects included work on littoral combat ship, the electronic railgun, radars, and electronic warfare. Celebrating a project’s success with staff members was the biggest highlight of her command. CAPT Michael Smith relieved CAPT Patterson in July 2011. At the change of command ceremony, Naval Surface Warfare Center Commander RADM James Shannon likened CAPT Patterson to John Dahlgren. “Just like Dahlgren conducted cannon firings across the Anacostia River, Sheila led the team in conducting record-setting firings of the electromagnetic railgun—next-generation weaponry for our 21st century Sailors and Marines." The end of her command marked her retirement from the Navy after 28 years of service.


(Material republished from the NSWCDD Blog article “Women’s History Month” by Theresa Cramer.)


For more women of Dahlgren, please visit the UMW Dahlgren Campus and see the display “Extraordinary Careers, Unique Possibilities.” Although their usual business hours are from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, their hours are contingent upon the academic and event schedule. You can verify the hours for the day of your visit by calling (540) 663-4030. Please be mindful that classes may be in session during your visit.


Image: Captain Sheila Patterson (U.S. Navy Photo)

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