This ad dates from the February 1953 National Geographic back cover. It looks almost like a photograph, but it is an illustration. Again, I have no information about the illustrator. And again, I find it interesting that they are marketing this with a woman in uniform, a Marine.

Coca-Cola_Feb 1953_tatteredandlost

Women in the Marine Corps
In 1918, the Secretary of the Navy allowed women to enlist for clerical duty in the Marine Corps. Officially, Opha Mae Johnson is credited as the first woman Marine. Johnson enlisted for service on August 13, 1918; during that year some 300 women first entered the Marine Corps to take over stateside clerical duties from battle-ready Marines who were needed overseas.

World War II Service
The Marine Corps Women's Reserve was established in February 1943. The first director of the Marine Corps Women's Reserve was Mrs. Ruth Cheney Streeter from Morristown, New Jersey. By the end of World War II, 85% of the enlisted personnel assigned to Headquarters U.S. Marine Corps were women.

The first group of women officers was given direct commissions based on ability and civilian expertise. These women were given no formal indoctrination or schooling, but went on active duty immediately. Women Marines were assigned to over 200 different jobs, among them radio operator, photographer, parachute rigger, driver, aerial gunnery instructor, cook, baker, quartermaster, control tower operator, motion picture operator, auto mechanic, telegraph operator, cryptographer, laundry operator, post exchange manager, stenographer, and agriculturist.

After the war; Retention for active duty
On June 7, 1946, Commandant of the Marine Corps General Alexander A. Vandegrift approved the retention of a small number of women on active duty. They would serve as a trained nucleus for possible mobilization emergencies. The demobilization of the Marine Corps Women's Reserve, 17,640 enlisted and 820 officers, was to be completed by September 1, 1946. Of the 20,000 women who joined the Marine Corps during World War II, only 1,000 remained in the Marine Corps Women's Reserve by July 1, 1946.

June 12, 1948, the United States Congress passed the Women's Armed Services Integration Act and made women a permanent part of the regular Marine Corps.

In 1950, the Women Reserves were mobilized for the Korean War and 2,787 women were called to active duty. By the height of the Vietnam War, there were about 2,700 women Marines served both stateside and overseas. By 1975, the Corps approved the assignment of women to all occupational fields except infantry, artillery, armor and pilot/air crew. Over 1,000 women Marines were deployed in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990-1991. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
So if you see a member of the Navy, Marines, Army, Air Force, or Coast Guard looking a little parched, buy them something to drink. Shake their hand and tell them you appreciate what they and their family are doing. Heaven knows the paycheck they receive barely stretches as far as a handshake.

To see past posts of Coca-Cola ads click on:


  1. This appears to be airbrushed, and I'd call it flawed - as there is no space between the top of the Coke bottle and the button. FLAWED, I tell you! That isn't the Coke I knew...

  2. That's what I was thinking. Just airbrushed the photo. There photo ads never matched the illustrated ones. Pooey on them I say! Pooey!

  3. If you see a member of the military, greet them with a handshake, but if you encounter a maniacal smiling disembodied head, protect yourself with a bottle of coke. Sorry, I can't help it. The first thing that came to mind when I saw this was someone holding up a cross to ward off a vampire.

  4. Yes, there's something 1950s sci-fi about these floating heads. I'm thinking the head in the glass bubble in Invaders from Mars.

    I did find another ad online for Coke in 1951 showing a male Marine. Though it has the weird headline cutting across his face as in yesterday's add, he is at least given a neck and appears to be drinking the Coke all by himself. This one of the female Marine is just odd.