When the U.S. broke off diplomatic relations with Germany, The Hawaii Chapter of the Women’s Section of the Navy League was organized in Honolulu in 1915 and 1916 with a membership of more than one thousand, from all parts of the territory, as part of the preparedness movement which spread over the country in those years.
In the beginning of February 1917, the preparedness movement swept across the nation, the Hawaii Chapter of the Navy League held a meeting in the old Opera House in Honolulu (later the location of the Federal Post Office) to discuss preparedness plans, navy support, and the part that patriotic women could play in the war.
Mrs. Gerrit P. Wilder organized about a dozen classes in Red Cross first aid, hygiene and taking care of the sick in a home setting. Colonel R. G. Ebert, U. S. A., and Drs. E. D. Kilbourne, Charles Adams, W. C. Hobdy, Grover Batten, and J. R. Judd, taught the classes on a volunteer basis. Mrs. F.F. Killion and Miss Janet Dewar taught the classes on hygiene and care taking Dr. Charles Adams also taught an advanced first aid class to women who had received certificates at a Red Cross class early in 1915.