Celebrating Black Women Black Women in the Military

Brief History of Black Women in the Military

Written by: Kathryn Sheldon, former Curator
Women In Military Service For America Memorial Foundation, Inc.

American women have participated in defense of this nation in both war and peacetime. Their contributions, however, have gone largely unrecognized and unrewarded. While women in the United States Armed Forces share a history of discrimination based on gender, black women have faced both race and gender discrimination. Initially barred from official military status, black women persistently pursued their right to serve.

Early PatriotsNo documented records have been discovered of black women’s military service in the American Revolution. They may well have served alongside black men.

During the Civil War, black women’s services included nursing or domestic chores in medical settings, laundering and cooking for the soldiers. Indeed, as the Union Army marched through the South and large numbers of freed black men enlisted, their female family members often obtained employment with the unit. The Union Army paid black women to raise cotton on plantations for the northern government to sell.

Five black nurses served under the direction of Catholic nuns aboard the Navy hospital ship Red Rover. Four of their names—Alice Kennedy, Sarah Kinno, Ellen Campbell and Betsy Young—have been recorded.1 Black nurses are in the record books of both Union and Confederate hospitals. As many as 181 black nurses—both female and male—served in convalescent and US government hospitals in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina during the war.2

Susie King Taylor, Civil War nurse, cook, and laundress, was raised a slave on an island off the coast of Georgia. In April of 1861, Major General Hunter assaulted Fort Pulaski and freed all the slaves in the area, including Mrs. King. When Union officers raised the First South Carolina Volunteers (an all-black unit), Mrs. King signed on as laundress and nurse. Able to read and write, she also set up a school for black children and soldiers.

Mrs. King’s experiences as a black employee of the Union Army are recounted in her diary. She wrote of the unequal treatment,

The first colored troops did not receive any pay for eighteen months, and the men had to depend wholly on what they received from the commissary…their wives were obliged to support themselves and children by washing for the officers, and making cakes and pies which they sold to the boys in camp. Finally, in 1863, the government decided to give them half pay, but the men would accept none of this… They preferred rather to give their services to the state, which they did until 1864, when the government granted them full pay, with all back due pay.

Susie King was never paid for her service.

I was very happy to know my efforts were successful in camp, and also felt grateful for the appreciation of my service. I gave my services willingly for four years and three months without receiving a dollar. I was glad, however, to be allowed to go with the regiment, to care for the sick and afflicted comrades.3

Following the war, Mrs. King established another school for freed slaves. When her husband, Sergeant Edward King of the First South Carolina Volunteers, died in 1866, she collected a widow’s pension. In 1879, she married Russell Taylor. For the remainder of her life, she continued her advocacy for black Civil War troops.

Immediately following the Civil War, William Cathey enlisted in the United States Regular Army in St. Louis, Missouri. William Cathey, intending to serve three years with the 38th US Infantry, was described by the recruiting officer as 5’9” with black eyes, black hair, and a black complexion. The cursory examination by an Army physician missed the fact that William was actually Cathay Williams, a woman.

“William Cathey” served from November 15, 1866, until her discharge with a surgeon’s certificate of disability on October 14, 1868. Despite numerous and often lengthy hospital stays during her service, her sex was not revealed until June 1891, when Cathay Williams applied for an invalid pension and disclosed her true identity. She did not receive the pension, not because she was a woman, but because her disabilities were not service related. Cathay was probably the first black woman to serve in the US Regular Army.4

World War II

In January 1941, the Army opened its nurse corps to blacks but established a ceiling of 56. On June 25, 1941, President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 8802 created the Fair Employment Practices Commission which led the way in eradicating racial discrimination in the defense program. In June 1943, Frances Payne Bolton, Congresswoman from Ohio, introduced an amendment to the Nurse Training Bill to bar racial bias. Soon 2,000 blacks were enrolled in the Cadet Nurse Corps.

The quota for black Army Nurses was eliminated in July 1944. More than 500 black Army nurses served stateside and overseas during the war. The Navy dropped its color ban on January 25, 1945, and on March 9, Phyllis Daley became the first black commissioned Navy nurse.

Black women also enlisted in the WAAC (Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps) which soon converted to the WAC (Women’s Army Corps), the Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service), and the Coast Guard SPARS.

From its beginning in 1942, black women were part of the WAAC. When the first WAACs arrived at Fort Des Moines, Iowa, there were 400 white and 40 black women. Dubbed “ten-percenters,” recruitment of black women was limited to ten percent of the WAAC population—matching the black proportion of the national population. Enlisted women served in segregated units, participated in segregated training, lived in separate quarters, ate at separate tables in mess halls, and used segregated recreation facilities. Officers received their officer candidate training in integrated units, but lived under segregated conditions. Specialist and technical training schools were integrated in 1943. During the war, 6,520 black women served in the WAAC/WAC.

Black women were barred from the WAVES until October 19, 1944. The efforts of Director Mildred McAfee and Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune helped Secretary of the Navy Forrestal push through their admittance. The first two black WAVES officers, Harriet Ida Pikens and Frances Wills, were sworn in December 22, 1944. Of the 80,000 WAVES in the war, a total of 72 black women served, normally under integrated conditions.

The Coast Guard opened the SPARS (from the Coast Guard motto Semper Paratus, “AlwaysReady”) to black members on October 20, 1944, but only a few actually enlisted.

The Path to Full Integration

Following World War II, racial and gender discrimination, as well as segregation persisted in the military. Entry quotas and segregation in the WAC deterred many from re-entry between 1946 and 1947. By June 1948, only four black officers and 121 enlisted women remained in the WAC. President Truman eliminated the issues of segregation, quotas and discrimination in the armed forces by signing Executive Order 9981 on July 26, 1948. WACs began integrated training and living in April 1950. Meanwhile, on January 6, 1948, Ensign Edith De Voe was sworn into the Regular Navy Nurse Corps and in March, First Lieutenant Nancy C. Leftenant entered the Regular Army Nurse Corps, becoming the corps’ first black members.

Affirmative action and changing racial policies opened new doors for black women. During the Korean and Vietnam Wars, black women took their places in the war zone.

Chief Warrant Officer Doris Allen recalled: As a senior intelligence analyst in Vietnam, I was recognized as having been responsible through production of one specific intelligence report, for saving the lives of “at least” 101 United States Marines fighting in Quanq Tri Province…. During my years of service I survived many prejudices against me as a woman, as a WAC, me as a soldier with the rank of specialist, me as an intelligence technician and me as a Black woman; but all of the prejudices were overshadowed by a wonderful camaraderie.

On July 15, 1964, Margaret E. Bailey became the first black nurse promoted to lieutenant colonel in the Army Nurse Corps and would later become the first black colonel. Hazel W. Johnson became the first black woman general officer on September 1, 1979, when she assumed the position of Chief of the Army Nurse Corps.

Honoring Black Women’s Service

Charity Adams Earley, commander of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion in World War II, summarized the history of women in the military when she wrote in 1989: The future of women in the military seems assured…. What may be lost in time is the story of how it happened. The barriers of sex and race were, and sometimes still are, very difficult to overcome, the second even more than the first. During World War II women in the service were often subject to ridicule and disrespect even as they performed satisfactorily…. Each year the number of people who shared the stress of these accomplishments lessens. In another generation young black women who join the military will have scant record of their predecessors who fought on the two fronts of discrimination—segregation and reluctant acceptance by males.8

Brigadier General Hazel W. Johnson-Brown, USA NC (Ret.), a groundbreaker herself, told attendees at the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Women In Military Service For America Memorial on June 22, 1995, In the past, women, particularly minority women, have always responded when there was a crisis or need. We acknowledge all minority women in uniform, both present in this audience and not present. You are the strength of our success. You represent the patchwork quilt of diversity which is America—race, creed, color and ethnicity.

1. Fowler, William M., Jr. “Relief on the River: the Red Rover.” Naval History (Fall 1991): 19.
2. National Archives, Record Group 94.
3. Romero, Patricia, ed. A Black Woman’s Civil War Memoirs (Princeton: Markus Wiener Publishers, 1988): 42, 52.
4. Blanton, DeAnne. “Cathay Williams Black Woman Soldier, 1866-1868.” MINERVA (Fall/Winter 1992): 1-12; National Archives Record Groups 15, 94.
5. “Order of Spanish American War Nurses.” Trained Nurse and Hospital Review 23 (1899): 81.
6. Stewart, Aileen Cole. “Ready To Serve.” American Journal of Nursing 63-9 (September 1963): 87.
7. National Archives, Record Group 112.
8. Earley, Charity Adams. One Woman’s Army: A Black Officer Remembers the WAC (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1989): ix.

African American Women in the Military and at War: Science Reference Guides (Science Reference Services, Library of Congress)

African American Women in the Military and at War:
Selected Reading List (Revised 3/2012) Science Reference Section
Science, Technology, and Business Division
Library of Congress

Books, Dissertations, and ThesesBiographies and AutobiographiesSelected Journal Articl Other ResourcesWomen’s Army Auxiliary Corps, Third Platoon, Company 1, Fort Des Moines, Iowa. Prints and Photograpns Catalog, Library of Congress
     In observanc of Women’s History Month, this bibliography lists books on a little explored facet of African American history–African American women in the military and their services to the war effort. The Library of Congress has a large collection of materials on this topic, spanning several centuries and including articles, books, dissertations, technical reports, photographs and first person accounts. This bibliography includes only a sampling of the materials available at the Library of Congress. The works explore biographical materials as well as the cultural and social aspects of African American women in the military. An attempt has been made to include significant chapters in books, dissertations and master’s thesis, , as well as internet resources which may be freely available BOOKS, DISSERTATIONS AND THESES Akers, Regina Theresa. Doing their part: the WAVES in World War II. Howard University, 2000. 245p.AAT 9981740
   See especially chapter 7, “On the broad road to victory,1943-1945,” p. 179-231.Black Americans in defense of our nation. Washington, DC, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Equal Opportunity and Safety Policy, Dept. of Defense. U. S. G.P.O., 1985. 189 p.
   UB418.A47 B54 1985
   See especially “Black women in the military service of the United States,” p. 89-106; see also listings of African American graduates under the individual service academies.Black Americans in defense of our nation: a pictorial documentary of the Black American male and female participation and involvement in the military affairs of the United States of America. Washington, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Civilian Personnel Policy/Equal Opportunity, Dept. of Defense. U.S. G.P.O., 1991. 300 p.
   UB418.A47B54 1991
   See especially chapter IV, “The black female in pursuit of military objectives from colonial times and slavery through equality of opportunity,” p. 137-148.
   URL: http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/002499347Black women in America. Darlene Clark Hine, editor in chief. 2nd ed. Oxford, New York, Oxford University Press, 2005. 3 v.
   E185.86.B542 2005 Blood, Katherine. Negro women war workers. Washington, Women’s Bureau, United States Dept. of Labor, 1945. 23 p.
   HD6093.A35 no. 205 Daniels, K. B. Social construction of race and gender: Black women officers in the U.S. Navy. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA. Jun 1994. 70p.
   URL: http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA283619It’s our military, too!: women and the U. S. Military. Edited by Judith Hicks Stiehm. Philadelphia, Temple University Press, 1996. 309 p.
   UB418.W65I88 1996
   See especially “Equal opportunity in the U.S. Navy: perceptions of active-duty African American women,” p. 83-102 and “From under representation to over representation: African American women,” p. 115-135. Johnson, Jesse L. Black women in the Armed Forces, 1942-1974: a pictorial history. Hampton, VA, Johnson, c1974. 110 p.
   E185.63.J633 Keys, Carol. “And the Army keeps rolling along”: a study of the effects of gender and race on women officers’ careers and the strategies they use to survive and succeed. Ann Arbor, MI, UMI, 1997. 333 p.
   AAT 9822253
   Southern Illinois University at Carbondale Moore, Brenda L. To serve my country, to serve my r the story of the only African American WACS stationed overseas during World War II. New York, New York University Press, c1996. 272 p.
   UB418.A47M66 1996Morris, Robert V. Black faces of war: a legacy of honor from the American Revolution to today. Minneapolis, MN, Zenith Press, 2011. 160 p.
   E185.63.M67 2011
   See especially chapter 4, “World War II: Black women at war,” p. 66-77, and “Leadership and inclusion of women in the Army: 1974-1999,” p. 142-145. Putney, Martha S. When the nation was in need: Blacks in the http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c32480during World War II. Metuchen, NJ, Scarecrow Press, 1992. 231 p.
   D810.N4P88 1992 Salter, Krewasky A. I., “Sable officers”: African-American military officers, 1861-1948. Arbor, MI, UMI, 1996.
405 p.
   AAT 9700192
   Dissertation: Florida State University.
   See especially chapter 17, “Women go to war,” p. 339-266. Sims-Wood, Janet. “We served America too!” Personal recollections of African American women in the Women’ Army Corps during World War II. Ann Arbor, MI, UMI,1994. 296 p.
   AAT 9519611
   Dissertation: The Union Institute. Swann, Leslie M. African American women in the World War II defense industry. Ann Arbor, MI, UMI, 2004. 407 p.
   AAT 3151038
   Dissertation: Temple University Turner, Robbie G. Minority women officers in the Navy: past, present and future prospects. Monterey, CA, Naval Postgraduate School. Mar 1991. 79 p.
   This report may also be purchased from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), 5825 Port Royal Road, Springfield, Virginia 22161. NTIS telephone: (703) 605-6585. NTIS web site: http://www.ntis.govWe were there: voices of African American veterans from World War II to the war in Iraq. Compiled by Yvonne Latty. New York, Amistad, 2004. 184 p.
   E185.63.4 2004TOP OF PAGEBIOGRAPHIES AND AUTOBIOGRAPHIES Adams-Ender, Clara L. My rise to the stars: how a sharecropper’s daughter became an Army general. Lake Ridge, VA, CAPE Associates, c2001. 247 p.
   UB418.A47A33 2001 Bragg, Janet Harmon. Soaring above setbacks: the autobiography of Janet Harmon Bragg, African American Aviator. Washington DC, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996. 120 p.
   TL540.B693 A3 1996 Earley, Charity Adams. One woman’s Army: a Black officer remembers the WAC. College Station, TX, College Station, Texas A&M University Press, c1989. 218 p. (Texas A&M University military history series, 12)
   D811.E23 1989Gordon, Violet Hill (World War II, 1942-1945; Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps). In Experiencing war: stories from the Veteran’s History Project: Patriotism.
   URL: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cocoon/vhp-stories/loc.natlib.afc2001001.00146/ Harris, Gail, and Pam McLaughlin. A woman’s war: the professional and personal journey of the Navy’s first African American female intelligence officer. Lanham, MD, Scarecrow Press, 2010. 270 p. (Scarecrow professional intelligence education series, 10)
   VB231.U54H37 2010 Spinks, Connie Rose (Persian Gulf War Era, 1990-2003; Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, 2001-present; Army). In Disabled Veterans: The Unhealed Wounds. (Experiencing War: Stories from the Veteran’s History Project, Library of Congress.)
   URL: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/vhp-stories/loc.natlib.afc2001001.46666/ Stuart, Oneida Miller (World War II, 1939-1945; Army Nurse Corps). In Experiencing war: stories from the Veteran’s History Project: African American pioneers.
   URL: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cocoon/vhp-stories/loc.natlib.afc2001001.04850/ Taylor, Susie King. A Black woman’s Civil War memoirs : reminiscences of my life in camp with the 33rd U.S. Colored Troops, late 1st South Carolina Volunteers. Edited by Patricia W. Romero. New York, M. Wiener Pub., Distributed by the Talman Co., c1988. 154 p.
   E492.94 33rd .T3 1988
   URL: http://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/taylorsu/taylorsu.html Tucker, Phillip Thomas. Cathy Williams: from slave to female Buffalo Soldier. Mechanicsburg, PABooks, c2002. 258 p.
   E185.97.W694T83 2002 Woods, Elsie Dell (World War II, 1943-1945; Women’s Army Corps). In Experiencing war: stories from the Veteran’s History Project: African American pioneers.
   URL: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cocoon/vhp-stories/loc.natlib.afc2001001.04741/TOP OF PAGESELECTED JOURNAL ARTICLES Air Force graduates first Black women pilot (T. Claiborne). Ebony, v. 38, Jan. 1983:46.
   AP2.E165 Bird, Julie. Making history: Brigadier General Selected Harris and her climb to the top. Air Force Times, v. 50 July 16, 1990:12-13
   Microfilm 01400 UG Black history month: proud to serve: African American Army Nurse Corps officers. Bethesda, MD, Office of Medical History, Office of the Surgeon General. February 2003.
   URL: http://history.amedd.army.mil/ancwebsite/articles/blackhistory.html Campbell, D’Ann. Bibliographic essay: women in the military. Choice, v. 31, Sept. 1993: 63-70.
   Z1035.C5Carnegie, M. Elizabeth. Nurses and war. Black nurses at the Front. The American journal of nursing, v. 84, Oct. 1984: 1250-1252.
   RT1.A5 Dillard, Benita R. African American women’s voices: using primary sources to introduce students to the Civil War. Black history bulletin, v. 73, summer-fall 2010: 16-20.
   E185.5.N383Drew, Robin. Army’s (2d Lt. Marcella A.) Hayes, 1st Black woman aviator in U. S. Forces. United States Army aviation digest, v. 26, Jan. 1980: inside back cover
   UG633.A377164 Education of Margaret Jackson: member of the Women’s Army Corps, Sept. 1943-Mar. 1946. Minerva: quarterly report on women and the military, v. 9, Winter 1991: 56-77.
   UG633UB418.W65M55 First Black female Air Force General (Marcelite J. Harris).Force times, v. 50, Jan. 22, 1990:61
   Microfilm 01400 UG Hauslohner, Abigail. Sister soldiers. Essence, v. 41, Sept. 2010: 226-234.
   E185.86.E7 Haynes, Karima A. Sisters-in-arms. Ebony, v. 49, Mar. 1994: 118-122.
   AP2.E165 Howard, Grendel. Carrying forth a tradition (Black women in the Army). Soldiers, v. 40, Feb. 1985: 28-32
   U1.A827 King, Lisa Y. In search of women of African descent who served in the Civil War Union Navy. The Journal of Nego history, v. 83, autumn 1998: 302-309.
   E185.J86 and McKenna, Pat. Nursing old wounds: retired Major recalls struggles as first Black in regular Army Nurse Corps. Airman, v. 42, Apr. 1998: 38-41
   UG633.A1A528 Miller, Richard E. The golden fourteen, plus: Black Navy women in World War One. Minerva: quarterly report on women and the military, v. 13, fall-winter 1995: 7-13
   UB418.W65M55 Moore, Brenda L. African-American women in the U.S. military. Armed forces and society, v. 17, spring 1991: 363-384.
   U21.5.A74 Moore, Brenda L. Serving with dual mission: African-American women in World War II. National journal of sociology,
v. 7, summer 1993: 1-42.
   WMLC 93/1682 Muradian, Vago. Guard has first Black female general. Army Times, v. 54, Dec 6, 1993:25
   Microfilm 0959 Randolph, Laura B. The untold story of Black women in the Gulf War. African-Americans helped redefine the role of female in the military. Ebony, v. 46, Sept. 1991: 101-107.
   AP2.E165 Walker, Nicole. Vernice Armour, 1st Black female combat pilot, serves in Persian Gulf as family copes. Jet, v.103, Apr. 14, 2003: 6-11.
   E185.5.J4TOP OF PAGEINTERNET RESOURCESAfrican-Americans and the U. S. Navy: first female officers. Online library of selected images. Washington, Dept. of the Navy, Navy Historical Center.
   URL: http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/prs-tpic/af-amer/afa-wave.htmAndrusyszyn, Greta H. Women in the military: a selected bibliography. U. S. Army War College Library, Carlisle Barracks, PA. August 2009.
   URL: http://www.carlisle.army.mil/Library/bibs/women09.pdf Bellaifaire, Judith. Volunteering for risk: Black military women overseas during the wars in Korea and Vietnam.
   URL: http://www.womensmemorial.org/Education/BWOHistory.html Bey, Jacqueline S. Women in the military: a selected bibliography. U. S. Army War College Library, Carlisle Barracks, PA. January 2005.
   URL: http://www.carlisle.army.mil/library/bibs/women05.htm Burger, Barbara. The Lion’s history: researching World War II images of African Americans. Prologue special issue: federal records and African American history, v. 29, no. 2, summer 1997.
   URL: http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/1997/summer/world-war-two-images.htmlFemale Buffalo Soldier -with documents. Cathay William or William Cathay (Cathey) Private, Thirty-eighth U. S. Infantry 1866-1868. An exceptional woman. Buffalo Soldier Network.
   URL: http://www.buffalosoldier.net/CathayWilliamsFemaleBuffaloSoldierWithDocuments.htm Krawczynski, Keith. African American Navy, Marine Corps, Women’s Reserves, and Coast Guard service during World War II. In A historic context for the African American military experience, by Steven D. Smith and James A. Zeidler. U. S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratories (USACERL). July 1988.
   URL: http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA350395 Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs Online Catalog
   URL: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/
   Search African American and women and military Library of Congress: Veteran’s History Project
   Go to http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cocoon/vhp/html/search/search.html
   Search +race:Black +or +African +American +women
   Many narratives have race unspecified. Some suggested terms for searching including WAC, WAAC, Army Nurse Corps.
   Materials can be viewed in the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress National Archives — Military Resources – Women in the Military
   URL: http://www.archives.gov/research/alic/reference/military/women.html Penn, Lisha B. Records of military agencies relating to African Americans from the post-World War I period to the Korean War. Washington, National Archives and Records Administration. 2006. (Reference information paper, 105)
   URL: http://www.archives.gov/publications/ref-info-papers/105/index.pdf Putney, Martha S. A historical review of Black women in the military. Remarks delivered by Dr. Putney at Ford’s Theater at a National Park Service ceremony for the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, July 17, 1998.   URL: http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss/history/aa_militaryhistory.htm Simms-Wood, Janet. “We served America, too!” Blacks in the Women’s Army Corps during World War II; a selected bibliography. Washington, Moorland-Spingarn Research Center Howard University. February 1995.
   URL: http://www.founders.howard.edu/moorland-spingarn/WWII.HTM Simpson, Diana. African Americans in military history bibliography: women. Malcom AFB, AL, Air University Library. February 1999.
   URL: http://www.au.af.mil/au/aul/bibs/afhist/afwom.htm Williams, Rudi. Black WAC joined to be who she wanted to be. (Catherine L. Bowie). Washington, Armed Forces Press Service. (Home for Heroes.)
   URL: http://www.defense.gov/specials/heroes/bowie.html Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation
   See: Brief History of Black Women in the Military
   URL: http://www.womensmemorial.org/Education/BBH1998.html
   See: Bibliography
   URL: http://www.womensmemorial.org/H&C/Resources/pdfs/bibliography.pdf Women in the Military. In Pictures of African Americans during World War II: Select Audiovisual Records. Washington, National Archives.
   URL: http://www.archives.gov/research/african-americans/ww2-pictures/index.html#women TOP OF PAGEOTHER RESOURCESCharity Adams Earley, 1928-2002 (bulk 1942-2002). Description: 1,000 items. 8 containers, plus 1 oversize. 3.2 linear feet.
   Finding Aid: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/mss/eadxmlmss/eadpdfmss/2009/ms009089.pdfNAACP photographs of African American women in the military services during World War II. 76 photographic prints.    LOT 13103 (F) USE MICROFILM [P&P]
   Emphasis is on activities of the Army Nurse Corps and the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), later called Women’s Army Corps (WAC), at bases in Australia, England, France, and the United States. Activities include training, recruitment, clerical work, and recreation, such as Army nurses playing cards and knitting, and a WAAC band in a parade. Includes portraits of officers and new recruits. Prominent people depicted include: Mary McLeod Bethune at a National Civilian Advisory Committee luncheon, Fort Des Moines, Iowa; Joe Louis welcoming a group of new WAAC enlistees; Walter White visiting the WAAC training center at Fort Des Moines, Iowa. One photo of tennis instructor of the 3510 WAF Squadron, Randolph Air Force Base.
   Selected images also available in Prints & Photographs Online Catalog, http://www.loc.gov/pictures U. S. Naval History and Heritage Command – First female officers – African Americans and the U. S. Navy. (Photographs)
   URL: http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/prs-tpic/af-amer/afa-wave.htm World War I Document Archive – The American Negro in the World War
   Full text copy of: Scott, Emmet J. Scott’s official history of the American Negro in the World War. A complete and authentic narration, from official sources, of the participation of American soldiers of the Negro race in the World War for democracy … a full acount of the war work organizations of colored men and women and other civilian activities, including the Red Cross, the Y.M.C.A., the Y.W.C.A. and the War camp community service, with official summary of treaty of peace and League of Nations covenant. Prefaced with highest tributes to the American Negro by Hon. Newton D. Baker … Gen. John J. Pershing … and the late Theodore Roosevelt. Chicago, Homewood Press, 1919. 511 p.
   See especially Chapter 27,”Negro women in war work,”

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