Her Story: Charity Earley

Charity Adams Earley (1918-2002) was the first Black officer of the Women’s Auxiliary Corps and the highest ranking Black female officer in the Army during World War 2. 

Raised in Columbia, SC, Lt. Col. Earley graduated from the HBCU, Wilberforce University in Ohio. She majored in physics, mathematics and Latin. She was a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

Charity Earley joined the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) in 1942. A year later, the Corps was incorporated into the Army of the United States as the Women’s Army Corps (WAC). This change allowed women to serve overseas and hold rank within the Army. 

In 1942, Earley became the first African American commissioned officer of the WAC.  She oversaw the training of fellow African American women who answered the call of service. By 1943, she was promoted to the rank of major. Earley went on to command the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, one of the few military units during the war led by African Americans and the first African American WAC unit to serve overseas. 

On December 26,1945, Earley was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Charity Adams Earley made history serving her country, today we honor this American hero and Queen.

Links for Learning More:

Women’s Army Corps Veterans’Association – Army Women United 

The Women’s Army Corps: Female Soldiers in WWII

Official List of HBCUs

Charity Adams Earley – National Women’s History Museum

Women of the 6888th – Charity Adams Earley

About The Author


Mother, Photographer, Wisecracker.... not necessarily in that order.

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