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Lt Col Charity Adams Earley, Black Pioneer in Wacs

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In June of 1942, Adams mailed the application that had arrived with her personal invitation to join the WAAC. Within a month she was on her way to Fort Des Moines, Iowa, to start her military training.

This fact was brought home to Adams right after her first-ever military meal, by order of a very young white male second-lieutenant: Will all the colored girls move over on this side. Then, he proceeded to tell his stunned audience that separate housing had been provided for black and white recruits. This came as a shock to Adams and the other 38 black women entering the service with her, but they were relieved to learn that this segregation did not extend to their training. Whatever her heritage, each new WAAC learned precision in marching, map reading, obedience, and general all-round competency in the basics of military life.

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