January 13, 2002 Charity Edna Adams Earley, the first African American officer in the Woman’s Army Air Corps, died.
Earley was born December 5, 1918 in Kittrell, North Carolina. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics and physics from Wilberforce University in 1938 and enlisted in the WAAC in 1942.
She served as the commanding officer and battalion commander of the first battalion of African American women to serve overseas during World War II and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. After retiring from the army, Earley earned her Master of Arts degree in vocational psychology from Ohio State University in 1946 and taught at Tennessee A&I College and Georgia State College.
Earley was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame in 1979 and the Ohio Veteran’s Hall of Fame in 1993. Earley published her autobiography, “One Woman’s Army: A Black Officer Remembers the WAC,” in 1989.