A Soldier's Story: Private First Class James Harvey Booth

A Sailor's Story: Ensign Frances Eliza Wills

Ensign Frances Eliza Wills was born in Philadephia but made her way to New York City early in life to attend Hunter College.

She volunteered for the U.S. Navy in November of 1944, in response to World War II, and attended the Naval Reserve Midshipmen's School at Smith College.

Upon graduation, she, along with Lieutenant Harriet Pickens, became the first woman Naval officer of African descent. Ensign Frances Wills was assigned to teach naval history and administer classification tests.

After her discharge, Ensign Frances Wills wrote a book about her experiences called "Navy Blue and Other Colors."  She was also active with the auxiliary of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Ensign Frances Eliza Wills died on January 18, 1998.


a.d. elliott is a wanderer, writer, and photographer currently living in Salem, Virginia. 

In addition to the travel writings at www.takethebackroads.com, you can also read her book reviews at www.riteoffancy.com and US military biographies at www.everydaypatriot.com

Her online photography gallery can be found at shop.takethebackroads.com


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