A Soldier's Story: First Sergeant Sydney Gustave Gumpertz

A Sailor's Story: Lieutenant Harriet Ida Pickens

Lieutenant Harriet Ida Pickens was born on March 17, 1909.  She graduated from Wadleigh High School in 1926 and then from Smith College in 1930.

Returning to New York, she would earn a Master's Degree in political science from Columbia University.

After college, she worked as the Supervisor of Recreation in the New Deal WPA before becoming the Executive Secretary of the Harlem Tuberculosis and Health Committee of the New York Tuberculosis and Health Association.

In the Fall of 1944, and in response to World War II, the US Navy opened the doors of officer's candidacy to women of African descent. Lieutenant Pickens, along with Ensign Wills, became the first woman of African descent to become an officer in the US Navy.

Lieutenant Pickens would lead the physical training sessions for all further WAVES recruits.

Lieutenant Harriet Ida Pickens died in 1969.

Everyday Patriot Military Biographies 
are written by a.d. elliott - Take the Back Roads #TaketheBackRoads 

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