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Anderson, Zelda W.
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 2010
Zelda W. Anderson, born in Baltimore, MD, was one of the first African American women to enter the military in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), which was later renamed the Women's Army Corps (WAC). She was a second lieutenant when she arrived at Camp Breckinridge, KY. The post commander, Colonel Throckmorton, attempted to make Anderson the mess officer. When Anderson refused his orders, Colonel Throckmorton had her name removed from the list of WACs who were to go overseas, and she was made the assistant to the (non-existent) post publications officer. Her job was to organize a warehouse of Army regulation manuals with the assistance of 12 other WACs, two German prisoners, and a white civilian who quit rather than take orders from a Negro. When Camp Breckinridge was closed, Zelda Anderson was sent to Fort Knox, KY, where she again was under the command of Colonel Throckmorton. Anderson's new assignment was to make arrangements for Negro entertainment at Fort Knox. Those who entertained the troops included Duke Ellington, Lena Horne, and Earl Hines. Anderson would greet the entertainers at the airplane landing site and find them lodging in Negro hotels, rooming houses, or private homes. The hotels in the area were not integrated. Zelda Anderson died August 13, 2010 in California [source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File]. For more see the Zelda Anderson entry in War Stories, edited by R. T. King; and the Zelda Anderson transcript at the University of Nevada Oral History Program.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Women's Groups and Organizations, Women's Army Corps (WACs)
Geographic Region: Baltimore, Maryland / Camp Breckinridge, Henderson, Webster, and Union Counties, Kentucky (no longer exists) / Fort Knox, Bullitt, Hardin, & Meade Counties, Kentucky