The commanding officer of the first battalion of African American women to serve overseas during World War II, Charity Adams Earley paved the way for African American women in the military, in education and in her community.
Her most prominent role was leading the first African American women unit of the army on a tour of duty overseas during World War II. Her 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion was responsible for the delivery of mail to more than seven million soldiers during the war. By the war’s end, Earley was the highest ranking African American woman in the army.
Before WWII, she attended both Wilberforce and Ohio State Universities, and taught math and science. After the war, she worked at the VA in Cleveland, served on the board of the Dayton Chapter of the American Red Cross and founded the Black Leadership Development Program in Dayton.
In 2018, a memorial was built to honor the women of the 6888th Postal Directory Battalion at the Buffalo Soldier Commemorative Area in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. It is inscribed with the names of members and is topped with a bronze bust of Adams.