The story of the first African woman to drive a trailer is that of Florence Blanchfield. Blanchfield was born in 1884 in Kentucky and was the daughter of a former slave. She was the first African American woman to join the United States Army in 1917. She was assigned to the Army Nurse Corps and was the first African American woman to reach the rank of lieutenant colonel.
In 1943, Blanchfield was assigned to the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) and was the first African American woman to be appointed to the WAAC’s Motor Transport Corps. She was responsible for driving a trailer, which was a large vehicle used to transport supplies and personnel. Blanchfield was the first African American woman to drive a trailer in the United States Army.
Blanchfield was also the first woman to receive the Army’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal. She was awarded the medal for her service during World War II. After the war, Blanchfield continued to serve in the Army until her retirement in 1947.
Blanchfield’s story is an inspiring example of courage and determination. She was a trailblazer for African American women in the military and her story serves as an example of what can be achieved when one is determined to succeed.
Florence Blanchfield spent her last years living in a nursing home in Maryland. She was active in her local community and was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary. She was also a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She passed away in 1971 at the age of 94.