Josephine C. Young
In 1942 Josephine Young became the first African American female from Annapolis, Maryland to serve in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC), during World War II. Josephine joined the WAC and served for three years.
The WAC, the women’s branch of the United States Army, was created as an auxiliary unit, the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) on 15 May 1942 by Public Law 554 and converted to an active-duty status in the Army of the United States as the WAC in July 1943.
The youngest of six children, Josephine was born to William and Ella Young in 1908 and raised in Annapolis, Maryland. Her mother Ella was a laundress for a private family, and her father William, born in Washington DC, found work doing odd jobs.
Josephine, a native of Annapolis, Maryland was educated in the segregated Anne Arundel County Public School System where she attended primary and secondary schools. Upon graduation from high school, she went on to collegiate training at Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia, and Morgan College in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1940 she worked as a servant in a private home.
During World War II, Private Young served her country honorably in the WAC Division of the United States Army for three years from 1943 to 1946. Private Young was awarded a good-conduct medal for faithful service in the U. S. Army during her service in WAC Section Two, 1560 Service Unit at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. Upon her discharge, she returned home to Annapolis, Maryland. In 1973, she retired from the United States Naval Hospital after having served 26 years in the service of the government.
Young was active in community concerns and served as an officer in the NAACP, the Anne Arundel County PTA, the YMCA, the Order of the Eastern Star (local and grand chapters), and her high school alumni association. Furthermore, in 1978 she was appointed to the Annapolis, Maryland Board of Recreation and Parks. In addition to these community endeavors, she served in a wide range of leadership roles within her home church, Asbury United Methodist Church.
She was determined to learn as much as she could about the organizational structure and functions of United Methodism. This perseverance to learn and know resulted in her serving as district and annual conference officers in the former Washington Annual Conference and the Baltimore Annual Conference. Her home church, Asbury, however, was the recipient of her greatest attention and love.
Young’s main desire was that the church continues and that all members live and work together for one common goal: to bring others into this fellowship of Christianity. After a life of service to her country and community, Josephine died in 1983.