From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Anderson, Zelda Webb

(born: 1921  -  died: 2010) 

Zelda Webb 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 oral history transcript at the University of Nevada Oral History Program.

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Kentucky Place (Town or City)

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Outside Kentucky Place Name


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: War stories : veterans remember WW II

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Anderson, Zelda Webb,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 27, 2022,

Last modified: 2020-06-12 19:31:12