Anna Mac Clarke was a military pioneer during her time. Clarke became the first Black Woman’s Army Corps officer to command an all-white unit.
Clark was born to Nora Mitchel, a cook, and Tom Clark, a laborer. She was raised in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. After completing high school, Clarke attended and graduated from Kentucky State College in 1941 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and economics.
After college, Clarke had trouble finding a job in her hometown with her degree. The only jobs available to her were domestic work. She decided to leave home and headed for New York. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, she enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps. Clarke was the only black graduate in her class in Ft. Des Moines.
Clarke arrived for duty at Douglas Army Airfield in Arizona and made history when she became the first commander of an all-white unit. She later made history again, when she protested against segregated seating in the base theater. Anna Mac Clarke died at the age of 24 from a ruptured appendix.