1945 Phyllis M Daley is 1st black nurse sworn in as US Navy ensign

Little Known Black History Fact: Phyllis Mae Dailey

D.L. Chandler

During World War II, the United States Navy remained the last military branch to resist the admission of Black soldiers and volunteers. On this day in 1945, Phyllis Mae Dailey became the first Black nurse inducted into the Navy, setting the course for another history-making mark.

Phyllis M. Dailey attended the Lincoln School of Nursing in New York and Teacher’s College at Columbia University. Like many nurses and young people, she hoped to answer the call  to join the military. Dailey attempted to join the Air Force but was denied. Eventually, she made it to the Navy Nurse Corps, knocking down a barrier for three other women.



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