Westray Battle Boyce Collection
Scope and Contents
- 1943 - 1975
- Other: Date acquired: 2009
- Boyce, Westray Battle (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
From 1924 to 1941, she was married to James Stacy Boyce. Boyce enlisted in Officer's Candidate School (OCS) for the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) in the summer of 1942. In October 1942 she was assigned to the Fourth Service Command Headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia to head the WAAC s in seven southeast states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina. She served on Major General William Bryden's staff, the first second lieutenant to do so as well as the first woman to be a member of such a group. In December 1942 she was promoted to captain. In August 1943 she was sent to North Africa as WAC staff director at Allied Forces Headquarters under General Eisenhower. Boyce was promoted to major and oversaw the reenlistment of the WACs assigned to North Africa. She was also responsible for the health and welfare of the WACs in the North Africa theater and later Mediterranean theater. In 1944, she was promoted to lieutenant colonel and the first woman to receive the Legion of Merit for her work in North Africa.
In August 1944, Boyce returned to the United States and was a military personnel officer on the staff of the War Department at the Pentagon. That same year she was made deputy director of the WAC under Colonel Oveta Culp Hobby. 3 September, 1945 she succeeded Col. Hobby as director of the WAC and was promoted to full colonel. In 1946, she received the Oak Leaf Cluster to her Legion of Merit.
She retired from the service March, 1947 and was appointed national field representative of the National Society for Crippled Children and Adults. In 1947, Boyce was the first woman to receive the Military Service Cross from the Daughters of the Confederacy.
She married William Leslie in 1948 and they were married until his death in 1961. In 1964, she married Willie Jones Long.
Boyce died 31 January, 1972 at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, DC. She was buried in the Battle family burial plot near Cool Spring Plantation in Edgecombe County, North Carolina.
0.20 Linear Feet (1 manuscript box)
Language of Materials
Collection contains copies of letters to and from the alumnae secretary of Woman's College of the University of North Carolina (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro), personal and military photographs, biographical information released for publication in conjunction of the announcements of her receiving the Legion of Merit medal and her military appointments, clippings of articles from the Alumnae News and various newspapers, including her obituary.
Source of Acquisition
Other Descriptive Information
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- Westray Battle Boyce Collection
- Edward Lee Love
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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