Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

McAfee, Mildred H. (Horton)

McAfee, Mildred H. (Horton)

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Captain, USNR, (1900-1994)

Mildred Helen McAfee was born in Parkville, Missouri, on 12 May 1900. She graduated from Vassar College in 1920 and received the degree of Master of Arts from the University of Chicago in 1928. Miss McAfee pursued a career in higher education and became President of Wellesley College in 1936. Taking a leave of absence from that position, she became the Navy's first female line officer on 3 August 1942. Commissioned a Lieutenant Commander in the Naval Reserve, she simultaneously undertook the demanding task of Director of the Navy's newly-established Women's Reserve. In November 1943, following the passage of new legislation by the Congress, she was promoted to the rank of Captain.


As its first Director, Captain McAfee guided the growth of the WAVES ("Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service") to a force of more 80,000 Navy women in a variety of occupational specialties. Following her marriage to the Reverend Dr. Douglas Horton in August 1945, she took the name of her husband. Captain Horton continued on active duty until February 1946, when she returned to the Presidency of Wellesley College. Captain Mildred McAfee Horton died on 2 September 1994.


This page features portrait views of Captain Mildred McAfee Horton, and provides links to other relevant images.


For other pictures of and about Captain Mildred McAfee Horton, see: