Saturday, September 9, 2017

Living A Life Of Purpose


Still living a vibrant life that makes a difference, Fran has become quite a legend and deserves to be recognized for her courageous achievements.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor Fran and a group of girl friends attended a WAAC recruiting drive and they all decided to enlist.  The Womens Army Auxillary Corp had no idea what to do with five black women and they were turned down. The ladies contacted their representative and On  August 11, 1942 Fran began her military career much to the chagrin of her Grandmother.  Trail Blazer that she was, During WW2 Fran was a member of the WWII, 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion. It was the only all-black, all-female battalion overseas during  World War II.  The group was nicknamed “Six Triple Eight” and their motto was “No mail, no morale.

6888 Postal Battalion

As a young Black woman she pioneered the path for others to follow, always the perfect example of Love and Respect for all to see and admire.  Fran McClendon served a total of 26 years in the Military during World War 2, Korea and Vietnam, achieving the rank of Major.
Completing that phase of her life, she married her true love and together they moved to Phoenix, AZ to embark on a career of Antiquing and hunting treasures from the past that they valued so much.

Determined as she was and still is today, Fran became an Entrepreneur in the World of Antiques and Vintage Collectibles of all kinds.

If you do the math, most people would have retired many years ago. Fran considered for a brief moment about liquidating her life’s work, but that was only for a moment – Instead she moved to a New Expanded Location in Downtown Mesa!

Fran is loved by many and continues to inspire people as a Historian and Educator. Many of her loyal customers spend time with her and encourage her to write an autobiography of her life for others to also share and enjoy! If you are in Down Town Mesa and find Fran in the shop, stop in and say hello, she loves sharing her lifes stories with other.

 Fran or " Grif " as she was called is the last remaining living member of the Six Triple Eight she will be 97 years young September 2017.

*** The “6888” has a long list of “firsts” and accomplishments to its credit.  Comprised of 855 women, of which 824 were enlisted and 31 were officers, it was the first African American all-female battalion.  The “list of firsts” was contributed to by the battalion’s commanding officer Maj. Charity Adams.  A member of the first female officer training class in Iowa and the first African American female commissioned officer, she also held the record for highest ranking African American female officer by the end of the war and became a Lt. Colonel. 

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