Laura Rapaport Borsten, the last surviving officer of the Navy’s WAVES program, died on Aug. 11 of a stroke. She was 91.
In 1942, Borsten was helping German refugees resettle in the U.S. when she enlisted in the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service. During her four years as a WAVES ensign, Borsten trained thousands of female recruits and championed the inclusion of black women in the service.
She retired as a lieutenant commander of the WAVES, which was disbanded after World War II. Her wartime experiences were featured in her autobiography, “Once a Wave: My Life in the U.S. Navy 1942-1946.”