Alyce Dixon, the nation's oldest female veteran and one of the first African-American women to serve overseas in the U.S. Army, died Wednesday at 108.
Dixon's nickname was "Queen Bee" at the Washington D.C. Veterans Affairs Medical Center's Community Living Center, where she died peacefully in her sleep, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reported.
Dixon was known for "her elegant sense of style, her long repertoire of eyebrow-raising jokes and very strong opinions," the VA said.
At 16, Dixon changed the spelling of her first name to match that of actress Alyce Mills. "She lived life on her own terms from that day forward," the VA said in a press release.
Dixon joined the Army in 1943 and served in the only unit of African-American women to serve overseas in World War II, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which named Dixon "Veteran of the Day" on Sept. 21, 2014.
She served in Scotland, England and France from 1943 to 1945 in the U.S. Army's 6888th Postal Battalion. Dixon and her unit eliminated a backlog of soldier mail in France in half the time they were given to complete the task.
Dixon received the Good Conduct Medal for her service, the VA said.
Dixon continued public service after the war, working for the federal government for 35 years and volunteering at Washington Hospital Center and Howard University Hospital for 12 years.
“She will be missed," said Brian A. Hawkins, director of the D.C. Veterans Administration's Medical Center. "She will be missed by our 'Capitol Excellence' family, especially the caregivers and veterans of our Community Living Center."
"She was one-of-a-kind; a strong-willed, funny, wise, giving and feisty WWII veteran. Her message touched a lot of people," Hawkins said.