Charlotte L. Winters, the nation’s oldest female military veteran, died in her sleep on 27th of this month at a care facility in Boonsboro, Md. She was 109. She was the last surviving American female veteran of World War I and the oldest female military veteran. Five U.S. veterans of that war still are alive. Mrs. Winters held the rank of Yeoman (F) from March 1917 to July 1919 and served her entire enlistment as a clerk at the Naval Gun Factory at the Washington Navy Yard. Her life: Charlotte Louise Berry Winters was born in Washington on Nov. 10, 1897, a daughter of Mackell and Louise Bild Berry. Her father was a haberdasher. Mrs. Winters has no immediate survivors. Her husband of 35 years, John Russell Winters, whom she met while he was working as a machinist at the Naval Gun Factory, died in 1984. She decided to join Navy after two years graduating from the Washington Business High School. The secretary of the Navy at the time, Josephus Daniels, was an advocate of women’s rights who saw a loophole- the act did not specify men but citizens and persons- in the Naval Appropriations Act of 1916. The law, which created what was called the United States Naval Reserve Force, established six categories of citizens who could enlist. Mrs. Winters was among about 600 women who were on duty by the end of April 1917. By December 1918, there were 11,000 women in the Navy. After her naval service, she persisted to work for the Navy as a civilian in various administrative positions in Washington, until her retirement in 1953. Hence, it was decided that she would be given full military honors, at the time of her burial.