Frances Elderdice Pugh, 89, a retired Women's Army Corps lieutenant colonel, died of cancer Aug. 6 at Chevy Chase Retirement Home in the District.
Col. Pugh was born in Salisbury, Md., and graduated from Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College) in 1935. For seven years, she taught English, journalism and a variety of other subjects at Pittsville (Md.) High School before beginning her military career.
She entered the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps in July 1942 and was commissioned a second lieutenant when she graduated three months later as part of the fourth officer candidate class at Fort Des Moines, Iowa.
During World War II, Col. Pugh helped activate the second WAC Training Center in Daytona Beach, Fla. She also served at Fort Slocum, N.Y., where she was the secretary and an instructor in the Atlantic Coast Transportation Corps Officer Training School.
In fall 1944, she was assigned to the office of the chief of transportation in the Pentagon. Returning to Fort Slocum in 1945, she was adjutant of the 2nd Service Command Rehabilitation Center until it was deactivated in April 1946. She then was assigned to headquarters of the 1st Army, G1 section, at Governors Island, N.Y., until she was ordered to Europe in September 1946.
After a short tour with the Western Base Section in Paris, she commanded the WAC detachment in Salzburg, Austria. When she returned to the United States in 1947, she was in charge of WAC recruiting for the 1st Army area.
In September 1950, she was assigned to headquarters of the Japan Logistical Command in Yokohama as chief of the morale and welfare branch. In May 1952, she was transferred to Okinawa as WAC staff adviser to the Ryukyus Command.
Returning to the United States in 1953, she was assigned to 5th Army headquarters in Chicago, where she was a personnel staff officer. In 1956, she became one of the first WAC officers to graduate from the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. She then was assigned to the office of the WAC director as senior plans and policy officer at the Pentagon.
She left the Pentagon in 1960 to become WAC staff adviser to the 2nd Army at Fort Meade. She was subsequently assigned to Northern Area Command headquarters in Frankfurt, West Germany, where she retired in 1963 after 20 years of service.
Col. Pugh's awards included the WAAC Service Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Army of Occupation Medal (Germany), the Korean Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Army Commendation Medal with oak-leaf cluster.
Her marriage to Maj. Gen. John R. Pugh ended in divorce.
Survivors include a stepson, David Myers Pugh of Ashaway, R.I., and a stepdaughter, Louise "Nikki" Pugh Broadwell of Portland, Ore.