Vera Keen Griffin was born in Ewell, Surrey in the United Kingdom in August 1923. She graduated from high school in 1937 at age fourteen and then worked as a nanny for several years.
In March 1940 she joined the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) of the British Royal Air Force (RAF) in London. She went to Innsworth in Gloucester for basic training, and was then sent to Melksham to learn to become a cook. Griffin was then stationed in Liverpool, working in the kitchen and living in a merchant marine hotel. She married in January of 1943, but her first husband was killed four months later. Griffin then requested a transfer to Coastal Command Headquarters in Middlesex, closer to her home town. She married her second husband, an American soldier, in August 1944. She was stationed in Middlesex until her discharge in December 1944 when she became pregnant.
After WWII, Griffin moved with her husband to the United States. They lived in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware with their three sons. Griffin moved to North Carolina in 1997.