Elsie Chin Yuen Seetoo was born in Stockton, California, on 14 September 1918. In 1931, when she was twelve years old, Seetoo’s family returned to Xinhui in the Guangdong Province of China, and she attended the Pooi To Middle School in Guangzhoun [Canton] for six years. After graduation in 1938, Seetoo entered nurse’s training at the Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong and graduated in 1941.
In April 1942 Seetoo joined the Chinese Red Cross Medical Relief Corps in Guiyang, where she worked in the operating room before joining a medical training unit. In early 1943 Seetoo was stationed in Ramgarh, India, to train orderlies. She returned to China after seven months and resigned from the Chinese Red Cross in February 1944. Seetoo joined the U.S. Army Nurse Corps in June 1944 and was stationed with the 14th Air Force as a member of the Air Service Command. She continued to serve in China with the 95th Station Hospital in Kunming and Chengdu, and with the 172nd General Hospital in Shanghai from October 1945 to February 1946. Seetoo returned to the United States in February 1946 and was discharged in May.
After her military service, Seetoo married and attended the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro). She graduated in 1948 with a bachelor of science in nursing. Seetoo and her husband lived in the Washington, D.C., area and raised a family. She did freelance work for a translation agency for thirty years and was a technical publications writer for the Naval Medical Center.