Germaine Laville was born in Plaquemine, Louisiana, the oldest of seven children. She graduated from Louisiana State University where she was a member of Alpha Chi Omega as well as a number of campus organizations and was beloved by her classmates.
After graduation, Laville began work as a schoolteacher, but being the only one in her family eligible to serve inspired her to enter the US Marine Corps Women's Reserve on September 6, 1943.
She was serving at the Marine Air Base in Cherry Point, North Carolina on June 3, 1944, when the building she was teaching a class in caught fire. She initially escaped the blaze, but returned to assist her fellow Marines and perished. She had just turned 22.
Germaine Laville was buried with military honors in her hometown and was later honored by her alma mater, LSU, when the honors dormitories were given her name.