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Topics - Women (Military Personnel & Civilian)
Who Served Their Country During the Korean War

A Tribute to the Female Patriots Who Made
Contributions and Sacrifices to the War Effort in Korea

Most recent update to this page, November 26, 2023

Wilma Ledbetter, fatality of the
sinking of the USS Benevolence

(Click picture for a larger view)

According to government records, there were 22,000 women in uniform when World War II ended and there were some 120,000 on active duty during the Korean War.  Roughly one-third of them were health care providers.  Female patriots volunteered for service in the Women's Army Corps (WAC), Women in the Air Force (WAF), Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service of Navy Women's Reserves (WAVES), and Women Marines.  Those who were medical personnel served in Korea in Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals (MASH units), onboard hospital ships, in MEDEVAC aircraft, and in hospitals in Japan, Hawaii, and the USA that were receiving the wounded from Korea.

In June 1950 there was only one Army nurse (Capt. Viola B. McConnell) on duty in Korea.  By August of 1950 there were 100 Army nurses in Korea and by 1951 there were 400 of them.  In 1950 there were only 1,950 regular and 440 reserve nurses on active duty in the Navy.  That number peaked at 3,200 on active duty in July 1951.  Air Force nurses pulled their weight in Korea, too, and were responsible for evacuating 350,000 patients from Korea by war's end.  Stateside, mobilization of women Marine reservists took place in August of 1950.  Peak active duty women Marines during the Korean War was 2,787.  They stepped into leadership and administrative roles in non-combat areas to free up male Marines for combat duty.  For instance, in 1952, SSgt. Hazel A. Lindahl, a reservist from Boston, was Camp Sergeant Major of more than 40,000 Marines at Camp Lejeune--the top enlisted post.

By 1952 the government deemed it safe to send WAC personnel to the Far East.  About a dozen WACs served in Pusan and Seoul in secretarial, translator and administrative positions in 1952-53, and there was a WAC support system in Japan and Okinawa.  In 1950 there were only 626 WAC personnel in the Far East.  By 1951 there were 2,604; 1952 - 1,791; and 1953 - 1,764.  After the war (by June 30, 1954), the number of WAC personnel in the Far East had dropped to 972.

Twenty American women lost their lives in the Korean War.*  Not in uniform were female war correspondents, some of whom went along with male troops to the front lines to cover combat action. Several civilian women also died in the Korean War.  Although some female veterans rightly received decorations for their heroism, not all who deserved them got them.  All were volunteers, and all deserve our heartfelt thanks for acting on their patriotism by joining their chosen branch of military service to help the war effort in Korea.

To add information or photographs or make corrections to this page of the Korean War Educator, contact Lynnita Brown, 111 E. Houghton St., Tuscola, Illinois 61953; ph. 217-253-4620 (home), 217-253-5171 (her store); or e-mail lynnita@thekwe.org.

*[KWE Note: Some references indicate that seventeen women died while in service during the Korean War.  However, 20 died that the KWE can verify.  There is a common (and totally incorrect) "fact" as to who two of those female fatalities were.  Commonly listed as female fatalities are two service personnel (SN Doris Frances Brown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and AB3 Kay Sherill Olatt of Dexter, New Mexico) whose male gender was mistaken for female gender due to their first and middle names.  Often online (and published book) lists for female Korean War casualties mistakenly include Doris Brown and Kay Olatt.  Doris "Dave" Brown, a World War II and Korean War veteran, was a seaman on the USS Bairoko CVE 115 when he died May 13, 1951 in an accident.  He left a widow.  Dave is buried in Great Lakes Naval Base Burial Ground, Lake County, Illinois.  Kay Olatt was an aviation boatswain's mate on the USS Kearsarge CV33 when he died January 22, 1953.  He was mortally wounded when an F9F aircraft discharged one round of 20mm ammunition upon making a normal landing on the Kearsarge.  Olatt was a plane director on the flight deck when he was hit by that round.]

Table of Contents:

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Korean War 60th Anniversary Committee Statement

"As the nation commemorates the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended formal hostilities on the Korean peninsula, we pause to remember the critical role of women in the Korean War. Just two years before the North Koreans invaded South Korea, on June 12, 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed Public Law 625 which opened the door for women who wanted to serve their country in peacetime, establishing a permanent place for women in all branches of the military, primarily in nursing and non-professional jobs.

Women’s integration into the Armed Forces had grown during World War II when there were shortages of qualified males. From the earliest days of World War II, they had contributed at all levels. They had been POWs; they had been wounded; they flew planes, planned strategies, nursed the casualties and died for their country. The basic training regimen for women during World War II included full-kit (i.e., four-pound helmets, combat boots, 30-pound packs, mess kit and gas mask), 20-mile hikes, poison gas and lethal chemical identification; small arms training, and basic combat survival skills, such as navigating obstacle courses under enemy fire, digging fox holes, and dismantling or detonating incendiary devices. This rigorous training prepared them to serve in a myriad of roles, ranging from airplane pilots and mechanics, to control tower operators, truck drivers, aerial gunnery teachers, logistics chiefs, cryptographers and intelligence officers. After World War II the country shifted its focus from war to peacetime and the military began to downsize. At the same time, societal norms governing the role of women reverted to pre-War attitudes. This role-reversal was not lost on the military which implemented policies that channeled women into non-professional positions and subjected them to classes in etiquette and make-up.

When the Korean War broke out in 1950, there were just 22,000 women in uniform. The military rushed to draft, call up and recruit needed manpower. When these efforts came up short, the services asked American women to leave their homes and jobs and families and serve their country in its time of need…just as in previous wars. This time, however, they were steered into clerical and administrative positions, so-called “pink-collar” jobs: All that is, except the nurses.

When President Truman ordered troops into South Korea, within a few days the Army Nurse Corps was also there.  When General MacArthur landed at Inchon, Army Nurse Corps officers also went ashore on the very same day of the invasion.  The 13 Army nurses of the 1st MASH and those of the 4th Field Hospital made the landing and by the end of 1950 over 200 Army Nurse Corps officers were in Korea.

Anna Mae Hays and Lillian Kinkela Keil are just two of the thousands of military nurses who were on active duty when the Korean War ended on July 27, 1953. More than 700 Army nurses served in the MASH units; more than 4,000 Navy nurses served on hospital ships; dozens of Air Force nurses served on MEDEVAC aircraft."

Army Nurses During the Korean War

[KWE Note: This section is not the work of the Korean War Educator.  It is material from an Army military website.]


25 Jun 1950 Capt. Viola B. McConnell was the only Army nurse on duty in Korea at the start of hostilities. Assigned to the United States Military Advisory Group to the Republic of Korea, Captain McConnell escorted nearly seven hundred American evacuees, mostly women and children, from besieged Seoul to Japan aboard the Norwegian freighter Rheinhold, a ship which normally had accommodations for only twelve passengers. The crew members gave up their quarters for the infants and children. Captain McConnell assessed priorities for care of the evacuees and worked with a medical team organized from the passengers, including one United Nations nurse, one Army wife (a registered nurse), six missionary nurses, and one medical missionary (a woman doctor described by Captain McConnell as "magnificent-and she worked long hours. . . we will be ever grateful to her for her assistance"). Captain McConnell requested assignment back to Korea from Japan. She later returned to Taejon to aid in the care and evacuation of the wounded men of the 24th Division. Captain McConnell was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for her heroic performance of duty in assisting with the evacuation of Americans from Seoul and, later, the Oak Leaf Cluster to the Bronze Star Medal for her outstanding service in Korea.

27 Jun 1950 President Harry S. Truman ordered U.S. air and naval forces into the Republic of Korea (South Korea).

1 Jul 1950 The first U.S. Army combat units landed in Korea after U.S. ground forces were ordered into the fighting in South Korea on 30 June 1950.

5 Jul 1950 Fifty-seven Army nurses arrived in Pusan, Korea. They helped set up a hospital and were caring for patients by the following day. Two days later, on 8 July 1950, twelve Army nurses moved forward with a mobile Army surgical hospital (MASH) to Taejon on the perimeter. By August, more than one hundred Army nurses were on duty in South Korea in support of United Nations troops. During the first year of the Korean conflict, the strength of the Army Nurse Corps increased from 3,460 on 15 July 1950 to 5,397 in July 1951.

Throughout the ground fighting until 1951, and during the prolonged peace negotiations that lasted until 27 July 1953, approximately 540 Army Nurse Corps officers served throughout the Korean peninsula. They served in twenty-five medical treatment facilities, such as mobile Army surgical hospitals; evacuation, field, and station hospitals; and hospital trains.

Army nurses supported combat troops during the amphibious attack and landing on Inchon in western Korea, well behind the Pusan beachhead line; the advance across the 38th Parallel toward North Korea in the west; the amphibious landing on the east coast of Korea pushing toward the Yalu River, the northern boundary of Korea; and the disastrous defeat when they were forced to retreat well below the 38th Parallel. Their support continued as allied forces pushed back the Chinese, regaining practically all of South Korea plus a few hundred square miles north of the parallel. Maj. Gen. Edgar Erskine Hume, Surgeon, United Nations Command and Far East Command, paid tribute to Army nurses in Korea:

"Members of the Army Nurse Corps have all distinguished themselves by their devotion to duty, their utter disregard of working hours, and their willingness to do anything that needs to be done at any time. They have displayed courage, stamina and determination. They have completed every task with which they have been confronted in a superior manner."

No Army nurse was killed due to enemy action in Korea, but the story of the Army Nurse Corps in the Korean War would not be complete without mention of the tragic and untimely death of Maj. Genevieve Smith of Epworth, Iowa. Major Smith, a veteran of World War II, was among the victims of a C­47 crash while en route to her duty assignment as Chief Nurse in Korea.

Aug 1950 The Army Nurse Corps was exempted from the Army-wide requirement that all commissioned officers hold or achieve a baccalaureate degree. The majority of registered nurses nationwide were graduates of a three-year hospital (diploma) program. By August 1950, only two years had passed since the last of 124,065 Cadet Nurse Corps participants had graduated.

Relatively few degree-completion programs were available for diploma graduates. Nonetheless, the goal set in 1950 was for Army Nurse Corps officers to complete an accredited program leading to an undergraduate degree, preferably in nursing.

5 Sep 1950 The first course in nursing administration, which later became the Military Nursing Advanced Course, was established at the U.S. Army Medical Field Service School, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. The twenty-week course included principles of nursing administration, current trends in nursing, principles of supervision and teaching, hospital organization and functions, personnel administration, psychology of leadership, and orientation to all departments of an Army hospital.


Maj. Elizabeth Pagels became the first Army Health Nurse to be assigned to the Preventive Medicine Division, Professional Service Directorate, Office of the Surgeon General, to assist with issues related to the practice of Army health nursing.

2 Feb 1951 The fiftieth anniversary of the Army Nurse Corps was observed throughout the world.

26 Jun 1951 The American Red Cross awarded the cherished Florence Nightingale Medal to Col. Florence A. Blanchfield (Ret.), seventh Superintendent of the Army Nurse Corps, "for exceptional service on behalf of humanity rendered through the Red Cross."

29 Jun 1951 Department of Defense (DOD) Directive 750.04­1 (renumbered 1125.1) established a definitive policy on the utilization of registered nurses in the military services. Registered nurses were to be relieved of custodial and housekeeping duties and clerical, food service, and other nonnursing functions in patient care areas. The DOD directive also instructed the various military medical services to institute programs to train and utilize more practical nurses and other nonprofessional nursing service personnel in staffing for patient care.

Even before the Department of Defense policy was established, plans were being developed and projects had been initiated under the aegis of management improvement which would work toward solving the problems of defining and staffing the nursing service. The studies ultimately resulted in the reorganization of nursing service in Army hospitals. Duties and functions of registered nurses were defined. A 48-week pilot course of instruction for enlisted personnel on the practical nurse level had already been instituted in 1949. On-the-job training programs were developed for both professional and nonprofessional nursing personnel. As a result of concerted efforts to comply with the DOD directive, Army Nurse Corps officers were authorized, after 8 September 1953, technical control of enlisted personnel assigned to nursing service.

11 Aug 1951 The Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) was established by the Secretary of Defense to interpret to the public the role of women in the services and to promote acceptance of military service as a career for women.

30 Sep 1951 Col. Mary G. Phillips retired. Colonel Phillips was the first Chief of the Army Nurse Corps to complete the statutory four-year appointment as Chief of the Corps. Among the honors received by Colonel Phillips was the Legion of Merit on 23 October 1945 for her outstanding service as First Assistant to the Superintendent, Army Nurse Corps.

1 Oct 1951 Col. Ruby F. Bryant became the ninth Chief of the Army Nurse Corps. Colonel Bryant was the second graduate of the Army School of Nursing to serve as Chief of the Corps.


Jun 1952 A career guidance program for Army Nurse Corps officers was established in the Office of the Surgeon General. Capt. Harriet H. Werley was assigned as the first career guidance counselor.

Civilian Female Fatalities


Countless female Korean and Chinese women died in the Korean War, but their names are not known and thus not listed in this section of the KWE's Women In Korea page.  The following women were each taken prisoner of war and died while in captivity.  It should be noted that the fate of Helen Orchestraia is not officially known.

Died in Captivity

  • Bastin, Sister Therese - She was a a Carmelite Nun from Viton, Belgium.  Born in 1901, she was 49 when arrested in July 1950 and perished November 30, 1950 at Hanjang-ni North Korea. When World War I broke out she was just 13 when the Germans invaded Belgium in 1914. She became a member of “La Dame Blanche” a secret underground group. Several were executed by the Germans and she was arrested in 1918 but released for lack of evidence. She made socks for others as a prisoner in North Korea but her health kept declining and she knew her end was near. She was with the Carmelite Convent in Seoul when arrested. She is included in a military museum in Belgium.
  • Chang, Sister Agneta - Born September 25, 1906, Korea.  Sister Mary Agneta Chang came from a Korean family which had been Catholic from the time of persecution in the 19th century and included at least one martyr among her mother’s ancestors. Her father spoke Korean, Japanese and English fluently and provided education in the United States for two of his daughters as well as his sons. He was a friend of the Maryknoll Fathers from their foundation in Korea in 1923, as well as the Maryknoll Sisters. Her brother, John Chang, served as delegate to the United Nations, ambassador to the United States for the Republic of Korea (RIJK), and as Vice-President and Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea for brief terms. Sister Agneta was assigned to Korea in 1925, after completing novitiate training at Maryknoll, NY. She did parish and catechical work in Uyju and taught Korean language to her Maryknoll Sisters. She had natural gifts for art and music, sewing and embroidery, and became proficient in English. She was attracted to the Scriptures and contemplative Saints and authors. After five years in Uyju, she went to Japan to the College of the Religious of the Sacred Heart for further study, obtaining a A.B. degree in 1935. The Korean community of the Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPHS) was started in the Maryknoll Diocese of Pyong Yang in 1931. Four Maryknoll Sisters were involved in the formation of this group and Sister Agneta joined them on completion of her studies. Sister Agneta remained with this community until her death. Early in the 20th century, Japan had annexed Korea. After the outbreak of war between Japan and the United States in 1941, the American Sisters were repatriated. Sister Agneta was left alone to continue the work as novice mistress to the young community. During these years she found herself cut off from Maryknoll and in charge of 29 women with insufficient funds in a time of food shortages and high inflation. For a short time between the surrender of the Japanese to the Americans in Seoul in 1945 and late 1948 she again had contact with Maryknoll, receiving letters and supplies through her family in Seoul. Russian troups had entered northern Korea before the end of World War II, accompanied by an army of Korean Communists. When the Russians pulled out in 1948, the Communists remained in control. The Sisters, middle-class and educated, attracted their enmity and experienced their more intensive use of investigations, inspections and residence checks. Sister Agneta, because of her American ties and her brother John’s position as diplomat, merited special suspicion. Sister Agneta did not risk appearing in public. On May 14, 1950, the last building used by the Perpetual Help Sisters was taken over by the government, and each Sister, dressed in lay clothes, left for home. Sister Agneta’s health was poor, she had previous back surgery. Sister Peter Kang, OLPHS. accompanied her as she took refuge in various villages, the last being Songrimri, about 25 miles from Pyong Yang. On June 25, it is alleged that the DPRK invaded the ROK with initial success. By October, the United Nations forces began to drive northward, reaching the 38th parallel. On October 4, 1950, a representative of the Communist military mobilization office came for Sister Agneta, demanding that she help care for wounded soldiers. Sister Peter pleaded in vain that Sister Agneta was ill and unable to walk. Neighbors were forced to help load her bed on a waiting ox cart. Sister Peter tried to follow, but was turned away. Sister Agneta’s final moments remain unknown, but a group of women were said to have been executed and hastily buried in a mass grave. The site was never located. [Source: Maryknoll Archives]
  • Devriese/Devrise, Sister Mechtilde - Carmelite nun from Belgium. Born 1888, she was captured July 15, 1950 and died in captivity on November 18, 1950 at Hanjang-ni, North Korea.  She was serving in the St. Paul de Chartress Orphanage in Seoul, South Korea. She was born Godelieve Devriese in Ypres, Belgium. She is included in a Military museum in Belgium. While a prisoner she taught the children with that group several languages.
  • Edouard, Sister Ann Marie Beatrix -She was a Carmelite nun from France who served in the St. Paul de Chartres Orphanage in Seoul. Born in 1874, she was 76 years old and in frail health when she was captured at Seoul on July 17, 1950. She was shot to death on the Tiger Death March on 3 November 1950.
  • Funderat, Mrs. - She was a White Russian living in South Korea. She was a widow and 69 years old when arrested in July 1950. She was born in 1881. She was shot to death on the Tiger Death March on November 3, 1950. Commissioner LORD, Salvation Army of England, was actually pulling her along with a rope and was told to leave her by the roadway.
  • Orchestraia, Helene - She was a Polish Korean arrested in July 1950. She worked for the Foreign Traders Exchange in Seoul, South Korea. The North Koreans used her as an interpreter. She was last seen in Pyongyang, North Korea and disappeared never to be seen again.
  • Whitty, Sister Mary Clare (Mother Mary Clare).  She was an Anglican nun born in Ireland on May 30, 1883 at her grandparents' home, Fenloe House, near Newmarket-on-Fergus, County Clare.  Her birth name was Clare Emma Whitty.  Her family moved to England when she was a young child.  Clare Whitty worked as a teacher in England before joining an Anglican religious order, taking the name Sister Mary Clare when she professed.  She came to Korea in the mid-1920s and established the Order of the Holy Cross, of which she became Mother Superior.  She was captured on July 2, 1950 at the beginning of the Korean War and was shot to death on the Death March, November 6, 1950.

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Female Armed Forces Personnel - Decorated Korean War Veterans

  •  Air Medal recipients

    • Brown, Capt. Vera Maude (posthumous)

      Captain Vera Maude Brown, AN763137, distinguished herself while performing the duties of Flight Nurse on unarmed transport aircraft airlifting urgently needed military supplies and personnel into the battle area of Korea and airlifting sick and wounded personnel from Korea to Japan.  Despite adverse weather conditions, hazardous terrain, and threat of enemy attack, Captain Brown successfully completed ten (10) missions from Japan to Korea and return.  By her courage, ability, and devotion to duty, Captain Brown has brought great credit upon herself and the United States Air Force.
  • Bronze Star recipients

    • Brandvold, Capt. Florence Clara

      A member of the Army Nurses Corps, Captain Brandvold was born April 13, 1908 to L.H. and Karen Amundson Brandvold in Waseca County, Minnesota.  She graduated from Waseca High School and then the Swedish Hospital School of Nursing.  Florence enlisted in the Army in 1944 and served until she retired in 1964.  She was awarded the Bronze Star medal for her service with the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, 8067th Army Unit, in Korea from July 24, 1950 to May 1951.  She completed three overseas duty tours, including a 13-month tour of duty in the Korean combat zone.  After Korea she was assigned a duty station at Ft. Eustis, Virginia.  She died January 26, 2005 at Austin (Minnesota) Medical Center at the age of 96, and is buried in LeSeuer River Cemetery.  She was preceded in death by her parents, three brothers and two sisters and was survived by one sister Evelyn Luella Marquardt of Austin, Minnesota, and nieces and nephews.
    • Cohen, Lt. Ruth M.

      Navy nurse Lieutenant Cohen was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service from September 1950 to July 1951 onboard the hospital ship USS Haven.  She received her nursing degree from Mt. Sinai Hospital, Milwaukee, Wisconsin and a Bachelor of Science degree from the Teachers College, Columbia.  Immediately after serving on the USS Haven she was assigned to the U.S. Navy Hospital Corps School at San Diego.
    • Coleman, Maj. Eunice - See Lucky Thirteen section.
    • Cubria, Maj. Mercedes O.

      Mercedes O. Cubria, a WAC, was promoted to Major and deployed to Japan, where she continued to work in military intelligence. When the Korean War ended in 1953 Cubria was given a medical discharge, and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for "meritorious achievement in ground operations against the enemy". "Mercedes O. Cubria was born in 1903 in Guantanamo, Cuba. Her family moved to the United States when she was young. In 1924 she became an American citizen. Cubria worked as a nurse, rancher and interpreter before America’s entry into World War II. Cubria joined the Women’s Army Corps in 1943 and earned a commission as a second lieutenant. She traveled to Oxford, England, to train in cryptography. She served as a codes and ciphers officer and security officer in the 385th Signal Company. Cubria served later in the 322nd Signal Company until the end of the war. She supervised dozens of men and women in her code room and set up other code rooms, facilitated the withdrawal and re-coding of compromised information, and determined personal requirements for coding equipment. After World War II, Cubria promoted to captain and served in the U.S. Army’s Strategic Intelligence Division in the Caribbean. She was the first woman to serve in active duty in the Panama Canal Zone. She promoted to major after America’s entry into the Korean War, and deployed to Japan to serve as an analyst in the Intelligence Division at the Far East Command. Cubria medically discharged from the Army in 1953 and received a Bronze Star Medal. After the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, Cubria was recalled to active duty in the Army to help debrief the many refugees fleeing Cuba. She prepared reports for military intelligence that would assist the Army and Central Intelligence Agency, and also helped many refugees find housing, employment, and education over the next 11 years. Her work with the refugees earned her a Legion of Merit, and she promoted to lieutenant colonel. She retired from service in 1973 before earning a second Legion of Merit. She spent the rest of her life in Miami, Florida, where she passed away in 1980. In 1988, the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame posthumously inducted her. We honor her service." [Source: VAntage Point, website of the VA, published October 15, 2020.]
    • Ladner, Col. Goldie M.

      Born July 05, 1929, she was a colonel in the US Air Force Nurse Corps in Korea and Vietnam.  She received the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star.  Colonel Ladner died March 14, 2009 and is buried in Alexandria Memorial Gardens, Woodworth, Louisiana.
    • Lange, Lt. Cdr. Estelle Kalnoske

      Navy nurse Lange was born December 06, 1904 and was trained at St. Agnes School of Nursing in Philadelphia.  She received the Bronze Star for service between August 1950 and March 1951 onboard the USS Consolation.  After her assignment on the Consolation she was assigned to duty as assistant chief nurse at the US Naval Hospital, National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland.  She died July 21, 2002 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
    • Lewis, Sgt. Margaret B. "Peggy"

      Margaret Burns Lewis was born April 17, 1930, a daughter of Clarence B. Lewis and Carolyn A. Lewis.  She graduated from Media High School in the Class of 1948 and then joined the Women's Army Corps, where she served in the 71st Signal Service Battalion.  In April 1951 she was the chief clerk in General Headquarters, Tokyo, Japan, and married Navy veteran John Robert Snelling that same month in Tokyo.  John (1929-2004), was the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Arthur Snelling of Florence, Kansas. During the years of their short marriage (Margaret Snelling died of cancer at the age of 26 in 1957), they were the parents of three children: John R. Snelling Jr., Marjene Snelling Neve, and Nadine Snelling Boiling.  Margaret is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Aston, Pennsylvania.  Following her death, her husband John remarried and he and his wife Elizabeth had two more children, BethAnn Snelling Penner and William R. Snelling.  John R. Snelling died July 25, 2004 and is buried in Hillcrest Cemetery, Florence, Kansas.  Peggy served as a WAC from October 09, 1948 until August 28, 1951.
    • McConnell, Capt. Viola B.

      She was the only Army nurse in Korea when the war broke out in June 1950.  It became Captain McConnell's job to arrange and manage the evacuation of hundreds of people from Korea to Japan.  Many of the children were suffering from health conditions which required regular nursing care, and our women were pregnant and near their due dates.  For helping to evacuate nearly 700 Americans to Japan, Captain McConnell was awarded the Bronze Star.
    • Thurness, Elizabeth Jane

      See "The Lucky Thirteen" section of this web page for further details.
    • Torp, Capt. Mary Jane

      Mary Jane Torp was born in Aberdeen, South Dakota on December 31, 1922. She was the second daughter of Klemet Olesen and Anne Sutherland (Guthrie) Torp. She was the recipient of a Bachelor of Science in Education from Northern State T.C. in Aberdeen.  Captain Torp was employed at Kabat-Kaiser Institute, Washington, D. C., from June 1948 to June 1950. She was a veteran of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.  Recipient of the Bronze Star in 1954, she retired from the Armed Services in 1969. She served as Assistant Professor and instructor of Physical Therapy at the University of Oklahoma from 1970-1972, and after that time served numerous volunteer community tasks including docent at the Oklahoma City Zoo from 1972-77. She authored, "Poliomyelitis: Functional Progress Report of Fifty Cases Approximately 5 Years-Post Onset.", Physical Therapy Rev. 33: 351-358, July 1953.  In 1954 she was awarded a Bronze Star.  Her siblings were Thaddeus L. Torp (1931-1997), Louise Amanda Torp Redman (1928-2019), Elizabeth Torp Hinkle, and Guthrie L. "Bud" Torp.  Captain Torp died May 27, 1988 and is buried in Black Hills National Cemetery, Sturgis,

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  • Silver Star Recipients

  • Distinguished Flying Cross Recipient

    • Jonita (Bonnie) Bonham at Pusan, Korea, 1950
      (Click picture for a larger view)

      Bonham, Jonita Ruth

      Lieutenant Bonham was born on April 2, 1922 in Bennington, Oklahoma, and joined the Army Air Corps, where she was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Medical Corps.  She served in the Philippines and Japan after World War II, and then returned to the United States, resigning from active military duty.

      When the Korean War broke out she rejoined the military, this time as a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.  On September 26, 1950, she was serving as a flight nurse with another nurse, Vera Brown, in a C-54 cargo plane that had been converted into an emergency hospital.  Bonham and Brown were two of three medical team members on the flight that day.  About a half mile from shore the plane stalled, descended, and slammed into the Sea of Japan, breaking into three pieces and sinking.

      Bonham, who was completely submerged in the aircraft, managed to fight her way to the surface, where she found herself swimming for her life in a sea churned up by high winds.  She hung onto a floating barracks bag until she was able to grab a life raft rope.  She stayed in the water, grabbing other survivors and guiding them to the rope.  It was not until 17 of them were safe that she allowed herself to be pulled into one of two available rafts.  Although she was seriously wounded, she forgot about her own injuries as she encouraged panicked survivors to stay in the raft until rescue.  Unfortunately, nobody at base operations knew that the plane had crashed.  Once rescued, Bonham spent nine months in the hospital recovering from a broken cheek bone, skull fracture, broken shoulder and broken left wrist.  She was transferred to Maxwell AFB for further recovery, and there she became the first female recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross.  Soon thereafter she was promoted to Captain.

      The Cavalcade of America radio program aired a story, "The Nurse Who Forgot Fear" about her on April 9, 1952, and articles about Jonita appeared in Everywoman's Magazine and Reader's Digest. Jonita Bonham later married Col. Clifton Willard Bovee (1913-2007) and they had children Tony Bovee, Greg Bovee, and Renee Bovee.  She lived for many years in Colorado Springs, spending the last six months of her life in Cheyenne, Wyoming with her daughter.  She died of cancer there on December 24, 1994.

      [See also: "Extraordinary People in Extraordinary Times: Heroes, Sheroes, and Villains" by Patrick M. Mendoza."]

      Bonham's Distinguished Flying Cross citation:

      Autographed photo of Jonita receiving DFC by Gen. George Stratemeyer, Tokyo
      October 18, 1950

      (Click picture for a larger view)

      First Lieutenant Jonita R. Bonham performed meritorious service and distinguished herself while acting as Flight Nurse in medical air evacuation flights totaling one hundred seventy (170) hours from 25 July to 26 September 1950. Lieutenant Bonham flew in unarmed cargo type aircraft. On many occasions these aircraft were operating in and out of advance airfields which were being subjected to enemy fire; transporting ammunition, rockets, bombs and other types of high explosives and inflammable material, under adverse weather conditions and over hazardous terrain. Despite these conditions, Lieutenant Bonham carried out her missions willingly and without complaint, continually comforting and caring for her patients. By her courage, ability and unselfish devotion to duty, Lieutenant Bonham has reflected great credit upon herself, her profession and the United States Air Force.

    • Brown, Vera M.

      The posthumous awarding of a Distinguished Flying Cross to Captain Brown is mentioned in A Fit, Fighting Force: The Air Force Nursing Services Chronology (Office of the Air Force Surgeon General, Washington, D.C. 2005).  The Korean War Educator located the citation for her award in copies of her records sent from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis.  On 18 October 1950, Headquarters, 801st Medical Air Evacuation Squadron issued the following posthumous award:

      "During the period 10 August 1950 to 26 September 1950, Captain Brown flew a total of 146 hours in order to attend sick and wounded personnel in aerial flight.  Both in Japan and in the Korean Combat zone, Captain Brown flew in unarmed cargo type aircraft.  On many occasions these aircraft were transporting ammunition, rockets, bombs, and other types of high explosives and inflammable materials, leaving no margin for air crew error.  Despite adverse weather conditions, hazardous terrain, and at times, the threat of enemy attack, Captain Brown carried out her missions willingly and without complaint, continually comforting and caring for her patients, many of whom were on their initial flight.  Because of her devotion to duty, loss of life and limb was appreciably reduced.  While departing from Ashiya Air Force Base, Japan, on 26 September 1950, Captain Brown was fatally injured in an aircraft accident."

      The award was presented on January 11, 1951 to Captain Brown's mother by Colonel Thomas H. Holbrook, Commanding Officer, 2587th Air Force Reserve Training Center, Birmingham Municipal Airport.

  • Navy/Marine Corps Medal for Heroism

    • Barnwell, Barbara Olive

      Born in 1928, she was the first female Marine to be awarded this medal for saving a fellow Marine from drowning in the Atlantic Ocean near Camp LeJeune in 1952.  She received the award on August 7, 1953.
  • Associate Royal Red Cross (equivalent to American Distinguished Service Cross)

    • Dickson, Ruth

      While she was Chief Nurse of the 8055th MASH in Korea, she was recognized for devotion to duty and assistance to the British Commonwealth by Her Brittanic Majesty's government.

Female Military Dentists/Surgeons/Doctors/Medical Technicians

  • Adams, Fae M. - 1st Lieutenant Adams was the first woman physician appointed to the Regular Army Medical Corps.  She was appointed in March 1953.
  • Bowen, Clotilde Dent - She went on to became the U.S. Army’s first black female physician to attain the rank of colonel in 1955.
  • Ethier, Bernice - She spent three years of her life as a WAC during the Korean War as a dental technician. She grew up on a family farm in West Virginia. She met Donald Ethier, a fellow dental technician, at Ft. Dix. Two weeks later they married. Bernice was the first woman and Korean War veteran to serve as commander of the Brockton Veterans Council in 1900. She was a longtime volunteer at Brockton VA Medical Center. Bernice died in May of 2016 and Donald died in 1994.
  • Krout, Sara Gdulin - Sara Gdulin studied dentistry in the Ukraine and Latvia before moving to Chicago, Illinois.  She attended the University of Illinois College of Dentistry and obtained her dental license in 1924.  She married a psychologist, had a daughter, and then opened a private practice in Chicago.  She joined the WAVES as a Lieutenant.  She was an active duty dentist at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station from 1944-46.  She remained in the US Naval Reserve until retiring as a commander on December 01, 1961.  After serving in the WAVES she served on the staff of the Women and Children's Hospital of Chicago.  She was a member of the Association of Military Surgeons.
  • Myers, Dr. Helen E. - She was the first woman to serve as an Army dental officer.  She was commissioned into the Army Dental Corps with the rank of Captain.  A 1941 graduate of Temple University, she reported for duty at Fort Lee, Virginia, on March 21, 1951.

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Female Armed Forces Personnel (serving during the Korean War) - Notables

  • Abdellah, Faye Glenn  - Abdellah was a professor of nursing arts, pharmacology, and medical nursing at the Yale University School of Nursing from 1945 until 1949. From 1950 until 1954 she served in active duty during the Koran War, where she earned a distinguished ranking equivalent to a Navy Rear Admiral, making her the highest ranked woman and nurse in the Federal Nursing Services at the time. Following the war, she served as a visiting professor at the University of Washington; the University of Colorado, Boulder; and the University of Minnesota. In 1981, she was appointed deputy to Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, making her the first nurse and woman to serve as Deputy Surgeon General of the United States.  As Deputy Surgeon General, she frequently served as an alternate ex-officio member of the Board of Regents at the United States National Library of Medicine (NLM), and contributed to policies that shaped NLM programs, services, and NLM's Long-Range Plan for 1986-2006. She served as Deputy Surgeon General until her retirement in 1989. Following her retirement, Abdellah taught as a professor at the College of Nursing at the University of South Carolina; and established and served as the acting dean of the first federal graduate school of nursing at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS).  [Source: Wikipedia].  Born March 13, 1919, she received her nurse's degree from Fitkin Memorial Hospital in Jew Jersey.  he was the recipient of five Distinguished Service Medals.  She retired in 1989 after a 40-year career in the United States Public Health Service.  She died February 24, 2017.
  • Blake, Esther M.  - Staff Sergeant Esther M. Blake was the first woman in the Air Force. Enlisting the first minute of the first hour of the first day the Air Force authorized women’s participation, she remained on active duty until 1954. Sergeant Blake served almost 10 years in the military during World War II and the Korean War. Initially spurred to join the US Army Air Forces when both of her sons were listed as missing in action, she remained in the military due to her strong sense of patriotism.
  • Blatt, Margaret Erdsman - At the time of her retirement on July 31, 1962, Margaret Blatt was stationed at Murphy Hospital in Waltham, Massachusetts and became the highest ranking woman to be cited for the 1st Oak Leaf Cluster for the Army Commendation Medal for exceptionally meritorious service during the period April 1956 to July 1962.  She was also the recipient of seven Bronze Stars and nine overseas stripes for combat service.  Born on December 20, 1911, a daughter of William H. and Grace Blatt of Freedom, Pennsylvania, Margaret graduated from high school around 1929 and entered the Army Nurse Corps on January 4, 1941, in Rochester, Pennsylvania.  She served in World War II from March 1942 to September 1945 in the southwest Pacific area from Australia to the Philippines.  She first served in Australia, then New Guinea.  After that she served one and a half years in Manila, leaving there August 30, 1945 to report to New Jersey for future assignment.  From March to September 1946 she was engaged in transport duty from New York to Southampton and LeHavre, France, making a round-trip every month with a complement of 15 nurses and 15 WACS to bring back groups of war brides and their babies, and orphans.  She served in the Korean War from August 1950 to February 1952 at the 121st Evacuation Hospital in Korea.  In October of 1950 she was promoted to the rank of major.  In June of 1952 she was a member of the Defense Advisory Committee for Women in the Service, and was decorated at Ft. Myers, Virginia with an Army Commendation Ribbon and medal pendant for meritorious service while serving as the assistant chief nurse and administrative supervisor of the nursing staff at the 121st Evacuation Hospital in Korea from September 25, 1950 to February 9, 1952.  After duty in Korea and then completing the administration course at the Army Medical School at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas, Margaret served from April of 1956 to April of 1958 as assistant chief nurse, 5th General Hospital, US Army, in Europe.  She also served as chief nurse during the absence of that officer in Stuttgart, Germany.  In September of 1961 she was serving as Chief of Nursing Service, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Aberdeen, Maryland.  She ended her long career as an Army nurse during a ceremony at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in 1962, and then retired to her new home in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Her siblings included a sister Mary Blatt of Freedom, Pennsylvania (1904-1973); brother Richard B. Blatt (1906-1974) and  his wife and daughter Christine of Brighton Township, Pennsylvania; and retired colonel and brother Dr. John Frederick Blatt (1902-1967) of Scottsdale, who had served in the US Army Medical Corps for 30 years, was the recipient of the French Croix de Guerre and Legion of Merit, and was an orthopedic surgeon.  John's wife was Maryetta L. Blatt (1912-1982).  Margaret E. Blatt died April 3, 2002, and is buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona at Phoenix.

  • Col. Ruby Bradley

    Bradley, Ruby - One of the most decorated women in US military history was Col. Ruby Bradley.  Born December 19, 1907, Colonel Bradley died May 28, 2002 and is buried in Arlington Cemetery.  She entered the Army Nurse Corps as a surgical nurse in 1934.  She served in World War II and then in Korea she served as chief nurse for the 171st Evac Hospital before being named Chief Nurse for the Eighth Army in 1951.  She supervised over 500 Army nurses throughout Korea.  She was promoted to the rank of Colonel in 1958.  She was the recipient of 34 medals and citations for bravery, 2 Legion of Merit Medals, 2 Bronze Stars, and other awards. Bradley began her service in the Army Nurse Corps as surgical Nurse in 1934. Her risky service followed on 1941, while assigned at Camp John Hay, Philippines. Only three weeks after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Bradley was captured, and tended to fellow captives after being moved to Santo Tomas Interment Camp on 1943, in Manila. There, she and several other nurses were given the name “Angels in Fatigues” for feeding starving children and risking their lives in smuggling surgical equipments into the POW camp so as to provide medical aid. The U.S. Army liberated Bradley and the rest of the captives from the Japanese three years later, and then, she headed back home to West Virginia. However, military service has not yet ended in the Philippines for Bradley. She went back to the battlefield as chief nurse of the 171st Evacuation Hospital during the Korean War only after 5 years. In 1951, Bradley became chief nurse for the Eight Army, shouldered the responsibility of supervising 500 Army Nurses all over Korea, wherein she had to face near-death situations while ensuring the sick and wounded were safe. Ruby Bradley managed to escape 100,000 Chinese soldiers holding guns on her back, and ambulance exploding right after she’s gone off it. Col. Bradley’s military service lasted three decades, and retired in 1963. Her life ended on May 28, 2002 due to heart attack, but her courage and valor remain. [Excerpted from the website "25 Famous Nurses".]

  • Brewer, Margaret A. - Born in 1930 in Durand, Michigan, Brewer joined the United States Marine Corps in January of 1942 after receiving a bachelor's degree in geography from the University of Michigan.  By March of 1952 she was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps, making her the first Woman Marine to attain flag rank. [Source: A Few Good Women, page 266.]
  • Carroll, Sallie Laura Elmira - Born in Washington on June 14, 1932, Major (Retired) Carroll was a pioneering female competitive pistol shooter from the mid-1950s through the early-1970s. After tours with the Air Force and Marines (1952 to 1960), she joined the U.S. Army in 1960. While in the Marines, she started shooting NRA three-gun pistol competition. In 1964 she was stationed in Orleans, France, and was a member of the COMZ Team that competed in the USAREUR Pistol Championship Matches. Major Frank Conway, Commander of the USAREUR Marksmanship Unit, selected her to become a member of the USAREUR Pistol Team that competed in the “All Army” Matches at Fort Benning, Georgia. She continued on to the National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio, where she was the 1964 NRA Ladies National Champion--the first of four National Women’s Championship titles.  In 1965, she was the first female pistol shooter assigned to the Service Pistol Team of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Training Unit (USAMTU) at Fort Benning, Georgia. The following year, Major Carroll began competing in International style pistol events. She had the distinction to be the only American woman to beat the women of the Russian Pistol Team during the 1970 World Shooting Championships. Major Carroll won a total of 17 International individual and team medals during her shooting career. Additionally, Major Carroll was awarded the United States Distinguished International Shooter Badge in 1970 and the U.S. Army Distinguished Pistol Shot Badge in 1971. She retired after a tour in Vietnam, followed by an extensive hospital stay at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC and a brief tour at Fort McClellan, Alabama. Major Carroll was a 1994 charter member and a Life Member of the Military Marksmanship.  Major Carroll died September 11, 2014 in Arizona and is buried in Ash Fork Cemetery, Arizona.
  • Clark, Mildred Irene - Born January 30, 1915 in Elkton, North Carolina, Mildred I. Clark graduated from Baker Sanatorium Training School for Nurses in Lumberton, North Carolina in 1936.  She enlisted in the US Army in March of 1938 and then trained and graduated from the Jewish Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1940 as a nurse anesthetist.  She was assigned to Pearl Harbor and was there during the infamous Japanese attack on December 7, 1941.  She set up a nurse anesthetist training program in Hawaii before being rotated back to the States.  She was then assigned to Korea as Director of Nursing in the Army of Occupation.  She initiated a training program for Korean nurses there.  She was promoted to Chief Nurse of the Far East Command in Tokyo.  When the Korean War broke out she and Maj. Edgar Hume established the 8054th and 8055th MASH units.  In 1955 she was assigned as the Procurement Officer in the Surgeon General's office.  In 1963 she was appointed Chief of the Army Nurse Corps.  She was promoted to Colonel and retired in 1967.  She died in 1994.
  • Cochran, Jacqueline - After developing a successful line of cosmetics, Jacqueline Cochran took flying lesson in the 1930s so that she could use her travel and sales time more efficiently. She eventually became a test pilot. She helped design the first oxygen mask and became the first person to fly above 20,000 feet wearing one. She set three speed records and a world altitude record of 33,000 feet -- all before 1940. She was the first woman to fly a heavy bomber over the Atlantic. She volunteered for duty as a combat pilot in the European Theater during World War II, but her offer was rejected. She trained American women as transport pilots in England for the Air Transport Auxiliary of the Royal Air Force. Upon return to the United States, she oversaw flight training for women and the merging of the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron into the Women's Airforce Service Pilots in July 1943. She was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal in 1945 for her service in World War II. After the war, she was commissioned in 1948. She became the first woman to break the sound barrier in an F-86 Sabre Jet in 1953 and went on to set a world speed record of 1,429 mph in 1964. She retired from the Air Force Reserve as a colonel in 1970. [Source: US Army, Donald Wagner, April 13, 2017]
  • Conder, Maxine - Rear Admiral Conder was born April 22, 1926 in Bingham Canyon, Utah.  She earned her nursing diploma in 1947 from St. Marks Hospital School of Nursing, Salt Lake City, Utah.  She served in the US Navy from 1951 to 1979.  During the Korean War she served aboard the hospital ship USS Haven off the Korean coast and in a naval hospital on Guam.  She also had several stateside assignments and was promoted to Captain in 1970.  She was director of the Navy Nurse Corps from 1975 to 1979.  She was the second woman promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral in the Navy.
  • Cuddy, Susan Ahn - Born January 16, 1915 in Los Angeles, she was the daughter of Dosan Ahn Changho, a a key member in the founding of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea in Shanghai in 1919. Ahn Chang-ho is considered to be one of the key moral and philosophical leaders of Korea during the 20th century. Ahn is the family name; Dosan was his pen name, by which he was also known. Ch'i-sam was his birth name, later changed to Changho aka Chang-ho. Dosan Ahn Changho and his wife Hye Ryon "Helen" Lee were the parents of noted Korean-American actor Philip Ahn, US Navy aerial gunnery officer Susan Ahn Cuddy, actors Philson Ahn, and Ralph Ahn, and Soorah (Sarah) Ahn Buffum.  Susan was the first Asian-American woman to join the United States Navy during World War II.  She became a Link Trainer, instructing aviators in air combat tactics.  She became the first female gunnery officer in the US Navy, teaching naval aviators how to fire 50-caliber machine guns.  worked for the US Navy Intelligence, the Library Cf Congress, and the National Security Agency (NSA).  She retired as a Lieutenant. She died June 24, 2015 in Northridge, California and is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Cemetery.
  • Dewitt, Winnie Gibson Palmer - Winnie Gibson was born December 15, 1902 in Itasca, Texas, daughter of Emmett Reeves Gibson (1864-1938) and Mary Elizabeth Mayfield Gibson (1871-1905).  She graduated from Seton Hospital, Austin, Texas, in May 1923 and worked in civilian hospitals for seven years.  She became a registered nurse in December 1930.  After joining the United States Navy Nurse Corps in 1930, she served at Naval Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Naval Hospital, New York City. In January 1934, she attended the School of Nursing, Graduate School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia for instruction in anesthesia. In May 1934 she was assigned as Operating Room Supervisor and Anesthetist at Naval Hospital, New York City, and was subsequently assigned to the same duties at Quantico, Virginia. In 1937, she was assigned to the USS Relief(AH-1). After her tour on the Relief, she was assigned as Anesthetist at Naval Hospital, Mare Island, California, and then as Anesthetist and Operating Room Supervisor at Naval Hospital, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. She was at Naval Hospital, Pearl Harbor, on 7 December 1941. In following tours, she was assigned as Chief Nurse at the Naval Hospitals in Jacksonville, Florida; Annapolis, Maryland; and Houston, Texas. Her last tour before being selected as Director was as Chief Nurse, U.S. Naval Hospital, Naval Medical Center, Guam, Marianas Islands.  She served as the second director of the US Navy Nurse Corps from 1950 to 1954.  During the Korean War, Captain Gibson presided over a Nurse Corps that was required to involuntarily recall Reserve nurses at the rate of 125 per week and "freeze" those on active duty.   She retired from active duty on 1 May 1954, and the same year she married Horace Dutton Palmer (1893-1972).  Captain Gibson retired to Ohio, then to Texas. She died on 21 July 2000, and is buried at Restland Memorial Park in Dallas, Texas.  Her siblings were John Stafford Gibson (1891-1948), Dulcie C. Gibson Beedy (1893-1970), Mayfield Gibson (1896-1982), Bennie Gibson (1898-1929), Dona Virginia Gibson Covington (1900-1958), Wayne Gibson (1902-1998), and Mary Elizabeth Gibson Shorter (1905-1983).
  • Dicks, Jeannie - This former Sacramento, California meter maid was a co-founder of one of the nation's first advocacy groups for female veterans.  Founded under the name "WAVES National" (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) in 1978, the organization was created to bring women together from all sea services.  The name later changed to "Military Women Across the Nation".  Born in 1934, Jeannie graduated from Gustine High School in Merced County, California, and then joined the Navy in 1952.  She took boot camp training in Bainbridge, Maryland and became a Navy cryptologist.  After her marriage to Edgar Elledge in February 1953, she became pregnant with her first child and had to leave the military service that summer.  At that time in history pregnant women could not remain in the military.  Jeannie later married Joe Palermo and Ralph Dicks, both of whom died before her.  At her death (age 82) on December 31, 2016 in San Diego, she was survived by her husband Ralph Dicks.
  • Duerk, Alene Bertha - Born March 29, 1920 in Defiance, Ohio, Alene Duerk was in the Navy Reserve when she was recalled to active duty in March 1951.  For three months she was a nurse on a ward for head injury patients at Naval Hospital, Portsmouth, Virginia.  After that she was asked to teach in corps school on the Portsmouth Naval Hospital compound--a   duty she held for five years throughout the Korean War.  A veteran of World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars, Duerk was the first woman to be appointed Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy (1972).  She died July 21, 2018. Among her many achievements were:
    • Ohio Governor's Award, 1973
    • First Nurse Corps Officer assigned as Special Assistant to Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health and Environment, 1966-67
    • Chief, Nursing Service, U.S. Naval Hospital, Great Lakes
    • Director of Navy Nurse Corps, 1970-1975
    • Director, United Services Life Insurance Company
    • Director, Visiting Nurses Association, and Foundation, Central Florida
    • Member, Navy Nurse Corps Association
  • Galloway, Irene Otillia - "Quiet-spoken and more conservative than her predecessor, Irene Otillia Galloway had a strong personality and a reputation for sincerity and skilled performance of duty. She had graduated with the second WAAC OCS class, September 1942, and had served at WAAC headquarters at the Pentagon; at Headquarters, Army Service Forces; and with the G-1 Career Management Group. From June 1948 to October 1952 she was assigned as WAC Staff Adviser, U.S. Army in Europe. In November, she was selected to replace the commander of the WAC Training Center, who was resigning her commission to get married.52 Colonel Galloway reported to Fort Lee on 24 November 1952 and within two weeks was notified she had been selected to be the new WAC director. On 3 January 1953, in Secretary Pace's office, she was sworn in as the director of the WAC and promoted to temporary colonel."  [Source: Army Historical Series, The Women's Army Corps, 1945-1978 by Bettie J. Morden,  Chapter 4.  Center of Military History, US Army]
  • Griffin, Sarah - LTJG Sarah Griffin was recalled to duty making history as the only Navy nurse amputee serving on active service. Throughout the Korean War, LTJG Griffin served as a physical therapy nurse in Naval Hospital Oakland’s amputee center.  LTJG Sarah Griffin’s work at Naval Hospital Oakland served as the inspiration for an episode of the CBS television series Navy Log in 1956. The episode, entitled, “Not a Leg to Stand On”, featured actress Veda Ann Borg as LTJG Griffin.  Sarah Josephine Griffin was born in Alabama.  She graduated from West End Baptist Hospital in Birmingham in 1943.  She joined the Navy Reserves on January 5, 1944 and received orders to North Africa the next year.  She transferred from the Reserves to regular Navy after the end of World War II.  After a stay in the States she receive-d orders to Guantanamo, Cuba.  Part of her left leg had to be amputated after she fell 25-30 feet down a cliff.  She was discharged from the Navy and then was reactivated to the active Navy in order to help amputees in the Naval Hospital Oakland (California) Physical Therapy Department.  She served there from October of 1950 to January of 1953.  She was married in November of 1952 and retired from the Navy in January 1953.
  • Hallaren, Mary A. - By the end of 1952, Col. Mary A. Hallaren had completed almost six years as director of the WAC. She had led the effort to obtain Regular Army and Reserve status for WACs. She had directed the procedures for assimilating WACs into the regular and reserve components between 1948 and 1950; supervised the revival of WAC recruiting and the opening of the WAC Training Center; and led the Corps through most of the Korean War. After leaving the directorship, she served on active duty for another seven years before retiring in 1960 at age 53.49 At Colonel Hallaren's retirement, Col. Mary Louise Milligan, then the director of the WAC, summarized: "She had symbolized the highest traits of character and service which I am certain General Marshall visualized when he planned for American women to serve in our Army. It was due to her outstanding leadership and service that our organization was made a permanent part of the Regular and Reserve forces of our Army.  [Source: Army Historical Series, The Women's Army Corps, 1945-1978 by Bettie J. Morden,  Chapter 4.  Center of Military History, US Army]  Colonel Hallaren was born in 1907 and died in 2005.]  She was the first woman to join the WACS in 1952 and served as director 1947-1953.
  • Hamblet, Julia Estelle - Born on May 12, 1916 in Winchester, Massachusetts, Julia joined the Marine Corps Women's Serve in 1945.  By 1945 she was commanding 2,600 women in an aviation group at Cherry Point, North Carolina.  She became the director of the Marine Corps Women's Reserve 1946-48.  In 1953, at the age of 36, she became the new Director of Women Marines, taking the place of retired colonel Katherine A. Towle.  She served in that capacity from 1953 to 1959.  She retired from the Marine Corps in 1965 and died April 17, 2017 in Williamsburg, Virginia.
  • Hancock, Joy Bright - Captain Hancock was born in 1898 and died in 1986.  She joined the Navy in World War I and then the WAVES in 1942.  She became the director of WAVES 1946 to 1953.  The following bio appears on the Arlington National Cemetery website: "Commissioned as a lieutenant in the Navy's Women's Reserve (commonly known as WAVES, Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) in 1942, Capt. Joy Bright Hancock became one of the first women to be sworn into the regular Navy following the Women’s Armed Service Integration Act of 1948. She served in both world wars and became the director of the WAVES in 1946 and was promoted to captain shortly thereafter. When Capt. Hancock retired from active duty in 1953, she received the Legion of Merit for her contributions to the WAVES. The following year, she married Vice Admiral Ralph A. Ofstie (with whom she is buried) and accompanied him on his 1955-'56 tour as commander of the Sixth Fleet. She published her autobiography, "Lady in the Navy," in 1972. (Section 30, Grave 2138-RH)"
  • Hartington, Pauline - "A pioneering leader in the Navy. A much-loved aunt. A golfing enthusiast. Dog lover. Friend. Pauline M. Hartington was a disciplined commanding officer for much of her 87 years. She was born in Providence, RI. On July 14, 1931, to Augustine and Katherine Hartington. A graduate of Classical High School and the class of 1953 of Rhode Island College of Education, where she received an honorary doctorate in 1983. Pauline joined the Navy as an Ensign after graduating from R.I.C.E. and had a long and illustrious career living and working in many different parts of the U.S. She loved her work in the Navy and was a frequent speaker on the importance of work, character, and the great gift of being an American. Always a patriot, she passed away on the Fourth of July. She was the first woman to attend the National War College in D.C., the first woman to work as Secretary to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and was commissioned as Rear Admiral in 1981, the second woman in the history of the Navy to rise to that rank. Her last command was leading the Naval Training Center in Orlando, Florida. Pauline retired from the Navy in 1984 and spent many years enjoying Orlando, the Orange Tree Golf community (where she was known as the “Sheriff of Orange Tree”) and her beloved dogs. Always active, she did her own yard work until two years ago and enjoyed giving everyone orders until the end. She is predeceased by her parents, her sister Frances, and her brothers Leo, Raymond, and Albert. Surviving her are her sister Rita Denton (nieces and nephews Emily, David, Jenny, and Mark); her sister Evelyn and brother-in-law John Boatwright (nieces and nephews Laura, Chris, John, and Tim), and Frances’ children (Bob, Judy, Peter, and Jeff) and 16 great nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her dear friend and companion Donna R. Martin. The family would like to thank Vesta Harlow and the staff of Solaris Healthcare Windermere for their care during the last two years and the Hospice staff over the past two weeks. A burial service will be conducted at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C. at a date to be determined." [Source: Obituary]
  • Hartley, Lillian - Lillian May Hartley was born September 2, 1914 in Iowa.  She moved to Washington, D.C. where she worked at the Pentagon while the Pentagon was being built.  She enlisted in the Marine Corps on February 24, 1943 and served in the Accounting and Paymaster Division of the USMC.  In 1953 she and Ruth Wood became the first women to enter the Marine Corps warrant officer program.  She retired with the rank of Warrant Officer in February 1965 after 22 years of service.  She died in June of 2013 and is buried in Iowa Veterans Cemetery.
  • Hays, Anna Mae V. McCabe - Commissioned in the Army Nurse Corps in 1942, Anna Mae Hays served in a hospital unit during World War II. When War broke out in Korea, she mobilized with the 4th Field Hospital in 1950 and participated in the Inchon Landing. The hospital unit cared for more than 25,000 patients during the next 10 months, one night receiving 700 wounded men. On June 11, 1970, she became the first woman in military history to attain general officer rank. On March 12, 2013 she was inducted into the U.S. Army Women’s Foundation Hall of Fame[Source: Korean War 60th Anniversary website.  See also VFW Magazine special edition, "Women at War From the Revolutionary War to the Present", 2009, page 14.]  Brigadier General Hays died in January 2018 at the age of 97.  Included in her obituary was this reference to the Korean War: "She went to Korea after war broke out there in 1950, serving with the 4th Field Hospital, one of the first medical units to arrive at Inchon after the U.N. invasion of the Korean peninsula’s west coast.  “I think of Korea as even worse than the jungle in World War II because of the lack of supplies, lack of warmth in the operating room,” Hays told an interviewer at the Army Military History Institute in 1983. In particular, she remembered the intensely cold weather and “the many, many patients who were severely wounded and those patients who were so acutely ill from hemorrhagic fever.”
  • Hoisington, Elizabeth Paschel - General Hoisington was born November 03, 1918 in Newton, Kansas.  Army General. One of the first two female soldiers to become general officers. In 1940 Hoisington graduated from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. In 1942 she enlisted in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAACs), later called the Women's Army Corps (WACs) and was assigned to the Aircraft Warning Service in Bangor, Maine. After completing Officer Candidate School and receiving a commission, she deployed to Europe, serving in France after D-Day. She remained on active duty after World War II, commanding WAC units in Japan, Germany and France, and serving in staff assignments in San Francisco and at the Pentagon. In 1966 she became Director of the Women's Army Corps, serving until her 1971 retirement. On June 11, 1970, Hoisington and Anna Mae Hays, Director of the Army Nurse Corps, both received promotion to Brigadier General, making them the Army's first two women generals. General Hoisington's awards and decorations included the Distinguished Service Medal, two awards of the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal and the Army Commendation Medal. She was the sister of Air Force Major General Perry M. Hoisington II (1916-2006).  Elizabeth P. Hoisington died August 21, 2007 in Springfield, Virginia, and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. 
  • Holm, Jeanne M. - The following bio appears on the Arlington National Cemetery website: "U.S. Air Force (1921-2010): The first woman to serve as a major general in the U.S. armed forces, Maj. Gen. Holm had a long and distinguished career in the Air Force. She enlisted in the Army in 1942, soon after the establishment of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAC). She transferred to the Air Force in 1949 and was appointed director of Women in the Air Force (WAF) in 1965. During her tenure as director, policies affecting women were updated, WAF strength more than doubled and job and assignment opportunities greatly expanded. Her awards include the Distinguished Service Medal and the Legion of Merit. (Section 45, Grave 245)"
  • Hopper, Grace Murray - Rear Admiral Hopper joined the US Naval Reserves in 1943 during World War II, becoming a member of the Bureau of Ordinance Computation Project.  She became the third programmer of the Mark I, the world's first large-scale computer.  That computer was 51 feet long, 8 feet high and 5 feet deep.  "Amazing Grace" rose to the rank of Rear Admiral in November of 1985.  She died in 1992 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.  Her bio on the Arlington National Cemetery website reads: "U.S. Navy (1906-1992) — Rear Admiral Grace Hopper was a mathematician and a pioneer in computer science. At a time when few women pursued science or engineering degrees, Hopper earned her Ph.D. in mathematics from Yale University in 1934. She was a professor of mathematics at Vassar College (her undergraduate alma mater) until 1943, when she joined the U.S. Naval Reserve as a lieutenant. Assigned to the Bureau of Ships Computation Project at Harvard University, Hopper worked on Mark I, the first large-scale automatic calculator (a precursor of the computer). After the war, she remained at the Harvard Computation Lab for four years as a research fellow. In 1949, she joined the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation, where she helped to develop the UNIVAC I, the first general-purpose electronic computer. Throughout her postwar career in academia and private industry, Hopper retained her naval commission. From 1967 to 1977, she directed the Navy Programming Languages Group in the Navy's Office of Information System Planning. When Rear Adm. Hopper retired from the Navy in 1986 at the age of 79, she was the oldest officer on active U.S. naval duty. (Section 59, Grave 973)"
  • Johnson-Brown, Hazel W. - Her bio on the Arlington National Cemetery reads: "Hazel W. Johnson-Brown, U.S. Army (1927-2011) — The first African American woman general in the U.S. Army, Johnson-Brown became chief of the Army Nurse Corps, and received a promotion to brigadier general, in 1979. She joined the Army as a nurse in 1955, and served as a staff nurse in Japan and chief nurse in South Korea. From 1976 to 1978, she directed the Walter Reed Army Institute of Nursing. (Section 60, Grave 9836)"
  • Keil, Lillian Kinkela - One of the women who served was Captain Lillian Kinkela Keil, a member of the Air Force Nurse Corps and one of the most decorated woman in the U.S. military. Captain Kinkela-Keil flew over 200 air evacuation missions during World War II as well as 25 trans-Atlantic crossings. She went back to civilian flying with United Airlines after the war, but when the Korean War erupted she donned her uniform once more and flew 175 more missions as a flight nurse in Korea. She flew on 425 combat missions and took part in 11 major campaigns that included the D-Day invasion and Battle of the Bulge in World War II and the Battle of Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War. Captain Kinkela-Keil was the inspiration for the 1953 movie "Flight Nurse" and served as technical advisor to the film. Her 19 decorations include the European Theater of Operations with Four Battle Stars; The Air Medal with Three Oak Leaf Clusters; The Presidential Unit Citation with One Oak Leaf Cluster; The Korean Service Medal with Seven Battle Stars; The American Campaign Medal; The United Defense Medal; and Presidential Citation, Republic of Korea. Captain Kinkela-Keil has been honored several times in her home town of Covina Hills, California. Captain Kinkela-Keil died in June 2005 at the age of 88.
  • Kelly, Charlee L. - The position of deputy director had officially been vacant since Sep­tember 1952 when Colonel Milligan left for Germany to relieve Colonel Galloway. Lt. Col. Charlee L. Kelly had performed the duties without being appointed to the position by Colonel Hallaren, who wanted her successor to be free to select her own deputy. Colonel Galloway selected Lt. Col. Emily C. Gorman, then the WAC staff adviser at Headquarters, Second Army, Fort George G. Meade, Maryland; she was sworn in by the adjutant general, Maj. Gen. William E. Bergin, on January 3, 1953.  [Source: Army Historical Series, The Women's Army Corps, 1945-1978 by Bettie J. Morden,  Chapter 4.  Center of Military History, US Army]
  • Keys, Sarah Louise - on August 1, 1952, Pvt. Sarah Keys was en route from Fort Dix, New Jersey to her family's home in Washington, North Carolina, on a Carolina Coach Company Bus.  During a bus change stop, the bus driver ordered Private Keys to give up her seat to a white Marine.  Sarah refused, was put in jail for 13 hours, and forced to pay a $25 fine for disorderly conduct.  Her parents encouraged her to file a lawsuit against the bus company, which she did.  Her attorney was former WAAC and African-American lawyer Dovey Mae Johnson Roundtree (1914-2018).  Attorney Roundtree graduated from Howard University Law School in 1950.  Miss Keys won her case, resulting in an Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) ruling prohibiting segregation on interstate buses.  The ruling was made public on November 25, 1955, six days before Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of a bus.  The ICC did not enforce its own ruling until 1961.  Sarah Keys married George Evans in 1958 and became a hairdresser in Harlem.  On August 1, 2020,  a plaza with eight chronological murals and two bronze plaques was dedicated to Sarah Keys Evans in the MLK Park, Roanoke Rapids.
  • Knowle, Katherine Amelia - Born in California on April 30, 1898, Katherine Knowles was one of the first women to join the Marine Corps.  By 1945 she held the rank of colonel.  She was the first woman line officer to retire from US military service upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 55.  Although she was discharged in 1946, she was recalled to active duty in 1948 as Director of Women Marines.  She held that position until 1953.  After her retirement she became Dean of Women at UC Berkeley from 1953 to 1960.  She died March 02, 1986.
  • Lyons, Catherine J. - In January of 1953 Major Lyons was WAC Career Management Officer.
  • May, Geraldine Pratt - Geraldine Pratt May transferred from the Women’s Army Corps to become the first Women in the Air Force Director in June 1948, on a reserve commission. As director, May was promoted to colonel, becoming the first woman in the Air Force to hold the rank. As the top Air Force woman, she advised the Chief of Staff, Air Staff, and commanders on plans and policies for integrating women into the regular and reserve forces. Each service maintained a women’s branch after the signing of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act. Colonel May is seated to the right of the other services’ women's branch directors.
  • McKee, Fran - "Alabama native Fran McKee (1926-2002) became the first woman unrestricted line officer in American history to achieve the rank of rear admiral in the U.S. Navy. Until 1967, no woman, by law, regardless of her abilities, contributions, or accomplishments, could be promoted to flag rank (rear admiral or higher). It was not until June 1, 1976, that McKee became America's first unrestricted female admiral (an officer who can command both men and women across naval bureaus). McKee was born on September 13, 1926, in Florence, Lauderdale County. She was the oldest of the three daughters of Thomas Walker McKee, a special investigator for the Southern Railroad Company, and Geneva Lumpkins McKee. Because of her father's work assignments, the family moved several times during her formative years, and McKee lived in a number of communities in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. McKee graduated from Phillips High School in Birmingham at the age of 15. In 1950, she earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from the University of Alabama. That same year, she was commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy. McKee's original goal was to serve in the military for two years, save her money and earn GI Bill benefits, and then attend medical school. But McKee soon decided to make the Navy her career. She was promoted through the ranks, rising from lieutenant in 1952 to rear admiral in 1980. In 1951, McKee served in Washington, D.C., as an aide to the Chief of Naval Research, as the procurement officer for Women Personnel at the Naval Recruiting Station in Boston in 1954, as Training Coordinator for the Naval Damage Control School in 1958, and as Officer-in-Charge of the Naval Women Officers School in 1965. She completed studies at the General Line School and the Naval Postgraduate School in 1957 and was one of the first two women to graduate from the Naval War College/School of Naval Warfare in 1970. After graduation, she served at the Bureau of Naval Personnel as head of the Special Inquiries and Publication Section and as Assistant Chief of Naval Personnel for Human Goals. Also in 1970, she earned a master of science degree in international affairs from George Washington University, in Washington, D.C. As she moved through the ranks, McKee became the first woman to serve in many of her assigned commands, such as the Naval Security Group (1973), Chief of Naval Education and Training (1976), and the Navy-wide Director of Human Resources Management (1978). Tours of duty abroad included service as the personnel officer at both the U.S. Naval Air Station in Port Lyautey, Morocco, North Africa, in 1957 and the U.S. Naval Air Station in Rota, Spain, in 1967. McKee served as the senior female naval officer on the Committee to Study Equal Rights for Women in the Military that resulted in new opportunities for women in the armed services in 1972. She became an advisor to a variety of governmental bodies on issues dealing with women in the military. McKee's military awards include the Legion of Merit with Gold Star, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star. Some of her community honors include her induction into the Alabama Academy of Honor in 1979 and the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame in 2007; she was awarded the Daughters of the American Revolution Medal of Honor in 1982. Her public service activities included chairing the Legislative and Employment Committee of the Women's Advisory Committee for the Department of Veterans Affairs, service on the National Advisory Committee for the Women in Military Service Memorial Foundation, serving as a Board Member of the Armed Services YMCA National Committee, and being an active member of the Episcopal Church. McKee retired from active naval service on June 1, 1981. She died of a cerebral hemorrhage on March 3, 2002, in Annandale, Virginia, and was buried, with full military honors, at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C."  [Source: Encyclopedia of Alabama]
  • Myers, Helen E. - A 1941 graduate of Temple University, Helen Myers was commissioned in 1951 as the U.S. Army Dental Corps' first woman dental officer.  Her first assignment in the Army was at Ft. Lee, Virginia.  She also had duty assignments in Italy and Japan.  After her military service she practiced dentistry with her father in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  A lifelong pilot and member of the Lancaster Civil Air Patrol, she died in 1962 when her plane crashed after equipment failure.
  • Nelson, Yzetta L. - Yzetta L. Nelson joined the Women's Army Corps in 1944. In 1966, she was promoted to the rank of sergeant major. On March 30, 1968, she became the first WAC promoted to the new rank of command sergeant major. She continued to serve in the WAC until her retirement in 1970. [Source: US Army, Donald Wagner, April 13, 2017]
  • Nielubowicz, Mary Joan - "Admiral Nielubowicz (pronounced neel-uh-BOH-vitch) led the Nurse Corps from 1983 until her retirement in 1987 and was the sixth woman in Navy history to achieve the rank of Admiral. She had about 2,600 nurses under her command worldwide and supervised an equal number of reserve nurses, whom she sought to bring more fully into the Navy's system. While directing the Nurse Corps, she was also the Navy's deputy commander for personnel and, later, deputy commander for health-care operations. Admiral Nielubowicz -- often called "Admiral Niel" by her subordinates -- became a beloved figure in the Nurse Corps for defending the corps from budget cuts and reorganization efforts and for championing the role of women in the military. As director, she successfully resisted efforts to reorganize the corps under the Navy's general medical command. She demanded that her nurses receive the same privileges and respect as any other officers. "She had to fight for the corps," said retired Navy Captain Anita Sheehan, who was Admiral Nielubowicz's deputy director. "She was very considerate and very compassionate, and was tenacious in her efforts to protect the Navy Nurse Corps." During her 36-year Navy career, Admiral Nielubowicz served as a nurse and sometimes a personnel officer. "She was considered a giant among our Navy nurse leaders," said Jan Herman, a historian with the Navy's Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. "She was truly a nurse in everything she did. She took care of people." Mary Joan Nielubowicz was born February 5, 1929, in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. Her father was a coal miner who died of black-lung disease. "From a young age, she always wanted to be a nurse," a niece, Mary Vitale, said. She received her nursing training at Misericordia Hospital (now Mercy Hospital) in Philadelphia and joined the Navy on a two-year enlistment in 1951. "After twelve years of Catholic schooling, to follow orders and wearing a uniform was not very difficult," Admiral Nielubowicz said in "In and Out of Harm's Way," a history of the Nurse Corps by Doris M. Sterner. Early assignments took her to California, Cuba, Annapolis and Philadelphia. She received a bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado in 1961 and a master's degree in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania in 1965. She was a recruiter during the Vietnam War, then became senior nurse at a hospital in Iwakuni, Japan, where the Marine Corps operates an air station. After serving as chief nurse at naval hospitals in Cherry Point, North Carolina, Guam and Long Beach, California, Admiral Nielubowicz was in Washington from 1975 to 1979 as a personnel officer and deputy director of the Nurse Corps. She then was director of the nursing service at the Naval Regional Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia. In September 1983, when she was named the 15th director of the Nurse Corps, she became the first and last woman in the Navy promoted to the rank of Commodore, which was reclassified as Rear Admiral lower half in 1985. In addition to her Nurse Corps duties, Admiral Nielubowicz became deputy commander for Health Care Operations in 1984. As the first non-physician to hold the job, she managed the Navy's 31 hospitals, 11 major medical clinics and 174 branch clinics throughout the world. Her military decorations included two awards of the Legion of Merit, two Meritorious Service Medals and three Navy Commendation Medals. After her retirement in 1987, Adm. Nielubowicz was chairman of the Veterans Administration's Committee for Women Veterans. She served on the board of directors of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation and helped lead the effort to build a memorial for female veterans, which was dedicated in 1997. "She was an outstanding leader," said the foundation president, retired Air Force Brigadier General Wilma L. Vaught. "She was very committed to seeing that women in the military were recognized in some way." Once, after a speaking engagement at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, she was mobbed by female midshipmen. "She really was a role model for women in the military," said Paula Barnes, a former Navy commander who was an assistant to the admiral. "We felt lucky to have her."  Admiral Nielubowicz, who had renewed her nursing license in February, will be honored at ceremonies next month commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Navy Nurse Corps. From the early 1970s, the admiral's mother, Ursula Nielubowicz, lived with her at her various Navy assignments. The two women could often be found in the kitchen, making Polish and Lithuanian dishes and cookies. Adm. Nielubowicz cared for her mother until her death at 93 in 1999. Admiral Nielubowicz served on the board of directors of Vinson Hall, a military retirement community in McLean, and was a member of St. Leo the Great Catholic Church in Fairfax. Survivors include two sisters. The Admiral was laid to rest with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery on 21 May 2008." [Source: Arlington Cemetery website]
  • Parks, Rebecca Stuart - Rebecca Stuart Parks was born August 08, 1902 in Obion County, Tennessee.  She attended Humphreys County schools until 1916 at which time she was enrolled in St. Bernard Academy, Nashville, Tennessee, graduating in 1921. Rebecca attended Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tennessee, graduating from both the Liberal Arts College and the Law School. She taught and was Assistant Principal of the Rayville High School in Rayville, Louisiana for several years. She took a sabbatical leave in 1939, and earned a Master's Degree in Government from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In 1942 when the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps was established by the United States Army, she joined the Corps and served throughout World War II. She was sent by the Army in 1945 to Japanese Language School, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, finishing the course four days after the end of the war. She served 1945-1947 in Tokyo, Japan. In 1948 when the Corps was integrated into the regular U.S. Army she remained, and attained the highest permanent grades the bestowed upon women, a Lieutenant-Colonel. She was retired in 1957. In 1961 she attended London University, London, England, acquiring a Certificate of Merit in the School of English. Rebecca moved back to Humphreys County in 1962 to reside at "Parks Place" her family farm on the Buffalo River.  She died April 23, 1973 in Waverly, Tennessee, and is buried in Marable Cemetery, Waverly.
  • Pateman, Yvonne "Pat" - A pioneering female pilot, Pateman volunteered for the Women Air Force Service Program (WASP) during World War II.  She was one of 1,074 women who earned their wings at women-only military flight school at Avenger Field, Sweet Water, Texas.  WASP pilots ferried fighters, bombers and transport planes from manufacturers to military bases.  The WASP program was disbanded in December of 1944.  In 1949 Pat Pateman accepted an Air Force Reserve commission as a 1st Lieutenant and was assigned to a Volunteer Air Reserve Squadron.  During the Korean War, a time when female pilots were not allowed in the Air Force, she was assigned to the 78th Fighter-Interceptor Wing at Hamilton Air Force Base in Georgia.  She became an intelligence officer and served in the Philippines and Japan.  During the Vietnam War she was assigned as chief of the 7th Air Force Warning Division from 1969 to 1970 at TanSonNhut Air Base, Saigon.  Before retiring at a Lieutenant Colonel in 1971, Pat was chief of the China Air and Missile Section of the Defense Intelligence Agency.  Yvonne Pateman died April 04, 2004 in Laguna Woods, California.  [Source: Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Times, April 16, 2004]
  • Raines, Hazel - Born in Waynesboro, Georgia, in 1916, Hazel graduated from Wesleyan College in 1936 and became the first woman in Georgia to receive a pilot's license.  She began her flying career as a stunt pilot with the Georgia Air Races and Show, and then joined the Civilian Pilot Training Program as an instructor.  She trained pilots for the Army and Navy Air Corps through March of 1942.  During World War II she joined the British Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), which was responsible for transporting military aircraft to the war zone.  While in Europe she survived flying in a snowstorm (she had not been in snow before) and an airplane crash.  After World War II she participated in the Korean War in the 3rd Air Force as a recruiter for the Women's Army Corps (WAC) and Women's Air Force (WAF).  She was inducted into the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame.  She died of a heart attack at the age of 40 in 1956.  [Source: Allison Hutton, Georgia Humanities]
  • Shea-Buckley, Frances T. - "Rear Admiral (RADM) Frances Shea Buckley, Nurse Corps, United States Navy, was born in Chicopee, Massachusetts February 26, 1929 to John Edward Shea and Katherine Teresa Warburton Shea. She passed away on July 8, 2015. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Saint Joseph College, West Hartford, Connecticut in 1950. Later academic accomplishments included post-graduate work in Operating Room Management at the University of Chicago and a Master of Science Degree in Nursing Service Administration from DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois, in 1960. She was a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and Phi Kappa Phi. In July 1951, during the Korean War, Frances Shea was commissioned an Ensign in the Navy Nurse Corps and assigned to the Naval Hospital at Portsmouth, Virginia. She was released from active duty in July 1954 and remained active in the reserves while attending graduate school. She returned to active duty from 1960-1983. Her numerous assignments throughout her career included: Portsmouth, Virginia; St. Albans, New York; Rota, Spain; Chelsea, Massachusetts and recruiting duty in Richmond, Virginia. During the Vietnam War, then Commander Shea served as Operating Room supervisor on the USS Repose (AH-16) where thousands of casualties were cared for during the ship's mission off the coast of Vietnam's northern station. Prior to her selection to flag rank, she served as Director of Nursing at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland and Naval Medical Center, San Diego, CA. In 1979, she was selected to be the Director of the Navy Nurse Corps with the rank of Rear Admiral and assigned to the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) in Washington, D.C. She served concurrently as the Deputy Commander for Medical Department Personnel, Commanding Officer, Naval Health Science Education Training Command as well as the Director of the Navy Nurse Corps. She was the first Navy Nurse Corps Officer and second woman to be promoted to the two star flag officer rank. She retired from the Navy on October 1, 1983. RADM Shea Buckley is the recipient of the Legion of Merit Award, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal with star, Vietnam Campaign Medal with 4 stars; Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam (RVN) Campaign Medal with device, RVN Service Medal, RVN Gallantry Cross Unit Citation and RVN Civil Action Unit Citation. Upon retirement, she married Captain Emanuel Navarro Buckley, Medical Service Corps, U.S. Navy and they returned to San Diego. Captain Buckley predeceased her in July 2000. Her survivors include her brother, Donald Shea, (wife Dorothy) of South Carolina, nieces Catherine Shea, (husband Dr. Greg Petrie) of North Carolina, Cindy Desroches, (husband Wayne) of Massachusetts, Chrys Machado, (husband Carlos) of New Jersey and nephew John Shea, (wife Caryn) of Massachusetts. A Liturgy of Christian Burial will be held on July 25th at 10 a.m. at Holy Angels Byzantine Catholic Church where she was a longtime parishioner. A reception will follow the service at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar golf course pavilion. RADM Buckley will be buried with her husband at Arlington National Cemetery at a future date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Holy Angels Byzantine Catholic Church, 2235 Galahad Road, San Diego, California 92123, or to a charity of one's choice."  [Source: Obituary]
  • Shelly, Mary Josephine - "Mary Josephine Shelly, former Bennington College administrator who took charge of the Navy's education for women in World War II and commanded the Women in the Air Force in the Korean War, died yesterday at New York Hospital. She was 74 years old and resided at 10 Mitchell Place. At Bennington, a progressive college for women, Miss Shelly helped to organize dance programs and the Bennington American Dance Festival as well as the Bennington School of the Arts. She left the college in Vermont in 1954 to become director of public relations for the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. in New York, a post from which she retired about 10 years ago. A native of Grand Rapids, Mich., Miss Shelly taught in the public schools of Battle Creek before becoming an instructor at the University of Oregon, where she earned her B.A. degree. In 1929, she received her Masters's degree at Teachers College, Columbia University. She taught there and at Columbia's New College until her appointment, in 1935r as associate professor of physical education and assistant to the dean of students at the University of Chicago." [Source: Obituary]  Colonel Shelly was born in 1902 and died in 1976.  She served as the second director of the Women's Air Force from 1951 to 1954.
  • Wilde, Louise K. - Wilde was born in Concord, New Hampshire.  She graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1931 and became assistant to the president and freshman dean at Rockford Colleg, Rockford, Illinois.  She served in the Navy from 1942 to 1965.  From 1945 to 1946 she was stationed at Pearl Harbor, where she rose to the rank of commander.  She was assistant to Capt. Jean T. Palmer, the second WAVES director, and then assistant to Capt. Joy Bright Hancock.  In 1952 she was transferred to San Francisco, California, where she was assistant director of the shipping control division. Captain Louise K. Wilde served as Assistant Chief of Personnel for Women from 1953 to 1957. As a retired officer, Wilde began writing a history of the WAVES program. Two preliminary chapters in that work were completed. She died in December of 1979.
  • Williams, Betty Jane - Born in 1919 in Kingston, Pennsylvania, Williams got her pilot's license six months before the attack on Pearl Harbor.  She got instrument flight training at the University of Vermont, then taught Navy and civilian pilots instrument flight techniques.  In January 1944 she joined the WASPs and later told a reporter that she "flew wrecked planes that had been repaired to make sure they were airworthy."  She was stationed in San Antonio until WASP was disbanded in December 1944.  After the war she became a commercial pilot, flight instructor, and head of the instrument ground school for New York airports in the late 1940s.  She also produced and hosted an early television program in 1946 about aviation.  The program aired on CBS and NBC.  During the Korean War Betty Jane served in the Air Force as a writer-producer for a video production squadron.  In California she worked for North American Aviation and spent 20 years at Lockheed Aircraft as a technical writer and in-house filmmaker.  Betty Jane Williams died at age 89 in December of 2008.  [Source: Valerie J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times, December 10, 2008] 
  • Wood, Ruth L.  - WO Wood was born September 13, 1916 in Ticonderoga, New York.  A former school teacher, she joined the Women's Marine Corps Reserve during World War II and made a career of the USMC.  In 1953 she and Lillian Hartley were the first women to enter the Marine Corps Warrant Officer program.  Ruth died March 12, 1986 in Ticonderoga

Navy Female (Non-Nurse) Fatalities during the Korean War Timeframe

[KWE Note: The VA's official date for the Korean War is June 27, 1950 to January 31, 1955.]

C-121J Super Constellation 131639, January 17, 1955

  • Elmer, Jeanette W. - Born in Syracuse, New York in 1933, she was a daughter of Henry Elmer (1898-1977) and Sarah A. Stage Elmer (1897-1983).  Her siblings were Howard S. Elmer (1923-1969), World War II fatality Edward Charles Elmer (1925-1945), Mrs. Charles (Beulah R. Elmer) Edem, and Mrs. Chester Paul (Dorothy Ann Elmer) Breon (1934-2013).  Jeanette was the only female on the fatal flight of C-121J Super Constellation 131639.  On a flight to Maryland, two of the plane's engines went out over Prince Edward Island and crashed into the sea 70 miles southwest of Stephenville, Newfoundland in bad weather.  Six crew members and seven passengers perished, but the body of only one was located. 

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Air Force Female (Non-Nurse) Fatalities during the Korean War

C-47 Skytrain 47-76266, December 30, 1951

  • Garafalo, Jeanne J.

    WAF Sgt. Jeanne J. Garafalo, 20 years of age, Plainfield, New Jersey, was assigned to the 4th Weather Squadron, Continental Air Command.  While a passenger on C-47 Skytrain 47-76266, the aircraft crashed in the Armer Mountains, Central Arizona, on December 30, 1951, killing Sergeant Garafalo and 27 others on the plane.  The full story of this crash can be found on the Airplane Crashes Topics page of the KWE.  Jeanne was the daughter of James Garafalo (1905-1983) and Lillian Garafalo (1909-1995).  She is buried in Saint Gertrude Cemetery and Mausoleum, Colonia, New Jersey.

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C-54G, November 28, 1952

While en route to the United States mainland from Fairbanks, Alaska, a C-54G transport plane crashed in South Tacoma, Washington in thick fog on November 28, 1952.  Of the 39 persons onboard, 37 were killed, including numerous women and children.  According to newspaper accounts, included in the fatalities were two female Air Force personnel.  To read details about the aircraft accident, go to this Topics - Airplane Crash page of the Korean War Educator.

  • Bentley, Patricia Jean

    Airman 3C Patricia Jean Bentley was born August 24, 1928 and was a member of the 84th Air Traffic Squadron when she was killed in this plane crash.  She is buried in Park View Cemetery, Manteca, CA.
  • Swang, Marion E.*

    Major Marion Swang was born March 3, 1911, a daughter of Benjamin L. Swang Sr. (next of kin living in Porterville, California at the time of her death) and Harriet E. "Hattie" White Swang (1875-1936).  She was the sister of Benjamin L. Swang Jr. (1915-1932).  The KWE believes that she also had a sister Mildred, but this has not yet been confirmed.  It is certain that Mildred and Marion were the granddaughters of Benjamin D. and Lena Swang of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.  At the time of the aircraft accident, Marion was returning to the States from Alaska after having served at Ladd Air Force Base as assistant personnel officer for the 5001st composite wing since January 1951. 

    Marion Swang was supervisor of health and physical education at Watertown, Wisconsin and Rochelle, Illinois from 1936 to 1942.  She attended LaCrosse State College and Peabody College for teachers in Nashville, Tennessee before she entered the Army Air Corps in August 1942 and attended officer candidate school in Des Moines, Iowa.  She received instruction in personnel administration at Purdue University in 1945, and attended an air inspector's course at Craig Air Force Base in Alabama in 1950.  In her post at Ladd AFB, she managed personnel activities, including career guidance, classification, assignment, promotion and separation, effectiveness rating and transfer for personnel at the air base.  In 1952 she was named Military Woman of the Year at Ladd, and she was active in church work at the base.  According to the Waukesha Daily Freeman newspaper (August 11, 1952), she was the niece of Mrs. Charles White Sr. of Pewaukee, Wisconsin.  She was also related to Gordon B. Swang (1901-1954) of Porterville, California. Marion is buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, Pewaukee, Wisconsin.

*[KWE Note: Marion Swang's name is incorrectly listed on casualty reports as Marion E. Swann, and that incorrect spelling is also shown on her government tombstone.]

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Nurses - Fatalities in the Korean War

Eighteen nurses lost their lives during the Korean War.  None were combat fatalities, but they were all serving their country as military nurses when they died.

  • C-47D Crash, Haneda, Japan - July 27, 1950 (one nurse fatality)
  • Cessna Crash - Twin Engine (Civilian) - September 04, 1951 (one Air Force nurse fatality)
  • USS Benevolence - August 25, 1950 (one nurse fatality)
  • Kwajalein Airplane Crash - September 19, 1950 (eleven nurse fatalities)
  • Douglas C-54 Medical Transport - September 26, 1950 (one nurse fatality)
  • C-47 Skymaster  - December 22, 1952 (two nurse fatalities)
  • Pentagon Dispensary Nurse - December 26, 1952

C-47D Crash, Haneda, Japan - July 27, 1950

Maj. Genevieve Smith
(Click picture for a larger view)

Twenty-six persons were onboard a C-47D scheduled to fly from Haneda, Japan to Pusan, Korea on July 27, 1950.  The aircraft took off about 4 a.m. and became airborne at 4:05 a.m.  Sixteen minutes later the plane had difficulties and shortly thereafter the tail of the plane snapped off.  The plane descended and crashed into the Pacific Ocean, sinking to a depth of about 1500m and causing 25 of those onboard to be lost at sea.  There was one survivor, Sgt. Haru Sazaki.  Army nurse Major Genevieve Smith was the only female among the fatalities.

  • Smith, Maj. Genevieve Marion

    Genevieve Marion Smith was born April 25, 1905 in Epworth, Iowa, daughter of Thomas Aphonaius Smith (1875-1947) and Mary Elizabeth Kennedy Smith (1874-1965).  In addition to her mother, Major Smith was survived by siblings Mrs. Frank (Veronica) Dagenais, Mrs. Edwin (Catherine) Horsfield, Mrs. Alfred (Alice) Arensdorf, Joseph Smith and Thomas K. Smith.

    Genevieve Smith graduated from St. Joseph Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in Dubuque, Iowa, on August 15, 1925, and joined the Army in 1928.  After World War II she spent two years in Germany and then in October 1948 she was transferred to the Philippines.  She was later transferred to Japan, where she was serving as chief nurse of the 155th Station Hospital in Yokohama, Japan when she was selected by General Douglas MacArthur to be chief nurse for Korea.

    Although the former World War II Army nurse was due to retire in January 1951 after 22 years of military service, she accepted the position and sealed her destiny on a fatal air flight to Korea. On July 27, 1950, a three-man aircrew, twenty-two male passengers and one female--Genevieve Smith, left Haneda, Japan for a flight to Pusan, Korea in a C-47D.  Less than a half hour later the plane veered to the right and flipped onto its back.  The tail section broke off and the plane crashed into the ocean.  There was only one survivor--saved because he was sucked out of the airplane and was able to pull his parachute ripcord before he lost unconsciousness.  He was picked up out of the water by a Japanese fishing boat eight hours later.  All others on the aircraft were lost at sea. [See A Few Good Women by Evelyn M. Monahan and Rosemary Neidel-Greenlee, pp. 252-253.]

    Further information about Major Smith can be found in: A Concise Biography of Maj. Genevieve Marion Smith by Mrs. Genevieve Comeau, General Reference & Research Branch, Historical Unit, USAMEDS, Forest Glen Section, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC, published in April of 1962. Click here to read it.

Cessna Crash - Twin Engine (Civilian) - September 04, 1951

  • Drake, Clara "Sully" Sullivan

Clara Drake was born January 9, 1923 in Ballston Spa, New York.  She is listed as the daughter of Timothy A. and Adora B. Sullivan. She was a World War II veteran and Captain in the US Air Force attached to the 39th Air Force Medical Group as a nurse stationed in Anchorage, Alaska.  She and her husband (married just days before) were among the passengers in a twin-engine Cessna T-50 that crashed shortly after takeoff in a suburb of Anchorage.  The plane, owned by Christiansen's Flying Service, left Marill Field and was en route to Seward, Alaska when one of the engines caught fire, causing the fiery plane to crash in the back yard of a suburban home.  All five persons onboard were killed.  (See also Cessna - Twin Engine - September 04, 1951.) Clara was married to Capt. Donald Varner Drake, who also died in the plane crash.  Clara is buried in Saint Mary's Cemetery, Ballston Spa, New York.  Her husband was born August 01, 1920 in Pennsylvania, a son of John Wesley Drake (1895-1991) and Lulu M. Varner Drake (1895-1986).  He was a World War II veteran who enlisted in the Air Force on October 21, 1939. Donald was survived by his parents and his siblings Mrs. Herbert Glenn (Eleanor Drake) Benton (1922-2017), Wilfred "Bud" "Fred" Drake (died 2012) and Roger Drake.  He is buried in Scrubgrass Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Emlenton, Pennsylvania.

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USS Benevolence - August 25, 1950

On a foggy August 25, 1950, the hospital ship USS Benevolence (AH-13) was rammed by the commercial freighter, SS Mary Luckenbach about four miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Less than an hour later, the Benevolence had capsized with only a part of its hull and its big red cross showing above water. Twenty-three persons on the ship were dead and hundreds more were struggling to stay afloat and alive in freezing cold water.  One Navy nurse, Lt. Wilma Ledbetter, lost her life in the tragedy.  For more information about the USS Benevolence, click here.

  • Ledbetter, Lt. Wilma (USN)

    Wilma Ledbetter was born April 27, 1912 in Chillicothe, Texas. Her father, William L. "Bud" Ledbetter moved to Chillicothe with his brothers George Mitchell, Henry, Hiram and Dick Ledbetter in the early 1900s. Bud later became mayor of Chillicothe for a number of years and also served several years as a city councilman. He was the last surviving member of the original Chillicothe Volunteer Fire Department that was organized in the early 1900s. Bud also had a feed and seed store for years and was manager of the Kell Mills for years.

    There were five girls in the Ledbetter family. The eldest three, Lucretia (1907-1996), Edith (1909-1982), and Wilma (1912-1950), were the daughters of William Luther "Bud" Ledbetter (died 1978) and Christina Hale Ledbetter.  Christina Ledbetter died of influenza in 1918.  The youngest two Ledbetter sisters, Jacqueline "Jackie" (1923-2000) and Emily, were the daughters of William and Emma Jane Powell Ledbetter (died 1961). Wilma's aunt and uncle were Davidson Victor York and Nell Pitcomb (Powell) York of Ada, Texas.

    Although Emma Ledbetter was not the birth mother of Wilma, family members told the KWE that she loved Wilma as her own daughter and Wilma's death took a terrible toll on Emma.  Wilma's sisters each married: Lucretia to a Wickliffe, Edith to Thurman McPherson, Jacqueline (Jackie) to Bennie Emile Reynolds, and Emily to a Shoemaker.  Jacqueline had two children, Jerry William Reynolds (1947-2011) and Jane Reynolds Howard of Collinsville, Oklahoma.

    According to her sister Emily, Wilma graduated from high school in Chillicothe circa 1929. Naval records show that she attended Texas State College for Women, Denton, Texas, from 1929 to 1930. She then attended Central State Teachers College, Edmond, Oklahoma in 1933 while thinking about becoming a teacher. After deciding to become a nurse, she received three years of nurses training (1936 to 1939) at the Northwest Texas Hospital School of Nursing in Amarillo, Texas. The school closed in 1985. (See also: American Journal of Nursing, Vol. 50, October 1950, page 680.)

    Prior to becoming a Navy Nurse, Wilma Ledbetter was employed at Northwest Texas Hospital, Amarillo (general duties) from 1939 to 1940. She then worked at Charity Hospital, New Orleans, Louisiana, where she not only had general duties from 1940 to 1942, but also took nine hours of nurses education (1942) at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA. She then had general duties at Brackenridge Hospital, Austin, Texas, in 1942. She reported for a physical examination to join the Navy Nurse Corps on March 4, 1943 in Norman, Oklahoma, where it was found that Wilma was physically qualified for appointment in the USNR Nurse Corps.

    Naval records show that she proceeded to active duty as Reserve Nurse, USN, on July 6, 1943. Her service number was 219499. Ensign Ledbetter had duty at the Naval Hospital, San Diego, California, before receiving orders to Hawaii. She sailed from the USA on the USS Antigua on September 9, 1944, arriving at Pearl Harbor on September 15, 1944. She served as a nurse at the U.S. Naval Hospital, Aiea Heights, Hawaii, and then at the Naval Air Station, Kahului, Maui, Hawaii, until November 8, 1945. According to her income tax report for that year, her total taxable pay in 1945 was $2,137.25. Her military exclusion was $1,500.00.

    She returned to the States on November 13, 1945 on the S.S. Monterey, and then traveled from San Francisco, California to the U.S. Naval Hospital in New Orleans, LA. She was released to inactive status effective May 17, 1946, but proceeded to active duty as Reserve Nurse USN again on January 14, 1947. She was assigned to a duty station at the US Naval Hospital, Houston, Texas. Records show that she was transferred from there to the dispensary at the Naval Ammunition Depot in Hawthorne, Nevada. She received permission to travel from her duty station at the US Naval Hospital, Houston, Texas, to Hawthorne, Nevada on 14 November 1947. The orders gave her permission to travel there via an automobile owned by Lt. Marie Edith Charron, NC, USN, and described the auto as a 1947 Kaiser Special, 4-door. In 1948 she received a permanent appointment to the rank of Lieutenant, NC, USN.

    Wilma was also a nurse in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but the dates of her service there have not yet been determined. Lieutenant Ledbetter rejoined the active Navy Nurse Corps when the Korean War broke out and was assigned to the USS Benevolence.

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Kwajalein Airplane Crash - September 19, 1950

On September 19, 1950, an aircraft carrying 11 nurses refueled for the third time at Kwajalein before taking off for Japan.  Within 90 seconds the plane had crashed, killing all 26 onboard.  To learn more about this tragedy, click here.  View information below about the nurses whose lives were sacrificed that day.  See also News Clippings on this page.

  • Beste, ENS Eleanor Clara (USN)

    Eleanor Clara Beste was born February 20, 1925 in Freeport, Minnesota, daughter of Henry F. Beste (1883-1941) and Regina G. Haselkamp Beste (1886-1968).  She graduated from St. Cloud, Minnesota Hospital School of Nursing in 1946.  She was assistant head nurse before joining the Navy Nurse Corps in January 1948.  She was assigned to the naval hospital at Bremerton, Washington before receiving transfer orders to Japan in September 1950.  Her siblings were: Ulric Conrad Beste (1914 - 1989), Emmeline Mary Beste (1916 - 1968), Regina T Beste (1918 - 1990), Mary Helen Beste (1920 - 2000), Julitta Magdalen Beste (1922 - 1997), Francis Bernard Beste (1927 - 1931), Al Beste, and Clara Beste Klobe.
  • Boatman, ENS Marie Margaret (USN)

    25 years old, San Antonio, Texas.  Marie was born March 8, 1925 in Abilene, Texas, daughter of Rev. Clarence Otto Boatman (1896-1969) and Ruby Ellen Clark Boatman (1894-1942).  Reverend Boatman was pastor at Government Hill Methodist Church.  Marie attended Southwest University, Georgetown for pre-med and then graduated from Harris Methodist Hospital School of Nursing in Ft. Worth.  She was employed at Harris until she was commissioned in the Navy Nurse Corps on March 10, 1948.  She was assigned to the Naval Hospital in Long Beach, California, from that date until January 5, 1950.  On January 11, 1950 she reported to the US Naval Hospital in Bremerton, Washington, where she remained until receiving overseas orders for Yokosuka, Japan on September 11, 1950.  She was survived by her father, step-mother Ethel May Hickman Boatman (1895-1977), and two brothers John Harvey Boatman (1924-1990), a World War II veteran, and David Boatman.  Dave (also a World War II veteran) was in the Navy in the Korean War at that time and came home to attend his sister's funeral.  Marie Boatman is buried in Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery.

  • Lt JG Jeanne Elizabeth Clarke
    Image #23.E1.16. Courtesy of Providence Archives, Seattle.
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    Clarke, Lt. JG Jeanne Elizabeth (USNR)

    Born May 12, 1918 in Oregon, Jeanne was the daughter of George Henry Clarke (1878-1939) and Eleanor Jane Clarke (1882-1932).  Her hometown was listed as Portland, Oregon.  Her siblings were Margaret C. Clarke (a WAC in World War II), George T. Clarke (also a World War II veteran), and John H. Clarke, all of Multnomah County, Oregon.

    Jeanne graduated from Washington High School and then  graduated from St. Joseph's School of Nursing in Vancouver, Washington in 1943.  She enlisted in the US Navy Medical Corps on December 27, 1943.  She was commissioned in the Navy in 1944 and served until 1946. In November 1949 she volunteered for active duty again.   She had assignments at Puget Sound, Washington and San Diego, Long Beach and Oceanside, all in California.

    An article in the St. Joseph Hospital Chronicles of May 14, 1943 told about her graduation as a nurse: "Nineteen Nurses received diplomas. Their services are greatly needed at this time both in the hospitals and in the armed forces. They are Misses: Sue K. Aklin, Marie M. Allaire, Barbara C. Argianas, Isabelle M. Berning, Mary K. Butler, Jeanne E. Clarke, Marian Elliott, Ann C. Gomulkiewicz, Corrine T. Hanson, Georgean D. Haskin, Caryl E. Hewitt, Mary E. Klein, Anne M. Lulay, Ellen Lerfold, Marianne Mc Cullough, Martha E. Partanen, Joyce B. Reed, Rufina C. Parish, Helen E. Steyaert."
  • Eldridge, ENS Jane Louise (USN)

    The daughter of Harold and Lillian Eldridge of Detroit, Michigan, Jane entered Providence Hospital School in 1943 when she joined the U.S. Cadet Nurses Corps.  She remained for a year as a nurse at Providence Hospital after graduation and then entered the U.S. Navy Nurses Corps in September 1947.   She reported to the US Naval Hospital in Bremerton, Washington on December 10, 1947, and Jane was still stationed there when she came home on leave September 2, 1950.  Four days later her leave was cancelled and she returned to Bremerton, where orders transferring her to the Naval Hospital at Yokosuka, Japan awaited her.  On the trip to Japan the plane stopped three times for fuel.  After the final stop, the plane crashed after leaving Kwajalein Island.  See also: The Michigan News, November 1950, pg. 148.  Her hometown was listed as Detroit, Michigan. She was 27 years old.

    An article about Jane's death appeared in The Capital Times newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin (September 21, 1950), stating:  "The fiancee of Lt (jg) Arpad Masley, Madison Navy doctor, and 25 other persons were killed Tuesday in the crash of a Navy transport in the Pacific Ocean near Kwajalein.  Lieutenant Masley, the son of Mr. and Mrs. A.L. Masley, 3626 Spring Ctr, was to have been married to Ensign Jane L. Eldridge, daughter of Mrs. Lillian Eldridge, Detroit, Michigan.  The elder Masley is director of physical education for men at the university.  Mrs. Masley said her son and Miss Eldridge had been engaged since June and that they planned to be married on their next trip home.  Lieutenant Masley is in Korea, and Miss Eldridge had been ordered recently to report for duty in Japan.  Mrs. Eldridge explained that her daughter was home early this month on a 30-day leave, but that she had been home only six days when ordered to report in Bremerton, Washington, in preparation for going to Japan.  A 1947 graduate of the university medical school, Lieutenant Masley began his navy service in September 1949.  He and Miss Eldridge met at the Bremerton Naval Hospital while both were stationed there."

Ens. Constance Esposito
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Esposito, Ens. Constance Rita "Connie" (USN)

Daughter of Frank and Maria Carmella "Millie" Parrenzi Esposito, Brockway, Pennsylvania, Connie was born on September 07, 1923.  She graduated from Brockway High School in June 1941, and was a 1945 graduate of the Indiana, Pennsylvania Hospital School of Nursing.  After graduation she was employed at DuBois, Pennsylvania Catholic Hospital before joining the Navy in 1948.  She had assignments at Bethesda, Maryland and San Diego, California.  She is buried in St. Tobias Cemetery, Brockway.  Her siblings were: Gerald Esposito (died age 5), Theresa Mae Esposito Prosper, Yolanda Geraldine Esposito (1925-2013),  Anna Marie Esposito Benson, John Henry Esposito, Richard James Esposito, Josephine Pauline Esposito Bruzga, Patricia Jean (Patti) Esposito, and Francis Joseph (Cheech) Esposito (1930-2013). Connie was engaged to be married to a fiancé in California.

Just prior to Memorial Day 2015, the bridge spanning Toby Creek on Route 28 near Brockway was officially named the "Ens. USN Connie Rita Esposito Memorial Bridge". Several hundred people attended the ceremony, organized by Parson-Marnati Post 95 of the American Legion in Brockway.


  • Lt. JG Alice Stella Giroux
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    Giroux, Lt. JG Alice Stella (USN)

    Born January 5, 1910, she was the daughter of Euclid T. Giroux (1881-1954) and Celia Langlois Giroux (1881-1927). Her hometown was listed as Seattle, Washington.  Her siblings were: Lionel P. Giroux (1905-1992), Geneive Giroux (1907-1907), Desniega Giroux (Mrs. Ed Lick - b. 1911), Olene Giroux (Mrs. Robert Joseph Fletcher - 1913-1991)and Lillian Giroux (Wilson - born 1923).  Alice was a nurse in World War II and was in the US Naval Reserve when she was sent to Korea to take care of the wounded.  She died in the plane crash en route.  She graduated from St. Mary's Hospital School of Nursing in Rochester, Minnesota in 1932.  She had varied experiences as a nurse, including special duty at Saint Mary's a year at the American Hospital in Paris, and civil service at the Gorgas Hospital, Ancon, Canal Zone (1940-1942).  She joined the Navy Nurse Corps, reporting for duty at the US Naval Hospital in Long Beach on November 18, 1944.  After serving as a nurse at the Naval Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia, she was released to inactive duty on June 22, 1946.  She was a naval reserve nurse at the US Naval Hospital in Long Beach for over six months.  In April 1947 she was at Building #102, Birmingham General Hospital, Van Muys, California.  By October 1947 she had a new address in Pasadena.  After a period of inactive duty from 1946 to 1949, she went back to active duty on January 6, 1949 at the Naval Hospital in Corona, California.  She was transferred to the US Naval Hospital in San Diego, California on October 6, 1949.

    Saint Mary's Alumnae Quarterly had an article sent in by Alice from the Canal Zone on May 17, 1942.  She wrote: "I am on night duty at present, on a white men's ward, patients with pneumonia, malaria, etc. and some surgical patients... Misses McCue ('27) and Beavan ('30) are also on the night shift, so we often have pep fests over the supper hour.  Miss McCue leaves for vacation shortly, and may stop in Rochester.  I spent thirty days of my vacation in Guatemala and the remaining thirty here and in the interior of Panama.  I greatly enjoyed Guatemala city, also Antigua, a city of ruins, destroyed by earthquakes of 1773 and eruptions of a nearby volcano.  Two other nurses joined me on a trip to Chichicastenango, about 170 miles from in the highlands and away from Guatemala city.  There we met the famous priest Reverend Rossbach, who has lived with the Mayan Indians, educating and teaching Christianity to them for the past thirty-seven years.  He also is a noted jade collector.  He actually did all this work on his own and has a display of evacuations made in a museum connected with the church.  In this village we saw processions of pagan Indians worshipping idols, climbing mountains and offering their prayers.  Father Rossbach says he has converted many of them.  He allows them to enter his church, but without their idols.  He goes about it gradually and much remains to be done.  All in all it was a most enjoyable trip.  I did get some grand pictures, and wish I had my color movie camera with me.  Please give my best wishes to the Sisters."

    Alice Giroux Nursing School photo
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  • Lt. JG Calla Goodwin
    Picture courtesy of Needham B. Broughton High School
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    Goodwin, Lt. JG Calla Virginia (USNR)

    Born on April 25, 1922 in Tyrrell County, North Carolina, her hometown was listed as Raleigh, North Carolina.  She was the daughter of Frank O. Goodwin Sr. (1895-1976) and Madelyn B. Goodwin (1900-1976), both of whom are buried in Concord, Contra Costa County, California.  She was also survived by a brother, Frank O. Goodwin Jr., who is now deceased.  Calla was a 1940 graduate of Needham B. Broughton High School in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she was a member of Latin Club, Glee Club, Typing Club, a staff reporter for the school radio, member of Girls' Athletic Association (GAA), German Club, and the RHS Glee Club, and participated in school operettas and the State Music Contest.

    After high school graduation she received her nursing degree from Rex Hospital School of Nursing in Raleigh in 1943.  She joined the Navy Nurse Corps on January 6, 1944, and reported for duty at NNH in Ports, Virginia on February 16, 1944.  She left there on May 15, 1945 and on May 20 reported for duty at the Naval Hospital in Bainbridge.  On July 23, 1945, she began duty at the Naval Hospital in Charleston, South Carolina, and remained there until May 1948.  On May 13, 1948, she reported to the Naval Dispensary at the Charleston Naval Shipyard Naval Base in South Carolina, where she remained until July 6, 1949.  On August 5, 1949, she reported to duty at the US Naval Hospital in Long Beach, California, where she remained until going on duty at the US Naval Hospital, SMR, Oceanside, California, on February 18, 1950.  She remained there until receiving overseas orders to the US Naval Hospital in Yokosuka, Japan.
  • Heege, LTJG Constance Adair (USNR)

    Constance was born July 2, 1918, daughter of George Frederick Heege (1891-1983) and Clara K. Wegener Heege (1892-1982) of Kirkwood, MO.  From suburban Kirkwood, Missouri, she graduated from the University of Missouri in 1941.  She graduated from St. Louis University School of Nursing in 1947 and taught school for two years before joining the nurses' cadet training corps at St. Mary's Hospital, St. Louis, MO.  She was formerly a staff nurse and clinical instructor at St. Louis University Hospital before taking her oath of office as Ltjg NCR on December 3, 1948.  She was stationed at the US Naval Hospital in Long Beach, California, from January 5, 1949 until February 17, 1950.  The next day she went on duty at the US Naval Hospital, SMR, Oceanside, California, and remained there until receiving overseas orders to the Naval Hospital in Yokosuka, Japan.  In addition to her parents she was survived by sisters Shirley (Ohlson) and Mourine (Marco) and a brother George Frederick Heege III (1930-2001).  She is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Kirkwood, MO.
  • Kennedy, LTJG Margaret Grace (USNR)

    "First from Webster to be killed in the Korean War is a woman, Lt. (jg) Margaret Kennedy, 27, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward J. Kennedy, May Street. Word of the death of the Webster Naval nurse was contained in a telegram received yesterday by the parents, states that she was one of 26 who were killed in the crash of a Navy Transport plane Sept. 9, 1950, off Kwajalein, the Pacific's worst military air accident. Not only is Lt. Kennedy the first woman to give her life, but the first woman in any war to be killed, and who claimed Webster for her home. News of the death of their daughter was received by her parents in the following telegram: "It is with deep regret that I officially report the death of your daughter, Lt. (jg) Margaret Grace Kennedy, USNR, on 9 September, as a result of a plane crash which occurred in Kwajalein, in the Marshall Islands. When further details concerning recovery of remains are received, you will be informed promptly. Your daughter dies while serving her country and in the performance of her duty. Admiral John W. Roper, Chief of Naval Personnel." Miss Kennedy served as a naval nurse in World War II, and at the end of the war, entered Denver University, graduating last year. She recently re-entered the Naval Service, and was stationed at San Diego. She volunteered for overseas duty and was on her way to the theater of war when the plane disaster occurred. She was born in Webster, attended school here and graduated from Bartlett High School. She entered Peter Bent Brigham Hospital and graduated from the training school, later entering the service in World War II. Surviving are her parents, a sister, Helen Kennedy in California, and a brother, Thomas of Webster, who served in World War II and was a member of L Company, which was Federalized from here." [Source: Webster (Massachusetts) Times, September 21, 1950]

    According to a 1951 issue of the American Journal of Nursing, Lieutenant Kennedy graduated from Peter Brigham Hospital in Boston in 1944 and was a general duty nurse for a few months before joining the NNC in 1944.  She had a period of duty at Portsmouth, Virginia, Chelsea, Massachusetts, Newport, Rhode Island, and at Long Beach and San Diego in California.

  • Lt. JG Mary Eleanor Liljegreen
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    Liljegreen, Lt. JG Mary Eleanor (USN)

    Mary Eleanor Liljegreen was born on August 31, 1925, one of three children born to Carl Joseph Liljegreen (1892-1976) and Agnes Elizabeth Wyse Liljegreen (1890-1968).  A 1942 graduate of West Seattle High School and Seattle University, she took her nurse's training at Providence Hospital School of Nursing, graduating in 1946.  After graduation she was employed at Providence Hospital until signing up for the Navy on July 1, 1947.  She reported for duty at the Naval Hospital in Oakland, California, on September 2, 1947, and remained there until December 5, 1949.  On December 28, 1949, she reported for duty at the US Naval Hospital in Bremerton, where she remained until receiving overseas orders for Yokosuka Hospital in Japan on September 11, 1950.  She was the sister of former World War II POW LeRoy Randolph "Lee" Liljegreen (1916-1997), who was the husband of nurse Miriam Jeannette Smith Liljegreen (1921-2012), and sister of Mrs. Timothy Hugh Harn Jr. (Elizabeth Louise "Betty") (1923-2001), who was also a nurse and graduate of Providence Hospital School of Nursing.  Mary Eleanor's hometown was listed as Seattle, Washington.

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    Photos courtesy of the
    Harn Family Archives

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  • Rundell, Ens. Edna June (USN)

    Born August 1, 1926 on a farm near Stafford, Kansas, Ensign Rundell was the daughter of Lee Harold Rundell (1891-1949) and Gladys June Vincent Rundell (1895-1983) of Stafford.  Her siblings were sisters Anna Lee Rundell Lee (1917-1989), Evelyn Rundell (Gilmer) (1922-1981), Dorothy M. Rundell Hathaway (1930-1996), and Helen Marie Lofland (1916-2001), and brothers Harold and Jay, both World War II veterans.  Her grandmother, who was living at the time, was Mrs. J.W. Vincent of Stafford.

    Edna June attended Liberty Grade School and then graduated from the Stafford High School with the Class of 1944.  In June of the same year she entered cadet nurses training at the St. Elizabeth Hospital in Hutchinson, graduating in 1947.  She worked as a nurse in the hospital at Wellington, Kansas, and while there she enlisted as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy.  She reported for duty at the UN Naval Hospital in Bremerton, Washington, on December 30, 1948 and remained there until receiving overseas orders to the US Naval Hospital in Yokosuka, Japan on September 11, 1950.

    She was a member of the Methodist church in Stafford.  Her obituary stated: "She was a loveable and pleasant girl, very sincere in her work of helping others.  She made many friends in her work and varied interests in life.  Edna was fond of music and the piano was her constant companion.  She will be sadly missed by all who knew her, especially her family."

    At the time of her death, Edna's sisters, Helen Lofland and Dorothy Hathaway, were residing in California, and their mother had gone to California to visit them and see her daughter Edna June before she left for overseas duty.  Mrs. Rundell was still in California when she got the news of her daughter's death.

    Photographs and news clippings relating to Edna June Rundell are located in another section of this page.

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Douglas C-54 Medical Transport - September 26, 1950

There were forty-three passengers and eight crew members onboard this Douglas C-54-DC (DC-54) Skymaster medical aircraft (registration number 42-72457) when it crashed in the Korea strait one mile from the end of the runway after taking off from Ashiya Air Base.  The aircraft was assigned to the 6th Troop Carrier Squadron of the 374th Troop Carrier Wing based in Tachikawa Air Base, Japan. Killed were eighteen passengers and five crew members, including one of two females on the flight, Vera M. Brown.

  • Brown, Vera Maude

    Captain Brown, a World War II nurse from Birmingham, Alabama, was assigned to the 801st Medical Air Evacuation Squadron and was on this air evacuation flight.  According to the Office of the Air Force Surgeon General in Washington, D.C., Captain Brown received the Distinguished Flying Cross posthumously.  She also received an Air Medal posthumously. (See the Awards section of this page.)  It should be noted that in an official preliminary accident report transmission from Far East Air Forces headquarters, Vera Brown (Service Number 763137) was listed as flight nurse "Victor" Brown.

    Vera Maude Brown was born in Cragford, Alabama on November 10, 1920, which meant that she was 29 years old at the time of her death.  She was the daughter of Mrs. H. W. (Arizona Mackey) Boone of Birmingham, and the sister of Mrs. Virginia (Hodnett) Covington, both of whom lived at 8605 3rd Avenue North, Birmingham 6, Alabama.  In addition to her mother and sister, she was survived by a niece and nephew. Her father was deceased.  She was a member of the Baptist Church.

    Vera graduated from Randolph County High School in Wedowee, Alabama in 1939, and then from the Training School for Nurses at Norwood Hospital, Birmingham, Alabama, on September 01, 1942.  She was a nurse at the Knight Sanitorum in Roanoke, Alabama before working as an obstetrical supervisor at Norwood Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama from September to December 1942.  She served one month in January 1943 as Head Nurse at Norwood Hospital.  She joined the Army Nurse Corps thereafter.

    In October of 1944 1st Lieutenant Brown was transferred from the 28th AAF Base Unit, AAF Regional Station Hospital No. 1 at Coral Gables, Florida, to the AAF Convalescent Hospital in Miami, Florida.  She was ordered to the School of Aviation Medicine, Randolph field, Texas, on July 8, 1945 for a course of instruction in aviation nursing that lasted nine weeks.  After she graduated from the AAF School of Aviation Medicine on September 8, 1945, she had a tour of duty in a general hospital in Japan.  She was designated "flight nurse" in October of 1945 at Randolph Field.  On March 31, 1946, she filled out a request for an allotment of $75-$85 per month for her mother's living expenses.  She was stationed at March Field, Riverside, California, in 1947 in Squad M, 420th AAF BU as a 1st Lieutenant.  Records in her file indicate that she had participated in regular and frequent aerial flights (air evacuation) since 1 April 1949, and was recommended for flying status as of May 1, 1949.

    A commander's report from March Field stated that Vera Brown was:  "An attractive, cheerful nurse, has a pleasing personality, is extremely well liked by all her associates, carries on her duties in an efficient manner, gives the patients excellent care."  Another similar report stated: "This officer possesses a very wholesome attitude, she is friendly and feels her responsibility toward her superiors and toward those who are under her jurisdiction and care.  Accepts responsibility cheerfully and is conscientious."  Vera's job proficiency reports from all of her commanding officers were full of high praise for her.

    In July of 1949, at her request, Vera Brown was transferred from Department Reserve, US Army, to the US Air Force Reserve.  She had temporary duty with the 19th Medical Group in Guam in 1949, and then received orders for further TDY to the 347th Troop Carrier Wing for five days in November of 1949 for the purpose of evacuating patients.  That same November, Capt. Vera Brown certified that she elected to remain on active duty from November 30, 1949 to November 30, 1950.  She was transferred to Japan on February 29, 1950.  On June 5, 1950, she received orders for temporary duty with the 51st Medical Group.  While on temporary duty with the 801st M.A.E.S. in Honshu, Japan, she received the following report from Capt. Louise Bainbridge, her superior officer, on June 15, 1950:  "Subject officer has prerequisites of an excellent nurse.  Does not hesitate to seek advice.  Conscientious, aggressive and cooperative.  This officer shows a high degree of judgment in economical management of personnel and resources under her supervision, commensurate with her responsibilities.  One who willingly accepts her responsibilities toward the control, supervision, direction and instruction of subordinates, and exacts a high degree of conformance to standards of conduct and discipline expected of Air Force Officers. A financially responsible, trustworthy officer who has high moral standards.  A reserved and serious officer who has a most pleasing personality and would be useful as a staff duty nurse or chief nurse. This officer could easily assume a more important position and greater responsibilities.  She endeavors to keep herself informed of new developments and techniques in her profession."

    Captain Vera Brown perished in an aircraft accident on September 26, 1950.  Her remains were recovered following the aircraft accident and she was taken to the 118th Station Hospital, where se was pronounced dead on arrival.  The official government report lists cause of death as, "Drowning, secondary to air crash."  Soon thereafter, permission was granted to remove the remains to the United States Cemetery in Yokohama, Honshu, Japan.  They were later transferred back to the States via the USNS General Walker on October 16, 1950 to San Francisco, California, and then transported to Alabama, where she was buried in Forest Hill Cemetery.   In her honor, in May of 1951 the Future Nurses Club of Phillips High School. Birmingham, Alabama, became the Vera M. Brown Chapter, Future Nurses of America.

    George Truman William Waters of Heflin, Alabama, a World War II Prisoner of War and author of the book, No Thought for Tomorrow, remembers Vera Brown because they were both graduates of Randolph County High School in the Class of 1939.  Carolyn Johnson of Roopville, Georgia wrote to the KWE in February 2014 to say, "What memories you brought back with your mention of Capt. Vera Maude Brown.  Her mother, Mrs. Boone, was a very caring neighbor of my parents before I was born.  My parents lost a child in a car accident, and Mrs. Boone was a great help to them.  Vera Maude must have been a teenager in 1937 when my sister was born.  She stayed and helped until Mama was able to do her housework.  I don't know whether they paid her.  I was three and don't remember her, but have heard them speak favorably of her so many times.  Her nursing instincts must have come in early, as they told of one time they thought I had been hurt and the care she gave me.  I'm sorry I don't have a picture of her.  I don't recall ever seeing one.  I would love to know more about her."

    Funeral services for Capt. Vera Brown were held at Brown-Service Chapel with Dr. Lambuth Archibald and Rev. H.O. Hester officiating.  Burial was in Forest Hill Cemetery.  Members of Irondale Post No. 160, American Legion, were pallbearers.  North Jefferson Post No. 102 of the Legion conducted graveside services.

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C-47 Skymaster  - December 22, 1952

  • McClure, Virginia May

    Virginia McClure

    Virginia May McClure was born to Edgar R. McClure (1885-1972) and Lena M. Talcott McClure (1886-1945) on June 13, 1922, in Tabor, Iowa.  She went to school there until her last year of high school, when she transferred to Springfield, South Dakota.  Her father was the former editor of the Tabor Beacon newspaper in Tabor, and was a former co-owner of the Fontanelle Observer newspaper in Fontanelle, Iowa.  In 1938 he moved his family to Springfield, South Dakota, where he became editor of the Springfield Times in Bon Homme County.

    Virginia graduated from high school in 1939 and then went to Southern State Teachers College for a year.  After that she went to the school of nursing at Lutheran hospital in Sioux City, Iowa. Virginia graduated from the nursing school in 1943 with a degree in nursing and x-ray technology. Before she enlisted into military service, Virginia was employed in her field in Sioux City.

    Virginia joined the Air Force nursing service in June of 1951. Lt. McClure was assigned to the hospital at Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, Mississippi, then applied for overseas service, and was assigned to duty in the Far East, which allowed her to fulfill a dream becoming flight nurse. Lt. McClure was assigned to the 801st Airborne Evacuation Service and served as a flight nurse on a C-47 Skymaster transport stationed first at Tachikawa Air Base in Tokyo, then to Brady Air Base, southern Japan, before being flown to Korea for a 30-day temporary assignment on December 20, 1952. In a letter home, written December 21, the day before her death, she told of her arrival in Korea and described the nurses’ Quonset huts. Her assignment was to fly on the planes bringing the wounded from the forward areas back to the hospitals.

    First Lieutenant Virginia May McClure was killed along with the eleven other occupants of their C-47 when it collided on the runway with a jet fighter plane on December 22, 1952, in South Korea. The body of Lt. McClure was returned to the United States and was buried next to her mother at Fontanelle Cemetery, Fontanelle, Iowa.  Surviving her death was her father and her brother, Lucien McClure.

    One colleague remembered that Virginia was kind to everyone she met and was generous to all. A superior officer wrote, “…her eagerness, attention to duty, and personality were of the very best, and it was a pleasure to have her under my command.”

    Lieutenant Virginia May McClure was awarded the Air Medal, Purple Heart, the Korean Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean War Service Medal, and the United Nations Service Medal.

    [Source: South Dakota Korean War Memorial - A portion of this biography was respectfully submitted to the South Dakota Veterans Memorial by Chantelle Rae Janke, 8th grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota on May 11, 2004. Also, the American Battle Monuments Commission, SD National Guard Museum, and the January 1, 1953 issue of the Springfield Times provided information for this entry.  Other material was found by the KWE online.]

  • Margaret Fae Perry
    (Click picture for a larger view)

    Perry, Margaret Fae

    Born on January 31, 1923 in Morgantown, West Virginia, she was one of ten children born to Pasquel Perry (1889-1963) and Serafina Marra Perry.  Margaret graduated from University High School and St. Mary's School of Nursing in Clarksburg.  Before joining the Air Force, she was an employee of the General Hospital as a supervisor of the second floor hall and at one time was in charge of the maternity ward.  She was also an industrial nurse at Heyden Chemical Corporation in Morgantown, West Virginia.  She furthered her education at West Virginia University and Fairmont State, completing postgraduate work at the University of Chicago.  She joined the Air Force in February 1950 and trained at Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. 

    After her commission as a 2nd Lieutenant, she attended a six-course program at military flight school in Montgomery, Alabama for training in air evacuation of wounded personnel.  After that she was assigned to the 1453rd Squadron at Hickam Air Force in Hawaii.  She flew numerous air evacuation flights from Korea to Guam, Japan, Hawaii, and mainland USA while serving in the Korean War with the 801st Medical Air Evacuation Squadron.  She was nearing the end of her military commitment and was scheduled to ship back to the United States after completing her final mission from Suwon Airfield (K-13) in Korea on December 22, 1952.  That day, because of confusion over takeoff instructions, the C-47 plane on which she was aboard collided with an F80C Shooting Star fighter.  The C-47 was being flown by the Royal Hellenic Air Force.  Both planes had been cleared for takeoff.  When the two planes collided there was an explosion and nurses Margaret Fae Perry and Virginia May McClure were both killed, along with 11 others onboard.

    Margaret Fae's siblings were brothers Sgt. Samuel Perry (KIA while serving with the 979th FAB in World War II), Martin A. Perry (1914-1993), Frank Perry (1919-2006), and Jack Perry, and sisters Teresa A. Perry (1917-2009), Pasqualyn Ann "Pat" Perry Peelish (1921-2011), Rose Perry Yedlosky, Mary Perry Baliker, and Virginia Perry Como (died 2013).

Pentagon Dispensary Fatality - December 26, 1952

  • Baker, Lillian Faustine

    Major Baker served as a nurse in Italy during World War II,  During the Korean Wr she served as Officer in Charge of the Pentagon Dispensary.  She died on December 26, 1952 of a brain tumor.


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Nurses - USS Benevolence Tragedy

There were 15 Navy nurses onboard the USS Benevolence when she sank.  One perished.  [See also Stateside Tragedies-USS Benevolence on the KWE.] The fifteen nurses included the following:
  1. Brennan, Marie Rita - Born April 19, 1917 in Buffalo, New York, Lieutenant Brennan married John Richard "Jack" Leister (1919-1998), a Navy veteran of World War II and the Korean War.  Marie died July 5, 1982 in Los Angeles, California.  She and Jack are buried in the St. Johns Lutheran Cemetery, Spinnerstown, Pennsylvania.
  2. Deignan, Mary - Born May 28, 1922 in Seattle, Washington, Mary resigned from the Navy Nurse Corps on September 26, 1951.  She was married to LTJG A.P. Lesperance, US Navy.  Her sisters were Therese Marie Deignan, Barbara Deignan, and Helen Deignan.  Her brothers were Joe and John Deignan.  Mary had twin daughters, one of whom is still living.  Mary lives in Seattle.
  3. Dyer, Mary Eileen - From Cleveland, Ohio, Mary married a Sherwin.  No further information has been found to date.
  4. Fralic, Jean C. - born May 7, 1913 in York, Pennsylvania, Jean died July 30, 1990 in Gulfport, Mississippi.  [Her name is also found spelled in various newspapers as Frolic].  Jean's most recent duty station before the Benevolence assignment was at the Portsmouth Naval Hospital.
  5. Harkins, Lt(jg) Catherine Nina - From Milwaukee, Wisconsin, she was the daughter of Mrs. Margaret Harkins and sister of Margaret Harkins, both of 2650 N. 60th Street in Milwaukee.  Age 43 at the time of the Benevolence sinking, Catherine had been in the Navy eight years.  She did not know how to swim.  It is believed her father's name was Richard Harkins of Milwaukee as the names Richard, Margaret, Catherine, Margaret and Francis (or Frances) Harkins show up as a household on the 1930 census there.
  6. Harrington, Eleanor Elizabeth - From Lowell, Massachusetts, she was born on November 3, 1911 in Rhode Island, one of three daughters of Timothy J. Harrington of Lowell.  A graduate of St. Elizabeth's School of Nursing in Brighton, Massachusetts, she joined the Navy Nurse Corps in 1935.  She was transferred to the USS Relief in 1939, where she served as senior nurse officer for three years during World War II.  Later she survived the sinking of the USS Benevolence, and thereafter became chief nurse on the hospital ship USS Haven off the Korean coast. She was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in 1955.  Her sister Mary Dolores Harrington [believed to later be Mrs. Frank Fox] was an Army Corps Nurse at the same time Eleanor was a Navy nurse.  In 1958 Eleanor married and her name changed to Eleanor Ritter.
  7. Karn, Patricia Ann - Born March 17, 1923 in Indiana, Patricia was 27 when the Benevolence sank.  She was the daughter of Harry D. and Lucille J. Rannels Karn.  She died December 17, 1997 at Point Loma, California, at the age of 71.  She was the niece of Robert Rannels and Kathleen Carithers.  (See News Clippings, Logansport Press, August 29, 1950.)
  8. Ledbetter, Wilma "Leddie" of Chillicothe, TX - The only fatality among the nurses who were on the Benevolence when she sank. After memorial services at the U.S. Naval Hospital Chapel in Oakland, California, on September 2, 1950, her body was accompanied back to Chillicothe from California by fellow Benevolence nurse Josephine McCarthy.  Wilma is buried in Chillicothe Cemetery, Chillicothe, next to her parents.  Her sister Emily told the Korean War Educator that Wilma was more like a mother to her than a sister.  Wilma paid for Emily to attend McMurry College in Abilene and Emily then taught school for about 30 years, retiring in 1986.  Emily's daughters are Wilma Sandra and Marsha Diane.  In 2013, Emily was the last living Ledbetter sister, residing in Clyde, Texas. [See "Tribute to Lt. Wilma Ledbetter" in the Fatalities-USS Benevolence section of this KWE page.]
  9. Lipuscek, Marie - Married Frank Cassani and now (2013) is 94 years old and lives in East Weymouth, MA.  (See Eyewitness Accounts.)
  10. Martin, Ruth Whitmell - Born April 23, 1925 in Thibodaux, Louisiana, Ruth married Frank Siso Deus on November 25 1955 in Thibodaux after resigning as a Naval Lieutenant.  They have four children: Roderick, Frank Jr., Karin and Pamela.  Ruth currently lives (2013) in Mandeville, Louisiana.  Ruth's account of the sinking can be found in the book, A Few Good Women, by Evelyn Monahan and Rosemary Neidel-Greenlee.  See also on this page: Eyewitness Accounts.

  11. Gail Matthews
    (Click picture for a larger view)

    Matthews, Gail Celeste of Scranton, PA - Born February 2, 1920 in Scranton, she graduated from Central High School, Scranton and the Sherman School of Expression.  She then went on to graduate from the Moses Taylor Hospital School of Nursing in Scranton in the Class of 1941.  At Moses Taylor Gail was president of the student government.  After graduating from Moses Taylor Miss Matthews studied at Cornell Medical Center in New York.  She was a member of the American Red Cross.  She joined the U.S. Navy on September 1, 1942 and was on the hospital staff of the Monmouth Memorial Hospital at Long Beach, New York, for six months.  She was commissioned an Ensign in the US Navy Nurse Corps on January 5, 1943.  Her first duty was at St. Albans Naval Hospital in New York for six months.  She served in the dispensary at USNHS in Brunswick, Maine from August 1943 to September 1944.  From September 1944 to March 1945 she was at the US Naval Hospital in Brooklyn, New York. During World War II she served on the hospital ship USS Tranquility from March to November 1945 before returning to St. Albans from November 1945 to January 1946.  She was out of the service from January to March 1946, and then reentered the service in March of 1946.  She served at the naval hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia almost two years (March 1946-March 1948) and then was assigned to Pensacola, Florida USNHS Hospital from March 1948 until August 1950 before being transferred to the US Navy Hospital ship USS Benevolence in August 1950.  Her last duty was at the US Naval Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, where she was a supervisor (night duty) in the Dependents Hospital from October 1950 until she was discharged November 26, 1952.   After serving in the Navy Nurses Corps during World War II and the Korean War, Gail married Dr. Charles Fain, a Navy veteran who served with the Marines as a dentist/physician in the Chosin Reservoir campaign.  Gail died on August 13, 2011 while residing in Holly Hill, Florida.  She was predeceased by a daughter, Betsy Fain Bryant.  She was survived by her husband of 60 years and a stepdaughter, Loretta Parzenti of San Diego, California. Ironically, Gail was on a ship that picked up many survivors of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis.  Her diary about that is held in Indianapolis.  Gail's mother was Elizabeth Stover Matthews and her siblings were Carolyn, Abel S., Chester, and Edward S. Matthews.
  12. McCarthy, Josephine Elizabeth - Josephine was born August 13, 1912 in Renovo, the daughter of Charles and Mary E. Russell McCarthy.  She graduated from St. Bernard High School in Bradford, Pennsylvania, and then graduated from St. Vincent Hospital School of Nursing in Erie.  She served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and was injured in the Benevolence accident.  She was later assigned duty as a Navy nurse in Italy.  She retired after 12 years as a lieutenant.  She was a plank member of the U.S. Naval Memorial Association.  She married Paul J. Paparella in Bradford in 1954.  He died in 1988.  Josephine died on July 22, 1991 in the U.S. Naval Hospital Center, Bethesda, Maryland, and is buried in St. Bernard Cemetery, Bradford, PA.  She had one brother Charles R. "Rick" McCarthy, who died in 2005.
  13. Neville, Rosemary Clare of Omaha, NE - Believed to be the daughter of Francis M. and Rose Neville and sister of William F. Neville (he died 1998), Rosemary was born February 14, 1921 and died December 13, 2012.  She is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Omaha, NE.
  14. Venverloh, Dorothy J.  - Graduated from St. John's Nursing School in 1941.  In 1947 she volunteered for the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps.  When she retired she spent the remainder of her life caring for elderly relatives and neighbors who had no family to care for them.  She died July 17, 2005 and is buried in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis.
  15. Wallis, Helen F. (could not swim) - Grew up in Malvern, Arkansas, graduating from Malvern High School and the Baptist Hospital School of Nursing in Little Rock, Arkansas.  She joined the Navy in 1947.  In 1952 she married Chaplain George L. Martin and they became one of the very first dual-career military couples.  She resigned her commission in 1957 prior to the birth of their daughter Mary in 1958.  Helen died October 20, 2009 and is buried in Hillside Cemetery, Purcell, Oklahoma.  Chaplain Martin died February 23, 2002.

Eleven of the nurses were tied together before they stepped off the sinking ship into the frigid water.  Mary Deignan swam by herself to a nearby life raft.  Marie Lipuscek and Patricia Karns stuck together until they were rescued by a tugboat.  Helen Wallis was assisted by an MSTS crew member until she was rescued by an Italian fisherman.

Hospital Train Nurses

The Korean War Educator learned about the hospital trains used during the Korean War through the book, 8138th Army Unit Hospital Trains: Korean War by KB Taylor, whose aunt was Lt. Virginia Mae Taylor, nurse on Train 105.  Information about Taylor's book is listed in this page section.  See: sr201508hospital.pdf (nmra.org). See also: railwaysurgery.org/Army.htm. . 

Hospital Train Nurses

  • Kropp, 1Lt. Evelyn - Train 102
  • LoCicero, Capt. Josephine - Train 102
  • Lanternier, Lt. Charlotte R. - Train 104
  • Liberty, Col. Frances Mary
  • Potocik, Lt. Elizabeth (Betty) - Train 103
  • Taylor, Lt. Virginia Mae - Train 105
  • Toole, Capt. Lena - Train 108
  • Wade, Lt. - Train 101


Aynes, Edith, "Hospital Trains in Korea", The American Journal of Nursing, February 1952, Vol. 52, Issue 2, pp. 166-167

RN Aynes explains the role of the hospital trains in Korea through the memories of Capt. Josephine LoCicero, an Army nurse on Train 102.  Life wasn't easy for the nurses assigned to the hospital trains, and Aynes explains why in great detail. 

Taylor, KB., 8138th Army Unit Hospital Trains: Korean War

Summary: The critical role of the hospital trains during the Korean War told through firsthand accounts of a nurse and a medic who cared for the wounded on their journey from the frontlines.  Until September 1950 when the first mercy trains arrived from the States, Korean passenger cars were used to evacuate the wounded.  By year end 1951, additional hospital-ward cars had arrived and the 8138th Hospital Train Unit was formed and divided into eight trains: 101 through 108.  In one location, the hospital trains went as far forward as 8,000 yards from the enemy lines (30 miles north of the 38th parallel).  Each train's capacity was 216, but during heavy fighting, as many as 300 or more were transported.  (General James A. Van Fleet/Rail Transport and the Winning of Wars stated: "Evacuation of wounded by hospital trains (Korea) saved thousands of lives.") Order Information: ISBN: 9781733369756 (copyright 2021); 7x10 Soft Cover, 174 pages, 200 = pictures, 70 of these in color.  Amazon.com = $14.95 (50w paper); BarnesandNoble.com or Bookshop.org = $17.25 (70w paper) About the Author: KB Taylor, raised in Grays Harbor County, Washington State, worked as a project-control manager for an aerospace contractor in San Diego.  She and her husband now reside in Washington State.  She is an award-winning author whose previous novel is the WILLA award winner: The Seagirls of the Irene--a children's book based on family history.  The author's website is www.kb-taylor.com.

The "Lucky Thirteen"

Army nurses with the 1st MASH (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) landed on the beach at Inchon, Korea, on September 15, 1950. Because mobile and evacuation hospitals followed the troops and extremely fluid battle lines, Army nurses often found themselves closer to the front than anticipated. As the 1st MASH moved from Inchon to Pusan with the 7th Infantry Division, they came under attack in the early morning of October 9, 1950. During the battle, the nurses retreated to a roadside ditch. “The whole sky was lit up by gunfire and burning vehicles,” reported Chief Nurse Major Eunice Coleman. “About sun up we got out of the ditch and started treating the wounded. All that day we worked on the roadside operating and treating for shock. We lost eight men and a number of supply vehicles.” After the ambush, the nurses began calling themselves 'The Lucky Thirteen.' [Source of paragraph: Women's Military Memorial website]  The KWE is still searching for the entire list of the "Lucky Thirteen".  Contact Lynnita@thekwe.org if you know a nurse whose name should be added.]

  • Baxter, Julia Choate - 1Lt. Baxter entered the Army Nurse Corps in April of 1945.  She arrived in Korea with the first group of nurses and then was transferred to Tokyo Army Hospital in Japan in late 1950, working in an operating room.  Later she served in the Middle East and retired as a Major.
  • Benninger, Marian L. - Captain Benniger was from Shillington, Pennsylvania.
  • Briton, ____ - Sgt,
  • Cardeler, _____ - Capt.
  • Coleman, Eunice - Chief Nurse Coleman was born March 21, 1903 in Wilbarger County, Texas, daughter of Leonard Alvin and Mary Elizabeth Coleman.  She had four siblings.  She received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota, and then was stationed in Duke, Oklahoma, before the outbreak of the Korean War.  She received a Bronze Star with V.  She later served at the Kansas City General Hospital School of Nursing.  She died August 15, 1983.
  • Fleming, Margaret Zane - She served in the Army Nurse Corps from 1941 to 1945 and 1950 to 1953.
  • Lain, ____ - Capt.
  • Quinn, Mary C. - 1Lt.
  • Smarz, Marie - As a nurse with the Army Nurse Corps (ANC), 1st Lieutenant Smarz was one of the 13 nurses (the Lucky 13) who were deployed to Korea with the 7th Infantry Division.  She was posted to the 1st Mobile Army Surgical Hospital after her arrival in Korea on September 15, 1950. From Inchon the Lucky 13 moved to Pusan.  They had to take cover on October 9, 1950 when they came under fire.
  • Thurness, Elizabeth June -  "After graduating from Ohio State School of Nursing in 1936, Elizabeth Jane Thurness worked as a district nurse for the city of Columbus, Ohio. In March 1941, she enlisted in the Army and commissioned as a second lieutenant. During World War II, Thurness served as a nurse in Iceland, England, Germany, France and Austria. She worked in both evacuation hospitals and assisted victims rescued from concentration camps. One of Thurness’s final deployment destinations in Europe was in Austria, where she nursed prisoners from the Nazi concentration camp in Ebensee. After World War II, Thurness transferred to Japan to care for those injured in the blasts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Upon her return to the United States, Thurness received specialized Army training to be a nurse anesthetist. In 1950, that training led her to the Korean War, where she deployed as one of 13 Army nurses assigned to the First Mobile Army Surgical Hospital. During the war, Thurness helped care for 120 severely wounded civilians in a makeshift clinic. As a specialized Army nurse, Thurness followed the mobile hospitals along the front lines that treated wounded soldiers. In October 1950, she was with the 1st Mobile Army Surgical Hospital when it came under attack following its removal from Incheon to Busan, South Korea. Thurness was not injured during the attack and helped other uninjured nurses with treating the newly wounded. After the attack, in November, Thurness moved north to the Chinese border to treat wounded soldiers from the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. She remained there until the evacuation of Hungnam in December. For her work during the attack and throughout the war, Thurness later received a Bronze Star Medal. After the Korean War, Thurness worked in a military hospital at Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, that specialized in treating burn victims. She also served for two years at a military hospital in Heidelberg, Germany. In 1957, she received her bachelor’s degree in nursing education from the University of Pittsburgh. In 1959, Thurness became a nurse at Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. She spent the remainder of her career there teaching doctors and working in anesthesiology. Thurness retired from the military in 1965 as a lieutenant colonel. In popular culture, Thurness is considered to be one of three nurses who inspired the character Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan on the television series M*A*S*H. Thurness died in 2003. She was 87. We honor her service." [Source: VAntage Point website]

Original 121st Evacuation Hospital Nurses

First Arrivals

  1. Adams, 1Lt. Harriet M. - Cleveland, Ohio
  2. Baker, Maj. Mescal - McKeesport, Pennsylvania
  3. Blatt, Maj. Margaret E. - Freedom, Pennsylvania
  4. Bolinger, 1Lt. Dorothy L. - Niles, Michigan
  5. Budnick, 1Lt. Eve - Minersville, Pennsylvania
  6. Canalas, 1Lt. Irena - Indianapolis, Indiana
  7. Chaponis, 1Lt. Anastasia - Manchester, Connecticut
  8. Crowell, Capt. Thelma - Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  9. Donie, Mrs. Anne Prejean - Hammonton, New Jersey
  10. Gibson, 1Lt. Margaret G. - Meridian, Michigan
  11. Hanley, 1Lt. Margaret M. - Lawrence, Massachusetts
  12. Hartley, Capt. Mary E. - New Bedford, Massachusetts
  13. Hawkins, Capt. Irene I. - Henderson, North Carolina
  14. Jablunovsky, 1Lt. Anne C. - Yatesboro, Pennsylvania
  15. King, Mrs. Anna Jacobs - Muskogee, Oklahoma
  16. Kingan, 1Lt. Harriet F. - Iroquois, New York
  17. Lipham, Capt. Corinne I. - Anniston, Alabama
  18. Martin, Capt. Lorraine H. - San Francisco, California
  19. McManus, Capt. Helen F. - Fall River, Massachusetts
  20. Miller, Mrs. Anne Currier - Sandwich, Massachusetts
  21. Moultrie, Capt. Mary L. - Woodbury, Virginia
  22. Perkins, Capt. Sarah E. - Bossemer, Alabama
  23. Pellegrene, 1Lt. Ada D. - Jackson, Michigan
  24. Rachluig, Miss Clara N. - Reno, Nevada (returned to the States first part of July 1951)
  25. Rainone, Capt. Lucy T. - Bronx, New York
  26. Robinette, Capt. A. Inez - Shreveport, Louisiana
  27. Roderick, Capt. Edith C. - Allentown, Pennsylvania
  28. Sabat, Capt. Julienna - Cleveland, Ohio
  29. Schneider, 1Lt. Patricia M. - Ocala, Florida
  30. Steen, 1Lt. Dorothy M. - Richmond, Indiana
  31. Taylor, 1Lt. Wahnetta M. - Washington, Pennsylvania
  32. Tesheneck, 1Lt. Marian V. - West Allis, Wisconsin
  33. Thomas, Capt. Frances - Cumberland, Virginia
  34. Toudouze, Capt. Mary P. - San Antonio, Texas
  35. Turton, Capt. Mildred P. - Richey, Michigan
  36. Vencelik, 1Lt. Rosemary - Tacoma, Washington
  37. Waltham, 1Lt. Janice Tucker - Waltham, Massachusetts (arrived August 25.1950/left December 25, 1950)
  38. Weeks, Capt. Grace E. - Kenansville, North Carolina
  39. Williams, 1Lt. Lorraine L. - Lockport, New York

Additional 121st Evac Nurses:

  • Anderson, Miss Lynn - reported for 10 days duty as relief nurse in June 1951
  • Bakita, Captain - nurse attached to the 1st Provisional Neuro-Surgical Detachment reported for duty June 20, 1951
  • Bartz, Lt. - reported for duty June 01, 1951
  • Campbell, Miss Maude - Army Reserve Corps - Reported for duty October 7, 1950.  Later reassigned to the Jutlandia hospital ship.
  • Dalton, Lt. - reported for duty June 01, 1951
  • Drake, 2Lt. Barbara F. - reported for duty January 09, 1951
  • Halls, Lt. Anna - reported for duty May 10, 1951
  • Hogan, 1Lt. Agnes - Army nurse Corps, taught corpsmen on the operation of the Emerson Respirator and care for such patients
  • Jansen, Captain - nurse attached to the 1st Provisional Neuro-Surgical Detachment reported for duty June 20, 1951
  • Jordan, Capt. Mary E. - reported for duty January 09, 1951
  • Richardson, Capt. Bertha - reported for duty December 28, 1950
  • Wardrop, Lt. Margaret - reported for duty May 21, 1951 to serve until May 26, 1951

Tesheneck Memoir

1Lt. Marian V. Tesheneck of West Allis, Wisconsin was on duty as a nurse in Washington, D.C. when she received orders to ship out to Korea.  Included in her interview is information about what happened to her fellow 121st Evac nurses after they returned to the States.  Also included is the diary of Major Mescal Baker.  See Marian Tesheneck Wagman's memoir here.


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Attention: Korean War Educator readers.  Do you know about a nurse that was serving in the U.S. military during the Korean War whose name does not already appear on this page above or below?  (Some nurses' bios are posted on the Notables section of this page.) The KWE invites you to contact Lynnita@thekwe.org to honor that nurse on this page.  All nurses posted in this section either served in Korea, Japan and other areas of the Pacific area, the States, or elsewhere in the world during the Korean War time frame.  The KWE salutes their dedication to their patients.

  • Affleck, Marilyn Ewing - After high school Marilyn attended nursing school at East Liverpool, Ohio City Hospital.  She joined the Navy on October 1, 1948.  She was stationed at Camp Pendleton one year (summer 1949-December 1950) and then was sent to Yokosuka Naval Hospital in Japan during the Korean War.  She worked there for 17 months on the orthopedic ward.  After returning to the States she began working at Bethesda Naval Hospital in May of 1952.
  • Bachmeyer, Janet A. - She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on September 24, 1920, but grew up in Chicago, Illinois.  He attended Rockford College for two years and then entered the three-year nursing program at Evangelical Hospital.  She enlisted in the Army in January of 1944 and was assigned to England on April 1944.  She returned to the United States and lived in San Francisco, California for eight years.  She rejoined active duty in the Korean War and was assigned to care for the wounded in Korea.  After that she was the chief nurse in Saigon, Vietnam.  She was later assigned to Nuremburg, Germany and several duty stations in the USA.  She retired in 1974 and died in Denver, Colorado on September 27, 2013.
  • Baker, Marie Constance Toner - Born February 14, 1935 in Philadelphia, Marie was a WAC nurse in Germany during the Korean War.   She died September 11, 2020.
  • Beeson, Zeta Hampton - Zeta was born July 07, 1911 in North Carolina, a daughter of Edward Helsabeck Beeson (1878-1951) and Christenia Hampton Beeson (1881-1966).  Her siblings included Henry Beeson, Otis Carrington Beeson (1902-1964), Joseph Raymond Beeson (1914-2005), Edward Helsabeck Beeson Jr. 1917-2008) and Ethan Conrad Beeson Sr. (1923-1995).  Zeta was a Captain in the Army Nurse Corps during World War II and the Korean War.  She died June 30, 1970 in Statesville, North Carolina.  She is buried in Crews Methodist Church Cemetery, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
  • Benning, Hilda L. "Bugsie" - Born in South Dakota on February 5, 1928, she was a flight nurse during the Korean War.  She retired in 1971 as a major.
  • Blehm, Ruth M. - Ruth received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing Education from the University of Pittsburgh.  She was a nurse in the Korean War.  She retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after more than 20 years in service to her country.  She died September 17, 2015.
  • Bosworth, Elizabeth "Beth" Chang - Beth was born in Honolulu and died April 10, 2020.  She graduated from Roosevelt High School and the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in nursing.  After graduation she was a U.S. Army officer and MASH unit nurse during the Korean War. 
  • Bradley, Mary Lee Lance - Mary was born February 11, 1915, daughter of Luther William Lance (1884-1967) and Cora Lou Peden Lance (1892-1974).  Mary Lance Bradley, 101, passed away peacefully with her family on Wednesday, September 28, 2016. Mary was the oldest daughter of 13 children, raised on a farm in Chillicothe, Texas. She had also lived in Crownsville, Md., for four years. Mary became a registered nurse in 1939 and later an anesthetist, practicing until her retirement in 1978. She served 15 years in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps; stationed in the Pacific theater during both World War II and the Korean War. She was a loving mother, devoted wife and active member of her church family, Oakhurst United Methodist (later merged to become Faith United Methodist). Her faith was always her strength and light, which guided her care and service to others. She was also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star. Mrs. Bradley was preceded in death by her husband of 35 years, retired U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Charles J. "Brad" Bradley.  She is survived by her beloved son, Charles Lance Bradley and his wife, Marsha A. Bradley, of Crownsville, Maryland; and her most precious granddaughters, Cora A. Bradley and Jessa K. Bradley. She is also survived by her loving brothers, Raymond Lance of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, and Larry Keith Lance of Plainview; and many devoted nieces and nephews.
  • Britton, Janice Feagin - "Janice Feagin Britton of Spanish Fort, Alabama, died February 20, 2014, at age 92 after a lifetime of service and adventure. Britton served in the U.S. Army Air Corps’ 801st Medical Air Evacuation Squadron from 1945 to 1948 and then in the U.S. Air Force from 1948 to 1952, achieving the rank of captain. At the end of World War II, she was stationed in the Pacific, where she witnessed the aftermath of Hiroshima’s destruction. Britton saw the start of the Korean War in 1950 and was among the first group of flight nurses to bring wounded soldiers back from the front lines. She earned a master’s degree in nursing administration at Boston University and studied at Columbia University in New York City. Britton developed a two-year associate degree nursing program at Pensacola Junior College, the first in the state of Florida, and a two-year nursing program at Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek, Michigan. In 1966 she was commissioned by the Board of World Missions of the Presbyterian Church to serve as a medical missionary in Brazil from 1967 to 1970. A few years after the death of her husband, Francis, she volunteered at age 78 for the U.S. Peace Corps, serving in Zambia from 1998 to 2000. In recent years she had been an active member of the Gulf Coast Chapter of the Korean War Veterans Association and American Legion Post 199. She is survived by two nieces, several great-nieces and great-nephews, and many cousins." [Source: Obituary, Vanderbilt University]
  • Brooks, Helen Louise - Born September 20, 1918 in Lowell, Massachusetts, Helen joined the Navy Nurse Corps in 1944.  She served onboard the USS Consolation during the Korean War.  She was a chief nurse onboard Naval Support Activity (NSA) DaNang in 1968-69 during the Vietnam War.  She retired in 1971 after serving 30 years in the Navy/Navy Reserve.  She then worked in the Panama Canal Zone.  She died April 26, 2013.
  • Brown, Ethel Mary - The daughter of Mary E. Brown of Kansas, Sergeant Brown was a surgical technician with the 9th Medical Group at Travis AFB in 1950.
  • Burley, Mary T. - She was a nurse in Korea's 11th Evacuation Hospital's Renal Insufficiency Center.
  • Calcamuggio, Nona Ruyf - Born August 07, 1929, Nona married Spencer Calcamuggio on April 28, 1951.  She graduated from Toledo Hospital's School of Nursing in 1952 and joined the Army Reserves Nurses Corps.  She served as a 1st Lieutenant in the 8209 MASH unit in Korea and was honorably discharged from the Army in May of 1953.  She died September 12, 2021.
  • Cannon, Erin - Born July 17, 1923 in Augusta, Georgia, Erin received her nursing degree from the University Hospital in August in 1944.  She enlisted in the Army in 1945.  During the Korean War she was a nurse in the 8063rd MASH.  She landed with the 1st Cavalry Division at Pohang-Dong in 1950.  Erin was Chief of Nursing at the 29th Evacuation Hospital in Vietnam.  She died November 26, 2001 and is buried in Fort Logan Cemetery.
  • Carper, Phyllis - During World War II she worked as a Rosie the Riveter, welding copper boxes used on bombsights.  After the war she joined the Army Nurse Cadet Corps and was commissioned a 1st Lieutenant in the Army in 1950.  She spent three years as a triage nurse stationed in a hospital in Japan.
  • Chicken, Grace Elizabeth -  Lt. Colonel Chicken was born July 06, 1914.  After becoming a registered nurse she joined the Army Air Corps on July 1, 1942.  She became an aeroevac nurse during World War II, stationed in the Azores and later a hospital at Hickham Field in Honolulu, Hawaii.  After discharge from the Air Corps she attended Northwestern University in Chicago on the GI Bill.  She received a Masters degree in pathology.  When the Korean War broke out she was recalled to the Air Force and sent to Japan.  She assisted in flying patients from the battlefield in Korea to a tent hospital at Pusan or Japan.  The nurses flew from Japan to Korea in a C-47 with a load of equipment and supplies and then returned with wounded.  She retired in 1968.  After her military service she became an office nurse for orthopedic doctor Bob Wingo in Punta Gordo, Florida. [Source: Charlotte Sun newspaper, December 25, 2017] Lt. Colonel Chicken died October 05, 2021
  • Choate, Julia - Julia was born in Raleigh, North Carolina on August 29, 1920.  She entered nursing school through the US Army Cadet Nursing Corps on September 20, 1943. Upon graduation she entered the US Army Nurse Corps from Asheboro, North Carolina in April 1945 as a Second Lieutenant. Before Korea, her assignments included hospital operating rooms in the US, Germany and Japan. She entered Korea as a First Lieutenant and was later promoted to Captain.  She was one of 12 nurses to set up the first MASH unit in Korea.  US Army nurses stationed in the Korean War served six month rotations. Choate moved from Korea to the Tokyo Army Hospital in Japan in the winter of 1950-51. For the remainder of the war she worked in an operating room on soldiers needing more extensive surgery that could be provided in Korea. Her next posting was Iran. There Choate met and married her husband, Daryle Baxter, another Army officer. Due to her pregnancy the following year, Baxter was discharged from the military as pregnant nurses were not allowed to serve.
  • Cino, Sally - She was a nurse in a military hospital during the Korean War.
  • Coleman, Eunice Strange - Chief Nurse Major Eunice Coleman was born March 21, 1903 in Wilbarger County, Texas, daughter of Leonard Alvin and Mary Elizabeth Coleman.  She received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota, and prior to the Korean War she was a nurse in Duke, Oklahoma.  She received a Bronze Star with V from the Army Nurse Corps for her service in the Korean War.  After the war she served in the Kansas City General Hospital School of Nursing.  She died August 15, 1993.
  • Conder,  Maxine - Born and raised in Utah, Maxine trained as a nurse from 1944 to 1947.  She joined the Navy Nurse Corps as an Ensign in 1951.  She spent two years at stateside naval hospitals and then at the end of 1953 she joined the staff of the USS Haven hospital ship during the Korean War.  she served on Guam and then served in a Navy hospital in Chelsea, Massachusetts during the polio epidemic.  In 1975 she was promoted to Admiral and put in charge of 2,600 Navy nurses in the Navy Nurse Corps.
  • Cottrell, Marie - 1st Lieutenant Cottrell enlisted in the Army in April 1951.  In January of 1952 she was sent to Osaka, Japan.  In June 1952 she was transferred to Korea where she spent 14 months in the 121st Evacuation Unit as an operating room supervisor.  She was discharged in January 1954.
  • Crumpler, Mary Jane Wilcox - Born in Iowa, Mary Jane was commissioned at Philadelphia Naval Hospital in Philadelphia, caring for wounded Marines.  She served from 1952 to 1955 during the Korean War.  She later married Air Force pilot Carl Crumpler.  Her husband's plane was shot down on July 05, 1968 during the Vietnam War.  She was reunited with him in 1973 at Maxwell Air Force Base.
  • Daly, Mary - Mary was from Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania and in 1952-53 she was serving at the 8228 MASH in the western sector in Korea.
  • Demming, Lois C. Boleyn - Lois was born December 17, 1926.  She graduated from Peter Bent Brigham Nursing School in 1949 and became a registered nurse in January 1950.  She entered the Navy as a nurse in September 1950 and served in naval hospitals in Jacksonville, Florida and Portsmouth, Virginia.
  • DeVoe, Edith Mazie - Born October 24, 1921, she was the second black woman to be admitted to the US Navy Corps in World War II.  She was also the first black nurse admitted to the regular Navy.  She was a World War II and Korean War veteran.
  • Dixon, Ruth - Nurse in Korea.  Promoted to Major.
  • Donald, Mattie - Lieutenant Donald served as a nurse in the Korean War.
  • Dozier, Mildred A. - She was a captain and nurse in the US Air Force during the Korean War.
  • Drake, Cathy McDonough - Cathy was a native of Shelby, Montana.  She enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps in 1949 and was first dispatched to Korea to the 8076 MASH.  Attaining the rank of 1st Lieutenant, in Mary of 1951 she was briefly assigned to a MASH unit at Daejeon in South Korea.  She was transferred to a tent-based hospital located near the 38th parallel--the 8055 MASH, located 10 miles behind the front line.  There she met Dale Drake, an anesthesiologist at the 8055 in 1951.  McDonough shipped out of Korea in April of 1952 and began work at Walter Reed Hospital.  When Dale left Korea the couple married on June 6, 1953 and settled in Indiana.  They were parents of two daughters and one son.
  • England, Ethel M. Horn - Born September 3, 1927, Ethel was a US Army nurse who served in Japan during the Korean War.  She died February 10, 2020.
  • Esslinger, Edith Clara Roderick "Roddy" - Edith was born and raised in Allentown, Pennsylvania, daughter of John and Bertha Guernsey Roderick.  She graduated from Allentown High School in 1936 and from Reading (Pennsylvania) Hospital School of Nursing in 1939.  She enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps in 1942 and was sent to Fort Belvoir, Virginia.  From there she was sent to Needles, California and then O'Reilly General Hospital in Springfield, Ohio.  In 1944 she was sent to England's 91st General Hospital, Headington, Oxford.  She was promoted to Lieutenant in England.  Back in the States, she was promoted to Captain.  From 1945 to 1950 she was a nurse anesthetist at Walter Reed Hospital.  In August of 1950 she was sent to Fort Benning, Georgia, then San Francisco, California.  From there she went to Yokohama, Japan, and then to the 122nd Evacuation Hospital in Hamhung, North Korea.  There she helped care for veterans being evacuated from the Chosin Reservoir.  Back in the States she was sent to the army hospital in Fort Eustis, Virginia, and then Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in Texas.  She was discharged in 1955, but continued nursing as a civilian until 1984.  She died in September of 2019 at the age of 99.
  • Folk, Evelyn "Winnie" - Served in Korea 1954-55 with the 160th Neurosurgical Detachment of the 121st Evacuation Hospital.
  • Gibbs, Rose L. - She enlisted in the Army in 1949.  During the Korean War she served in military hospitals in Japan, caring for wounded Korean War veterans.
  • Goblirsch, Alice M. - Born in 1928, she was from Sleepy Eye, Minnesota.  She joined the Air Force as a flight nurse.  During the Korean War she served with the 801st Medical Air Evacuation Squadron, 315 Air Combat Troop Carrier Squadron.  She was stationed in Korea and Japan.  She served in Korea from December of 1951 to 1952.  She received her discharge in 1953.  After the war she worked at Wood Veterans Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  She married Harold Dorn.
  • Graham, Annie Ruth - Born on November 7, 1916, Annie Ruth served 26 years as an Army nurse.  She was a General Duty Nurse from January 1951 to September 1952 at the US Army Hospital in Camp Rucker, Alabama.  She was then a General Duty Nurse from October 1952 to September 1954 in the US Army Hospital, Camp Yokohama, Osaka Army Hospital, Japan.  She served in the Second World War, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.  In Vietnam she was chief nurse at the 91st Evacuation Hospital in Tuy Hoa.  She suffered a stroke in South Vietnam and died in August of 1968.
  • Grim, Katherine Elaine - Born in June of 1922, She joined the Army Nurse Corps and served in World War II and the Korean War.  In Korea she was a nurse in the 121st Evacuation Hospital.  She later married Doyle R. Campbell, a World War II and Korean War veteran.  Elaine died in January of 2006.
  • Haley, Agnes "Aggie" - Lieutenant Haley was raised on a farm near Edgeland, North Dakota.  She graduated from St. John's Nursing School in Fargo, North Dakota, and then joined the Navy Nurse Corps in 1952.  She had duty at St. Alban's Naval Hospital, Great Lakes Naval Hospital near Chicago, and then in Japan.  She served on the USS J.C. General Breckinridge and was then stationed at a base in Bremerton, Washington.  She married Gary Haley, a dentist at the same base in Bremerton, on January 31, 1958.  Lieutenant Haley served in the Navy from 1952 to 1958.
  • Hankey, Lorraine - Lorraine Hankey lived a fulfilled life having served in the US Navy as a nurse and leader. Commissioned in 1942, Lorraine served in three wars: World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, retiring as a Commander in the Navy Nurse Corps. Lorraine traveled extensively; however, she lived on Lake Alexander, Cushing, Minnesota. It was there she enjoyed her retirement years. She was a role model and mentor for several of her nieces and will be greatly missed. Born in Grand Forks, North Dakota in 1914, Lorraine passed away at 104 years old on Saturday, November 24, 2018 at the Jones Harrison Residence, Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is preceded in death by her parents, George and Minnie (Kobberbig) Hankey; Alice Miresse, sister; Robert Hankey, brother; Meredith Dahl, sister; and an infant brother; and two nieces and two nephews. She is survived by six nieces and four nephews, and 24 great-nieces and nephews. Lorraine Hankey’s burial and memorial service was planned for Sunday, July 28, 2019 at the Evergreen Hill Cemetery, Staples.
  • Hawkins, Irene I. - Nurse, 121st Evacuation Hospital, Korea 1950.
  • Hennessey, Helen M. - "Air Force Lt. Col. Helen M. Hennessey retired January 31, 1967, after 27 years of military service. Hennessey was the last remaining active duty Air Force nurse to have been amongst those who served at the Battle of Bataan in 1941.  Hennessey joined the Army in November 1940 and was assigned to the Sternberg Hospital in Manila. She, along with the other nurses there, relocated to Bataan in the last week of December 1941 as U.S. forces withdrew in face of a Japanese assault. Here they endured another three months of attacks while caring for their patients in open air wards designated as Field Hospital #1 and #2. The Army evacuated the nurses again on April 9th, along with a handful of other personnel, just before Bataan fell. The estimated 70,000-75,000 U.S. and Filipino troops left behind surrendered later that day and were subjected by their captors to a 60-70 mile forced march that become known as the Bataan Death March. Historians estimate that 5,000-18,000 Filipinos and 500-650 Americans perished due to physical hardships and executions during this ordeal. Once on the island of Corregidor, which itself had been under attack for over three months, Hennessey began caring for the sick and wounded in the 1,000-bed underground hospital that was part of the complex known as the Malinta Tunnel. Once again, the Japanese attacks were relentless, but this time there was no escape. Hennessey and the other nurses found themselves amongst the 11,000 prisoners of war when the island’s defenders surrendered on May 6, 1942. The Army nurses were taken to Santo Tomas civilian internment camp in Manila where they did their best to care for the ill and starving inhabitants. The camp was finally liberated by U.S. Army forces on February 3, 1945. Hennessey remained on active duty and transferred to Randolph Field, Texas, to begin flight nurse training. Subsequent assignments took her to Japan as a flight nurse in the late 1940s, as well as to Lackland, Barksdale, Carswell, and Westover Air Force Bases, and later to Bitburg, Germany. She finished her career as the Chairman of the Department of Nursing at USAF Hospital Keesler, Mississippi. Her awards included a Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, Army of Occupation Medal, Philippine Defense Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal, and Presidential Unit Citation. Hennessey passed away September 16, 1997, at age 83." [Source: Air Force Medicine website]
  • Hester, Mary Weiss - She was an Air Force flight nurse on a C-47 during the Korea.  She served with the 801st Medical Air Evacuation Squadron and was aboard 14 months.  She later married Kenneth Hester.
  • Hibbeler, Glee - Glee was a nurse in a recovery hospital in Hawaii in 1952.  She worked on a post-surgical ward for vets who were injured in Korea but couldn't make the whole trip back to the U.S. at one time.  After the war she was a nurse at St. Francis Hospital, Blue Island, for 52 years--mostly in the emergency room.
  • Hicks, Mattie Donnell - She was an African-American nurse in World War II and the Korean War.  She was from Greensboro, North Carolina.
  • Hix, Carmela (AN) - Captain Hix was a Korean War nurse.
  • Hixon, Alice Griffin - Alice joined the Navy after graduation in 1947 and then worked in Bethesda and Norfolk Naval Hospitals.  In October of 1950 she joined the staff of the hospital ship USS Response, serving on it 14 months.  She then served in naval hospitals in Newport, Rhode Island; Portsmouth, New Hampshire; and Corpus Christie, Texas.  After eight years, nine months and 11 days in the Navy, Alice married USMC Captain Wes Hixon in 1957 in Corpus Christi.
  • Hood, Thelma - She was a nurse in a military hospital during the Korean War.
  • Hyltin, Mabel Ethel - Mabel Ethel Hyltin (1907-1999) was a Major in the U.S. Air Force. She graduated from Austin High in 1926 and Trinity Lutheran Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana. She worked as a registered nurse in Austin, at the U.S. Steel Hospital in Alabama, and later was the supervising nurse at Memorial Hospital in San Marcos. In 1941 she entered the military service. She had a distinguished career and retired as Major in 1957. She served as Chief Nurse in the South Pacific and European Theatre of Operation during World War II. During the Korean War, she served as Emergency Flight Nurse. She was a member of the Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Austin.
  • Jellison, Jo Doris Porter - Jo was a registered nurse in the US Air Force from 1948 to 1956.  On May 31, 1951, she married Roger Wilson Jellison.  An Air Force pilot, Roger was killed in a plane crash on May 07, 1957 in Saudi Arabia.
  • Katenai, Kachinas Shabazz - Born January 14, 1935, Kachinas received her RN from Providence Nursing School.  In 1951 she joined the Army and was a lieutenant nurse during the Korean War.  She died January 1, 2010.
  • Kelly, Vera S. - Born April 13, 1930, Vera was a Korean War nurse in the Army.  She died January 16, 2021.
  • King, Margaret Belva Mizelle - Born on June 28, 1918, Lieutenant Colonel King was a World War II and Korean War nurse in the Army Nurse Corps.  She died August 07, 2004.  
  • Kircher, Pauline "Pat" - From Saginaw, Michigan, Pat served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 801st Medical Air Evacuation Squadron during the Korean War.
  • Kirnak, Jean - Jean, who was from Oregon, joined the Army Nurse Corps and served in the 8076 MASH in Korea from November 1950 until August 1951.  She retired as a registered nurse in 1994.
  • LaConte, Phyllis - Captain LaConte was an 8055 MASH nurse during the Korean War.
  • Lanthier, Evelyn "Evie" - She was an active duty nurse during the Korean War.
  • Liberty, Frances - She was a member of the Army Nurse Corps in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.  In Korea she was a hospital train nurse.
  • Lovelady, Marjorie Montgomery - Born in Springfield, Missouri, she joined the Army and had basic training at Ft. Lee, Virginia in 1950.  She received her wings during paratrooper training with the 82nd Airborne of the 3rd Army Unit 3420 at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.  From 1950 to 1954 she worked with MASH units at Pusan, Seoul, Chosin, and other sites.  She was discharged on February 16, 1954.  Her Cherokee name was "Many Tears".
  • Malokas, Victoria Frances - Born February 25, 1926, Victoria was the daughter of Anthony Malokas (1894-1958) and Anella Riskavicius Malokas (1894-1962).  Her siblings were Eleanor, Helen Grace died 2003), and John Thomas (died 2000).  Victoria was a 1st Lieutenant flight nurse in Korea in 1952.  She died April 11, 1995 and is buried in All Souls Cemetery, Chardon, Ohio.
  • Marks, Hilda - Hilda M. Marks, age 103, of Adrian, died on Thursday, April 6, 2017 at ProMedica Charlotte Stephenson Manor in Adrian. She was born April 14, 1913 in Blissfield Township to William and Fredricka (Zahn) Marks. She graduated from Blissfield High School and St. Luke's Nursing School. She served as a Registered Nurse in the Army Nurse Corps from 1942-67. She was awarded the Bronze Star and the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. Hilda served in the European Theater in World War II and also served in a M.A.S.H. Unit during the Korean War. After that, she worked at Bixby Medical Center for 10 years. She was a member of St. Stephen's Lutheran Church. Hilda is survived by 10 nieces and nephews, Leola Hunt, Herbert Marks, Patricia Frohnapfel, Norman (Babe) Marks, Stanley (Judy) Marks, Paul (Jeannine) Marks, Roy (Rosalie) Marks, James (Sandy) Burgess, Richard (Debbie) Marks and Mildred Marks; and many great nieces and nephews.
    She was preceded in death by her parents, four brothers and two sisters. Funeral services will be held on Monday, April 10, 2017, at 11 a.m. at St. Stephen's Lutheran Church with Pastor Keller officiating. Burial will be in Pleasant View Cemetery in Blissfield.
  • Martin, Lorraine H. - Nurse, 121st Evacuation Hospital, Korea 1950.
  • Matthias, Charlotte E. "Charlie" - Lt. Colonel Matthias was born and raised in Littlestown, Pennsylvania.  He attended Littlestown High School and graduated from Bryn Mawr Hospital School of Nursing in 1946.  What followed was a 22-year military career as medical surgical nurse and later chief nurse in the Army Nurse Corps.  She served two tours of duty in Frankfurt, Germany; Tripler Army Hospital in Honolulu, the Korean War, the 3rd Surgical Hospital in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam, and Valley Forge General Hospital.  The recipient of an army Legion of Merit award, she retired in 1973.  Lt. Colonel Matthias died September 26, 2018.
  • Matz, Dorothy L. - She served in the Navy Women's Reserves (WAVES) from October 1943 to June 1946 and the US Navy from December 1948 to August 1966.  In 1951, Dorothy L. Matz was one of five Navy women selected to serve on General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Advanced Planning Group staff, at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) Headquarters in Paris, France. In 1963, she became the first enlisted Navy woman assigned to Australia.
  • Maystrovich, Helen - Lieutenant Maystrovich was caring for wounded Korean War veterans in Tokyo Army Hospital in January of 1951.
  • McCormick, Helen L. - Born June 13, 1920, Helen graduated from Inglewood High School and then the nursing school at South Shore Hospital.  Colonel McCormick retired from the U.S. Army Nurse Corps with the rank of colonel after a 30-year career that took her to Utah Beach on D-Day, France and Luxembourg, Germany during World War II.  She was a nurse for five years at Hines VA Hospital.  During the Korean War she served at army bases and hospitals in Indiana, Michigan, and Colorado.  During the Vietnam War she took care of Vietnam War-wounded.  She was chief nurse of the Pacific Theatre, including Hawaii, Thailand, Japan and Korea from 1972 to 1975.  She was promoted to Colonel in 1970.  .  She retired from active duty on June 30, 1978.  She died December 4, 2020 at the age of 100.
  • McLean, Genevieve - She graduated from Rumford Hospital School of Nursing in 1943 and joined the Army Nurse Corps in 1945.  She was stationed at Ft. Williams, Cape Elizabeth, after World War II.  She was later transferred to Manilla and then to an army hospital in Kyoto, Japan.  When the Korean War broke out she was sent to Korea, arriving at the 8055 MASH on Thanksgiving Day 1950.  She served six months in Korea and was then sent to Murphy Army Hospital in Waltham, Massachusetts.  She completed eight years active duty before leaving the military to begin a family.
  • McManus, Helen F. - Nurse, 121st Evacuation Hospital, Korea 1950.
  • McNeil, Esther Jane - After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in 1940, she joined the Army Nurse Corps.  She entered active duty in February 1942.  She served as a nurse in Arizona, Colorado and Texas in the States and then Ledo, India and Okinawa before being discharged in November 1945.  She worked in the D.C. Health Department, Washington, D.C. and joined the Navy Reserve Nurse Corps.  Later she rejoined the Army Nurse Corps and served at Ft. Hood, Texas and later in southern France.  During the Korean War she served one year in a field training school in Deggendorf, Germany and then to Landstuhl.  She received a Master's Degree from the University of Minnesota and then went to Fort Houston where she became a nurse at the base's health school for two years.  She briefly served in the Korean War and became a chief nurse at Ft. Polk, Louisiana.  She was then a nurse in Stuttgart, Germany.  Esther Jane McNeil retired as a colonel in 1971.
  • Meijza-Tew, Helen Theresa - Born August 03, 1928 in Boston, Massachusetts, she was the daughter of William F. and Helen M. Sullivan of Malden, Massachusetts.  She graduated from Malden Catholic High School in 1947 and received her RN degree from Carney Hospital in Boston (1950).  She joined the Navy in 1951 and was discharged in 1952.  Following was a 47-year RN career.  She married Conrad Charles Meijza, a US Navy master chief.  He died in 1992.  She then married USN LCDR (Ret.) Louis M. Tew in 2000.  Helen died April 09, 2021.
  • Melvin, Jacqueline Marie Jacquet - Jacqueline M. Melvin, 99, of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, died peacefully at her home on Sunday May 23, 2021. The former Jacqueline Marie Jacquet was born September 25, 1921 in Racine, Wisconsin, the daughter of Edward and Bertha (Olsen) Jacquet. She graduated from Edgerton High School in Edgerton, Wisconsin, and then from Ravenswood Hospital School of Nursing in Chicago, Illinois. On August 12, 1950 in Santa Ana, California, she was united in marriage to Col. Martin J. Melvin Jr. USMC: He precede her in death on August 21, 1997. She was a veteran of the United States Navy serving as a nurse during World War II and the Korean War. During World War II she was one of 108 flight nurses. She was involved in the evacuation of wounded Marines injured in the battle of Okinawa to safety She was a member of the Navy Nurses Corps Association. She was a very talented self-taught artist. Jacqueline is survived by: 7 children; Maureen (the late Dick) Christopher of Lafayette, Colorado, Karen (Russ) Lehman of Milton, Wisconsin, Colleen (LeRoy) Goff of Villa Park,. Ilinois, Michael (Julie) Melvin of Manassas, Virginia, Thomas (Yeter) Melvin of North Charleston, South Carolina, Stephen Melvin of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and Susan (Robb) Bromley of Cary, Illinois, 14 grandchildren and 13, great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, a son Martin J. Melvin III and a brother Edward Jacquet and his wife Helen. Private family services with Military Honors will be held. Burial will be in Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois.
  • Miller, Kathryn - She enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1952 at a nurse.  Her duty station in Korea was at Kunsan, where she was in charge of a medical ward of a hospital.
  • Monus, Betty Ann Cook - Born July 17, 1929, Betty Ann was an Air Force nurse in Korea, stationed out of Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Oklahoma.  She served in Korea 1953-55.  She was known as "Dusty the Singing Nurse" or the "Oklahoma Singing Nurse".  She died April 08, 1976, and is buried in Fairview Cemetery, Apache, Oklahoma.
  • Neville, Catherine E. - She was a nurse in World War II and Korea.
  • Newton, Eleanor - She was an Air Force flight nurse stationed at Berkeley, California and Edwards Air Force Base in 1953.  Prior to that she was a nurse in Veterans Affairs hospitals.
  • Nichols, Barbara Jean  - Lieutenant Colonel Nichols was the daughter of Bernard and Esther Nichols. From 1945-47 she was with the US Cadet Nurses Corps, receiving her nurse's credentials in 1947 from Everett General Hospital School of Nursing.  During World War II she bolted nose cones on B-17 bombers.  She was chief nurse at the Army's 3rd Field Hospital on the outskirts of Pusan.  She had overseen more than 10,000 patients by 1951, many of whom were prisoners of war. She received her captain's bars in Korea.  After serving in Korea she served in Vietnam, where she received a Bronze Star.  She retired in 1969.
  • Owens, Mary Joan Baxter - Born February 2, 1927 in Charleston, West Virginia.  She received a Registered Nurse degree from Fairmont State College and then joined the Army in 1949.  She was stationed at Brook Army Hospital in San Antonio, Texas.  She joined the Army Air Corps, which later became the Air Force.  She attended Flight School in Montgomery, Alabama.  After that she received orders to Hawaii and then to Japan.  She was a flight nurse who helped take patients from holding stations in Korea to Japan for further treatment.  In 1952 she married Kenneth Norwood Owens, an obstetrician who served in Korea and Japan.  The couple had three children.  Both left the military in 1959.  Joan Owens died February 24, 2019 in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.
  • Panasik, Mary Elizabeth Farber - Mrs. Panasik was born November 4, 1922, and passed away on May 2, 2014.  She was married to Paul Panasik (1929-1996), and was the mother of Mary Ann Skok (Keith), Paul (Carol), Susan and Stephen (Cathy), and  grandmother of Veronica and Elizabeth Skok. Her sister was Anna Marie Macatician and her brother was Joseph Farber.  She was a veteran US Navy nurse in the Korean War.  She is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to USO, 20637 Emerald Parkway Dr. 44135 Cleveland, OH or the Salvation Army, 12645 Lorain Avenue Cleveland, OH 44111. [Published in The Plain Dealer from May 6 to May 7, 2014]
  • Perkins, Sarah E. - Nurse, 121st Evacuation Hospital, Korea 1950.
  • Porter, Eleanor - She joined the army's Women's Medical Specialist Corps in 1952.  She was in its physical therapy program.  She was stationed at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, where she worked with burn patients and those with traumatic head injuries and amputees.  Eleanor met her future husband while caring for him.  He had lost both of his legs due to injuries in the Korean War.
  • Pugh, Alma - She was a Korean War nurse.
  • Quinn, Mary C. - She was a 1st Lieutenant at the 1st MASH unit in Korea.
  • Reddy, Mary Conroy - Mary was born March 13, 1931 in New Jersey.  She was a 1948 graduate of Washington High School and was an Army nurse at Ft. Dix during the Korean War.  She died November 20, 2020 in New Jersey.
  • Regan, Barbara - This Pensacola native enlisted in the Army Nurses Corps and served two years in the 43rd Surgical Hospital Mobile Army in Korea.
  • Reid, Mary Elizabeth - Born April 9, 1927 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she enlisted in the Cadet Corps in 1945 and was a member of the last class of the Cadet Corps at Western Pennsylvania Hospital School of Nursing.  She graduated in 1948 and from November 7, 1950 to 1951 she was a nurse at the 10th Station Hospital, Pusan and Inchon, Korea. 
  • Reider, Bernadette L. - She served in the Army Nurses Corps during World War II, Korea and Vietnam.  She retired in 1973.  In Korea she helped set up the first Army hospital.
  • Rhoades, Dorothy Tidwell - She was stationed in Hawaii as a Navy nurse in World War II and then stayed in the reserves.  She was recalled to active duty during the Korean War and was stationed on the hospital ship, USS Repose, anchored off the coast of Inchon.
  • Richmond, Mary Jane Beecher - Born July 8, 1927, Mary Jane attended St. Joseph Mercy College of Nursing at the University of Iowa.  She did post-graduate surgery work at Cook County Hospital, Chicago and was a Lieutenant in the Air Force Nursing Corps during the Korean War.  She remained in the Reserves after the war.
  • Schiffman, Regina H. - From the Veterans History Project website: "After three years of neurosurgical nurse work at a New York hospital, 24-year-old Regina Schiffman decided to make a career in the U.S. Army. A year after she enlisted, the U.S. was at war in Korea, and in the summer of 1951 she found herself working in the operating room of a MASH unit. Conditions were primitive in both the O.R. (litters were balanced on saw horses, a pot-bellied stove was the sole source of heat in the frigid winter) and in her tent (she bathed most of the time out of her helmet). But Schiffman drew strength from the selflessness of her mission and the camaraderie of her fellow nurses and the physicians."  Schiffman served from 1949 to 1970.  She was with the Army Nurse Corps in Korea 1950-53 and Vietnam beginning in 1961.
  • Schneider, Catherine A. - Born January 13, 1917, in Brooklyn, Catherine moved to Bellmore in 1928. She graduated from The Mary Immaculate School of Nursing, Jamaica, New York and did her Post Graduate work in Public Health Nursing at St. John's University, Brooklyn.  Former Supervisor of surgery at the South Nassau Communities Hospital, Oceanside, New York, she was appointed as a Public Health Nurse with the Nassau County Department of Health. Catherine entered the Army Nurse Corps as a Second Lieutenant and reported to England General Hospital, Atlantic City, New Jersey for basic training. She was assigned to Mason General Hospital, Brentwood, NY as Head Supervisor of Neuropsychiatric wards and was promoted to First Lieutenant. She was assigned to the Sixth Station Hospital at Fort Lewis, Washington and later she served at Okinawa and Korea. Upon returning from Korea, she married Lieutenant Ernest J. Schneider of North Bellmore, a teacher in Mepham Central High School, North Bellmore who remained active in the Bellmore Fire Department, was Ex-Chief, past Grand Knight, Eucharistic Minister at St. Barnabas Church until his death in 1999. She gave birth to her daughter Patricia in 1951. In later years, she was elected Commander of Nassau County Veteran's Women's Post 1147 for three years. On a county level, she was appointed Chairman of Women's Veterans of Nassau County. She died after a long battle with Alzheimer's Disease at the age of 91. She was buried in St. Charles Cemetery, Farmingdale. [Source: Newsday (Long Island, New York) - Wednesday, April 16, 2008]
  • Scott, Ethel R. Kovich - Colonel Scott was the fourth chief nurse of the US Air Force. She was instrumental in writing the first flight nurse manual which, with periodic revisions, still serves as the basic guide for flight nurses. She established the first course for aerospace nursing at Patrick Air Force Base in FL, which prepares nurses to support the preflight and post-flight programs of the manned spaceflights. Born in Yonkers, New York on August 23, 1916, her family moved to Ohio and then settled in Bad Axe, Michigan, while she was still young. She and her twin sister graduated from Owendale High School in 1934, and attended St. Mary's Hospital School of Nursing in Detroit. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Catholic University in Washington, DC. She entered the Army in February 1942 and was assigned to the Army Air Forces at Chanute Field in Illinois.  Her experiences with flight nursing duties aboard C-47 aircraft began when she was transferred to a temporary camp at Noumea, New Caledonia. Returning to the United States, she attended a flight nursing course and received her wings. She was assigned to Palm Springs, California, as Chief Flight Nurse in November 1944, then to Stockton, California, as Chief Nurse, and then to Ferrying Division of the Domestic Air Evacuation Command in Cincinnati, Ohio, as Command Flight Nurse. She was assigned to the first aeromedical evacuation unit to enter the South Pacific later that year. In August 1946, she transferred to Guam as Command, West Pacific Chief Nurse of Western Air Training Command. She returned to Hickam Air Force base in Hawaii as Chief Nurse. She served as Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) Command Nurse in Japan, and was selected as Chief Nurse of Army Air Forces Nursing Corps. She attempted to gain higher rank for nurses and Nurse Corps finally got a general slot when Colonel Hoefly was promoted. From her experience evacuating combat victims from the field, often under harrowing circumstances, she returned to the US as instructor of the flight nurse course at the School of Aviation Medicine at Fort Rucker, Alabama. In 1955, she was made the officer responsible for the worldwide assignment of more than 3,000 nurses. Later, she was assigned to the Pentagon as deputy chief of the Air Force Nurse Corps. In 1960, she was assigned as command nurse for the Pacific Command and after three years returned to the Pentagon as chief of the Air Force Nurse Corps in 1963. She retired from the Air Force in 1968. She received her master's degree in nursing administration from Catholic University in the early 1970s. After her military retirement, she resided in Silver Spring, Maryland, and became a stockbroker and financial planner. She was a member of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs. She was also past president of the Fairfax County Business and Professional Women's Club and a recipient of its Woman of the Year award. She was director of the Air Force Nurse Corps Foundation and a charter member of the Aerospace Medical Association. She was a member and officer of many other military organizations, including the Military Order of the World Wars, the American Legion, the Society of Retired Air Force Nurses, the World War II Flight Nurses Association, the Military Order of the Carabao and the Guadalcanal Campaign Veterans. Among her awards were the Legion of Merit and the Air Force Commendation Medal. She was predeceased by her parents, Louis and Susan (Kriston) Kovach, and six brothers: Alonzo, Joseph, Frank, Louis, William, and George Kovach. Survivors include her husband of 37 years, Colonel Winfield W. Scott USAF (Ret) [deceased 6/2006]; her sisters: twin sister, Helen K Spaulding [deceased 11/2005], and Margaret P Haslett [deceased 5/2012]; a stepson; a stepdaughter; and three grandchildren. [Source: Findagrave]
  • Shurr, Agnes - "Agnes G. Shurr, retired Professor of Nursing, died Saturday, January 10, 2015, in Valley Memorial Home Eldercare, Grand Fork. Agnes Shurr was born on October 18, 1915, to Fredrick and Helen Shurr, on a farm in Elmo Township, Bottineau County, North Dakota. She graduated from high school in Glenburn, North Dakota. After graduating from Glenburn High School Agnes began her life of service to others. She entered St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing, the same nursing school her mother had attended. Upon receiving her degree, she worked at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota. Agnes enlisted in the United States Navy Nurse Corps on March 1, 1937. She was on the Hospital Ship Solace stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, during the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. She became a flight nurse during the Korean War, airlifting badly injured military personnel from various military hospitals in Japan, to Tripler Hospital in Hawaii then to Travers Air Force in California. In 1947 she completed an anesthesia program at Baylor University Hospital in Dallas, and served as anesthetist at naval hospitals in Houston and Bethesda. In 1950 she earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing at Columbia University, and then completed a flight nursing course. She served as flight nurse to evaluate wounded servicemen from Korea. In 1954 she was transferred to the hospital ship Haven in Long Beach, California, and became Chief of Nursing Service and anesthetist in 1956. When she retired in 1958 she had earned the rank of Commander in the Nurse Corps. While in the Navy she was trained as a nurse anesthetist. Upon retirement from the navy, she returned to Grand Forks, to start a school for nurse anesthetists at St. Michael’s Hospital. Agnes left St. Michael’s in 1963 to join the World Health Organization. She was sent by WHO to Afghanistan for two years. Agnes then attended Columbia University and earned her master’s degree. In 1967 she accepted an appointment ot the faculty at the College of Nursing, where she was later promoted to professor. She served as curriculum consultant, coordinator of the sophomore nursing course, and represented the College and faculty on numerous committees. She retired in 1977. After her retirement from UND, she spent time volunteering in the Same Day Surgery at Altru Hospital. Her life was spent in loving service to this nation, her family, and educating young people to also serve in medicine. Living in Grand Forks or stationed around the world, “Aunt Aggie” was always a vital, loving, supportive, member to her large extended family. Her love, kindness and support will be truly missed by all the members of this family. Many thanks for the years of care and kindness shown to Aggie by her niece Marion Hahn and the Hahn family. She is survived by a sister, Mary Jane Gall and 14 nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, sisters Hazel O’Connell, Harriet Shurr, brother Raymond “Pug” Shurr, and two nephews, Edward O’Connell and Joe O’Connell. Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Saturday, January 17, in Amundson Funeral Home of Grand Forks. Visitation will be for the hour before the service in the funeral home. Military honors will be conducted by representatives of the U.S. Navy and the North Dakota Army National Guard. Burial will be in the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery of Mandan." [Source: University Letter, University of North Dakota: Remembering Agnes Shurr]
  • Smarz, Marie - As a nurse with the Army Nurse Corps (ANC), 1st Lieutenant Smarz was one of the 13 nurses (the Lucky 13) who were deployed to Korea with the 7th Infantry Division.  She was posted to the 1st Mobile Army Surgical Hospital after her arrival in Korea on September 15, 1950. From Inchon the Lucky 13 moved to Pusan.  They had to take cover on October 9, 1950 when they came under fire.
  • Sneed, Virginia Rosebud - Virginia Rosebud Sneed Dixon, age 101, died Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021 at the North Carolina State Veterans Home in Black Mountain. She was a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the daughter of the late Cam and Minda Sneed of Cherokee. “Boss”, as she was called by family and friends, was born and raised in Cherokee and attended the Cherokee Boarding School through 6th grade. She graduated from Cherokee High School in 1938 and went to nursing school in Knoxville, Tennessee. In 1942, she joined the Army Nurse Corps and was stationed at Camp Lee, Virginia, then assigned to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. during World War II. She was later assigned to a field hospital on the Burma Road in China. After three years of civilian life, she rejoined the Army Nurse Corps and was assigned to the 171 Evac Hospital during the Korean War. She returned to the States in 1952 and was married in Fort Benning, Georgia in 1954. Virginia is survived by her son, Earle C. Dixon of Cherokee, his wife, Rosamond Dixon of Albuquerque, New Mexuci; daughter, Pegge M. Dixon of Leicester; and grandson, Matthew D. Hollifield of Asheville. She was preceded in death by her husband, Col. David. W. Dixon, and also by all of her siblings: Carrie, Ernest, Pokie, Patrick, Claudie, Marie, Sonny, Hooter, and Priscilla.
  • Snowden, Hazel I.  - Lt. Col. Hazel I. Snowden was from Harmony, Massachusetts. She joined the Army Nurse Corps in April 1942 and served for over 20 years. She served as a chief nurse in Korea during the war for a 60-bed Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH). She noted that the work she saw done by both doctors and nurses, without full hospital equipment, was miraculous. She died July 8, 2005. [Source: US Army Women's Foundation]
  • Steen, Dorothy M. - Nurse, 121st Evacuation Hospital, Korea 1950
  • Sweeney, Agnes E. - Captain Sweeney (AN) cared for the wounded in World War II and the Korean War.
  • Thomas, Frances - Nurse, 121st Evacuation Hospital, Korea 1950.
  • Von Roeder, Hazel Reyder - Nurse in Korea during the Korean War.
  • Visnovsky, Helen - Major Visnovsky was born February 16, 1919 and died July 20, 1987.  She is buried in Saint John Cantius Catholic Church Cemetery, Windber, Pennsylvania.  She was an Air Force flight evacuation nurse in World War II and the Korean War.
  • Wall, Arline H. - Cpl. Arline H. Wall was born in Brooklyn, New York. She was a graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in education. She enlisted in the WAC during the Korean War and was trained in the medical field.  She qualified as a licensed practical nurse. She served in Okinawa and Japan where she met her husband. She
    was a proud veteran who assisted others. She died at the Armed Forces Retirement Home, Washington, D.C. on May 15, 2006. [Source: US Army Women's Foundation]
  • Waterhouse, Marian - Col. Marian Waterhouse, US Army Nurse Corps, Retired, passed away peacefully at the age of 97 on July 30, 2019 from age-related illnesses. She was born July 6, 1922 in Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from Massachusetts General Hospital School of Nursing in 1945. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing Education in 1955 at the University of Minnesota, and her Master of Education degree from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX in 1958. After receiving her RN in 1945, she immediately joined the Army Nurse Corps during World War II. Marian served in Italy, Korea, and two tours in Germany, as well many stations within the United States. She started and developed the nurse anesthetist program for the military. She authored a book, "Practical Mathematics in Allied Health" that was published in several editions. Marian served as the Director of the Army Medical School of Anesthesiology for the Army Nurse Corps Officers during the final six years of her 30 year military career. She received multiple military awards during her career, including the Legion of Merit award. She was respected throughout her career by her colleagues, and the many students who benefited from her teaching, and the example that she set. Following her retirement, she lived in San Diego, California caring for her parents. Following their death, she returned to San Antonio and served as a volunteer keeping medical records for Sisters Care of San Antonio. Marian touched the lives of her retired military community, the Presentation Sisters, neighbors, and the many friends that she made through St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church and elsewhere. Her warm smile, many stories, and sense of humor will be missed by all of those who knew her. Marian was preceded in death by her parents, Merrill and Margaret Waterhouse; her sisters, Jean Walther and Harriet Waterhouse; her brother, Merrill C. Waterhouse; and her nephews, Jonathan Waterhouse, and John Walther. She is survived by her nephew, Merrill Waterhouse of Escondido, California, and several great nieces and nephews. [Source: obituary]
  • Watson, Frances Fay - Born August 11, 1916 in Richmond, Virginia, she was a daughter of Arthur Dexter Watson (1885-1960) and Opal Fay Harshbarger Watson (1888-1977).  She was a World War II veteran and in the Korean War she was a Lieutenant Commander on the hospital ship USS Consolation.  She married Charles Amos Etheridge, who was also in the Navy.  Frances died June 29, 1998 in Richmond and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Richmond.  Her sister was Ruth Lydia Watson, a Korean War veteran.
  • Watson, Ruth Lydia - Ruth was born April 21, 1923 in Richmond City, Virginia.  She was a Hospital Apprentice First Class during the Korean War.  She married Abraham Lincoln Boyd (1922-1997) in 1949.  Ruth died September 23, 1997 and is buried in Stanley Cemetery, Hiram, Maine.
  • Weeks, Grace E. - Nurse, 121st Evacuation Hospital, Korea 1950.
  • Weinstein, Alice - Major Weinstein was a nurse in San Francisco's Letterman Army Hospital caring for Korean War wounded. 
  • Wells, Marian "Myrt" Ulrich - Miss Ulrich graduated from General Hospital School of Nursing in 1948 and served as a Navy Nurse Corps nurse during the Korean War.  She was stationed in Yokosuka, Japan, for two years where she cared for wounded Korean War veterans.  She later married Frank Wells and left the Navy in 1956 when she became pregnant with her first child.
  • Williams, Lorraine - Nurse, 121st Evacuation Hospital, Korea 1950.
  • Wilson, Valedda "Val" A. - "Valedda "Val" A. Wilson, 92, died Tuesday, June 8, 2021, at home. She was born October 9, 1928, in Bijou Hills, South Dakota, to the late Frederick and Therese (Polenz) Kiehn. Val was a graduate of Chamberlain High School in South Dakota. After high school, she graduated from nursing school in Sioux City, Iowa. Val joined the U. S. Air Force in 1950 and served as an operating room nurse in Korea during the Korean War. After the war, she remained in the Air Force and studied anesthesia in Texas. In 1959, she married a pilot, Donald Lloyd Wilson (Abrams, WI) in California. Three children were born with lots of relocating afterward. In 1970, they and their children moved to Wisconsin. From 1973 until her retirement in 1990, Val worked as a CRNA at Bellin Hospital. She was a very dedicated mother and helped her children get higher educations. She was a member of the National 20&4 Honor Society of Women Legionnaires, the Women's VFW Post #539, and helped to make upgrades to the Altrusa House. Val loved spending her time sewing, crocheting, knitting and tatting. She enjoyed cooking and working in her yard. During her retirement, she took Elderhostel programs and traveled around the country. She also babysat her two grandsons in Wisconsin for the first two years of their lives. Valedda is survived by her children, Eric Wilson (FL), Delano (Nickie) Wilson (CO), and Genevieve (Glenn) Tisler (WI); her grandchildren, Nicole (Chris) (FL), Logan(IL), Peter (CO), Hannah (CO), Casey (WI), and Steven (WI); a great-grandchild, Jameson (FL), (and one more on the way); many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her brother and sister, Virgil Kiehn (SD), Ethel (Darrell) Naber (MI), and her former husband, Donald (TX). Friends may call at Proko-Wall Funeral Home, 1630 E. Mason Street, on Sunday, June 20th from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. A Memorial Service will be held at 5:00 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home. Entombment will be in Allouez Chapel Mausoleum. On-line condolences may be given at www.prokowall.com. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to benefit local veterans' groups and the Altrusa House." [Source: Obituary]
  • Wright, Evelyn Jean - USAF (Ret.) Wright was an Air Force nurse from 1951 to 1977.
  • Zeller, Verena M. - Colonel Zeller was commissioned as a general duty nurse in the Army Medical Department's Nurse Corps at Fort Riley, Kansas in June of 1936.  She was transferred to Sternberg General Hospital in Manila in July 1939 and remained there until October 1941.  She was the last nurse to leave the Philippines before the Japanese invasion.  In June of 1946 she completed the US Army Air Force' School of Aviation Medicine's Flight Nurse Course at Randolph Field in San Antonio, Texas.  She later served with Military Air Transport Service.  She was promoted to captain and in January 1949 she was assigned to the Air Surgeon's office.  Six months later she was transferred from the Army to the Air Force.  In 1949 she became the first chief of the Air Force Nurse Corps and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in April 1950.  In August of 1951 she was promoted to Colonel.  She retired in 1956 and died in 2007.

Add A Female Korean War Veteran

  • Ayer, Shirley - Shirley joined the Navy in 1952.  She was discharged in 1955 because she married Raymond R. Lupo, US Air Force.
  • Bullit, Clare  - USMC, Korean War
  • Collins, Joan
  • Conkling, Margaret (Peggy) Harnois - Conkling died September 13, 2002 of cancer. Mrs. Conkling was born on December 21, 1922 as Margaret Harnois, of French-Canadian descent. Her goals were education and travel. She joined the U.S. Navy at the age of 29. During the Korean War, Mrs. Conkling became an ardent "Poster Girl" for the WAVES. She realized her dreams for travel and spent over three years attached to the U.S. Embassy in London. Returning to the U.S., she left the Navy with honors. Remaining in D.C., she joined the staff of the Republican Policy Committee. She met and married Raymond Conkling, a lawyer with the Ways and Means Committee. The marriage ended in divorce, but produced one daughter, Tracy Barbara. By her early 50's, while working at COMSAT, she entered the University of Maryland, graduated with honors in journalism. Peggy was active in her church, condo assn, and her daughter's school. She was a member of MENSA and Order of the Eastern Star. As a single parent, she was an advocate on Capitol Hill to get attention to the plight of single parents. Her years of involvement with Parents Without Partners put her in the forefront, becoming the first female President of PWP's D.C. chapter. She also served on PWP's International Board of Directors as Public Relations VP. As a lover of cultural events and performing arts, in late 1970, Ms. Conkling did theater reviews for a PG County newspaper. This led to work first as Writer then as Assignments Editor for Intermission Magazine. Peggy was a huge supporter of keeping performing for kids of all ages. She exposed her grandson Kyle to theater, serious music and dancing. He absorbed it readily and eagerly accompanied her to many events. Peggy's wish is that Tracy continues to give Kyle and his sister Kyra these advantages. Survivors include daughter Tracy, grandchildren Kyle and Kyra, brother Robert Harnois and family, the Knudsen-Harnois family of Florida, numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Service to be held at Arlington National Cemetery February 6, 2003 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Breast Cancer Research or Montgomery County Hospice.
  • Edenfield, Janet Arlene "Jan" Schaefer - A2C Jan Edenfield served in the US Air Force in Korea.  She was born January 04, 1935 and died December 29, 1971.  She is buried in Stafford Baptist Church Cemetery, Furman, South Carolina.  She was married to George Robert Edenfield (1934-2013). 
  • Erno, Ruth L. Rothberg - Ruth L. (Rothberg) Erno joined the Navy WAVES on November 16, 1942 from her hometown of Boston, Massachusetts. After basic training at Hunter College, Erno trained as an aviation metal smith in Norman, Oklahoma; she later served in Radio Communications in Boston, MA. In January of 1944, Erno was selected for Midshipman School of Women’s Reserve at Smith College where she received her commission in April of 1944. She subsequently served as Base Communications Officer at the Naval Base, Portsmouth, New Hampshire and as Communications Superintendent in Portsmouth Naval Yard. In 1951, Erno transferred to the Pentagon Office of Naval Operations where she remained on active duty until 1954. Erno remained with the Navy Reserves until her retirement in 1977.
  • Evans, D'Anne Aultman - She attended WAVE Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, graduating in May 1952.  Her rank was Ensign, USNR.
  • Harford, Diana Lily - Born on October 24, 1934, she was the daughter of Stanley H. Harford (1904-1955) and Viola Agusta Harford (Grosberger).  Diana joined the WAVES after high school graduation in 1953.  During the short time she was in military service she was stationed in Florida.  Diana married Albert Joseph Bunyak (1932-1990).  She died on August 24, 2005 in Towanda, Pennsylvania.
  • Harrington, Jeannie - Jeannie was a CT in the Navy in the early 1950s.  She was founder of WAVES National with a unit in Maine.
  • Harshaw, Allie G. - See African-Americans in the Korean War on the KWE website.
  • Hipple, Betty Claire - Private Hipple was born March 22, 1923.  She served in Korea (Pusan and Seoul) in 1952-53.  She died November 25, 1992 and is buried in Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside, California.
  • Johnson, Clara C. - A former theatrical designer, she joined the Air Force in 1940.  She applied for Officer Candidate School in November 1953.  She served in Vietnam in 1968 with the 377th Combat Support Group as management and procedures officer.
  • Johnson, Donna F. - From Portage, Michigan, she was in the Army during the Korean War.  She died September 18, 2003.
  • Johnson, Patricia - Patricia Johnson of Sterling, Virginia, served as a navy recruiter.
  • Knisely, Elizabeth 'Bette' - Elizabeth 'Bette' Knisely (1929 - 2013), 83, passed away May 25, 2013, in Inverness Fla., near her home in Floral City. She was born the youngest of six children to a northern Minnesota family at the start of the stock market crash, October 6, 1929, a year that is easy to remember in a historical context. She took the adventurous and independent step of enlisting in the Navy as a WAVE during the Korean War, after being recognized in her teens as a competition level swimmer. While stationed in Seattle, Wash., she met an honored Army veteran who became the father of her three daughters, Kathleen (aka Deborah), Bridget and Gretchen. Kathleen is very proud of her mother's service and grateful for her support and inspiration in becoming a WAF in the U.S. Air Force. Many years after his death from Korean War-related injuries, she met Navy Chief Dean Knisely, a career Navy veteran, who became not only her husband and partner for the remainder of her life but the true love of her life. Survivors include her husband, Dean; three daughters, Kathleen, Bridget and Gretchen; siblings, Laura, Josie, R. George and Chuck. Her family and friends remember her as a woman committed to the service of her country, women's rights as the first female postal carrier in the town her daughters went to high school in and a supporter of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial. Her husband and children are proud of the woman she had the courage to be. [Source: Obituary]
  • Kothe, Elaine Klappert - Born in 1921, she was the daughter of William and Edith Klappert of Cincinnati.  She served in the Army on Okinawa in 1950.  She later married Army veteran Harry Willis, who also served on Okinawa.
  • L'Ecuyer, Eleanor C. - "Eleanor C. L’Ecuyer rejoined the Coast Guard after serving as a SPAR during World War II. Prior to her rejoining, she earned a law degree, and was commissioned as an ensign upon her reentry into the Coast Guard Women's Reserve. She was assigned to Washington, D.C., and became the first female attorney hired by the Coast Guard, although she did not directly serve in that role. Her legal training served her – and future generations of female Coast Guardsmen – very well. She wrote successful challenges to several policies that would increase career potential for women in the Coast Guard. One was her determination that being pregnant was not a disabling condition and therefore, should not be grounds for discharging women. Another was that couples should be allowed to co-locate. Another challenge she filed questioned the policy limiting women to serving only 20 years. She served until 1971, rising to the rank of captain. She holds the distinction of being the longest serving SPAR. [Source: Coast Guard website]
  • Littman, Jean - From Shirley, Long Island, Jean joined the Marines in 1952 and was stationed in California and Virginia 1952-1955.
  • Losack, Daisy - She was a USMC Sergeant and supply clerk during the Korean War.  She met her husband, a Chosin veteran, at Camp Pendleton.
  • Matz, Dorothy L. - Dorothy Matz served in the Navy Women’s Reserve (WAVES), October 1943 to June 1946, and then in the US Navy, December 1948-August 1966. "Opportunities for overseas service expanded for Navy women during the Korean War. During World War II, the only “overseas” billets to which Navy women could be assigned were then territories Hawaii and Alaska. After the war, however, those opportunities were withdrawn and Navy women’s overseas assignments were limited to a small number of bases in Europe with available housing for women. As the need for women’s service overseas increased during the Korean War, the Navy found acceptable quarters. Navy women were then assigned to Alaska, Hawaii, France, and to bases in Italy, England and the Philippines. In 1951, Dorothy L. Matz was one of five Navy women selected to serve on General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Advanced Planning Group staff, at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) Headquarters in Paris, France. In 1963, she became the first enlisted Navy woman assigned to Australia.
  • McCutcheon, Carol - USMC
  • Miller, Janie - Lt. Colonel Miller was a career WAC who served in Korea and Vietnam.
  • Mayers, Cesina - Korean War veteran who married Robert Mayers
  • Perkins-Carpenter, Betty - Betty joined the Air Force after high school and served during the Korean War.  She was stationed in Florida where she taught troops about water survival before being shipped to Korea.
  • Rhodes, Pauline Juanita Lasseter - Woman after God's own heart. Pauline Juanita Lasseter Rhodes, 83, born: 03/08/1933; died: 01/14/2017. Born in Conway, Arkansas. She served as a Navy Wave during Korean War. Survived by husband Thurman Rhodes, siblings: William B.Lasseter, Bonnie Lasseter Lake, Ruby Lasseter Pruitt and Patsy Lasseter Sellers, Billy Lasseter; 6 children, Jeffery Rhodes, Jacqueline Rhodes Carswell, Juanita (Suzie) Rhodes Anderson, Joyce Rhodes Bowers, Tasha Rhodes, and Jerald Rhodes; 14 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. She loved and prayed for her family daily. Pauline enjoyed teaching children throughout her life, Club Scouts, Sunday School:life skills, nature, gardening and quilting. We truly will miss her but; in her own words, I am ready to see Jesus. Instead of cut flowers, please send cards and plants/seeds to the grandchildren and great-grandchildren to plant in her memory. Memorial Services March 25th, 2017, 1 pm at Bethesda Cemetery, Bethesda Church, Rosebud, Arkansas. [Source: Obituary]
  • Ridenhour, Jean - She joined the WAVES at age 18 after graduating from Jefferson High School in Roanoke.  She became a Navy communication technician 2nd Class, working for the NSA in Washington, D.C.  She transferred to Hawaii during the Korean War.  After her Navy service she taught school for 27 years.
  • Smarz, Eleanor H. - Born March 03, 1921/died June 20, 2016.  Eleanor served in the first of the first Woman Marine detachments in World War II and served in a reserve unit in the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
  • Summerville, Darlene "Dot"  - Darlene was born December 28, 1935, a daughter of Fred and Esther Beardsley Summerville.  She graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1953 and immediately joined the army, serving her country for two years.  She was stationed in Germany and worked for the Pentagon.  She married William "Mack" Lard on July 05, 1968 in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Their children include Phil, Robin and Kelli, and they have six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.  Her siblings were Ruth, Edna, Jack, Bud and Bruce.  Darlene Summerville Lard died January 17, 2006.
  • Tempesta, Marie E. Conley - Marie E. (Conley) of Quincy, Massachusetts, died suddenly on Saturday, December 12, 2009.  She was 81. Born in 1928, she was the daughter of the late Julia (Burchell) Conley.  Marie was the beloved wife of the late John M. Tempesta. She was the cherished mother of Regina M. Tempesta and Sheila of Scituate, Lauren A. Tempesta - Gonsalves and Richard of Milton, John M. Tempesta and Donna of Saugus and Christine Clark of Hingham.  She was the sister of the late Anne Conley, and grandmother of Anthony Christopher Clark, Giovanni and Richard Gonsalves, Jr. Marie grew up in South Boston and after her high school graduation she enlisted into the United States Air Force, where she achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant. She served during the Korean War years.  Marie married and began raising her family in South Boston. She moved to Quincy back in 1964. An avid reader, she also enjoyed crafts and gardening. She had an deep appreciation of opera music. In her earlier years, Marie volunteered at an elementary school for special needs students, where she helped them with sign language. In her later years, Marie moved into 91 Clay Street, where she began many special friendships. She will be remembered as a devoted mother, a great listener and a dear friend. She will be sadly missed by all those who were blessed to have known her.  Marie is buried in Pinehilll Cemetery, Quincy, Massachusetts.
  • White, Betty Sutton - Betty (Sutton) White of Pennsylvania was one of the first group of women from all service branches to recruit for Women Officer Procurement. She served with Headquarters Marine Corps Northeastern Recruiting, out of the recruiting office in Boston, Massachusetts.  She served in the US Marine Corps from 1950 to 1952.
  • Williams, Betty Jane - "Betty Jane "BJ" Williams, U.S. Air Force (1919–2008) — Betty Jane “BJ” Williams was a pioneering pilot, educator and promoter of aviation. She earned her private pilot’s license in 1941, and during World War II, she served in the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) as an engineering test pilot. After the WASP was disbanded in December 1944, Williams continued her aviation career as a commercial pilot, flight instructor and aerospace engineering technical writer. Commissioned as an Air Force officer during the Korean War, she produced training and motivational programs as part of the Air Force’s first video production squadron. She then served in the Air Force Reserves as a public affairs officer, retiring in 1979 with the rank of lieutenant colonel." [Source: Arlington National Cemetery website]
  • Yonker, Joyce - Joyce was a WAC stationed in Yokohama, Japan, 1949-1950.  She worked at the Yokohama train station loading troops onto trains to go to other points on the way to Korea.  She married Duane O'Neal, a veteran of the Korean War who served in an engineer unit.
  • Young, Doris L. - Born March 19, 1932 in Pennsylvania, she was a 1950 graduate of Wilson High School.  She served with the Navy WAVES during the Korean War.  She died February 10, 2021.

Women's Medical Specialist Corps

Public Law 36, 80th Congress, 1st Session, April 16, 1947, was legislation which authorized the establishment of the Women's Medical Specialist Corps and Regular Army status for nurses, dietitians, physical therapists, and occupational therapists.  Major General Norman T. Kirk, who later became Surgeon General of the Army, was the "mover and shaker" behind this important legislation not only for nurses, but also for female dieticians, physical therapists, and occupational therapists.  The Women's Medical Specialist Corps members were an important part of the Korean War effort.  According to the US Army Medical Department's Office of Medical History, "For the first time during a war effort, dietitians, physical therapists, and occupational therapists were serving with the Army Medical Service as a corps."

To add names and information about members of the Women's Medical Specialist Corps who served during the Korean War, contact Lynnita@thekwe.org.

Known Korean War Personnel

  • Accountius, Patricia L. - Col. Patricia L. Accountius passed away 7 November 2006 in San Antonio, Texas, after an eight-month battle with lung cancer at age 75. She was born December 16, 1930, in Lima, Ohio, to the late William and Margaret (Faze) Accountius. Survivors include her sister Barbara Wies and husband James; brother, Gaylord Accountius; nieces, Sandra Bush and husband John, Terri Haithcock and husband Anthony, and a host of other family and friends. She also leaves behind her two beloved dogs Jetta and Megan.  Colonel Accountius served on the board of Directions for the WAC Foundation. She graduated from the University of Ohio and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in 1952 in the Women's Medical Specialist Corps, which later designated in 1957 as the Army Medical Specialist Corps. She was assigned to Walter Reed Army Medical Center and served in hospital and staff positions in the US and overseas. She completed the Dietetic Intern Program at Walter Reed. In 1966 she was the first Army dietician assigned to Vietnam where she did ground breaking work establishing the hospital food service program. She served as Chief, dietitian section, for the Office of the Surgeon General and also Health services command in San Antonio Texas. When she retired she continued to work as a dietitian and was a member of many professional and military organizations, including the state and American Dietetic associations, Windcrest American Legion Post 612, Women's Overseas League where she served as secretary at the national level, Golden K Kiwanis club, and WAC veteran association Heritage chapter 62. Graveside services will be held at 9:45 a.m. Monday, November 13, 2006 full military honors at the Ft Sam Houston National Cemetery, San Antonio Texas. A memorial service will follow at 1:30 p.m. at the Army Residence Community, with Chaplain James Taylor of the Windcrest American Legion Post officiating.  [Source: Find a Grave/San Antonio Express-News (TX) - Sunday, November 12, 2006]
  • Aquino, Maria Emiliana - "In 1948, Lt. (j.g.) Maria Emiliana Aquino of San Pueblo, New Mexico, was commissioned as both the first OT in the Regular Navy and the first OT in the Medical Service Corps. Aquino also holds the additional distinction as the first woman of Native American ancestry to serve in the Medical Service Corps." [Source: "The First Women of the Medical Service Corps" by Andre Sobocinski, US Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery]
  • Beard, Genevieve S. - Captain Beard was Assistant to the Chief, Physical Therapist Section from September 1950 to October 1951.
  • Berteling, Mary K. - Captain Berteling was listed as Chief Occupational Therapist in 1952.
  • Bettinger, Pauline - Major Bettinger was assistant to the chief, Occupational Therapist Section from July 1950 to October 1951.
  • Chappell, Nancy Anne Smith - Mrs. Chappell died on December 27, 2007 at home in Alexandria, Virginia. She was the beloved wife of John G. Chappell; loving sister of Robert Smith; loving mother of Susan Colby Hedrick (Jim), Wendy Colby, Alyce Colby Horwat (Steve) and seven grandchildren: Matthew, Melissa, Jacob, Jennifer, Andrew, Courtney, Chandler. Reiki Master and teacher, author of The Cousins Discover Healing Energy (also published in Spanish in Argentina). Served as an occupational therapist in the Women‘s Medical Specialist Corps (U.S. Army, 1st Lieutenant) during the Korean War. Also survived by four stepdaughters: Virginia Chappell, Carol Chappell Shipley (Michael), Jane Chappell Singleton (Win), Patricia Chappell, and three step-granddaughters: Lindy, Erica, and Rebecca. Service 1 p.m., January 1, Cunningham Funeral Home, 811 Cameron St., Alexandria. Memorial celebration pending for early spring, Mt. Vernon Unitarian Church.
  • Cousins, Amilia H. - She was a Red Cross worker at Ascom City in Korea in the early 1950s.  She was from Forest Park, Illinois.
  • Dautrich, Helen A. - Major Dautrich was a dietician in the European command during the Korean War.
  • Davis, Helen M. - Major Davis was assistant to the chief of the dietitian section beginning in August 1949.
  • Diehm, Margaret May - "Lt. Cmdr. Margaret May Diehm of Reading, Pennsylvania, was the most senior of these newly commissioned Medical Service Corps officers. Diehm entered the Navy in 1942 as a WAVES officer, over a decade after earning her PhD in biology from the University of Pennsylvania and serving a biology professor at what was then known as the Drexel Institute (later university) in Philadelphia. In World War II, she was attached to the Navy Medical School where she taught bacteriology and parasitology. Diehm would remain a pivotal figure in the Navy’s tropical medicine and laboratory training programs throughout her career. On January 1, 1950, Diehm and Mary Sproul were promoted to Commander, becoming the first women to reach this rank in the Medical Service Corps." [Source: "The First Women of the Medical Service Corps" by Andre Sobocinski, US Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery]
  • Donaldson, Marian M. - Captain Donaldson was assistant to the chief of the dietitian section from March 1948 until March 1952.
  • Dure, Mary L. Ben - Captain (later Lieutenant Colonel) Dure was a physical therapist in the European command during the Korean War.
  • Ehlers, Catherine - "Maj. Christine Ehlers and 1st Lt. (later Capt.) Winifred Nesbit, on 30-day tours in 1953, worked with the Armed Forces Assistance to Korea Program in Taegu and Pusan. They instructed a total of 13 Korean medical personnel in basic principles and practices of physical therapy."
  • Erhardt, Rhoda P. - She received a Bachelor of Science in occupational therapy after studying at the University of Illinois at Chicago 1949-54.  She became chief occupational therapist, Burn Center, Brooke Army Hospital in San Antonio, Texas, from March 1954 to March 1956.  Beginning in September of 1978 she was a consultant in pediatric occupational therapy in the Twin Cities, Minnesota.
  • Friedman, Lorraine  - "Microbiologist Lieutenant (j.g.) Lorraine Friedman made important contributions to the field of infectious disease research while based at the Naval Medical Research Unit No. 1 at the University of California, Berkeley. After leaving the Navy in the 1950s, Friedman helped to establish the field of medical mycology at Tulane University." [Source: "The First Women of the Medical Service Corps" by Andre Sobocinski, US Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery]
  • Gearin, Helen B. - Major Gearin served as assistant to the chief of the Women's Medical Specialist Corps from March 1951 to July 1952.
  • Girard, Evelyn M. Captain Girard was a dietician.
  • Goll, Miriam E. Perry - Born May 16, 1909, Miriam attended Simmons University from 1927 to 1930.  A dietician, she was Chief of the Medical Specialist Corps from 1949 to 1956.  She married Lt. Col. Moxie Goll (1899-1992), who served in World War II and the Korean War.  Colonel Miriam Perry Goll died January 27, 1979 and is buried in Hope Cemetery, Worcester, Massachusetts.
  • Hann, Emmy - Emmy served from 1952 to 1956.  She was a dietician at Walter Reed Army Hospital.
  • Hicks, Clarissa  - "Late in 1950, 1st Lt. (later Maj.) Clarissa Hicks, assigned to the 118th Station Hospital, Fukuoka, Kyushu, Japan, found herself in the midst of an epidemic of the newly identified Japanese B encephalitis.29 Approximately 280 patients with this diagnosis, all of whom had been on duty in Korea, were treated in this hospital. Forty of these patients were treated in the physical therapy clinic over a 3-month period. Patients with Japanese B encephalitis demonstrated generalized paresis, often with superimposed localized paresis of either upper or lower motor neuron origin.30 Muscular rigidity, incoordination, tremor, poor posture, and limitation of joint motion due to muscle shortening were some of the symptoms which responded to physical therapy measures. Lieutenant Hicks, never having encountered the disease before, was permitted to treat patients symptomatically as there was no precedent for her to follow."  [Source: Army Medical website]
  • Horne, Catherine Owen - Catherine served in the Women’s Medical Specialist Corps/Army Medical Specialist Corps as a Physical Therapist from August 1948 to February 1961 "During the Korean War, the Army Women’s Medical Specialist Corps assigned most women (physical therapists and dietitians) stateside, but small numbers received assignment to station hospitals in Europe and Japan. In December 1950, the first brutal winter of the war in Korea, the Army established a special cold injury center affiliated with Osaka Army Hospital in Japan and treated more than 4,000 soldiers. The winter program resumed in 1951. Physical therapist Catherine (Owen) Horne, of California, treated frostbite cases and United Nations troops. Horne remembered that she and other physical therapists treated as many as 225 patients a day." [Source: Military Women's Memorial website]
  • Huston, Nancy L. - Captain (later Major) Huston was a dietician.
  • Jones, Elizabeth C. - "In September 1953, a poliomyelitis epidemic broke out in Japan. The victims included many United Nations troops as well as United States military personnel. To provide physical therapy for these patients, a special program was set up at Tokyo Army Hospital, Tokyo, Japan, under the supervision of Maj. (later Lt. Col.) Elizabeth C. Jones, chief physical therapist." [Source: Army Medical History website]
  • Keating, Catherine "Kay" - "Keating first enlisted in the Navy in 1942 as a radioman in the WAVES. After the war she left the Navy and obtained a B.S. in Pharmacy with the hope of returning to the Navy and serving either as Hospital Corps or Pharmacy officer. In 1948, she re-enlisted in the Navy, however, instead of medicine she was again assigned as an enlisted radioman. She continued to serve in this role until 1950 when she was permitted to transfer to the Hospital Corps. Two months later she was commissioned as an Ensign in the Medical Service Corps and was now only the second commissioned female pharmacist in the Navy. Over the next two decades Keating continued to collect accolades and distinctions while earning the respect of her peers in Navy Medicine. In 1953, she became the first female pharmacy officer and first woman Medical Service Corps officer assigned to a ship (hospital ship USS Haven). When she retired in 1972, Keating earned the distinction as the first woman in the Navy to have served in the rate of seaman and the rank of Captain. [Source: "The First Women of the Medical Service Corps" by Andre Sobocinski, US Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery]
  • Keener, Mary - "Aviation physiologist Mary Keener was one of 21 women selected for a regular commission in the Medical Service Corps under the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act. The Attalla, Alabama native had originally entered the Navy in 1942 as a WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) officer and attended Smith College in Northampton, Mass., for indoctrination and training in communications. In January 1943, Keener was assigned to work the “Secret Code” room for the Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Ernest King. She later recalled, “We were essentially cryptographers, breaking various codes, some of which Eleanor Roosevelt used to communicate to President Franklin Roosevelt when she travelled. When we decoded a message that started out ‘For the eyes of the President only,’ we were not allowed to read the message, but had to call a senior officer to stand over us as we typed out the code.” Over the summer of 1944, a family friend stationed at the Bureau of Personnel offered Keener a chance to go to Pensacola where the Hospital Corps was opening a new field for WAVES officers—aviation physiology. Keener jumped at the opportunity and reported to the School of Aviation Medicine at the Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. There she spent the remainder of the war serving as an “oxygen officer,” taking new recruits on “altitude runs” in low pressure chambers, demonstrating the effects of hypoxia and giving lectures on the dangers of high altitude. Not long after the war, Keener briefly left naval service and continued her education. After returning in 1948, Keener helped initiate programs for high altitude training and launch the first ejection seat training for jet aircraft. Over the next two decades, Keener had a front row seat in the new developments in aviation and aerospace medicine. And because of her experience in physiological training, the Navy selected Keener in the 1950s to serve as a Special Medical Expert for the development of the full pressure suit. During the 1960s, Keener was assigned to the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED). Since there was not yet an aviation physiology billet at BUMED, Keener was technically assigned to the Naval Medical Research Institute (NMRI—the forerunner to today’s Naval Medical Research Center). As she later remembered, “When I was first assigned to BUMED, I had no desk, no telephone and no parking place. I was assigned to the Aviation Medicine Operations Division and was the first woman officer to be assigned there.” At BUMED, Keener took on the task of recruiting new physiology candidates, producing training films, reviewing aircraft handbooks, writing policy, inspecting the 19 different training activities, approving training aids and overseeing maintenance of training devices. Keener helped institute an annual inspection program of training devices like ejection seats and low pressure chambers to ensure safety. In 1965, Keener was promoted to the rank of captain making history as the first woman in the Medical Service Corps to hold this rank. At the time of her promotion, she had purportedly trained more aviation personnel in night vision, ejector seat procedures, and low-pressure chambers than any other aviation physiologist in the Navy. Her collection of “firsts” was not yet complete and in April 1967—when the U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations granted "naval aviation physiologists" the permission to wear aviation wings—Keener was the first to adorn this crest and was designated “Aviation Physiologist No. 1.” [Source: "The First Women of the Medical Service Corps" by Andre Sobocinski, US Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery]
  • Lee, Harriet S. - Lieutenant Colonel (later Colonel) Lee was Assistant Chief of Corps, Chief of the Physical Therapist Section beginning in April 1952.  Prior to that she was an assistant to the chief of the physical therapist section from August 1948 to October 1950.
  • Lott, - "Physical therapist Lt. (j.g.) Virginia J. Eager Lott of Lemon Grove, California was commissioned in the Regular Navy in 1948, becoming the first PT in the Medical Service Corps." [Source:
  • Lovett, Hilda M. - Lt. Colonel Lovett served as assistant chief of corps, chief, dietitian section beginning in July 1952.
  • Lund, Margaret - 1st Lieutenant Lund was an occupational therapist.
  • Lura, Edna - Lieutenant Colonel Lura was Assistant Chief of Corps, Chief of the Physical Therapist Section from August 1948 to March 1952.
  • Meadow, Selma Liebman - Selma Liebman Meadow died Wednesday, October 12, 1994, at her home. She was born in Brooklyn, New York, and had been a Williamsburg resident for eight years. A graduate of New York University, she held a Bachelor of Science degree in food and nutrition, was a registered dietician, and a member of the American Dietetic Association. She served in the U.S. Army during World War II and Korea as a member of the Women's Medical Specialist Corps. She is survived by her husband, Col. (Ret.) Seymour Meadow; son, Andrew of Washington, D.C.; son, Stephen and his wife, Margaret, and two grandsons, Collin and Garrett of Downington, Pennsylvania; and a brother, Martin Liebman of St. Louis, Missouri. Burial was in Arlington National Cemetery. [Source: Obituary]
  • Mitchell, Eleanor L. - Lt. Colonel Mitchell served as assistant chief of corps, chief, dietitian section from August 1948 to July 1952.
  • Moeller, Ruth - "Lt. Ruth Moeller to fill this need. Moeller had originally entered the Nurse Corps as a reservist in 1939. During the war she served aboard the hospital ship USS Solace (AH-5) and at the Navy’s Convalescent Hospital (or Special Hospital) at Sun Valley, Idaho. In 1946, Moeller was one of 18 nurses the Navy sent to the Baruch Center of Physical Medicine of the Medical College of Virginia for physical therapy training. Between 1946 and 1953, fifty three Navy nurses graduated from this program, most would eventually transfer to the Medical Service Corps in the 1950s, among them was Ruth Moeller. Moeller later earned the distinction as the first physical therapist to achieve the rank of 0-6." [Source: "The First Women of the Medical Service Corps" by Andre Sobocinski, US Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery]
  • Nesbit, Winifred - "Maj. Christine Ehlers and 1st Lt. (later Capt.) Winifred Nesbit, on 30-day tours in 1953, worked with the Armed Forces Assistance to Korea Program in Taegu and Pusan. They instructed a total of 13 Korean medical personnel in basic principles and practices of physical therapy." [Source: Army Medical History website]
  • O'Malley, Elizabeth - "As a Medical Service Corps officer, Lt. Commander O’Malley would hold the distinction as the first woman to be appointed as the head of the Women’s Specialist Section, and in turn the first woman assistant to the Chief of the Medial Service Corps. O’Malley was originally commissioned in the Nurse Corps in November 1943. Over the next 14 years she served as a Nurse-Dietician at Naval Hospitals at Great Lakes, Key West, Portsmouth, Sampson, San Diego, and St. Albans, as well as aboard the hospital ship USS Consolation. On June 9, 1957, she resigned from the Nurse Corps; the very next day she executed her oath as a Medical Service Corps Officer." [Source: "The First Women of the Medical Service Corps" by Andre Sobocinski, US Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery]
  • Porter, Eleanor "Elle" - A physical therapist from Springfield, Virginia, she was stationed at Fort Salmon, Texas, when she met her future husband, a double amputee from the Korean War.
  • Reilly, Mary A. - Captain Reilly was Assistant to the Chief, Occupational Therapist Section from May 1947 to August 1950.
  • Robinson, Ruth A. She was a Major, later Colonel in the Women's Medical Specialist Corps.  She was Assistant Chief of Corps, Chief, Occupational Therapist Section from August 1948 to June 1952.
  • Sacksteder, Mary E. - Captain (later Major) Sacksteder was chief physical therapist assigned to Osaka Army Hospital, Osaka, Japan, during the Korean War.
  • Sheehan, Helen R. - Lieutenant Colonel Sheehan was Assistant Chief of Corps, Chief, Occupational Therapist Section beginning in June 1952.
  • Spear, Frances - "Serologist Lieutenant Frances Spear and microbiologist Lieutenant (j.g.) Lorraine Friedman made important contributions to the field of infectious disease research while based at the Naval Medical Research Unit No. 1 at the University of California, Berkeley. After leaving the Navy in the 1950s, Friedman helped to establish the field of medical mycology at Tulane University.
  • Spelbring, Lyla - Born and raised on a farm in Central Illinois, Lyla Spelbring served in the military during World War II, Korea and Vietnam.  She served in the Marine Corps for six years.  As a division leader, she worked in motor transport in Hawaii in 1943, overseeing the transport of workers and supplies.  During four of her six years in the USMC she was on inactive status while working at a federal reformatory for women who were assigned to a farm crew.  After leaving the Marine Corps she when to Western Michigan University on the GI Bill, receiving a Bachelor's degree in occupational therapy.  During the Korean War she joined the Army's Women's Military Medical Specialty Division.  She was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant and implemented projects such as a psychiatric clinic for war veterans in North Carolina.  She remained on active duty until 1953.  After that she joined the faculty at Eastern Michigan University, where she was promoted to head of occupational therapy at EMU.  She retired from the Army Reserves in 1982 and from EMU in 1984.
  • Sproul, Mary Thornton - "Lt. Cmdr. Mary Thornton Sproul of Washington, D.C., entered the Navy in 1942 after several years as a blood plasma researcher at the old City Hospital in Washington, D.C. She continued this work in the field and up until 1965—when she retired from service—Sproul was one of the leading blood technologists in the world and helped ensure the purity of whole blood, and blood substitutes like plasma and serum albumin used by military. In the Korean War, Sproul oversaw the shipment of blood into an active combat zone and helped the South Korean Army establish a blood bank. During the 1950s and 1960s, Sproul was stationed at the Naval Hospital Chelsea, and later the Navy’s Blood Research Laboratory in Boston, where she researched methods for long-term preservation of blood and spearheaded the nascent frozen blood program." [Source: "The First Women of the Medical Service Corps" by Andre Sobocinski, US Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery]
  • Stack, Mary E. - Captain Stack served as assistant to the chief of the Women's Medical Specialist Corps from November 1948 to May 1951.
  • Theilmann, Ethel M. - Major Theilmann was a physical therapist and part-time consultant to the Surgeon, 8th U.S. Army, Yokohama, Japan, as well as to the Surgeon, Far East Command, Tokyo, Japan.
  • Threash, Eileen Witte - Eileen Witte Treash was born in Newark, New Jersey on November 14, 1927. While growing up, she attended Clinton School from 1932 to 1939 and then South Orange Junior High from 1939 to 1942. Afterwards, she went to Columbia High School from 1942 to 1945, eventually enrolling and entering the New Jersey College for Women (NJC, now Douglass Residential College) in 1945. During her time at NJC, she majored in Home Economics, specifically in Nutrition and Institutional Management, and graduated in 1949. Following this, she joined the Army, becoming a second lieutenant in the Officers' Reserve Corps in the Women's Medical Specialist Corps on July 12, 1949. Treash went on active duty on September 3, 1949 and attended basic training at the Medical Field Service School at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, which she finished on November 3, 1949. She then immediately started her dietetic internship, which she completed on November 5, 1950. She served as a dietitian in Korea during the Korean War and then obtained her Master's degree at Baylor University in 1958 through the Army-Baylor Program. She served continuously until her retirement on June 30, 1977 at the rank of colonel. For her service, she received the Army Commendation Medal with the Oak Leaf Cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Legion of Merit. Treash passed away October 20, 2005. [Source: Rutgers Oral History Archives, interview by Sandra Stewart Holyoak, May 1, 1999]
  • Towle, Paula - "In December 1948, Lt. Paula Towle of Sacramento, Calif., became the first woman pharmacist in the Medical Service Corps. Towle had been a practicing hospital pharmacist in the 1930s after earning a degree in pharmacy from the University of California, San Francisco. On March 19, 1943, Towle was commissioned in the WAVES as an officer of the line and did not serve in her profession again until after the war. She left the service at war’s end and returned in 1948. Over the next 22 years, Towle served as the Chief Pharmacy Officer at Naval Hospitals Bremerton, Pensacola, St. Albans, Chelsea, as well as aboard the hospital ship USS Repose (AH-16) during its deployment to Vietnam. Until her retirement in 1970, Towle was one of only two female pharmacists in the Navy. The other was Katherine “Kay” Keating of Pueblo, Colorado." [Source: "The First Women of the Medical Service Corps" by Andre Sobocinski, US Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery]
  • Vogel, Emma E. - Emma Vogel was a native of Mankato, Minnesota.  She graduated from Mankato State Teachers College and then received physical therapy training at Reed College in Oregon.  She enlisted in the army in 1919.  Three years later she was named supervisor of the Army's first training course for physical therapy aides  in the USA.  During World War II she was director of physical therapy aides in the Army Medical Department, receiving a Legion of Merit award for her work.  From 1947 to 1951 she was chief of the Women's Military Specialist Corps.  She retired from active duty in November of 1951.  She died in St. Petersburg, Florida.
  • Wickliffe, Nell - Colonel Wickliffe was dietetic consultant to the Surgeon General, Far East Command beginning December 1951.

Supplemental Recreational Activities Overseas (SRAO) "Donut Dollies"

[KWE Note: This section of our website's Women in Korea page would not have been possible without referencing the extensive history of SRAO written by Sue Behrens. To add more information to this section, contact Lynnita@thekwe.org.]


When the Korean War broke out, the staff of the American Red Cross stepped forward to bring memories of the home front and hospitality to American soldiers, sailors and marines serving in the Far East Command.  Red Cross clubs and clubmobiles began to make their appearance in Korea as early as September of 1950. Red Cross club staff members opened their first club in an abandoned schoolhouse at Pusan, and it became the base for clubmobile operations.  After the first club opened, five others opened at various airfields.  The clubmobiles traveled to air strips, triage areas, replacement depots and debarkation points throughout Korea.

The clubs provided games, spaces to write letters home, and eating areas for snacks. Staff members organized participation activities and provided all sorts of entertainment--including a spectacular show by remnants of the Seoul Symphony Orchestra.  The Red Cross girls hosted a weekly radio program on Armed Forces Korea Network Radio, distributed about 600 birthday cards to servicemen in Korea, and served 11,000-15,000 freshly-baked donuts per month.  After Korean bakers supplied them with donuts, the Red Cross "Donut Dollies" traveled throughout Korea, distributing the donuts to disbelieving men who were happy to see a female face in the war zone.  North of the Imjin River, the girls put on their flak jackets and helmets and traveled closer to the front lines in sandbagged trucks.  Their duties went beyond distributing donuts and entertaining homesick servicemen, too.  For instance, they met ships carrying troops that were carrying troops being evacuated from the Chosin Reservoir area, serving over 10,000 men each day, and they were on hand at the DMZ to wave a huge welcome to the returning crew of the captured USS Pueblo, later greeting the men while they were receiving medical care.  The last Red Cross club was turned over to Special Services on June 15, 1952 at the Seoul airfield where it was located. Then known was the American Red Cross Clubmobile Service, the name changed to Supplemental Recreational Activities Overseas (SRAO).  Operations continued for the remainder of 1952 under the new name, but the women who worked there were still called Donut Dollies. 

The American Red Cross Headquarters received a request on June 18, 1953 to reinstate the Red Cross clubmobile operations in Korea and the program restarted in October 1953.  The first clubmobile unit (with five staff members) began near Inchon at the Army Support Command (ASCOM) on October 3, 1953.  The 3rd Infantry Division requested a clubmobile unit on October 21, 1953 and it opened three days later.  These requests were followed by 8th Division and 45th Division requests for clubmobile units.  Well before Christmas that year there were 10 SARO units with 75 staff members in operation.  By December 1960, Behrens noted that there were six clubmobile units making 360 military locations on a weekly basis. 

Clubmobile operations in Korea ended in March of 1973  From 1953 to 1973 there were 899 Donut Dollies in South Korea.  Two of the girls were seriously injured while traveling in the Pusan area and hospitalized at the 121st Evacuation Hospital.  In far-away Korea, SARO staffers listened to the devastating Armed Forces Radio news about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  When the Vietnam War broke out, some of the veteran Red Cross workers who were in Korea were transferred over to Vietnam to help improve the morale of the men serving in that bloody war. At the end of 1965 and into early 1966, the first clubmobile units in Vietnam were mostly staffed by transfers from Korea.  The SRAO program also opened clubs in Europe, but the girls in Vietnam and Europe never served the famous Donut Dollie donuts to servicemen in those theatres.

According to Sue Behrens: "Over the years of the program, 899 young women served in Korea.  Through those years they traveled 2,900,000 miles over Korea's rugged terrain.  None of them would ever forget the roads, nor at the end of them, the appreciation of the men they reached."

Known Staff Members by Alpha Order*

*Dates shown are dates the Red Cross worker was known to be in Korea.

  • Babraitis, Rita - 1967 - She was from Boston.
  • Barksdale, Mary Kennon
  • Barnes, Harriett - She served with the 7th Division, arriving December 17, 1954.  She was from Grinnell, Iowa.
  • Berry, Nadine
  • Brown, Lillian "Rusty" - In 1951-52 she was stationed at 5th Air Force Advance Headquarters, Seoul, Korea.  For more about Lillian Brown, see Black Americans Topics page on the KWE.
  • Calcese, Nancy - July 1969 to September 1970 she was a donut dolly for the 2nd and 7th Divisions at Camp Cloud, Korea.  She was an assistant director of SARO at Saigon from May 1971 to May 1972..
  • Chapin, Jean
  • Cherry, JoAnna - Camp Pelham
  • Crawford, "Mike" - She was serving as a donut dolly in December 1970.
  • Cromwell, Mary Jane - This African-American woman served in Korea in 1953, and then went on to serve in SRAO in Europe and then Stateside USA.
  • Cruise, Ella - first assistant supervisor in Korea
  • Custer, Pat
  • Davidson, Marie - Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, this former professional figure skater served in the Red Cross for 10 years and then switched to Army Special Services.  She was stationed in Korea numerous times, one year in Japan working in hospitals, six months in Verdun, France, 18 months in Turkey, 20 months in Vietnam in five locations, and Alaska.  In all, she had 38 years of military recreation program history.
  • Deason, Mildred Ella - "Mildred Ella Deason, 95, of Parrish, passed away Thursday, February 4, 2021, at Walker Baptist Medical Center. A graveside service will be held on Monday, February 8 at 1 p.m., at Zion Church of Christ Cemetery of Parrish, with Kilgore-Green Funeral Home directing. John Thomaston will officiate. Mildred was born in America, Alabama, and is a graduate of Parrish High School, Alabama College for Women “University of Montevallo” Columbia University of New York City. She taught physical Education at University of Montevallo, University of Mississippi and Austin Peay University of Clarkesville, Tennessee, where she was Dean of Women. She served in the American Red Cross in Korea, Vietnam and Europe and North Africa. After Mildred retired, she worked as a security officer at Drummond Company in Jasper. Her favorite hobby was bird watching and spending time with family and friends. She was a member of Zion Church of Christ. She was preceded in death by her parents, Elbert B. Deason Sr. and Edith J. Deason; siblings, Edith Deason, Thomaston Short and Elbert B. “Ebb” Deason Jr. She is survived by her brother, Pick Deason, sister-in-law wife of Ebb, Wadene and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends."  [Source: Obituary]
  • Denney, Betty - 1967
  • Dixon, Sue - 1967
  • Doherty, Pat - Korea 1955.  She was from Arlington, Massachusetts.
  • Draper, Barbara - 1968 - 2nd Infantry Division
  • Drosdick, Liz - 1967/68
  • Dumbrigue, Cece - Korea and Vietnam
  • Edmondson, Pat Prince - DMZ
  • Fearing, Donna - 1959 1st Cavalry
  • Fields, Claudia - 1968 - 2nd Infantry Division
  • Gardner, Val
  • Garvin, Eva - served from winter 1959 to 1960
  • Goplerud, Ann - During World War II she served in the Red Cross and sang at hospitals and for troops moving out. She became incredibly popular and even earned the name “Ann of Iowa.” She also served in the Red Cross during the Korean War. Her papers are housed in Special Collections and Archives, Grinnell College. [Source: Grinnell College website]
  • Greene, Mary Alice - one of the girls who met the returning Pueblo Crew.  She also sang Ave Maria in a memorial service for a deceased Pueblo crew member.
  • Griffith, Virginia "Ginny" - Red Cross club supervisor
  • Grigas, Judy - injured (back injury) in a jeep accident in September 1971
  • Gulley, Margaret - World War II and Korea - "Margaret (Marge) O. Gulley was born in LaSalle, Illinois in 1920, the sixth child of Vincent and Theresa O'Bid. Although she was a child of the depression era, her family supported her education and she graduated from the University of Chicago with an AB in 1942. She taught school for two years in a one room country schoolhouse.  Marge contributed to the war effort by serving in the American Red Cross (A.R.C), first in France where her group was named "Noah's A.R.C.," and later in Nuremberg where she was responsible for troop recreation and also aided townspeople displaced by war. She attended some of the Nuremberg Trials. She continued her service in the Far East and at the Swedish Red Cross Hospital during the Korean Conflict. Her Red Cross career positioned her to attend the coronation of the King of Siam and to have a private audience with Pope Pius XII. She moved to Chapel Hill in 1955 and began her long and distinguished career in the University of North Carolina Pathology Department. She received a Master's degree in Recreation Administration and Counseling from the University of North Carolina in 1966. Except for an 18-month interval to have a child, she was on Department staff until her retirement in June 1990. She served as departmental business manager and was recognized with the C. Knox Massey Distinguished Service Award for 33 years of exemplary service to the University. Upon her retirement, the annual Margaret O. Gulley award was established to honor a Department of Pathology administrative staff member for outstanding performance. After retirement, Marge was a proud Grandma, and she remained active with the American Red Cross Overseas Association (ARCOA) and in volunteer organizations. She loved to cook treats for her family and to tell stories of her adventures. In the past year she continued morning swims, attended a White House Ceremony honoring Red Cross Volunteers, and was awarded the Korean Ambassador for Peace Medal for her Korean War volunteer service. She died peacefully at Carol Woods Health Center on May 11, 2016 and donated her body to science. She is survived by her daughter Margaret (Peggy) L. Gulley, MD who is married to John W. Williams Jr, MD and their children, Kate and Meg. Her legacy is reflected in Peggy and Meg who carry on the family tradition as pathologists and Kate, who is a member of ARCOA and an international education coordinator. Memorial gifts may be made to the UNC Pathology Department or to ARCOA. A Celebration of Life will be held Monday, May 23 at 4pm at the Carol Woods Retirement Community, 750 Weaver Dairy Rd., Chapel Hill." [Source: obituary]
  • Haas, Edith Joan - Red Cross aide - later married Henry R.C. Elser - She was born June 24, 1923/died February 1994 in West Chester, Pennsylvania
  • Hayes, Vivian - one of the girls who met the returning Pueblo crew
  • Heinzelman, Susie - 1967
  • Herman, Joyce - 1967
  • Hines, Shirley - She arrived in Korea on March 16, 1970 as the first black Donut Dolly.  From Korea she went on to serve in Vietnam.
  • Hopkins, Judy - 1968 - 2nd Infantry Division
  • Hunter, Jessica - first assistant supervisor in Korea.  She had been a World War II WAC in the Far East.
  • Jones, Nancy - SRAO assistant director in Korea
  • Kessler, Harriet Smoak - She was a Red Cross staff member in Pusan (and later Japan) during the Korean War.  Born October 24, 1922 in South Carolina, she died in June of 2021. " Harriet Smoak Kessler, 98, of Piney Flats, passed away at her residence following a recent hospitalization. She was born on October 24, 1922, in Colleton County, South Carolina. She was a daughter of the late Gilbert Leonardus Smoak and Adelphia Ritter Smoak. Harriet joined the American Red Cross following earning a Bachelor of Arts degree at Furman University. She served her country during the Korean War, being stationed in what is now Busan, South Korea, as well as in Japan. Upon returning stateside, she continued to serve veterans returning from combat, working on different military bases and at VA hospitals. She earned her Master of Social Work degree at the University of Tennessee, Memphis, in 1957. It was in Memphis that she met her beloved husband of 57 years. In 1967, she moved with her family to Wise, Virginia, and began work at the Mental Health Clinic. She cherished this work, developing a deep affection for the people of Southwest Virginia. To her final days, Harriet often spoke of the open hearts and great generosity of the Mountain Community. In her retirement, she was still active for many years in the management of the rental business now known as Kessler Properties. As a strong Christian woman, Harriet knew there was only one brief life in this world before being united whole in the next. This did not, however, keep her from living each day with great enthusiasm, strong conviction, and a lasting sense of humor. Many of her conversations began, “If I only had 100 lives to live, I would…” or ended in sidesplitting laughter.  In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband and constant companion, Dr. William A. Kessler, with whom she shared life from their marriage in 1958 until his passing in 2015, and several siblings. She is survived by her daughter, Cynthia S. Kessler; grandson, Martin William Convers; and several nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews. The family of Harriet Kessler will receive friends from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, at Morris-Baker Funeral Home. A funeral service will follow at 5:00 PM, officiated by Pastor Sean Glenn. Immediately following the service, a committal will be held at the St. Paul United Methodist Church Cemetery, 1655 Allison Road, Piney Flats, Tennessee 37686.
  • Klaiss, Beth
  • Kotcher, Joann Puffer - Served in Korea and then arrived in Vietnam in 1966.
  • Kresbach, Helen - 1968 - 2nd Infantry Division
  • Lascola, Linda - 1968 - 2nd Infantry Division
  • LeGrande, Joyce - Korea and Vietnam.  She was one of the first five Red Cross staf members to be sent into Vietnam after that war started.
  • Lewis, Sue - March 1962, 1967
  • Macdonald, Bennett
  • Mace, Barbara - She arrived in Korea February 1959 and served with the 1st Cavalry.
  • McCann, Billie - 1961
  • McCaskill, Penny - I Corps
  • Meares, Anne - 1968 - 2nd Division
  • Meyner, Helen Day Stevenson - She arrived in Japan on November 3, 1950 and was assigned to the 5th Station military hospital at Johnson Air Base, Iramangawa, Japan.  In April 13, 1951 she arrived at the ARC club in Pusan until October 1951.  At that time she was transferred to a club at K13, Suwon Air Base until returning to the States in January 1952.  She married Robert B. Meyner, who became the governor of New Jersey.  As such, Helen was the First Lady of New Jersey from 1957 to 1962.  Helen was the Democratic U.S. Representative from New Jersey from 1975 to 1979.  Born March 5, 1929, she died November 02, 1997.  [See the Meyner Papers, Skillman Library, Lafayette College.]
  • Michaels, Zelda - 1968 - 2nd Division
  • Miller, Janet - She served with the 7th Division, arriving in Korea December 17, 1954.
  • Mitchell, Connie - unit head when the girls met the returning Pueblo crew
  • Moore, Gay - 1967
  • Moorehead, Helen - 1968 - 2nd Division
  • Moran, Patricia (later Pat Lorge) - Korea 1969-70 and 1972-73.  She was the last assistant director and doubled as program supervisor.
  • Morey, Linda - 1967
  • Neal, Kathi - served with the 7th Division 1967
  • Nichols, Cissy - 1968
  • Niedenthal, Mary - arrived in Korea straight from Vietnam
  • O'Connor, Cathy - SRAO assistant director.  She met and married Army captain Dennis Berrean who was stationed in the Seoul area.  On December 1968 Cathy completed her tour in Korea, married Denny, and became a Red Cross volunteer in the Seoul SRAO office.
  • O'Fiaro, Suzanne - December 1969 she was a Donut Dollie for the 2nd Division
  • Olifant, Amber "Cindy" - arrived in Korea Spring 1960
  • Olson, Diane - DMZ with 2nd Division
  • Paro, Helen - 1959 - 1st Cavalry
  • Patson, Penny
  • Petrillo, Lynn - March 1962
  • Pettigrew, Barb - 1966
  • Printz, Joanne - 1967
  • Reher, Toni - December 1969 she was a Donut Dolly for the 2nd Division
  • Reynolds, Joanne "Jody" Ahrold - She arrived at Munson-ni, Korea in support of the 1st Cavalry in June 1965.  In October 1965 she was the new Program Director in Taegu, Pusan, supporting the 2nd Infantry Division.  She went on to serve with the Red Cross in Vietnam (Cam Ranh Bay) in January 1966.  She was from Des Moines, Iowa in 2019.
  • Robeson, Laurie - 1968
  • Rose, Jenny - stationed at Camp Saint Barbara
  • Schrader, Esther - one of the girls who met the returning Pueblo crew
  • Schweitzer, Edna - SRAO director in Korea to close the program and hospital field director in Vietnam
  • Scotchmer, Mazie - 1967
  • Shackleford, Brenda - injured (fractured collarbone) in a jeep accident in September 1971
  • Sherrard, Dorothy "Duf" - I Corps Artillery, Camp Saint Barbara
  • Simpson, Melinda - one of the girls who met the returning Pueblo crew
  • Smith, Diane - Vietnam Donut Dolly and then Korea Donut Dolly - She was a recreation director at RC#2 Service Club.  She was from Georgia.
  • Smith, Quinn - She served 18 months in Korea as SRAO director and then served in the same role in Vietnam.Eventually there were 10 SRA0 units in Korea providing staff for clubs, canteens and mobile vehicles.
  • Storey, Elizabeth Ann - 1967/1968 - 2nd Infantry Division
  • Sturm, Mele - 1968
  • Sutton, Cindy
  • Takell, Etta - This African-American woman served in Korea 1953 and then a second tour in 1955.
  • Tennyson, Jane - program supervisor at Seoul
  • Tibbot, Gladys - She replaced Quinn Smith for her second tour as SRAO director.  Gladys was diagnosed with cancer, was medically returned to the States, and died the next year.
  • Toombs, Pat (later Green) - She arrived at Camp Pelham, 1st Cavalry Division, ASCOM City, in Korea November 1962 and left in February 1964.  Her nickname was "Toombsie".  Back in the States, she worked for the Red Cross as a recreation worker at the US Naval Hospital (Balboa).  After her Red Cross career she worked as a medical social worker in hospitals until she retired.
  • Trask, Joanna - served with the 7th Division
  • Van Vechten, Marie-Louise "Metzie" - The first supervisor in Korea
  • Varn, Lib - two tours in Korea and the second assistant director
  • Watson, Katie - 1953 - She was from Denton, Texas.
  • Wendler, Wendy - 1968 - 2nd Division
  • Woods, Jan Small - ASCOM Depot, Korea, June 1966-November 1966; Dian Vietnam, 1st Infantry - November 1966-May 1967; Phu Loi Vietnam, May 1967-July 1967
  • Wilkins, Joanne - program director when the girls met the returning Pueblo crew
  • Wren, Kate
  • Wriston, Jane - 1961 - She was a recreation supervisor in Tokyo that trained staff before they went on to Korea.  She was from Albany, New York.

Reference Materials

  • Anderson, Norman, The Donut Dollies: A Documentary.  Anderson was the writer and director.  Members of the cast were former Donut Dollies.
  • Behrens, Sue, The SRAO Story, 1986.  Behrens served in the SRAO and wrote a history of the program in all three theatres (Korea, Vietnam and Europe).  She was a clubmobile staff member in Korea in 1953.
  • Collins, Elizabeth M., Donut Dollies at the DMZ
  • Kotcher, Joann Puffer, Donut Dolly: An American Girl's War in Vietnam.  Joann was a Donut Dolly in Korea and Vietnam.
  • Norris, Ann, "Red Cross Girls Train Here for Work in Vietnam, Korea," The Daily Progress, June 27, 1968.
  • Stewart, Kathleen A., Coffee, Doughnuts, and a Witty Line of Chatter: The Korean War Letters of Helen Stevenson Meyner, university thesis, 1998.
  • Vuic, Kara Dixon, The Girls Next Door, Bringing the Home Front to the Front Lines

Army Special Services

  • Gang, Jeanne (Hamby) - Gang, a Piedmont, California, native wanted to join the Navy Women’s Reserve (WAVES) during World War II, but was told that she was “too near-sighted.” Instead, she joined the American Red Cross but was considered “too young” for overseas assignment, so she served as a recreational and social staff aide in Army and Navy hospitals in her home state. When the Korean War broke out, she volunteered for the Army Special Services and was sent to Germany for two years, where her first assignment was at the 7th Army Headquarters’ Pyramid Service Club. Gang then helped open the service club at Wharton Barracks in Heilbronn. [Source: Military Women's Memorial website]


Post-War Korea


  • Balcombe, Jeanne M.
  • Gloria, Marissa Jo
  • Lott, Damionia 

Fatalities Biographies:

Balcombe, Jeanne M.

While on duty on August 21st 1999, Balcombe's quick thinking and selfless response safeguarded and protected others at the Troop Medical Clinic at Camp Red Cloud, Korea. She placed herself in harm's way between three soldiers and an armed gunman.

News-Register, McMinnville, Oregon, August 28, 1999 - A funeral for former McMinnville resident Sgt. 1st Class Jeanne M. Balcombe of Lakewood, Washington, will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in the chapel of Macy & Son Funeral Directors, McMinnville. The Rev. Steve Ross of McMinnville United Methodist Church will officiate.  Vault interment with military honors will be held in Evergreen Memorial Park, McMinnville.  Mrs. Balcombe died August 21, 1999, in Camp Red Cloud, South Korea, after being mortally wounded in the line of duty as an Army military police officer. She was 32. Born November 8, 1966, in Fort Lewis, Washington, she was the daughter of Willard Edward and Alice Anne Robinson Hamilton. She moved to North Carolina as a baby, then to Sheridan when she was three years old.  She attended first grade in Sheridan. Her family moved in August 1973 to McMinnville, where she was raised and educated.  In 1984, she joined the Army. She was stationed at Camp Red Cloud at the time of her death. She and Mike Balcombe were married April 9, 1989, in McMinnville.  Mrs. Balcombe loved to play softball and soccer. She was an avid bowler and liked to bike with her family. Survivors include her husband, of Lakewood, Washington; two daughters, Alice Balcombe and Kristin Balcombe, both of Lakewood; her parents, of McMinnville; four brothers, Dave Hamilton, John Hamilton and Tom Hamilton, all of McMinnville, and Rick Hamilton of Nevada; and a sister, Jennifer Wolfe of Idaho Falls, Idaho.

On September 1, 1999, Sgt. 1st Class Jeanne M. Balcombe, of the 1st Platoon, 55th Military Police Company, was posthumously awarded the Soldiers Medal for heroism in the face of danger.  Citation: "Sergeant Jeanne Balcombe was shot and killed at Camp Red Cloud, South Korea, by one of her own soldiers. The suspect, who was drunk at the time, was upset that Sergeant Balcombe had ordered a blood test on one of the suspect's friends. He then overpowered a South Korean soldier stationed at the base and took his sidearm. He shot Sergeant Balcombe three times, including once in the head, before fleeing the base. He was captured later in the day by Korean National Police officers with the murder weapon still in his possession. The suspect was convicted of capital murder by General Court Martial and sentenced to life in prison. Sergeant Balcombe was a member of the 55th Military Police Company. She is survived by her husband and two daughters."

Gloria, Marissa Jo

Marissa Jo Gloria, age 20, Moorhead, Minnesota, was found dead in her barracks on March 21, 2020. She joined the Army in January of 2019. After completing her training she arrived at Camp Humphreys, South Korea, in April 2019. Marrissa was a combat engineer with the 2nd ID sustainment brigade.  Born on October 12th, 1994 in Fargo, ND, Marissa Jo Gloria lived an all too brief 25 years. She passed on Saturday March 21st, 2020 while serving her country in the U.S. Army.

Marissa is survived by Lisa Gonzalez (mother), Robert Gonzalez (father), Ruben [Janice] Gloria (father), Marvin Glaser (grandparent), Candy Glaser (grandparent), Dolores Gloria (grandparent), Robert Gonzalez Sr. (grandparent), Gloria Gonzalez (grandparent), siblings: Brayden Gonzalez, Alexandrea Gonzalez, Tommy Gonzalez, Ruben Jr. Gloria, Miranda Gloria, Jacob Wentz (nephew), many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family, Zach Stankovich (special friend) and many, many other loving friends. She is preceded in death by Ralph Gloria (grandfather), great-grandparents, Marvin and Winifred Glaser and Arnold and Nora Esterby. and Albert Gloria [Tony Montana] (uncle).

Marissa attended West Fargo High, and continued her education at M/State Community College obtaining her Associates Degree in Accounting. She loved Moorhead, MN and called it home, but had a special place in her heart for Kansas City and the Fargo/West Fargo area. She entered Active Duty on January 2nd, 2019 and got her castle pinned April 2019. It was one the proudest moments of her life. She was most recently stationed overseas on Active Duty as a Private First Class (PFC), and served as a Combat Engineer at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, South Korea.

She loved her family and friends hard, and unconditionally. She had a smile that could lift the heaviest of fogs and a sense of humor that at times could seem peculiar, but could lift the heaviest of spirits. True to her character, she never let the many obstacles in her life hold her down. Marissa was the sister we all wanted, the daughter every parent longed for and the feminine role model every girl should aspire to become. She was not an easy kid by any definition, but against all odds, became an inspiration to us all. She spent a lot of her time cultivating strong relationships with family and friends. She loved the outdoors and camping, and was always in the mood for a good country song. Her laughter and smile was contagious, and her presence caring and sweet. She showed us how to persevere, triumph, and how to endure. Marissa above all cared and loved each and every one of us with her whole heart and with all of her energy, even if there wasn't enough left for her.

The Memorial Service will be held privately and by invitation only. A Celebration of Life is to be determined at a later date. For extended family and friends, the service will be available to view online on Boulger Funeral Home's website after it takes place. Marissa will be laid to rest at the Fargo National Cemetery. She will be given military honors at the funeral home after the service. We would like to extend our gratitude for your continued support and understanding. Arrangements entrusted to the care of Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center, Fargo. ==========

MOORHEAD, Minn. — An Army soldier from Moorhead was found dead in her barracks last weekend in Seoul, South Korea, according to an article published Tuesday by the military newspaper Stars & Stripes. Pvt. 1st Class Marissa Jo Gloria, a combat engineer with the 2nd Infantry Division sustainment brigade, was found unresponsive and pronounced dead at the scene by emergency medical staff, according to Stars & Stripes. Gloria's death Saturday at Camp Humphreys remains under investigation, according to the article, which also cited a military spokesman who ruled out any connection to the coronavirus pandemic. "There was no illness, and she did not present any COVID-19 related symptoms," Lt. Col. Martyn Crighton told Stars & Stripes. Gloria joined the Army in Fargo, N.D, in January 2019, and she was assigned to the sustainment brigade after completing training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. Gloria arrived at Camp Humphreys last April, according to Stars & Stripes, which cited an Army news release. According to Stars & Stripes, Lt. Col. Robert Dion, commander of the brigade's 11th Engineer Battalion, expressed condolences: "Marissa was a key member of the Jungle Cats Battalion. We are all deeply saddened by the loss and will keep her family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time." Source: Pioneer Press

Lott, Damionia

A female U.S. soldier who was stationed near the border with North Korea died earlier this month. Sgt. Damionia Lott died at an off-base hospital in South Korea on September 19, Stars and Stripes reported. She was a supply sergeant with the 70th Brigade Support Battalion, 210th Field Artillery Brigade at Camp Casey, the command said in a statement on Wednesday. The command said her death wasn't attributed to a training incident, but declined to provide additional details, according to Stars and Stripes. Today, the Thunder Family is deeply saddened by the loss of our sister in arms, SGT Damionia Lott," the post said. "She was an outstanding NCO in 70th Brigade Support Battalion and she truly will be missed."  Lott, who was from Louisiana, enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2016, but joined the Army four years later. She arrived at the battalion in South Korea over the summer. In a statement to Stars and Stripes, her unit said it was "deeply saddened and shocked" by her death. "Sergeant Lott was an excellent non-commissioned officer who always set the example and made coaching and mentoring others her top priority," said Command Sgt. Maj. Tiffany Montgomery, the support battalion's senior enlisted leader. Montgomery added: "She was well respected and greatly admired by the entire chain of command."  Lott has been posthumously awarded the Army Commendation Medal.

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Reference Material - Women in Korea

  • Baron, Scott and James E. Wise Jr.  Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Conflicts.  Naval Institute Press, 2006.  References Margaret Fae Perry and Vera M. Brown, who died in the Korean War.
  • Bellafaire, Judith.  Called to Duty: Army Women During the Korean War Era Army History: The Professional Bulletin of Army History 52 (2001), pp. 19-27.
  • Cherpak, Evelyn M., compiler.  A Guide to Research Source Materials on Women in the Naval Historical Collection.  Naval War College, Newport, RI.  2005.  Although most of this material is related to World War II, Dr. Cherpak lists references for the following female Navy personnel who served in non-combat areas during the Korean War: Eleanor Landgraff Gustafson, Lola Krueger, Helen Martin, Barbara Flaherty, and Florence Job.
  • D'Amico, Francine and Laurie Weinstein, editors.  Gender Camouflage: Women and the U.S. Military.  New York University Press, 1999.
  • Feller, Carolyn M. and Constance J. Moore, editors.  Highlights in the History of the Army Nurse Corps.  U.S. Army Center of Military History, Washington, D.C., 1995.  See pp. 24-26.
  • Frank, Lisa Tendrich.  An Encyclopedia of American Women at War.  2013.
  • Higgins, Marguerite.  War in Korea: The Report of a Woman Combat Correspondent.  1951.  The Country Life Press, New York.  A 223-page book with photo illustrations by Life photographer Carl Mydans, War in Korea highlights the experiences of correspondent Marguerite Higgins from the time she arrived in Korea in June through December 1950.
  • History and Museums Division Headquarters.  A History of the Women Marines 1946-1977.  United States Marine Corps, Washington, D.C.  See Chapter 4 - "The Korean War Years".
  • Mendoza, Patrick M.  Extraordinary People in Extraordinary Times: Heroes, Sheroes, and Villains.
  • Nanney, James S., Donald G. Smith, Jr., and Mary C. Smolenski.  A Fit, Fighting Force: The Air Force Nursing Services Chronology.  Office of the Air Force Surgeon General, Washington, D.C. 2005.  See "The Fifties", pp. 13-15.
  • Neidel-Greenlee, Rosemary and Evelyn Monahan.  A Few Good Women: America's Military From World War I to the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Harpswell, ME: Anchor Publishing, 2010.
  • Omori, Frances.  Quiet Heroes: Navy Nurses of the Korean War 1950-1953, Far East Command.  Smith House Press, 2000.
  • Paananen, Eloise.  Dawn Mission: a flight nurse in Korea.  New York, John Day Co., 1952.
  • Sarnecky, Mary T.  A History of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps.  Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999.
  • Soderbergh, Peter.  Women Marines in the Korean War Era.  Praeger Publishing, 1994.
  • Stiehm, Judith.  It's Our Military, Too!: Women and the U.S. Military.  1996.
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars.  Women at War From the Revolutionary War to the PresentVFW Magazine, 2009.  See "Flight Nurse Put Others First", p. 11; "Nurses in Korea Prove Their Skills", pp. 12-13; and "Anna Mae Hays: Army's First Female General Office", p. 14.
  • Witt, Linda, editor.  A Defense Weapon Known to be of Value: Servicewomen of the Korean War Era.

SPARS in the Korean War

Semper Paratus Always Ready

During World War II there were 11,868 enlisted women and 978 female officers in the Coast Guard Women's Reserve.  In 1947, the Women's Reserve of the Coast Guard was inactivated.  World War II was over and there was no campaign to encourage women to enlist as SPARS.  The Coast Guard's women's volunteer reserve was reactivated in January of 1950 and opened to all eligible veteran officers.  In April of that year the Coast Guard announced that former enlisted women of the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve could apply for enlistment in the Women's Volunteer Reserve, or SPARs. Enlistments would be for a three-year period with written agreement to serve on active duty in time of war or national emergency.

Eleanor C. L'Ecuyer

Eleanor C. L’Ecuyer rejoined the Coast Guard in 1951 after serving in as a SPAR during World War II. Prior to her rejoining, she earned a law degree, and was commissioned as an ensign upon her reentry into the Coast Guard Women's Reserve. She was assigned to Washington, D.C., and became the first female attorney hired by the Coast Guard, although she did not directly serve in that role. Her legal training served her – and future generations of female Coast Guardsmen – very well. She wrote successful challenges to several policies that would increase career potential for women in the Coast Guard. One was her determination that being pregnant was not a disabling condition and therefore, should not be grounds for discharging women. Another was that couples should be allowed to co-locate. Another challenge she filed questioned the policy limiting women to serving only 20 years. She served until 1971, rising to the rank of captain. She holds the distinction of being the longest serving SPAR.

Elizabeth Frances "Betty" Splaine

Elizabeth Frances "Betty" Splaine of Massachusetts joined the Coast Guard in 1942 and worked in the personnel department until the end of World War II.  She was discharged, but then became the first former SPAR from World War II to re-enlist in the Coast Guard.  From 1953 until 1971 she was a warrant officer in the reserve affairs department in the Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C.  She was the Coast Guard's first female warrant officer.

Other women served as Coast Guard SPARS during the Korean War. In November of 1952 there were 215 SPAR officers and 108 enlisted women in the SPAR reserves. In addition, there were 18 officers and 19 enlisted women on active duty in the SPARS during the Korean War.  The majority of these women served at the Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The Korean War Educator is searching for the names of SPARS who served during the Korean War.  To add information to this section, contact Lynnita@thekwe.org.

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War Correspondents

  • Bourke-White, Margaret

    Born June 14, 1904 in New York, New York, Margaret White attended Columbia University, University of Michigan, Western Reserve University and Cornell University. She began her career as an industrial and architectural photographer in 1927 and in 1929 was hired by Fortune magazine. She became one of the first four staff photographers for Life magazine in 1936. She covered World War II for Life and became the first woman photographer attached to the United States Armed Forces.

    During the Korean War she worked as war correspondent and traveled with South Korean troops. She was stricken with Parkinson disease in 1952, but continued to photograph and write, retiring from Life magazine in 1969. She died August 27, 1971 in Stamford, Connecticut.
  • Higgins, Marguerite

    Born in Hong Kong on September 3, 1920, Higgins was educated at the University of California, from which she graduated in 1941. She received a Masters degree in journalism from Columbia University. In 1942 she was hired by the New York Tribune and 1944 she became a war correspondent in Europe. She covered the Nuremberg Trials.

    She was a war correspondent in Korea from June through December 1950 and covered the Inchon landing in the 5th wave at Red Beach. In 1951 she published the book, War in Korea: The Report of a Woman Combat Correspondent. That same year she won a Pulitzer Prize for international reporting and was voted Woman of the Year by the Associated Press news organization.

    She covered news stories in Vietnam in 1953, the Soviet Union in 1955, and then made repeated trips to Vietnam. Her book, Our Vietnam Nightmare, was published in 1965. She was in Vietnam in 1965 when she came down with the tropical disease leishmanasis. She returned to the United States for recovery but died on January 3, 1966. In honor of her career as a war correspondent, she was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

  • Sarah Park
    Photo courtesy of
    Honolulu Star-Bulletin

    Park, Sarah

    Born on June 22, 1927 in Honolulu to Choonha and Shinbok Park, Sarah was a Korean-American journalist. She studied at American University in Washington, D.C. and the University of Hawaii and then began living and writing in Asia for the International News Service and Reuters agency of Great Britain. She was hired by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin in 1950 and then sent to cover the Korean War from the winter of 1952 through spring 1953. "Park reported that it was necessary for troops to use candles in areas around the frontline, as there was no electricity at that time. From this report, Hawaiian residents started a campaign, 'Candles for Korea' which saw approximately 150,000 candles sent to troops to boost morale." In January 1953 she was made an honorary member of the 7th Division and later Col. Arthur B. Chun wrote to the Star-Bulletin, “Undaunted and without flinching, she stood side-by-side with men of the 3rd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Division, all under intense fire from the enemy on the Korean frontier. She walked their trails, their trenches, their rugged hills and witnessed their agonizing, perilous moments. She was more than a war correspondent or an observer: she was the understanding ‘buddy’ from home who appreciated everything anyone did.” Sarah Park died at the age of 30 when the small plane she was aboard crashed into the Pacific Ocean on March 9, 1957 while covering a tsunami warning. Also killed was Paul Beam, owner of the plane, who died the next day. Surviving the crash was photographer Jack Matsumoto. Sarah Park is buried at Diamond Head Memorial Park in Oahu next to her mother.

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News Clippings

5 Local Navy Nurses in Ocean Plane Crash that Snuffed Out Lives of 26

[KWE Note: The source and date of this news clipping is unknown, but was sent to the KWE by the family of Edna June Rundell, a victim of the crash. The article appeared in a Bremerton area newspaper on pages 1 and 5.]

Navy reports identifying the 26 persons killed Tuesday when a four-engined transport crashed into the sea near Kwajalein were especially shocking to personnel at U.S. Naval Hospital here.  Five of 11 navy nurses aboard were detached from the local hospital last week.  They were Lieut. (jg) Mary Eleanor Liljegreen and Ensigns Eleanor Clara Beste, Jane Louise Eldridge, Marie Margaret Boatman and Edna June Rundell.  The other victims were eight navy men who were passengers and the seven crew members.  Only four bodies were recovered.

Today the navy sent a special plane to drop 26 Hawaiian leis on the waters, two miles from Kwajalein Island where the transport had refueled on a flight from Hawaii to the far east.

There was hurried excitement among the five nurses and their friends at the naval hospital here 10 days ago.  The five had received dispatch orders for overseas assignment.

One of the most excited was Lieutenant Liljegreen whose promotion to that rank came simultaneously with her orders.  As such she became senior officer of the group reporting to San Francisco by commercial air.  The dark-eyed, 25-year-old brunette from Seattle was serving on her second station, having been indoctrinated at the naval hospital at Oak Knoll, California.  She had reported here during the Christmas holidays of 1949.  Among her friends and among the patients in the dependents ward where she last worked, Lieutenant Liljegreen was known as "Mary".  Her surviving parents are Mr. and Mrs. Carl J. Liljegreen of Seattle.

Most outwardly pleased with prospect of her overseas assignment was Ensign Beste, 25, a vivacious blue-eyed blonde from Freeport, Minnesota.  Beginning with her arrival here 20 months ago for indoctrination, Ensign Beste became well-known for her many interests and popularity.  Ensign Beste wanted to be a doctor.  So, last year she attended Olympic college by day and worked evenings at the hospital.  In addition, she studied foreign languages through correspondence courses.  "Ensign Beste was extremely popular with dependents," Lieutenant R.J. Mitchell, assistant chief nurse, recalls.

Ensign Eldridge, 28, was on leave and vacationing at her Detroit, Michigan home when her orders came.  She returned to hurriedly pack her personal and professional belongings.  Bremerton also was her first navy station: she reported here in December of 1947 and served largely in hospital wards.  The tall, slender brunette was engaged to a navy doctor who left recently for assignment aboard a military transport.

Ensign Boatman, a jolly Texan who seemed younger than her 25 years, was the only other member of the group able to visit home before departing overseas.  She visited San Antonio briefly before her final flight.  Ensign Boatman, a tall, strawberry blonde, had been here only since January of this year, having received her indoctrination at the Long Beach naval hospital.  Her duties had been in the outpatients clinic and on the enlisted wards and her Texan humor had always been welcome.

The last of the group, Ensign Rundell, had reported here in January of 1948 for indoctrination and her duties had been on medical and surgical wards.  The tiny, 24-year-old brunette from Stafford, Kansas, had only recently learned of the death of her father.

Lieut. (jg) Alice Stella Giroux of Tacoma, and Lieut. (jg) Jeanne Elizabeth Clarke of Portland are among the other nurse victims.  Others are Lieut. (jg) Call Virginia Goodwin of Raleigh, North Carolina; Lieut. (jg) Constance Adair Heege of Kirkwood, Missouri; Lieut. (jg) Margaret Grace Kennedy of Webster, Massachusetts; and Ens. Constance Rita Esposito of Brockway, Pennsylvania.

Plane crewmen were Lieut. Comdr. S.L. White, Barber's Point, Hawaii; Lieut. Comdr. I.S. Best, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Lieut. W.L. Watkins, Palo Alto, California; and Lieut. (jg.) W.G. Spangle, Williamsport, Pennsylvania.  Also, Chief Machinist A.G. Sessoms, Charleston, Tennessee; E.A. Sauer, aviation electronics man third class, Scottsbluff, Nebraska; and A.J. Johnson, aviation electronics man third class, Beaumont, Texas.

Passengers were Lieut. J.J. Kilthau, Portland; Lieut. (jg) W.L. Horter, Balboa, Canal Zone; Lieut. (jg) F.G. Palmer, Newport, Rhode Island; Ens. E.F. Englehardt, Cincinnati, Ohio; Ens. R.A. Harsh, Clinton, Michigan; Ens. D.J. Jackson, Jr., Berwick, Pennsylvania; Ens. H.K. Smith, Los Angeles; and Ens. A.E. Thrall, Colton, California.

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Edna June Rundell News Clippings

Click HERE to view the newspaper clippings (PDF)

Edna June Rundell

Edna June Rundell

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  • U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps Uniform Booklet (donated to the KWE courtesy of the family of Edna June Rundell)



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