Minnie Mae Williams-Beverly, RN ’53

  • Biography of Minnie Mae Williams-Beverly, RN ’53
  • Lieutenant Colonel, USAF (Retired)

    I was born on July 3 in Grab Township, Johnston County, North Carolina, and raised on a farm where my parents worked. Later we moved to Princeton North Carolina, and my family continued farming. I graduated from Dillard High School in 1950 and then decided to pursue nursing. The majority of my life was spent taking care of members of my family; therefore, I felt that nursing was the career for me. Immediately after high school I was accepted into Lincoln Hospital School of Nursing (LHSN) in Durham, North Carolina. Based on that education I enjoyed the following career accomplishments in my life: After graduation I went to work in Washington, D.C., at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital as a registered nurse in charge of the Psychiatric Unit. I lived on the grounds in the nursing quarters and worked there from 1954 through 1957. I went on leave from St. Elizabeth’s when I decided that I wanted to see the world and joined the U.S. Air Force. Because of my nursing experience, I enlisted as a First Lieutenant. My military experience started at Gunter Air Force Base (AFB), Alabama and continued at Wright-Patterson, Ohio, Johnson Air Force Base, Japan, and Travis AFB, California. When I had completed active duty I joined the Reserves and went back to St. Elizabeth’s for a year to honor my commitment.  

    From there I went to Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C. in 1962 the Cuban crisis occurred and I was called back into active duty. I stayed on active duty from 1963 to 1966. I was stationed at Andrews AFB, Maryland, and attended flight school to become a flight nurse. I was sent to Wiesbaden, Germany, to work at the Wiesbaden United States Air Force (USAF) Hospital for three years. From 1969 to 1971 I was in Cam Rahn Bay, Vietnam, as a hospital nurse supervisor. From 1970 to 1972 I was stationed at Andrew AFB in Maryland and ran my own little dispensary in the Air Force Systems Command. I then got orders to go back to Travis AFB, California, for my second tour there. I worked from 1972 to 1973 as a flight nurse bringing home the prisoners of war (POWS) from Hanoi. Finally in 1974 I went back to work at the hospital at Travis AFB in California.

    In the course of my career I received the following military awards: Bronze Star Medal; Meritorious Service Metal with one Oak Leaf Cluster; Combat Air Crew Medal; National Defense Medal; Air Force Longevity Service Award with four Oak Leaf Clusters; Vietnam Campaign Medal with four Service Stars; and Republic of Vietnam medal with Palm Leaf.

    My civilian awards include a City of Goldsboro, 2006, Human Relations Award for Notable Achievements for volunteering with the Red Cross. I went to Baton Rouge on one twenty-one-day trip and to New Orleans for twenty-one days on another trip with the Red Cross during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I received a Certification of Appreciation from the local American Red Cross chapter. I have been an AARP member since 1985. I have been a member of the founders of the local Tuskegee Airmen Member chapter since 1998. I am a long-standing member of the Dillard/Goldsboro alumni association, which provides numerous community services to youths. I served on the Wayne County Nursing Home Advisory Board for several years and was an adamant advocate for improving the quality of care for patients in county nursing homes.