Resources

General

  • Duke University collections include the personal papers of women and the records of women's organizations dedicated to serving and improving society.
  • Finding aid to the World War II papers at the North Carolina Department of Archives and History. There are many items related to nurses.
  • North Carolina Museum of History documents about World War II nurses.
  • Nurses Who Served: And Did Not Return. Doreen Spelt. The American Journal of Nursing, Vol. 86, No. 9 (Sep., 1986), pp. 1037-1039.
  • UNC-Greensboro's Betty H.Carter Women's Veteran History Collection.
  • Women’s Veterans General Textile Collection 1940s-1990s at UNC-Grreensboro has military uniforms and foot wear donated by UNC-G alumni mostly from WWII, including an Army Nurse Corps uniform worn by World War II POW. Evelyn Whitlow of Caswell County. Captured in the Philippines in 1942, she spent four years in a Japanese POW camp. Her family’s in-service banner with six stars, representing four sons and two daughters in the military, appears in the exhibit.
  • A Call to Action: Nursing in Uniform and War.  A special supplement to the Raleigh News and Observer May 5, 2002.

 Spanish American War

  •  Lucy Ashby Sharp, Spanish American War nurse.  Article reprinted from the Junior Tar Heel Historian, Fall 2012.

World War I

  • North Carolina's Governor Thomas Bickett's "Call for Nurses" to serve in World War I
  • See Madelon "Glory" Hancock in the biographies section of this website.  From Asheville, she was the most decorated woman in all of WWI.  She recieved 14 Medals from 3 countries for her nursing services.
  • Blue family papers including papers about Jean Blue, a WWI nurse.
  • Photograph of nurse Harriett Arrington of Granville Co, NC
  • Josephine Finch, WWI nurse from Charlotte.
  • Jessie Morris photograph album of Oteen Hospital, Asheville, North Carolina and nurses during WWI.
  • Suzanne Hoskins from NC Museum of history World War 1 nurse.
  • The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project at University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
  • A report about North Carolina women in WWI in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) library system.
  • Information about Willie Ramsey Young, RN of Charlotte is on page 159.
  • Information about a WWI era nurse from Wilmington.
  • Information about WWI nurses list from Georgia State Archives - includes several nurses from North Carolina.
  • Index to the WWI papers housed at NC State Archives in Raleigh, NC. Boxes 2,26,31 and 60 have items related to nurses and nursing during WWI.
  • Orange County women during WWI, with a little bit about nurses.
  • Photograph of Camp Green, a WWI US Army camp
  • Photograph of nurses dining hall at Camp Green, WWI
  • Photograph of nurses living quarters at Camp Green, WWI
  • Elizabeth Herbert Smith Taylor is born in Scotland Neck in 1888. Taylor served as a nurse during World War I with the Maguire Unit of the Army Nurse Corps. She was educated at North Carolina College for Women in Greensboro and received training in nursing at St. Timothy's Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her diary, which consists of pithy statements summarizing the events of each day, begins with her cross-Atlantic trip to France in September 1918 as part of the Army Nurse Corps. The diary provides a fascinating look at the variety of social gatherings created by hard-working soldiers and support personnel during World War I.
  • Tillinghast family (From Duke University Special Collections) Papers after 1900 are primarily those of Anne Wetmore Tillinghast and her daughter and pertain to public schools and education in N.C. and nursing with the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe during WWI.
  • Miss Willie Ramsey Young - WWI nurse from North Carolina.

 

World War II nurses with significant North Carolina connections

  • Information about the 38th Evacuation Hospital unit formed at Charlotte memorial hospital.
  • Doris Armenaki was a World War II nurse who later taught nursing at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro for 17 years.
  • Blossom Ellis was a World War II nurse who later nursed in Randolph County.
  • Annie Ruth Graham WWII nurse from Efland, North Carolina.
  • Mattie Hicks from Greensboro was a World War II and Korean War Army nurse.
  • Della Raney Jackson, a graduate of Lincoln Hospital School of Nursing in Durham, North Carolina, became the first African American nurse to be commissioned in the U.S. Army. Jackson served at Fort Bragg.
  • Elna Jones was a World War II nurse from Hickory, North Carolina who later nursed in the triad area of North Carolina.
  • Shirley Lyle was a World War II nurse from Franklinville, North Carolina.
  • Daphine Doster Mastrioanni - A World War II nurse from Monroe, North Carolina.
  • Mizelle, Margaret B., Letters, 1942 - 1944 are available in the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh:.Margaret B. Mizelle served as a 2nd lieutenant with the Army Nurse Corps during World War II. While stationed with the 38th Evacuation Hospital in England, Africa, and Italy, she wrote letters to her mother concerning articles of clothing, cosmetics, or food that Lt. Mizelle wished sent to her from home. Occasionally the letters contain descriptions of life in the field.
  • Sarah Wahab Moore Oral History Interview (Oral History #OH0151)WWII nurse
  • Estelle Garner Ptaszynski was a World War II nurse from Seagrove, North Carolina.
  • Virginia Reavis of Onslow County served as a World War II nurse.
  • Frances Turner of Durham, North Carolina, had a career in the Army Nurse Corps, serving during World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
  • McCoy, Jessie Marion Wall. Papers, 1941-1943. 73 items. Randleman, N.C. Letters to McCoy while in nurses training from her mother, Marion A. Wall, who was serving in the Women's Army Auxilary Corps describing her duties, activities, and social life while stationed in Ft. Des Moines, Iowa.
  • Edna Weston, was a World War Ii nurse from Wilkesboro, Noth Carolina.
  • Wanda Wills Wanda Wills (b. 1918) of Sparta, North Carolina, was a nurse in the Army Nurse Corps (ANC) from 1940 to 1946 and 1948 to 1964.
  • Parkview Hospital School of Nursing graduates who joined the US Army Cadet Nurse Corps and/or served in WWII were Margaret Flye, Hodgie Shearin, Eloise Hobgood,  Alice Bradley, and Ruth Crowder Williford.
  • See Ruby Brooks WWII Navy nurse in the Wake COunty page.

 

Korean and Vietnam Wars

  • Army Maj. Julia Baxter, a Korean War veteran nurse.
  • Col. Mildred Irene Clark completed the statutory four-year appointment as Chief of the Army Nurse Corps. She served as Special Assistant to the Director, Personnel and Training for Nursing Activities, Office of the Surgeon General, from 1 September 1967 until her retirement on 11 October 1967. Colonel Clark was the recipient of many honors, including the Distinguished Service Medal awarded for eminently meritorious service while serving as Chief of the Army Nurse Corps, and the University of Minnesota's Outstanding Achievement Award. She was honored by her hometown of Clarkton, North Carolina, on Irene Clark Day.
  • Frances Turner of Durham, North Carolina, had a career in the Army Nurse Corps, serving during World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
  • Mattie Hicks from Greensboro was a World War II and Korean War Army nurse.
  • Julia CHoate Baxter of Wake County served in the Korean war and volunteered for a dangerous mission 
  • Twenty oral histories of Viet Nam era nurses found in the Betty Carter Collection at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

  • The US Library of Congress has an audio cassette of (male) nurse Bobby Finch, a US Army nurse from Wake County who served during the Viet Nam War 1964-1968.
  • Lt. Col. Annie Ruth Graham, Chief Nurse at 91st Evac. Hospital, 43d Med Group, 44th Medical Brigade, Tuy Hoa. Annie Ruth Graham WWII nurse from Efland, North Carolina.
    Lt. Col. Graham, from Efland, NC, suffered a stroke in August 1968 and was evacuated to Japan where she died four days later. A veteran of both World War II and Korea, she was 52.  Her name is etched on "The Wall" - the Viet Nam War memorial in Washington, DC.

    Annie Ruth Graham, Vietnam War 1966-1967

    The Vietnam’s Veterans Memorial, also known as “The Wall,” in Washington, D.C. serves as a stark reminder to the approximate 58,000 Americans who lost their lives serving in Vietnam. Each of their names is etched into the dark gabbro rock. The names of eight nurses are included in the memorable list. Lieutenant Colonel Annie Ruth Graham of Efland, North Carolina is one of the eight nurses who lost her life while serving our country in Vietnam [37]. Graham was decorated eight times while serving in the Army Nurse Corps (ANC) during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam conflict.

    One of six children, Annie Ruth was born November 7, 1916, to J.D. and Tiny Graham.  After attending local schools in rural Orange County, North Carolina, Graham graduated from nearby Watts Hospital School of Nursing in 1940 [38].  Graham worked at Watts until she volunteered for service in the Army Nurse Corps during World War II.  In March, 1942 Nurse Graham enlisted as a 2nd Lieutenant at Fort Bragg, North Carolina [39]. She was assigned to the European theater of war and worked in both the 57th Station Hospital and the 171st Evacuation Hospital. In April, 1944, Graham was promoted to First Lieutenant [40]. For her service in World War II, Graham was awarded the American Campaign Medal, European - African - Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 2 Bronze Service Stars, and the World War II Victory
    Medal [41].

    After the war, Graham was promoted to Captain and joined the U.S. Army Reserve as an officer.  Returning home to Efland, she began a career as a public health nurse with the Alamance County Health Department and returned to school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health Nursing in 1949 [42]. Her time back in North Carolina was short. When the United States entered the Korean War in 1950, Graham was called back to active duty.

    Quickly as she was called back to active duty, Graham began caring for wounded soldiers in the U.S. Army Hospital at Camp Yokohama Osaka Army Hospital in Japan. Between 1950 and 1953 over 5,800 casualties from the Korean War was treated at this hospital [43]. While serving in Japan, Graham was promoted to the rank of Major and earned the Army of Occupation Medal (Japan), the Korean Service Medal and the United Nations Service Medal [44] .

    After the Korean War ended, Graham spent the next 13 years on assignments in US Army Hospitals in Europe, Africa and the United States. While serving as Assistant Chief Nurse at Womack Army Hospital at Fort Bragg, NC, Graham was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.

    The fighting in Vietnam escalated through the 1960s. More nurses were needed there to help with the increasing number of casualties. In November, 1967, Graham was assigned as Chief Nurse at the 91st Evacuation hospital in Tuy Hoa, Vietnam. A month later she sent a Christmas letter to her family which read:

    "This Christmas finds me a long, long way from North Carolina.  I arrived in Saigon on 18 November and almost immediately departed for Tuy Hoa (pronounced Too-ey Wah) where our hospital (400 bed) is located directly on the beach of the South China Sea which is perfectly beautiful but quite treacherous … Getting used to my new outfit (tropical fatigues, jungle boots, and "baseball cap") is not as "exciting" as in World War II but I'm quite sure I'll manage to survive it all!  Our nursing staff consists of 59 nurses (12 male) who of our enlisted personnel seem very well trained and apparently have been doing an excellent job. The tour of duty here is 12 months so I plan to be home for Christmas next year. I hope you have had a good year and that your Christmas is filled with joy and the New Year with more happiness than you could possibly wish for. Hope, too, that everyone will pray for peace.  Love, Ruth"[45].

    Graham spent many off-duty hours in Vietnam caring for civilian land mine victims. On August 8, 1968, Graham suffered a stroke. Due to the seriousness of her condition she was evacuated to U.S. Air Force Hospital at Tachakawa Air Force Base, Japan, where she died on August 14, 1968. Graham was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington, DC [46]. Graham was posthumously awarded a Legion of Merit. The citation accompanying this award reads:

    Lieutenant Colonel Graham distinguished herself by exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service during the period November 1967 to August 1968 while serving as Chief, Nursing Service, 91st Evacuation Hospital, 43rd Medical Group, 44th medical Brigade in the Republic of Viet Nam.

    In this position Colonel Graham was responsible for the entire nursing service for an active four hundred bed inpatient and outpatient medical complex. She personally controlled and coordinated all nursing care, and through her diligence and close supervision, the admission, treatment and disposition of patients were handled in an expeditious and efficient manner.

    During the enemy's Tet Offensive and other mass casualty situations, she was continually present and worked tirelessly in organizing and directing all nursing activities. Her meticulous attention to detail and astute planning ensured the smooth functioning of her staff during these critical periods.

    Colonel Graham developed and implemented a comprehensive and intensive training program of instruction for ward personnel, which significantly enhanced the technical ability of her staff. Displaying a sincere interest in the welfare of the Viet Namese civilians, she often spent her off duty hours visiting the nationals who, as innocent victims, suffered the consequences of the war.

    Through her forceful leadership, keen foresight and unrelenting determination, Lieutenant Colonel Graham contributed immeasurably to the medical support mission in the Republic of Viet Nam. Her professional competence and outstanding achievements were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon herself, her unit and the United States Army [47].