They Called Them Angels: American Military Nurses of World War II

By Kathi Jackson | Go to book overview

laughingly watched me lug my barracks bag up the gangplank and pointed in the general direction of midships when I asked for the nurses' quarters. That was a good example of the saying: "The Army does the work, the Navy gets the pay and the Marines get the glory."10

Eugenie Rutkowski, however, had a different experience.

There we were greeted by a military band blasting away marching music. Providing the music was very wise. The music and the rhythm supplied the necessary edge we needed to carry our heavy bags up an incline into the ship. During all this activity the Red Cross ladies hand-fed us bites of donuts and sips of coffee. At departure, watching the Statue of Liberty was a tear-jerker. I remembered my mother and dad telling me of their reaction to seeing the Statue of Liberty on arrival to the U.S. in 1907. I stayed on deck until the only thing in sight was water. 11

Ruth Claff was "thrilled speechless" when she first saw her ship. "We filed from one boat to the other, getting the usual Red Cross doughnuts and coffee in transit. The band and the spectators, the high excitement as we crossed the gangplank! I had heard stories about gangplank fever," she said, "how could anyone get scared at the last minute? It's the thrill of a lifetime!"12


NOTES
1.
Mary Brady Zurney, "Jeannie of the Medicine Show," Unpublished essay, no date, p. 1.
2.
Juanita Hamilton Webster, Unpublished memoirs, no date, p. 6.
3.
Quoted in Col. Julia O. Flikke, Nurses in Action ( New York: Lippincott, 1943), p. 1 49).
4.
Lt. Col. Ruth Frances Shadewaldt, ANC (Ret.) Taped Interview with sister, July 1992.
5.
2nd Lt. Bessie Lawrence, ANC, "What to Take Overseas," American Journal of Nursing, March 1944, p. 289.
6.
Alice Lofgren Andrus, "Navy Experiences," Unpublished essay, November 1993, p. 4.
7.
Alice Lofgren Andrus, Interview with author, November 20, 1993.
8.
Capt. Marion E. Thuma, R.N., "Task Forces, ANC," American Journal of Nursing, January 1944, p. 18.
9.
Zurney, "Jeannie of the Medicine Show," p. 1.
10.
Juanita Hamilton Webster, Unpublished memoirs, no date, p. 7.
11.
Eugenie Rutkowski Wilkinson, Letter to daughter, no date.
12.
Ruth Claff, Lady with the Flashlight, Unpublished memoirs, 1947, p. 16.

-21-

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They Called Them Angels: American Military Nurses of World War II
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Copyright Acknowledgments v
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xi
  • Note xv
  • Introduction xvii
  • Notes xx
  • Chapter 1 Uncle Sam Wants You! 1
  • Notes 6
  • Chapter 2 from Whites to Fatigues 7
  • Notes 15
  • Chapter 3 Following the Troops 17
  • Notes 21
  • Chapter 4 the Pacific Theater 23
  • Notes 47
  • Chapter 5 the Mediterranean Theater 51
  • Notes 62
  • Chapter 6 the European Theater 65
  • Notes 82
  • Appendix 6a: Rain on A Tent in Normandy 85
  • Appendix 6b: China Doll 86
  • Appendix 6c: the Gardelegen Barn 88
  • Appendix 6d: Second Lieutenant Frances Y. Slanger 92
  • Chapter 7 the China-Burma-India Theater 93
  • Notes 97
  • Chapter 8 the United States and Western Atlantic Minor Theaters 99
  • Notes 106
  • Appendix 8a: Nursing in A Stateside Burn Ward 107
  • Chapter 9 Wild Blue Yonder 109
  • Notes 117
  • Appendix 9a: Tales of An Air Force Nurse 119
  • Chapter 10 Life at Sea 121
  • Notes 135
  • Chapter 11 Camaraderie and Romance 139
  • Notes 152
  • Chapter 12 Leaving a Legacy 155
  • Notes 169
  • Appendices 171
  • Notes 182
  • Bibliography 183
  • Index 207
  • About the Author 213
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