World War One
Let me start by stating that the headline “American Women” is limiting. Women from all nations have fought in wars and sacrificed their lives. I will try and get more information, but please regard this blog as honouring and respecting women world-wide who died in wars. paula.
Several hundred women lost their lives in WWI.
Army Nurse Edith Ayers, Attica, Ohio. Killed May 20 1917 in an accident aboard the USS Mongolia, enroute to France.
Army Nurse Helen Burnet Wood, Evanston, Ill. Also killed aboard the USS Mongolia.
YMCA Volunteer Marion G. Crandall, Alameda, California, killed by enemy shell in March 1918 at Ste. Menehould, France.
YMCA Volunteer Winona Martin, Rockville Center, N.Y. killed in a Paris air raid in March 1918.
American Red Cross Worker Ruth Landon, NYC, New York, killed by a shell fired on St Gervais Church, Paris, France, March 1918.
One hundred and eleven Army Nurses died overseas and one hundred and eighty six died stateside, all while serving their country in WWI. Twenty two or more U.S. Navy Yeoman (F) died during the World War. Twenty seven Navy Nurse Corps women died while serving. Dieticians, telephone operators, YMCA volunteers, Red Cross and Salvation Army women, and women in military intelligence also lost their lives.
World War Two
During the battle on Anzio, six Army Nurses were killed by the German bombing and strafing of the tented hospital area. Four Army Nurses among the survivors were awarded Silver Stars for extraordinary courage under fire.
In the Pacific Theater a Japanese suicide plane bombed the hospital ship USS Comfort off Leyte Island. In the attack 6 nurses, 5 medical officers, 8 enlisted men, and 7 patients were killed, and 4 nurses were wounded
In all, more than 400 military women lost their lives during World War II. In 1944 U.S. Army Nurse Aleda E. Lutz of Freeland Michigan was the first U.S. military woman to die in a combat zone during World War II when her hospital plane went down on her 196th rescue mission.
Ellen Ainsworth, a 24-year-old Army nurse from Glenwood City, Wisconsin, was killed during theBattle of Anzio in Italy. She was the only Wisconsin woman to die from enemy fire during World War II. On February 10, 1944, Lieutenant Ainsworth was on duty in a hospital ward near the Anzio beachhead. During an enemy artillery bombardment, a shell hit the hospital. Despite the severe damage to the hospital, the Wisconsin nurse calmly moved her patients to safety. According to an Army report: “by her disregard for her own safety and her calm assurance she instilled confidence in her assistants and her patients, thereby preventing serious panic and injury. Her courage under fire and her selfless devotion to duty were an inspiration to all who witnessed her actions.” She was wounded in the attack and died six days later. She was awarded the Silver Star, the nation’s third highest award for bravery, and the Purple Heart. In her honor, a nursing care building at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King is named Ainsworth Hall. A dispensary at Fort Hamilton, New York, and a conference room in the Pentagon also are named in her honor.
Lt. Blanche Sigman, 1st Lt. Carrie Sheetz and Lt. Majorie Morrow, of the Army Nurse Corp, were killed on Feb. 7, 1944 when the 95th Evac Hospital at Anzio Beach was bombed. A few days later Lt. Gertrude Spelboug and Lt. La Verne Farquar were killed when the 33rd Field Hospital at Anzio was hit by artillery. Approximately 200 Army nurses took part in the Anzio campaign. Two of them were the first women to receive the Silver Star for meritorious duty. During the Anzio campaign they cared for 33,128 patients (10,809 battle casualties; 18,074 sick; 4,245 other injuries). Lt. Fern Wingerd, who was wounded when the 95th Evac was bombed recovered in time to be one of the first women to wade ashore with the 7th Army in southern France.
|Lieutenant Frances Slanger U.S. Army Nurses Corps’ unit was the target of a German artillery barrage when one of their shells burst near her. She and three other nurses were hit by shell fragments. On October 21, 1944 Lt Slanger died from her injuries.In Boston, Jewish women veterans of World War II formed an all women chapter of the Jewish War Veterans of the USA and named it the Lieutenant Frances Slanger Memorial Post. Lt Slanger was with the 45th Field Hospital – one of four units that arrived in Normandy on 10 June 1944 – just four days after D-Day.||Learn more about Frances Slanger by reading American Nightingale by Bob Welch. Incredibly well researched and poignantly told, the book takes you back and forth from Frances humble beginnings to her service in the Army Nurse Corps.|
WASP: Women’s Army Squadron Pilots
Susan P. Clarke
Margie L. Davis
Marjorie D. Edwards
Frances F. Grimes
Kathryn B. Lawrence
Hazel Ah Ying Lee
Lea Ola McDonald
Jeanne L. Norbeck
Margaret C. Oldenburg
Mabel Rawlinson — For a wonderful personal glimpse of WASP Mabel Rawlinson please visit: Mabel Rawlinson
Marie Mitchell Robinson
Margaret J. Seip
Helen Jo Severson
Ethel Marie Sharon
Gertrude Thompkins Silver
Betty P. Stine
Mary E. Trebing
Mary L. Webster
Bonnie Jean Welz
Betty Taylor Wood
The Korean Conflict
- Ensign Constance R. Esposito, Navy Nurse Corps
- jg. Alice S. Giroux, Navy Nurse Corps
- jg. Calla C. Goodwin, Navy Nurse Corps
- jg. Constance A. Heege, Navy Nurse Corps
- jg. Margaret Grace Kennedy, Navy Nurse Corps
- Ensign Mary E. Lijegreen, Navy Nurse Corps
- Wilma Ledbetter, Navy Nurse Corps
- Ensign Eleanor Beste, Navy Nurse Corps
- Ensign Marie Boatman, Navy Nurse Corps
- jg. Jeanne E. Clarke, Navy Nurse Corps
- jg. Jane L. Eldridge, Navy Nurse Corps
- Ensign Edna J. Rundell, Navy Nurse Corps
- Wilma Ledbetter, Navy Nurse Corps, USS Benevolence Hospital Ship
- Captain Vera M. Brown, Air Force Nurse Corps
- Major Genevieve Smith, Army Nurse Corps,
- SN Doris Frances Brown, Milwaukee, non-hostile death Navy.
- AN Virginia May McClure, Sioux City, non-hostile air crash, AF.
- AN Margaret Fae Perry, Morgantown, non-hostile crash, AF.
- AB3 Kay Sherill Platt, Dexter, non-hostile death, Navy.
2nd Lt. Carol Ann Elizabeth Drazba ~~~~~~ 2nd Lt. Elizabeth Ann Jones
Lt. Drazba and Lt. Jones were assigned to the 3rd Field Hospital in Saigon. They died in a helicopter crash near Saigon, February 18, 1966. Drazba was from Dunmore, PA., Jones from Allendale, SC. Both were 22 years old.
Capt. Eleanor Grace Alexander ~~~~~~ 1st Lt. Hedwig Diane Orlowski
Capt. Alexander of Westwood, NJ and Lt. Orlowski of Detroit, MI died November 30, 1967. Alexander, stationed at the 85th Evac. and Orlowski, stationed at the 67th Evac., in Qui Nhon, had been sent to a hospital in Pleiku to help out during a push. With them when their plane crashed on the return trip to Qui Nhon were two other nurses, Jerome E. Olmstead of Clintonville, WI and Kenneth R. Shoemaker, Jr. of Owensboro, KY. Alexander was 27, Orlowski 23. Both were posthumously awarded Bronze Stars.
2nd Lt. Pamela Dorothy Donovan
Lt. Donovan, from Allston, MA, became seriously ill and died on July 8, 1968. She was assigned to the 85th Evac. in Qui Nhon. She was 26 years old.
1st Lt. Sharon Ann Lane
Lt. Lane died from shrapnel wounds when the 312th Evac. at Chu Lai was hit by rockets on June 8, 1969. From Canton, OH, she was a month short of her 26th birthday. She was posthumously awarded the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm and the Bronze Star for Heroism. In 1970, the recovery room at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Denver, where Lt. Lane had been assigned before going to Viet Nam, was dedicated in her honor. In 1973, Aultman Hospital in Canton, OH, where Lane had attended nursing school, erected a bronze statue of Lane. The names of 110 local servicemen killed in Vietnam are on the base of the statue.
Lt. Col. Annie Ruth Graham, Chief Nurse at 91st Evac. Hospital, 43d Med Group, 44th Medical Brigade, Tuy Hoa.
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.
U.S. Air Force
Capt. Mary Therese Klinker
Capt. Klinker, a flight nurse with the 10th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, Travis Air Force Base, temporarily assigned to Clark Air Base in the Philippines, was on the C-5A Galaxy which crashed on April 4 1975 outside Saigon while evacuating Vietnamese orphans. This is known as the Operation Babylift crash. From Lafayette, IN, she was 27. She was posthumously awarded the Airman’s Medal for Heroism and the Meritorious Service Medal.
Addenda – Civilian Women Serving They Too Gave Their Lives
Major Marie T. Rossi was killed 1 March 1991 in Saudi Arabia in Operation Desert Storm. She was flying a CH-47D CHINOOK Cargo Helicopter when it crashed into an unlit Microwave Tower in bad weather. Major Rossi was 32 and a native of Oradell, NJ.
PFC Pamela V. Gay, 19, Surrey, Virginia
PFC Cindy D.J. Bridges, 20, Trinity, Alabama
Private Dorothy Fails, Taylor, Arizona
Private Candace Daniel
Sergeant Tracey Brogdon, Bartow, Florida
2Lt Kathleen M. Sherry, 23, Tonawanda, NY
Specialist Cindy Beaudoin, 19, Plainfield, Conn.
Specialist Christine Mayes, 22, Rochester Mills, Pa.
Specialist Beverly Clark, 23, Armagh, Pa.
Specialist Adrienne L. Mitchell, 20, Moreno Valley, Calif.
Staff Sergeant Tatiana Khaghani Dees, Valley Cottage, Rockland County, New York.
Sergeant Cheryl LaBeau O’Brien, 24, Racine, Wisc.
Lt. Lorraine Lawton
AG1 Shirley Marie Cross
ANG Pilot CWO2 Carol McKinney, Missouri
Lt Cmdr. Barbara Allen Rainey, 34, US Navy – First woman pilot in the history of the U.S. Navy, earning her gold wings in 1974. She was killed while training another pilot, in an air accident at Middleton Field near Evergreen, Alabama. in 1982.
LT Colleen Cain became the Coast Guard’s first female HH-52A pilot in June 1979. On Jan. 7, 1982, while stationed at AIRSTA Barbers Point, Hawaii, the helicopter she was co-piloting responded to a distress call from a fishing vessel in stormy weather. The helo crashed into the side of a mountain in the Wailua Valley of Molokai, Hawaii. Cain, along with two other crew members, CDR Buzz Johnson and ASM David Thompson were killed. Cain Hall, a 100-room residence hall at RTC Yorktown, was dedicated in her memory Oct. 25, 1985.
Lt. Laura Piper, 25,
Lt Piper, an Air Force Academy graduate, was one of 26 people killed when Air Force fighter jets shot down two Army helicopters over Iraq on 14 April 1994.
Lt. Kara Hultgreen, 29, US Navy
Lt. Hultgreen was the first woman to qualify in a combat-ready F-14 Tomcat, graduating third in her pilot training class. She was a member of the Black Lions of VF-213 readying to deploy to the Persian Gulf. As she was approaching the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln on 25 Oct 1994, her aircraft began losing altitude. Her radar intercept officer ejected successfully. Hultgreen ejected immediately after, but the jet had already rolled. After an exhaustive search, her body and the plane were not recovered. She received full military honors upon her death.
The Navy salvaged the plane and recovered her body, still strapped inside the ejector seat. A four-month investigation found that engine malfunction caused the crash and that almost no pilot could have saved the plane after the left engine stalled.
Captain Amy Lynn Svoboda, 29, US Air Force
Captain Svoboda, an Air Force jet pilot, died on May 29, 1997, after her A-10 Thunderbolt plane crashed during a training mission at the Barry Goldwater Air Force Range in Arizona. Capt. Amy Lynn Svoboda’s death marked the first fatality of a woman pilot in the Air Force, which has only 13 other women fighter pilots. The No. 2 training officer in her squadron, Captain Svoboda had logged more than 1,400 hours piloting jets and was part of a training flight with another A-10 when her plane crashed near Gila Bend, AZ.
Spec. Angela E. Niedermayer,
Eight soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers were killed in the July 8 1997 crash of a UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter, Ft Bragg, NC. Spec. Angela E. Niedermayer, 20, a noncommunications interceptor and analyst with the 313th Military Intelligence Battalion. Niedermayer joined the Army in July 1996. She had been assigned to the 313th since February 1997. Her military education included the Noncommunications Interceptor Analyst School and Airborne School. Her awards and decorations include the Army Service Ribbon and the Parachutist Badge. Niedermayer, a Richmond, Va., native, is survived by her husband, mother and father.
Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Sherry Lynn Olds, 40, of Panama City, Florida.
Sergeant Olds joined the Air Force 20 years ago after graduating from junior college. She had been assigned to the U.S. embassy in East Africa for the last year and was killed in the August 1998 bombing.
Lt.j.g. Meredith Carol Loughran, 26, of Sandston, Va.
EA-6B “Prowler” crew member missing since the aircraft crash aboard the Norfolk-based nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) Nov. 8, 1998, The crew members are presumed lost at sea..