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The Army Nurse Corps in World War II
The nurses memorial is located on Corrigan Drive across from the horse stables.
More than 59,000 American nurses served in the Army Nurse Corps during World
War II. Nurses worked closer to the front lines than they ever had before.
Within the "chain of evacuation" established by the Army Medical Department
during the war, nurses served under fire in field hospitals and evacuation
hospitals, on hospital trains and hospital ships, and as flight nurses on
medical transport planes. The skill and dedication of these nurses contributed
to the extremely low post-injury mortality rate among American military forces
in every theater of the war. Overall, fewer than 4 percent of the American
soldiers who received medical care in the field or underwent evacuation died
from wounds or disease.
The tremendous manpower needs faced by the United States during World War II
created numerous new social and economic opportunities for American women. Both
society as a whole and the United States military found an increasing number of
roles for women. As large numbers of women entered industry and many of the
professions for the first time, the need for nurses clarified the status of the
nursing profession. The Army reflected this changing attitude in June 1944 when
it granted its nurses officers' commissions and full retirement privileges,
dependents' allowances, and equal pay. Moreover, the government provided free
education to nursing students between 1943 and 1948.
Military service took men and women from small towns and large cities across
America and transported them around the world. Their wartime experiences
broadened their lives as well as their expectations. After the war, many
veterans, including nurses, took advantage of the increased educational
opportunities provided for them by the government. World War II changed American
society irrevocably and redefined the status and opportunities of the
For more information, please visit The
Army Nurse Corps.
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