Nurses in World War II

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In reclaiming women's history, their contribution during World War II is frequently overlooked. Here are the statistics in this area: More than 100 military nurses were captured when Bataan and Corregidor fell to the Japanese in 1942. Sixty-six Army Nurses and eleven Navy Nurses remained in a Japanese concentration camp for 37 months, more than three years! Sixteen hundred Army Nurses and 565 WACS received combat decorations, including the Distinguished Service Medals, Silver Stars, Bronze Stars, Air Medals, Legions of Merit, Commendation Medals, and Purple Hearts.

During the battle on Anzio, six Army Nurses were killed by German bombing, strafing and shelling of the tented hospital area. Four Army Nurses among the survivors were awarded Silver Stars for extraordinary courage under fire. In all, more than 200 Army Nurses lost their lives during World War II. Seventeen of those valiant women are buried in American cemeteries in foreign lands. -- Evelyn Kennedy.