World War II (detail from Pearl Harbor photo)


About 65,000 nurses served in the army and navy, and most were women. Hundreds worked just behind the front lines, contending with the perils of combat as well as its bloody results. Thousands more worked farther along the “chain of evacuation” on hospital trains and ships, aboard medical transport planes, and in station hospitals abroad and stateside. One nurse recalled “hours of giving injections, anesthetizing, ripping off clothes, stitching gaping wounds, of amputations, sterilizing instruments, settling the treated patients into their beds, covering the wounded we could not save.”

Poster, Nurses Are Needed Now!
U.S. Navy nurse on Iwo Jima
U.S. Army nurses
Evacuation hospital nurse, Philippines

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