In the Line of Duty

Dublin Core


In the Line of Duty


The various activities and experiences of American nurses serving in World War II


This collection contains text, images, and other materials showing the multiple different places and ways in which US nurses serving in World War II did there duty and made an impact. It shows their agency and humanity in the face of challenges, and their importance to the war effort, and gives viewers insight into the larger world of US nurses in WWII.

Collection Items

Healing the Enemy
After working so hard to find a place in the US Army Corps, African American nurses were either confined to serving in segregated hospitals, or were forced to provide treatment at home and overseas to German prisoners of war. This photo is of Lt.…

Preparing for the Worst
Contrary to popular belief, American nurses in World War II had to deal with imminent danger not only for troops, but for themselves as well. These women were trained in keeping themselves safe, and had to use methods such as the one shown in the…

Treatment in Cramped Quarters
American nurses had to be ready to treat wounded soldiers in any conditions, including the cramped, constantly moving, dangerous location of an evacuating aircraft. Just as Lt. Katye Swope is doing in the photo taken in July of 1943, other flight…

Exhausting Work
Serving as a nurse in World War II was exhausting, as is shown by the image here of this navy flight nurse, Lt. Mae Hanson, taking a quick nap on board an evacuation craft. This plane was transporting wounded troops from Okinawa to a Marianas Base…

Sending Relief
This image shows a group of smiling navy nurses standing on the deck of the USS Relief in 1941, a navy hospital ship in World War II. It is clear that these women are wearing life jackets and other protective gear necessary when risking death by…

Marching Into Battle
This is a snapshot of a group of army nurses coming ashore in Normandy, circa 1944. They are dressed almost exactly like the men in combat, and clearly their helmets, bags of gear, and determined faces relay the challenge ahead of them.

Aleda Lutz, Flight Nurse
This is a photograph of Lt. Aleda E. Lutz, a flight nurse, tending to a patient on board a C-47 in North Africa in 1943. Lutz was a member of the 802nd Medical Air Evacuation Squadron, and was killed in a plane crash in France in 1944. The stakes…

Odds and Ends
This group of Navy nurses is working to organize and distribute mail at Pearl Harbor in 1944. They wear the traditional spotless white uniforms of Navy nurses. These women had multiple duties they had to perform, and some of their daily tasks were…

Sending Comfort
This is a picture taken of the medical crew, including navy nurses, aboard the USS Comfort, AH-6 hospital ship headed to the Pacific Theater in 1944. Built by the US Navy, this ship could hold up to 400 patients at once. Ships like this one were just…

In one picture shown here, Lt. Mae Olsen of the United States Army Nurse Corps, is shown writing down the name of the soldier who is being placed by gurney into an US Army Air Force aerial evacuation plane in Guadalcanal on the Solomon Islands.…
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