Military Women's Memorial
Memorial Ave. and Schley Dr, Arlington, VA 22211
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Noon - 5 p.m.
Hardback (390 pages)
This book is the first comprehensive, chronological history of the Navy
Nurse Corps. The extensive literature is impressive, and affords future
researchers a wealth of resources from which to draw. In addition to
consulting articles, books, diaries, and letters, the author recorded
oral histories of many of the former directors and retired members of
In 1798, Congress established the Navy Department. By
1800, twelve hospitals existed in the United States. Only men were
permitted to serve on the nation's early hospital ships. In 1814 a Navy
surgeon, Dr. William Barton, expressed the need for better organization
of ships' hospital resources and care for sick or injured seamen. He
advocated the enrollment of women as nurses. He further recommended that
nurses be included in the management and operation of hospitals, an
unheard-of extremist point of view for that era.
The Navy Nurse
Corps was established in 1908, but the nurses served without rank. In
1921, they were designated as Navy personnel. In 1942, Congress
authorized Permanent Relative Rank for Navy nurses.
stories derived from oral histories well demonstrate the nurses' extreme
bravery, sacrifice, and dedication to duty, often under enemy fire. Of
particular interest are accounts of those Navy nurses who served during
World War II in Naval hospitals, on troop transports and hospital ships,
and in both the European and Pacific theaters of operation.
Wherever they were assigned, Navy nurses served with distinction,
providing care of the highest quality to thousands of wounded servicemen
who had suffered burns, loss of limbs, and other severe injuries. The
author has provided a history of America's and the Navy's roles in
wartime, from the Revolutionary War to the Persian Gulf. Navy nurses
have been a significant part of this history.
The Military Women's Memorial honors and tells the stories of women, past and present, who serve our nation.