Air Evacuation Nursing

The title of this website and subject matter speak volumes!

We Served Too

image001-2In 1942, during World War II, a new type of nursing—known as air evacuation nursing—was ushered into the U.S. military forces. Medical teams consisting of flight surgeons, enlisted medical technicians, and flight nurses staffed transport aircraft, which were specially rigged to carry injured soldiers from the battlefield to fully equipped hospitals located away from the front. Air evacuation planes—or “air ambulances” as some called them—often landed in hostile territory and did not bear the familiar red cross, so there was always a real danger that the planes could be shot down by enemy forces.

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on July 28, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 36 Comments.

  1. Great post gp, well worth in depth reading and research, I left a comment in appreciation.
    Thank you for sharing that excellent article, great tribute to a very elite group of special Nursing Corp personnel.
    By all accounts in your report, each and every one of those Nurses played a defining role in Air Med evacuation and care.
    May their legacy live on in those who follow their footsteps.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. An excellent article about wonderful people who we probably tend to take a little bit for granted, even nowadays. In the First World War, hundreds, if not thousands, of young men died fairly needlessly, as they travelled by train around northern France and Belgium, waiting for their turn in the almost interminable queue for treatment. That was only a hundred years ago, but it is thanks to teams of medics like these in WW2 that we have a situation now which is barely recognisable from those grim days.


  3. A forgotten group who need more credit for what they did.


  4. Wonderful people. I can imagine the comfort a nurse would bring.


  5. Excellent article and blog. They did a lot!


  6. Indeed. I am wondering the air ambulances need any fighters escorting it.


    • I do not recall hearing of any escorts, but then again, these planes were headed away from the enemy to island hospitals or Australia. I appreciate your interest, but I can not locate any information on that.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Another interesting bit of history.


  8. Do you know if any of the World War II med evac aircraft were shot down by enemy action?


    • I do know that some were lost, Alan, but I do not know how many or under what specific conditions. Being that they were vital for the Pacific troops, separated so far from hospitals, it would be reasonable to presume that most were in that theater. Thank you for always asking such interesting questions, I appreciate your interest.


  9. Great article! Reminds me when we were stationed in Holland they flew my mom and me to a USAF hospital in Weisbaden, Germany so I could have tubes put in my ears. They flew us in a med-evac aircraft. I remember the nurses and medics, and the litters and bunks carrying soldiers wounded in Vietnam. I was allowed to walk among the bunks and talk to the soldiers. That made quite an impression on a seven year old boy.


  10. Nice memory to share!


  11. GP, loved reading this article. It’s an honor to flight nurses working in any specialty! The history of military flight nurses was very interesting. This is the first account of their active duty experiences that i’ve read. Impressive! Thank you! Christine


  12. As I was a paramedic in London for 21 years, I found this very interesting!
    Best wishes, Pete.


    • I think paramedics are outstanding. I’ve known many and seen many in action. It is not unusual for me to say that I would prefer one of you over a doctor!! I’m glad the article was up your alley, Pete.


  13. Risky stuff, indeed. An excessively demanding job carried out under – shall we say, less than optimal – conditions!


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