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USO and Nurse – Martha Raye

Maggie's tour truck

Maggie’s tour truck

Martha Raye was a Vaudeville born actress, comedian, and movie star that was known for bold comedy. She was named “The Big Mouth”, not only because of her comedy, but for the physical trait.

Politically, Raye was conservative, affirming her political views by informing an interviewer, “I am a Republican because I believe in the constitution, strength in national defense, limited government, individual freedom, and personal responsibility as the concrete foundation for American government. They reinforce the resolve that the United States is the greatest country in the world and we can all be eternally grateful to our founding fathers for the beautiful legacy they left us today.”

Beginning in WWII, Raye started a lifelong commitment to entertaining and assisting the troops overseas. She worked with them during WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Some nights she would do shows, but other nights, she’d skip the show because she’d been assisting the soldiers all day and wanted to continue into the night. A former nurse, she worked with Medivac units and in field hospitals. She often served in remote areas with Special Forces.

Raye wore fatigues and the troops called her “Colonel Maggie”.

Raye was an honorary Colonel in the Marines, and President Lyndon B. Johnson made her an honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Special Forces as well. The Green Berets have a special place in their hearts for her.

Miss Raye in Vietnam, from the Robert Boyd Jr. collection

Miss Raye in Vietnam, from the Robert Boyd Jr. collection

In 1993, President Bill Clinton awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The text included reads:

A talented performer whose career spans the better part of a century, Martha Raye has delighted audiences and uplifted spirits around the globe. She brought her tremendous comedic and musical skills to her work in film, stage, and television, helping to shape American entertainment. the great courage, kindness, and patriotism she showed in her many tours during World War II, the Korean Conflict, and the Vietnam Conflict earned her the nickname ‘Colonel Maggie.’ The American people honor Martha Raye, a woman who has tirelessly used her gifts to benefit the lives of her fellow Americans.

rayemartha

Raye was offered a place at Arlington National Cemetery upon her death, which is a high honor, but Raye wanted to be with her beloved Green Berets. A very special exception was made for her and she was buried at Ft. Bragg, home of the Green Berets, with full military honors. She is the only civilian buried on post that receives full recognition of military honors on Veteran’s Day.

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 Military Humor – Nurse’s style ___

Pee all that you can pee.

"What a temperature! What a pulse!" [gee- I wonder why?]

“What a temperature! What a pulse!”
[gee- I wonder why?]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They even had their own magazine

YR078ArmyNurse

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Signe Anderson – Garski, ND; US Army Nursing Corps, Korea

US Army Nurse insignia

US Army Nurse insignia

Margaret Ann – Dover, DE; US Army Nursing Corps, Korea

Marcella Buckalew – Dallas, TX; US Navy Nursing Corps, USS Solace

Lynn Conrad – Wichita, KS; US Army, Nurse

Ruth Criswell – St. Louis, MO; US Army, WWII, CBI, Nurse

Marjorie Markert – Columbus, OH; US Navy WAVE, WWII

US Navy Nurse insignia

US Navy Nurse insignia

June Poggi – Sacramento, CA; US Army, WWII, Nurse

Louise Rossi – Sharon Hill, PA; US Army, WWII,  Nurse

Grace Shaefer – FL; US Army, WWII, Nurse

Joan Shimerda – Philipsburg, MT; US Army (Ret. 20 yrs.), Vietnam, Nurse

 

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First-hand Account

Major Doody, (Ret.)

Major Doody, (Ret.)

Major Kathryn Mary Doody

Kathryn Doody was enrolled in nursing school by her mother, but following her graduation, the United States Army would not accept her until they lowered their height requirements.  Kathryn was at the Tripler Army Hospital, Hawaii on 7 December 1941 as one of eighty-two nurses.

Kathryn Doody, RN

Kathryn Doody, RN

Her baptism of fire came that fateful morning when the sound of bombs woke her.  She ran into the yard and saw aircraft smoke.  Thinking that an accident occurred, she went to see the night nurse on duty, only to be informed otherwise – Oahu was under attack.  Finding the news a bit unbelievable, Kathryn turned on a radio and listened to the broadcast herself – now she believed.  “I hadn’t been there long [Hawaii] before the bombs descended.”

Hawaii

Hawaii

She was summoned to the operating room to begin treating those coming in injured from Hickam Field.  As she worked with her patients and preparing for new arrivals, she heard the sound of bullets hitting the pavement outside, but neither she nor the hospital were hit.  She began to wonder what life would be like in wartime as she assisted in her first major limb amputation.  She continued to work until midnight with troops standing guard outside the doors.

The horror of the attack continued the following morning when Kathryn checked on her patients.  Some of the wounded had accidentally ripped out their tourniquets during the night and some had bled to death.

Later, Kathryn was given a leave and then assigned to Germany where she was awarded a Bronze Star.  During the Korean War, she was part of the original 8063rd Mobile Army Surgical Hospital – the first MASH unit in Korea.  Kathryn Doody retired as a Major in the US Army and passed away 3 October 2010 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

HQ tent of the 8063rd MASH, Korea

HQ tent of the 8063rd MASH, Korea

This story was composed from information found at the Veteran’s History Project – Library of Congress.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Humor – 

DIARY OF A NURSE

I dreamed I’d see the country,
If I ever had the luck;
But in my wildest fancies,
It was never made by truck.
 
Nurse Nightingale before us,
Carried candles through the mist;
The modern maid of Mercy,
Totes a helmet in her fist.
 
Nostalgic waves encompass me
Though I’m still patriotic;
Tonight, my dear, I long to see
A land that ain’t exotic!
 
_____Lt. Rose C. Craig;
Puptent Poets, Stars and Stripes
 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Richard Attenborough (Lord) – London, England; RAF Film Unit, WWII, ( famed actor, producer, director)

Boyce Bates – Springfield, OR; US Air Force, Airman First Class, Korea

courtesy: Cora @ A Fresh Start

courtesy: Cora @ A Fresh Start

Reginald Broadfoot – Waihi, NZ; RNZ Army, WWII # 622619, tank battery

Henry Doering – Regina, CAN; RC Army, WWII

Lloyd Dumond – Fort Kent, ME; US Army, WWII

Kenneth Jones – Liverpool, AU; 2 AIF, Major, Korea & Vietnam

Jeremiah LeFlore – Durant, OK; US Army, Vietnam

Lyman Oliver – Burlington, KY; US Coast Guard, Chief Warrant Officer (Ret. 20 years)

Teddy Patton – Lady Lake, FL; US Army, WWII & Korea, LtColonel (Ret.)

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Intermission Stories (6)

BrigGeneral Anna Mae McCabe Hays

BrigGeneral Anna Mae McCabe Hays

Brigadier General  Anna Mae Hays

Anna Mae V. McCabe Hays was born on 16 February 1920 in Buffalo, New York to parents who both were Salvation Army officers.  Religion, music and a spirit of service were guiding lights in the McCabe household.  After completing high school, Hays attended the Allentown General Hospital School of Nursing.

When approached by a representative of the 20th General Hospital, the University of PA unit, a sense of duty and patriotic fervor inspired Hays to join the Army Nurse Corps.  In January 1943, Hay’s unit proceeded to Ledo, Assam, India, 1,000 miles above Calcutta at the beginning of the famous Ledo Road, which cut through the jungles into Burma.  She remained there for 2½ years; while she was home on leave, World War II ended.

Field hospital, Korean War

Field hospital, Korean War

In the summer of 1950, Hays traveled with the 4th Field Hospital to Inchon, Korea, landing shortly after MacArthur’s invasion operation at Inchon.  During both of her combat tours in WWII and the Korean War, Hays spent part of her off-duty time assisting chaplains by playing a field pump organ for weddings and church services, often on the front lines.  After receiving enough points to leave Korea, she transferred to Tokyo, Army Hospital and spent another year there.

Her subsequent assignment was Fort Sam Houston Texas followed by three years duty at Walter Reed General Hospital.  During that time, she was assigned to be the private duty nurse for Pres. Eisenhower during his brief illness.  Hays was married in 1956, but became a widow in 1962.  After receiving her bachelor’s degree in nursing education, her next assignment Head Nurse of the Nuclear Medicine and Radioisotope Clinic at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

A return trip to Korea in 1960, she was the chief nurse of the 11th Evacuation Hospital in Pusan, then another tour at Walter Reed, then the Office of the Surgeon General as special assistant to Colonel Harper brought Hays to her selection as Assistant Chief of the Army Nurse Corps 1963-1968.  After earning her master of science in nursing degree she served as the 13th Chief of the Army Nurse Corps, 1967-1971.

Hays and Mamie Eisenhower at the promotion ceremony

Hays and Mamie Eisenhower at the promotion ceremony

On 11 June 1970, Colonel Anna Mae Hays was promoted to the grade of general and became the first woman in the United States Armed Forces to wear the insignia of a brigadier general.  The Army Chief of Staff, Gen. William Westmoreland and the Sec. of the Army, Stanley Resor officiated at the ceremony.  The Army Surgeon General, Hal B. Jennings, pinned the stars on Hays’ uniform.

At the new general’s promotion, she expressed her view that the stars “reflect[ed] the dedicated, selfless and often heroic efforts of Army nurses throughout the world since 1901 in time of peace and war.”  She then quoted Albert Einstein’s words, “I must remind myself a hundred times each day that what I am I owe to the lives of other men…and that I must exert myself in order that I may give in the same manner that I receive.” as her philosophy of service to her country.

nurseposter_2

This wonderful story was taken and condensed from the Army Nurse Corps Association.org website; originally written by Mary T. Sarnecky.

Click on images to enlarge.

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World War II update – 

Please to enlarge and read.

Courtesy of The Palm Beach Post

Courtesy of The Palm Beach Post

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Farewell Salutes – 

Jack Alexander (85) – Georgia & Palm Bch., FL; US Air Force, fighter pilotNASA_logo.svg

Aldo Becci – Vienna, VA; US Army, WWII, Transportation Corps

John F. Corrigan – Kelowna, British Columbia, RCAF, WWII, ETO, Wing Commander (Ret.) Distinguished Flying Cross

Susan Curry – Wichita, KS & D.C. – US Army, Lt. Colonel, (Ret.) 27 years

Philip Kneifl – Ft. Worth, TX; US Air Force

Arthur S. Lord – Whakatane, New Zealand; RNZAF # 405576, WWII, 14th Army, Burma720px-USN-Seabees-Insignia_svg

William Pogue – Okemah, OK; US Air Force; Korea, fighter bomber (Astronaut for NASA, 3 SkyLab missions)

William W. Smith – Biloxi, MS & San Diego, CA; US Navy, WWII & Korea

John Taylor – Levittown, NY; US Navy, WWII, Sea Bee

Ben Vasquez – Grand Prairie, TX; US Army, WWII, ETO, Battle of the Bulge

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