We Remember

On this page we remember U.S. Cadet Nurses who have passed on and where they received their training in nursing. The contents of this page are in the contributors' words and reflect their understanding of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps.

If you are a daughter, son, niece, nephew, grandchild, other relative, or friend of a deceased U.S. Cadet Nurse and would like to include your loved one on this page, please contact us.

Portrait of Mable Evelyn (Lynn) Kitsmiller Mable Evelyn (Lynn) Kitsmiller Hubert

September 7, 1926 - October 30, 2010

Mable Evelyn (Lynn) Kitsmiller received her Nursing Certificate from St. Luke's Hospital in Denver, Colorado.  She became a member of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps in 1944, and served in a Veteran's Hospital in San Francisco, California.  In 1950 she married U.S. Navy Captain William Hubert, and together they raised five children as they followed his postings all over the world.  When they retired to Colorado in 1972, Lynn volunteered as a pre-op nurse in the local hospital; she remained a hospital volunteer until her death.

St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing, Denver, Colorado
Photo of Barbara Hershberger Corl Barbara Hershberger Corl

Newspaper Clipping about Barbara CorlNovember 18, 1926 - February 18, 2015

Peggy Corl writes: 

My mother's name was Barbara Hershberger at the time she was in the Corps, in the last class of 1948. Her married name is Corl. My mother just passed away yesterday, February 18 at the age of 88 from Alzheimer's. In 1949, she traveled to Puerto Rico to volunteer as a nurse in the tiny mountain village of Castaner for two years, where she met my father, who was also a volunteer there. After their marriage, she worked for over 30 years as RN in Bremen Community Hospital in Bremen, Indiana. She took early retirement several years ago, but remained active at our local blood center and in our county Right-to-Life association.

I only learned of her enrollment in the Corps yesterday when I saw a newspaper clipping. I would like to hear from anyone who knew her.


Butterworth Hospital, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Photo of Helen Poh Engel Helen Poh Engel

March 18, 1925 - December 24, 2004

Helen's son writes: 

Helen Poh's USCNC Membership CardMy mom, Helen (Poh) Engel, grew up in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. When she was in high school in the 1940s she decided she wanted a career. The main choices she saw available to her were to be a secretary, teacher, or nurse. When she was a junior in high school she decided to become a nurse. She speculated in later years that her choice have been influenced by her seamstress mother, who had spoken of having wanted that career herself.

Mom was seventeen when she graduated from high school and knew that if she only took a three year program she would still have to wait a year to turn 21 to be able to be licensed. So she enrolled in the School of Nursing at Marquette University to earn her B.S. and become an R.N.

Helen lived with Mick and Marion Wedewart, her aunt and uncle, in West Allis. Helen worked in the restaurant Mick and Marion operated on 84th & Beecher - LaPlante's Lunch - to pay for her tuition. It was here that she met her future husband, Russ Engel, who lived around the block.

Helen and Russ started dating around 1943 but he enlisted in the US Marine Corps. He started basic training in October and then shipped out to the Pacific.

In 1944 Helen enrolled in the U.S. Public Health Service's Cadet Nurse Program. The USPHS paid Helen's tuition ($110 per semester) and a stipend ($15 per month) in exchange for the obligation to serve for the duration of World War II. In Helen's case, her service was as a 2nd lieutenant nurse in the Army. Helen graduated from Marquette with her Bachelor of Science degree in 1946, the year after the war ended, and was licensed as a Registered Nurse.

Helen worked for a year at Door County Memorial Hospital in Sturgeon Bay, and then married Russ in 1947. She moved to Milwaukee and took a job at St. Joseph's Hospital in Milwaukee. She immediately got pregnant. When her condition began to show the hospital gave her two choices - quit or work in the nursery. Helen stayed a while but then left three months before the birth
to the first child. But that did not keep her out of the workforce. After the first child was born Helen resumed her career as an R.N., this time at St. Michael's Hospital in Milwaukee.

Helen went on to have a total of 13 children, while juggling her career.

It was especially tough being a working mom in those years. Some expressed their disapproval of the young mother returning to the workforce. And there were no maternity benefits. Helen recalled in 1981, "When I first started working I had to quit working each time I got pregnant." She would then have to fill out an application to come back after the birth. "Things changed a
little by the time I had my last two. But I still had to work right up to the end if I wanted to keep my benefits."

Helen worked at St. Michael's for over 35 years. For a good portion of that she was a head nurse. In 1981 she looked back at the changes she had seen. "We were practicing team nursing when I first came here. But since I worked on 3-West, which was all private rooms, it was kind of like primary nursing all along to me."

"We had an R.N., an L.P.N. and three nursing assistants on PM's on 3-Main then. Now I work with four other R.N.'s and two Nursing Assistants. That gives me time to teach patients. We couldn't do that before; we were too busy doing other things."

"The whole nature of nursing has changed since I began working. Now we have in-service classes to teach us about new equipment and new techniques. We have floor meetings and support groups. And the whole nursing process is better. Nurses have more responsibility today than they ever did, and that's a big step ahead."


Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Portrait of Connie Abbey Steed Constance Abbey Steed

Passed away in 2004.

Diana Medal, Connie's daughter, writes: 

My mother, Constance Abbey Steed, R.N., was a U.S. Cadet Nurse and a graduate of the Los Angeles County General Hospital School of Nursing. I remember her stories about training, including the stress of 4 years of nursing college collapsed into 3 years for the war effort, to emergency cases at downtown Los Angeles. She hung hospital blackout curtains at night so that lights could not be seen by the enemy from the Pacific. She described passing California state boards, a 3 day process, in 1945.

How would U.S. hospitals at home have coped during WWII without the Cadet Nurses?

Los Angeles County General Hospital School of Nursing, California
Lois Ruth Steinhour Rice

February 23, 1924 - February 13, 2012

Christy Rice Barker writes: 

Lois Ruth Steinhour was a Cadet 1943-44 I believe. She was in Frankfort, Kentucky, and originated out of Hamilton, Ohio. Ruth took her nurses RN training at Mercy Hospital in Hamilton, Ohio.  We have a few pictures and paperwork from then. In Frankfort she met our father, Charles Rice, who was a medic in Army but for health reasons left the service. I would like to exchange other information from the group that you may have related to this time period or any other information I may provide to you.  Please send e mail.

Mercy Hospital, Hamilton, Ohio
Portrait of Elizabeta Stacishin Queiroz Elizabeta Stacishin Queiroz

Passed away in 1967.

Elizabeta's son, Felipe, writes:

I am the youngest son of Elizabeta Stacishin. Elizabeta was a nurse cadet and trained, I believe, in Boston City Hospital. Elizabeta moved to Brasil with the love of her life, my father, an MIT student, and enlisted with the US Army. The war ended before they had to go to the front. Elizabeta passed away after a long battle with cancer.

Boston City Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
Edith Cox Piskor

August 21, 1925 - April 7, 2010

Patricia A. Rockwood, Edith's niece, writes: 

Portrait of Edith Cox PiskorEdith Cox Piskor was my maternal aunt and in 1944 was enrolled in the Cadet Nursing program and had an assignment in Kentucky after graduation (we have letters from my uncle to her during her training in Laconia). She later became an RN. Her last residence was in Dundalk, Maryland.


Laconia Hospital School of Nursing, Laconia, New Hampshire
Ellamae Branstetter

Passed away on April 29, 2013, at age 90.

Ellamae BranstetterEllamae Branstetter was the 8th & youngest child of Murray & Ellen (Purcell) Branstetter. Her early years and schooling were in Miami, Oklahoma. She was a Cadet Nurse and received her nursing diploma from Jewish Hospital, St Louis in 1944. She received her BS from St Louis University in 1954 and her M.P.H. degree in public & mental health nursing from the University of Minnesota in 1957. She earned her Ph.D in Human Development from the University of Chicago in 1969. In 1958 she was recruited from the Visiting Nurse Service in Phoenix to help inaugurate the Arizona State University College of Nursing, where she was among the first three faculty members. She left ASU in 1964 to pursue her research and returned in 1967 to develop the initial graduate program in nursing.


ASU Retirees Association Video History Project interview with Ellamae Branstetter, taken in 2007, about her work at Arizona State University and the development of the field of Nurse Practitioner:

Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri
Photo of Ruth H Andrews Chambliss Ruth Gerber Andrews Chambliss
Chambliss, Ruth H. Andrews, R.N., went to be with the Lord on Monday morning, August 12, 2013 at the tender age of 86.

Affectionately called "Ms. Ruth" her lifelong passion for Nursing began in 1945 as a member of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corp in WWII, holding the title of Corporal, U.S. Army. She was a graduate of Hackensack School of Nursing, Hackensack, NJ, did post-grad work at Children's Hospital in Washington, D.C. and earned her B.S. Degree in Nursing from the College of St. Frances, Joliet, IL. Her Montgomery work resume consisted of Baptist Medical Center 1967 -1976, Alabama Medicaid Associate Director Hospital Program 1976-1986 and Wiregrass Hospice 2000-2005. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/montgomeryadvertiser/obituary.aspx?page...

Chambliss, Ruth H. Andrews, R.N., went to be with the Lord on Monday morning, August 12, 2013 at the tender age of 86.

Affectionately called "Ms. Ruth" her lifelong passion for Nursing began in 1945 as a member of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corp in WWII, holding the title of Corporal, U.S. Army. She was a graduate of Hackensack School of Nursing, Hackensack, NJ, did post-grad work at Children's Hospital in Washington, D.C. and earned her B.S. Degree in Nursing from the College of St. Frances, Joliet, IL. Her Montgomery work resume consisted of Baptist Medical Center 1967 -1976, Alabama Medicaid Associate Director Hospital Program 1976-1986 and Wiregrass Hospice 2000-2005. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/montgomeryadvertiser/obituary.aspx?page...

Chambliss, Ruth H. Andrews, R.N., went to be with the Lord on Monday morning, August 12, 2013 at the tender age of 86.

Affectionately called "Ms. Ruth" her lifelong passion for Nursing began in 1945 as a member of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corp in WWII, holding the title of Corporal, U.S. Army. She was a graduate of Hackensack School of Nursing, Hackensack, NJ, did post-grad work at Children's Hospital in Washington, D.C. and earned her B.S. Degree in Nursing from the College of St. Frances, Joliet, IL. Her Montgomery work resume consisted of Baptist Medical Center 1967 -1976, Alabama Medicaid Associate Director Hospital Program 1976-1986 and Wiregrass Hospice 2000-2005. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/montgomeryadvertiser/obituary.aspx?page...

Chambliss, Ruth H. Andrews, R.N., went to be with the Lord on Monday morning, August 12, 2013 at the tender age of 86. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/montgomeryadvertiser/obituary.aspx?page...

November 23, 1926 - August 12, 2013

Portrait of Ruth H Andrews ChamblissRuth H. Andrews Chambliss, R.N., went to be with the Lord on Monday morning, August 12, 2013, at the tender age of 86. Affectionately called "Ms. Ruth," her lifelong passon for Nursing  began in 1945 as  a member of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps in World War II, holding the title of Corporal, U.S. Army. She was a graduate of Hackensack School of Nursing, Hackensack, New Jersey, did post-grad work at Children's Hospital in Washington, D.C., and earned her B.S. degree in Nursing from the College of St. Frances, Joliet, Illinois. Her Montgomery work resume consisted of Baptist Medical Center 1967-1976, Alabama Medicaid Associate Director Hospital Program 1976-1986, and Wiregrass Hospice 2000-2005.


Hackensack Hospital School of Nursing, Hackensack, New Jersey
Photo of Mrs. Genevieve F. Mooers Genevieve Farrah Mooers

January 17, 1922 - September 24, 2014

Genevieve Farrah Moers was a proud member of U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps.


Photo of Claire Sirois Smart Claire Sirois Smart

December 19, 1923 - January 19, 1991

Claire's family reports

Mom was admitted to the Cadet Nurse Corps July 1, 1943, and attended nursing school at Notre Dame de Lourdes Hospital School of Nursing in Manchester, New Hampshire, graduating in February of 1945. She was unable to attend her class graduation in September of the same year as she had joined the Army at Fort Devins in July and by September was serving at Camp Edwards, Massachusetts. She served as General Duty Nurse in U.S. for about 1 1/2 years in Massachusetts as well as Oliver General Hospital in Augusta, Georgia. December 1946 found her in Caserta, Italy. She worked at the 61st Station Hospital as well as the 317th Station Hospital, serving in Europe for approximately 1 1/2 years. Her last assignment was accompanying U.S. dependents, many of whom were pregnant, by ship back to the U.S. Her military service ended in May 1948 at Kilmer, New Jersey. She was awarded the American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and the Meritorious Unit Plaque.

She went on to marry, raise four children, then went back to nursing at the Sepulveda V.A. Hospital in California. Sadly, we lost her to Leukemia in January 1991.


Notre Dame de Lourdes Hospital School of Nursing, Manchester, New Hampshire
Photo of Mae F Keefer Mae F. Keefer

Died August 31, 2012.

August 31, 2012.
August 31, 2012.
August 31, 2012.

Mae F. Keefer, RN retired in 1988 after a 40-year career in nursing – more than 37 of those years at Evangelical Community Hospital. A graduate of Milton High School and the Williamsport Hospital School of Nursing, she completed her clinical training in the World War II Cadet Nurse Corps at Mount Alto Veterans Hospital in Washington, D.C. Following initial service as a general duty nurse in Williamsport, Mrs. Keefer began general duty nursing at Evangelical's original hospital at the Lewisburg United Methodist Homes. She was promoted to a 3-to-11 supervisor just two weeks after the opening of the new hospital in 1953. In 1970 she was named Director of Nursing.


Williamsport Hospital School of Nursing, Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Photo of Cecilia Marie Muschi Dawydiak Cecilia Marie Muschi Dawydiak

October 3, 1926 - June 15, 2008

Cecilia ("Sis") Marie Muschi Dawydiak attended St. Joseph's College of Nursing under the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps during WWII, and was proud of her Cadet uniform, her St. Joseph's nurse cape and pin. She fell in love with "Gene," a sailor she met at the USO Club in 1945 and they married in 1951. Sis then attended the University of San Francisco, and became one of 14 pioneering women, all registered nurses, to graduate in 1950; the first class of women. She worked at Maimonides Hospital and in the '50s became a pediatrics instructor at Mt. Zion's School of Nursing under Chair, Ganelle Griffin. When the school closed, Sis, the late Norma Muthe and Marion McDermott, were tapped by Ganelle to start CCSF's School of Nursing in the '60s. In the '70s she received a masters degree from San Francisco State University.


St. Joseph's College of Nursing, San Francisco, California
Photo of Helen Lucenay Helen Perkins Lucenay

March 10, 1927 - July 27, 2014

Helen Perkins Lucenay was a Cadet Nurse Corps graduate from Providence Hospital, Waco, Texas.  Mrs. Lucenay earned an Associate Degree in Nursing in 1947. She shared her love for people, medical knowledge and compassionate touch with many patients. Those settings included: James Connally Air Force Base, private duty, labor and delivery-Hillcrest Hospital, and the Veterans Administration Hospital Psychiatric Unit for many years. In 1978, Mrs. Lucenay furthered her education, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing. She was soon named the Infection Control Nurse for the Veterans Administration Hospital until her retirement, February 14, 1996.


Providence Hospital, Waco, Texas
Photo of Emily G. Crowther Saleeba Emily G. Crowther Saleeba

November 2, 1924 - May 25, 2014

One of five children, Emily was born in Lincoln, RI on 1924, to Emily (Carter) and Samuel Crowther, both of Lancashire, England. As a youth, she had a passion for nursing. After graduating from Cumberland High School, she followed her dream by attending and graduating from the Rhode Island Hospital School of Nursing. During World War II, the United States federal Government established the Hospital Cadet Nurse Corps. That's when she became a member of the Rhode Island Hospital Cadet Nurse Corps, serving in the armed forces, government and civilian hospitals, health agencies and war related industries. Following the war, Emily worked the next 40 years as a registered nurse.


Rhode Island Hospital School of Nursing, Providence, Rhode Island
Marian J. Eberly Wasnich Klingler

August 11, 1926 - October 26, 2013

Marian J. Wasnich Klingler was a 1944 graduate of Montpelier High School and a 1947 graduate of Flower Hospital School of Nursing. 


Flower Hospital School of Nursing
Rose Ellen Hession Hurrle

August 4, 1924 - February 5, 2011

Rose graduated as a registered nurse from St. Vincent Nursing School and served in the Cadet Nurse Corps at the Great Lakes Hospital Naval Hospital in Chicago during World War II. Rose married the late William P. Hurrle in 1947. Bill and Rose moved to Tucson, AZ in 1979 where their youngest son, Francis Xavier (deceased), attend the University of Arizona. They returned to Indianapolis in 2001.


St. Vincent Nursing School
Photo of Marian McRaith Marian Marcella McRaithTope

January 16, 1924 - February 17, 2013

Always the adventurer, Marian joined the Cadet Nurse Corps at 17. She trained at St. Catherine's College - St. Joseph's school of nursing, and, upon graduation, was stationed with many of her fellow graduates at Fort Whipple in Prescott. At Whipple, Marian made many lifelong friends whom she treasured to her dying day. Along with friends, Marian met and married a recovering Navy man, Allen Tope, with whom she had four children.

Nursing for Marian was not just a career; it was a way of life. Along with nurturing her family, she cared for Phoenix patients in ICU and Orthopedics; eventually retiring from active nursing in 1987 as head nurse of oncology at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona.


St. Catherine's College - St. Joseph's School of Nursing
Photo of Phyllis Noerager Stern Phyllis Noerager Stern

September 02, 1925 - May 04, 2014

After high school Phyllis Nerager earned her nursing diploma from Mount Zion Hospital as part of the federally funded Cadet Nurse Corps which helped alleviate the severe shortage of nurses after WWII. Upon graduation she worked in several health facilities in California and Arizona. She continued her education earning her AA nursing degree from the College of San Mateo, a BS in Nursing from San Francisco State University, a Masters in Nursing from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and a Doctorate in Nursing Science, also from UCSF.

Dr. Stern held faculty positions at California State University at Hayward, UCSF; Northwestern State University at Shreveport, LA; and was Professor and Director of Dalhousie University School of Nursing in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. She joined the faculty of the Indiana University School of Nursing as Professor and Department Chair of Family Health Nursing and was named a Professor Emerita upon her retirement from IU.

Phyllis is best known for her research and campaigning on behalf of women’s health internationally. With colleagues in Canada, in 1984 she founded the International Council on Women’s Health Issues (ICOWHI) and served as Council General until 2002. She served as editor-in-chief of the refereed journal Health Care for Women International from 1983 to 2001 and as such was able to help launch the publishing careers of several first time authors. Dr. Stern is considered an expert in classical (Glaserian) grounded theory method of research and has generated several mid-range theories on family crisis situations and the impact of culture on health and care. She was a member of the AAN Expert Panel on cultural competence, served on the editorial boards of Qualitative Health Research and Issues in Mental Health, and was a reviewer for a number of nursing journals. She continued to mentor a number of international students who chose to use grounded theory in their doctoral dissertations.


Mount Zion Hospital, San Carlos, California
Photo of Wanda Bradshaw-Risdon Wanda Bradshaw Risdon

July 14, 1926 - July 8, 2014

Wanda joined the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps in WWII and attended St. Johns School of Nursing in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Wanda's first job was at the VA Hospital in Pass Christian, Mississippi. In 1949 Wanda moved to Denver, Colorado, and later met James Bradshaw at Denver University while attending a nurses meeting. They married in 1951.

Wanda and Jim had two children: Clarissa and Doyle; Wanda skillfully balanced being a wife, a loving mother, and a registered-nurse in Colorado, New Zealand, Idaho, Arkansas and California. James Bradshaw preceded her in death December 1980.

Wanda remarried an old family friend, Keith Risdon, in 1984. They lived in Palm Desert, and Wanda continued to work as a nurse, eventually retiring from Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California. Wanda and Keith Risdon moved to Cottonwood, Arizona, in 1991 they were both active in the community.


St. Johns School of Nursing, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Photo of Becky Sumpter Clara Rebecca Nourse Sumpter

January 17, 1927 - November 25, 2011

Becky Sumpter, 84, passed away Nov. 25, 2011, in her home at Bonita Creek, Arizona. She was born Jan. 17, 1927 to William Kenneth Compton Nourse and Emily Maud Nourse in Tucson, Ariz. As a young girl, Becky spent much of her time outside enjoying the variety of birds and animals and the diverse plant life the Sonoran desert had to offer. Being home-schooled, she had many hours each day to wander the land in the shadows of the Catalina Mountains.

Mrs. Sumpter attended the University of Arizona where she studied library science. During her early years of study she decided to take a nursing class and discovered her passion — taking care of people. World War II was raging and she joined the Cadet Nurse Corps program and became a registered nurse. Becky trained at St. Monica’s Hospital in Phoenix and, over the years, shared many amazing stories of “nursing in the old days.”


Santa Monica's Hospital School of Nursing, Phoenix, Arizona
Ana Marie Baez Bruenger

June 20, 1923 - March 28, 2011

Ana Marie Baez Bruenger died Monday, March 28, 2011 at Mendocino Coast District Hospital in Fort Bragg. She was born on June 20, 1923 in Mexico City. She was the second daughter of The Rev. Alfonso and Teresa Camargo Baez. Ana Marie came to the United States with her family while she was a child. She attended schools throughout the Southwest and graduated from Menaul School in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She was one of the first Hispanic graduates of the Native American Navajo Nation's nursing program at the Sage Memorial Hospital under Presbyterian auspices in Ganado, Ariz. She worked as a nurse for 66 years.



Sage Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, Ganado, Arizona
Gertrude Rourke Gannon

August 10, 1925 - July 23, 2010

Gertrude's son writes:

My mother, Gertrude Rourke Gannon, spoke of her time in the Cadet Nurse Corps as one of the happiest periods of her life. Towards the end of her life, as her memory was fading, her face would always light up, her brain would awaken, and you would swear you were talking to the young 19 year cadet who was taking care of our wounded heroes at Rhodes Army Hospital in New York. It was there that she met my father, her patient. Although the cadets were not suppose to fraternize with the enlisted men they found a way to get to know each other and eventually marry. She lived a long, happy, productive life and worked as a nurse until her retirement. I respected my mother, not just as a parent, but as a woman who overcame many obstacles in her life. Although she came from a traditional Irish Catholic family, she taught me acceptance of others and open mindedness.

In tribute to my father, I joined the US Army as a medic in 1972. In tribute to my mother, I graduated with my BS in Nursing and was given my commission in 1982. I finished my career after retiring from the Army Nurse Corps as Head Nurse of psychiatry at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC.

When she died 4 years ago, she was buried next to my father in a Veterans Cemetery on Long Island, NY. Her memorial simply says:

Gertrude Rourke Gannon
Cadet Nurse Corps

Thanks, Mom!

St. Catherine's Hospital School of Nursing, Brooklyn, NY
Photo of Jeanie Blakesley Good Eugenia "Jeanie" Blakesley Good

December 12, 1926 - July 6, 2012

Jeanie Blakesley Good began her nurse's training in 1945, right out of high school. She started at Montana College in Bozeman and continued her studies at Deaconess Hospital in Billings, which was followed by affiliations with various hospitals in Montana and Wyoming, where she learned different nursing skills.

Cadet Nurse training meant 3 years' round-the-clock training, day and night, including summers.

Jeanie knew that after training was over, she faced two years of service in the Army. "That was my commitment," she said. "If I finished training, then I would have to. And I would have done so gladly.

Read more about Jeanie's life in this book by her granddaughter, Heather Evagelatos Robertson.

Montana State College, Bozeman, Montana
Photo of Emilia "Millie" Ontko Sabo Emilia Ontko Sabo

Passed away on July 30, 2013.

Dorothy Flar writes: 

Emilia "Millie" Ontko Sabo attended Paterson General Hospital in Paterson, NJ, graduating in 1947. She was a member of the US Cadet Nurse Corps (1944-1947), serving at the US Merchant Marine Hospital in Staten Island. She was employed as a RN at Hasbrouck Heights Hospital 1947-1952. After taking time off to raise her family, she returned to work at Beth Israel Hospital in Passaic, NJ, for 15 years before retiring in 1984. The rest of her life was spent in the Palm Bay/Melbourne, Florida, area, where she passed away at the age of 86.

Paterson General Hospital, Paterson, New Jersey
Photo of Mary Theresa Schoemer Gauvin Mary Theresa Schoemer Gauvin

March 10, 1926 - April 9, 2010

David Gauvin writes: 

A recent photo of Mary Theresa Schoemer GauvinMary Theresa (Schoemer) Gauvin graduated from St. Mary’s Hospital Nursing School in 1947, located downtown Detroit,  Michigan.  The Sisters of Charity, the religious order of nuns who ran the nursing school, would not allow married nursing students so she became engaged to her life-long partner the week of her graduation from the program.  She worked as the midnight charge nurse at Wyandotte General  Hospital (Wyandotte, MI) and Riverside Osteopathic Hospital (Trenton, MI) until her 6th child was born in 1958.  She took 16 year hiatus from hospital nursing to raise her children.  However, during this time she “specialed” for many family and friends through their journey to the next life.  Following the death of her husband in 1975, Mary returned to fulltime nursing in industrial medicine at Chrysler Trenton Engine Plant (Trenton, MI), the Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant (Woodhaven, MI) and Ford Motor Main, Foundry (Dearborn, MI), as well as ExCello Incorporated (Detroit, MI).  She moved from Industry to exclusive private practice nursing for Dr. John C. Dickson for the last two decades of her life.  She retired from nursing at 75 years young – a profession she was proud to practice.  Mary Gauvin, R.N., died April 9, 2010.

St. Mary’s Hospital Nursing School, Detroit, Michigan
Photo of Ruth Virginia Finke Spoon Ruth Virginia Finke Spoon

Passed away in 1990.

Kathleen Spoon writes:

Ruth's USCNC membership cardMy mother, Ruth Virginia Finke Spoon, entered the Cadet Nurses Corps in 1944 and graduated in 1947. She was from Dayton, Ohio, but did her Cadet Nurse training at Grace Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. She worked as a nurse until she was married in 1951. Being a nurse made her a really good mom--I always felt very well taken care of if I was sick. She took a refresher course and went back into nursing in 1969. She passed away in 1990. I'm very proud that she served our country as part of the U.S. Cadet Nurses Corps.

Grace Hospital School of Nursing, Detroit, Michigan
Photo of Caroline Van Ormer Caroline Van Ormer

June 16, 1922 - September 21, 2002

Admitted to the United States Cadet Nurse Corps: October 14, 1943

After graduation in 1946, married Lt. Charles Trimble, home on leave from the United States Air Force. Their children are Charles, Craig, and Carol.

Caroline worked private nursing in Johnstown and Memorial Booth Memorial Hospital, Covington, and Baptist Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky.

She retired in 1975.

Eleanore & Caroline Van Ormer



September 1943

Eleanore (left) and Caroline, daughters of Ralph and Irene Van Ormer formerly of Browning, have enlisted in the United States Cadet Nurse Corps. They will receive three years training at Springfield Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, Springfield, Illinois. Upon completion of their training they will be eligible to enlist as officers in one of the branches of the armed forces nurse corps.



Springfield Memorial School of Nursing, Springfield, Illinois
Photo of Antonia Dzwonczyk Karkut Antonia Dzwonczyk Karkut
October 3, 1924 – March 11, 2002
Antonia Dzwonczyk after graduating from Shelton High School in 1942, worked one year in the defense industry inspecting aircraft instrument pivots. Later, she worked as an airplane mechanic fitting and putting wings on a US Navy fighter plane the Corsair F4U. In 1944, she entered the Grace-New Haven Training School for Nurses and then joined the US Nurse Cadet Corps during World War II during the polio epidemic. Her three-year nursing course was rigorous with little free time. Because the war ended, she was not required to go into the service even though she was still interested in joining the Army. A dear friend whom she was planning to enter the service with changed her mind, so she too changed her plans. Antonia loved the military connection and the idea of a “good education for life” that the Cadet Nurse Corps represented. Their dreams of becoming something became reality and provided unprecedented opportunities for women entering the workforce. For the first time we received training, textbooks, and smart looking uniforms. In 1947, Antonia graduated from nursing school in New Haven, CT. Antonia worked at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Peter Bent Brigham and New England Deaconess Hospital in Boston, and the US Public Health Service Hospital in Staten Island, NY. Also, she worked as a volunteer school nurse at the Subic Bay, PI-Naval Base, a volunteer nurse at Redwood Jr. High School, Napa, CA; a Psychiatric Nurse at Napa State Hospital, CA, and ending in 1979, with a nurse’s registry for convalescent hospitals taking care of the elderly.
Our mother’s most influential moments were working with Florence Blake, author of Essentials of Pediatrics, which led her to specialize in pediatric nursing for the last six months of her nursing education. Another gratifying moment was becoming a surgical nurse under the supervision of Lillian Sholtis, one of the authors of the Manual for Surgical Nursing.


Grace-New Haven Training School for Nurses, New Haven, Connecticut
Elsie Jean Kostelny Mauratt

Carol Beeman writes: 

My mother, Elsie Jean Kostelny Mauratt, was a World War II Cadet Nurse.  She was admitted to the corps on September 22, 1943, and issued her card on March 1, 1944.   She worked at Lutheran Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing in Chicago Illinois.   Throughout her life she valued her early nursing experiences.  She died in Portland, Oregon, on March 11, 1996, after lovingly devoting her life to her husband and 2 daughters.   Our dad (age 88) still resides in Portland and is a proud WWII Navy veteran.  He would be especially pleased if mom's war effort was also officially and publicly recognized by the government.

Lutheran Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing, Chicago, Illinois
Photo of Jean Margaret Ellis Smith Jean Margaret Ellis Smith

Rebecca Smith Griffin writes:

My Mother, Jean Margaret Ellis Smith was a U.S. Cadet Nurse during World War II. She received her training at Monmouth College in Long Branch, NJ. She lived from June 19, 1925 to Aug. 12, 2012. She was married for 65 years to my Dad, Willis C. Smith, Jr. They met at a dance at the college (USO related) during her training as a cadet nurse and his assignment as a U.S. marine in 1946. They married in February of 1947.

Monmouth College, Long Branch, New Jersey
Kathryn Jean Gibb

Amanda Denton writes:

My grandmother, Kathryn Jean Gibb, trained as a nurse at Barre City Hospital in Barre, VT. As a a Cadet Nurse, she was assigned to care for former internees at Santo Tomas, Manila. She was haunted by what was inflicted on these people and spoke very little about her experiences. Some years ago, a memorial wall went up at our local high school with the names of all the graduates who served. I was surprised that she wasn't included. I contacted the sponsors, they did some digging and her name was added. I was stunned to realize that she wasn't considered a veteran! She went oversees as a bright-eyed girl of 20 and came home a sadder, wiser woman. Enlisting in the Cadet Nursing Corp allowed her not only to serve her country, but to flee small town life and step into who she would become, an independent career woman. Such gifts come at a great cost, though, and I feel that she left parts of herself in Santo Tomas-- mainly her optimism, her faith in the goodness of people, her unmitigated joy of life. Afterward, she kept her war experiences tucked in close, like a wounded wing. We didn't press and she didn't disclose.

My Grandma Kay passed away January 7, 1995, a veteran of war and of her country's lack of recognition.

Barre City Hospital, Barre, Vermont
Jeanne Anne Maderia Howard

December 24, 1924 - February 2, 2013

A family member writes: My Mom, Jeanne Anne Maderia Howard, was in the Cadet Corps and graduated from Nursing School in August 1946.

Ohio Valley Hospital School of Nursing, Steubenville, Ohio
Mary Louise Schrade (Boucher)

Passed away March 1, 2014.

Mary Louise Schrade (Boucher) graduated from the U S Cadet Nurse Corps 9/14/1948

Grant Hospital, Chicago, Illinois
Eunice E Smolak

Robert Rither writes:

My aunt Eunice E. Smolak was a member of the USCNC.  She graduated from Lancaster MN High School in 1941.  Following graduation, she entered nurses training at the Grand Forks Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing, in Grand Forks, North Dakota.  At commencement exercises held on February 23, 1945, she received her coveted nursing pin and certification as a Registered Nurse.

Ms Smolak enlisted in the U. S. Cadet Nurse Corps and was assigned to the Bushnell General Hospital (also known as the Army and Navy Masonic Service Center), a 1,500-bed military hospital on a 235-acre site a mile and a half south of Brigham City, Utah.  Most of the patients treated at the hospital were American servicemen wounded in battles in the Pacific theater of operations.  A section of the hospital grounds also housed German and Italian prisoners of war.

After serving in Utah, she was assigned to the nursing staff at a hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii, (I do not recall the name of that hospital) where she remained until the discontinuance of the Cadet Nurse Corps in 1948.  She then began her nursing career with the U. S. Veterans Administration with assignments in Washington, D. C., Shreveport, Louisiana and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

I have some of the items she saved from her career as a Cadet.

Grand Forks Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing, Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Photo of Bernice Therese Collins in uniform taken at home on Bayou Lafourche, LA Bernice Therese Collins

Margaret Collins writes: 

My mother, Bernice Therese Collins, was in the United States Nurse Corps. She studied at Hotel Dieu in New Orleans, Louisiana and became a Registered Nurse. Unfortunately, Mama passed last Wednesday night 5/14/14 here in Baton Rouge, LA.

Hotel Dieu School of Nursing, New Orleans, Louisiana
Photo of Avril Joyce Cook Wadsworth Avril Joyce Cook Wadsworth

Avril Joyce Cook Wadsworth's daugher writes: 

My mother, Avril Joyce Cook Wadsworth (1924-2011), began her nurses training at Baptist Medical Center in Memphis, Tennessee. She then accepted the assignment as a Cadet nurse at Kennedy General in the same city. She had thought about going farther...wanted to serve in the Army overseas. However, the war was over by the time she had her R.N. degree, and she married a handsome soldier, Norman Milton Wadsworth. She was employed at Baptist Medical Center, supporting Norman (my dad) while he pursued his studies in optometry. The picture I am sharing was their engagement picture. She was very proud to serve as a Cadet!

Baptist Medical Center, Memphis, Tennessee
Photo of Merilyn Rose White Pezzuto Merilyn Rose White Pezzuto

Merilyn marching at Dibble Hospital in San Francisco, CARosemary Pezzuto, Merilyn's daughter writes: 

Merilyn Rose White Pezzuto RN, 1923-2014 served proudly as a member of the Cadet Nurse Corp at Dibble Hospital in Menlo Park, California. She has shared stories and memories of this very important experience. These stories included stories about patients that she came to love and the struggles that they experience due to their time in foxholes, defending our freedom, and the anguish that they had about being injured and not being able to continue the fight.   Often she shared stories of the friendships she had with other nurse corps members and the importance that those friendships had not only during the difficult times of the war but even to her adulthood.   Many of the skills of leadership, service, and commitment came from the time spent in the Corps.

The role models she became inspired many young people. Each of her six children modeled some gift that she learned though her life. Her daughter Eileen studied nursing and went on to be involved in nursing administration. She is currently the regional VP of care coordination at Sutter Health in San Francisco. Her granddaughter, and Eileen’s daughter Sarah too entered the field of nursing is following her grandmothers commitment to health care as a practicing nurse at John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek, California. She is currently working on her Masters degree at the University of California, San Francisco. Merilyn also inspired many including her daughter Rosemary who followed her footsteps into the military and served 20 years in the US Coast Guard. Her sons Don and Tom went into business and have served the community through their work. Cici inspires young people through her job as a career counselor—something she watched her mom do as she mentored many young people through her lifetime. Mary has spent the recent years as a consultant and using her creativity to serve in the community. Each of these attributes came from the knowledge, Skills and Abilities that Merilyn learned in those important years as Cadet Nurse.

Merilyn loved the nurse corps and what it stood for. Over the years, she wished that more could have been done to recognize the important work the corps did for the war effort. The attached pictures are of mom as a Cadet and of them marching at Dibble. She often felt that the Veterans Administration and Congress should have elevated the importance of the role and validated it with recognition of the service these individuals provided. 
Merilyn Rose White Pezzuto died on May 27, 2014, in Walnut Creek California. She served in the Cadet Corps during WW2. She loved the corps and what it stood for. She was an amazing woman who had a strong impact on the world. She was stationed at Dibble Army Hospital San Francisco for her service.
Merilyn attended St. Josephs School of Nursing, San Francisco, California. After her graduation from St. Josephs, she went on to complete a degree at Dominican College of San Rafael where she used her nursing skills as the college nurse providing health care to the students and faculty of the college.
About Dibble Army Hospital---The hospital was located on the estate of Mark Hopkins and affluent railroad and hotel man from California It was named after Col.John Dibble who was killed in an aircraft accident. Between 1943 and 1946 Dibble specialized in plastic surgery, blind care, neuro-psychiatry and orthopedics and at its peak it had 2,400 beds.
In June 1946 the hospital was transferred to the Federal Public Housing Authority.
St. Josephs School of Nursing, San Francisco, California
Photo of June Lois Bergstrom June Lois Bergstrom

John Martin Harper reported that his mother, June Lois Bergstrom, passed away in 1992 in San Francisco, CA.



Englewood Hospital, Chicago, Illinois
Carmen Frances Salazar

Carmen Frances Salazar, R.H., was in the Cadet Nurse Corps in World War II. She graduated from the Los Angeles County General Hosptical School of Nursing in 1944 and passed away in May 2007.

Los Angeles County General Hosptical School of Nursing
Portrait of Pearl Melnick Pearl Melnick Zeltzer

Family members include: Beloved Wife of George "Mike" Zeltzer; Dear Mother of David (Rita Addison) Zeltzer, Gary (Janice) Zeltzer, Elliot (Dr. Susan) Zeltzer and Jeremy (Kevin Dennis) Zeltzer; Loving Grandmother of Marc (Miha) Zeltzer, Joe Zeltzer, Ari Sachter Zeltzer, Ruth Zeltzer, Stuart Zeltzer, Paul Zeltzer and Barry Zeltzer; Sister of Lillian Horn.

Pearl was a Registered Nurse and was part of the Nurse Cadet Corps in World War II. A Trustee of the Michigan Opera Theatre,  Pearl played a pivotal role in establishing their dance program. A Patron of the Arts, she was an active member of the National Foundation for Jewish Culture. A Fellow at Brandeis University, she was a key player in the Center for Judaic Technology at Brandeis. Along with her husband, George "Mike" Zeltzer, they established an annual lecture for the Cohn Haddow Center for Judaic Studies at Wayne State University which placing its focus  on Women in Judaism. Pearl was an Associate Member of the Detroit Institute of Arts, and a major supporter of the Stratford Festival as well as the Shaw Festival.

Grace Hospital School of Nursing, Detroit, Michigan
Photo of Dorothy J Braun Turner Dorothy J. Braun Turner

Passed away on March 1, 2014.

Steven R Turner writes:

Dorothy J. Braun (Turner) was the first cadet nurse trainee from Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, to be accepted by the Navy into US Naval Hospital, Seattle, Washington.  She was 21  and finished her last 6 months of training in Seattle.  While there, she met and subsequently married Richard E. Turner, a Pharmacist Mate FC, who was heading off to finish medical school in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  They married in October of 1945.  My parents settled in Eugene, Oregon, after his graduation from University of Michigan and residency in pediatrics.  Dorothy maintained her nursing license and continued to work in the field until her retirement in 1989 from the University of Oregon's Student Health Center.

Henry Ford Hospital School of Nursing and Hygiene, Detroit, Michigan
Katherine Jane Rickes Orr

Charlene Orr writes: 

My mother, Katherine Jane Rickes Orr enlisted 1944, graduating from Vassar Brother's Hospital School of Nursing in 1947. Poughkeepsie, NY. Of the 33 classmates, I believe only 8 are left. My mother passed away, January 2009. I have a good friend, Thelma Robinson who lives in Boulder, and the author of wonderful books about the Cadet Nurse Corps. Another is Marjorie Patak, of Woodridge NJ. I keep in touch with both. Am so glad to see a FB page of the CNC!

Vassar Brother's Hospital School of Nursing, Poughkeepsie, New York
Photo of Virginia Adrig Virginia G. Adrig

January 25, 1924 - June 4, 1963

Virginia was a U.S. Cadet Nurse and took her training through the Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, probably in 1943/1944. She graduated from high school in 1942. She never married and had no children.

If anyone has more information on Virginia, please contact Cindy Graff at greenfrogs79@yahoo.com.  Thank you.

Michael Reese Hospital School of Nursing
Photo of Sylvia Jimenez Almeyda Sylvia Jimenez Almeyda

More recent photo of Sylvia Jimenez AlmeydaNovember 3, 1917 - December 15, 2011

Sylvia Jimenez Almeyda was born on November 3, 1917 in Clifton, Arizona, a copper mining camp in Greenlee County. Shortly thereafter, Sylvia and her parents, Antonio and Josefa Gonzales Jimenez, moved to Miami, Arizona, where her father found laborer’s work at the Miami Copper Company. After graduation in 1935 from Miami High School, Sylvia worked as a nurses’ aide at the Miami Inspiration Hospital. In 1943, she became a member of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corp. Within this program, Sylvia enrolled in St. Mary’s School of Nursing & began taking nurses’ training in Tucson, and graduated from St. Mary’s in 1945. By then, her soldier-husband-to-be, Alfred Almeyda, returned from his military service overseas, and returned to his home in Miami. He and Sylvia soon married & began their own lives in California, where they lived until 1986. As a registered nurse, Sylvia established an exemplary record of service in major hospitals in California, and over a period of 40 years, with a speciality in maternity and infant care.  Sylvia and Alfred Almeyda returned to Miami, Arizona in 1986 to enjoy a new life in retirement. The couple became active in community service work for the Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, the Miami Senior Center, and for the Bullion Plaza Cultural Center and Museum. Alfred Almeyda passed away in 1995. Sylvia Almeyda passed away on December 15, 2011, at the age of 93.

St. Mary's Hospital School of Nursing, Tucson, Arizona
Photo of Frieda Emmons Frieda Emmons

August 20, 1911 - May 14, 1969

Frieda Emmons was a Cadet Nurse who worked as a nurse up until the time of her death in 1969.

Catholic University of America Extension, Kalamazoo, Michigan
Photo of Portteus Stephens Corporon Hughes Portteus Stephens Corporon Hughes

June 13, 1925 - January 18, 2014

Portteus Stephens Corporon Hughes (Port, Portie) attended and graduated from Arcadia High School in 1943 and joined the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps. She then became a nursing student at Mount Carmel Hospital in Pittsburg, Kansas. After graduation she became a Registered Nurse in October of 1946. Part of her training was completed at the City Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. She worked at Mount Carmel Hospital for two years. Portie’s infectious smile, positive outlook on life, playfulness, welcoming hospitality, and her toe socks will be missed by her family, church and community.



Mount Carmel Hospital, Pittsburg, Kansas
Photo of Mary Therese Power Paynter Mary Therese Power Paynter

February 7, 1926-January 24, 2014

Mary Power PaynterMary Therese (nee Power) Paynter, served in the US Cadet Nurse Corps from 1944-1947 at Loyola University of Chicago, St. Bernard's Hospital Unit.


Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois
Jane Knox Carson

Died January 20, 2014

Had a long and varied career in nursing

Keuka College School of Nursing, Penn Yan, New York
Mary Alice Thornton Rardin Mary Alice Thornton Rardin

October 1st, 1924 - January 19, 1995

My grandmother Mary Alice was a cadet nurse. She was very proud of her participation in the program. She was not only a fantastic nurse but a pillar of her community and remained dedicated to veterans till the day she passed away.




Carin Fullum would love to hear from those who knew her grandmother. Please contact her at fullumc@gmail.com.

St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Patsy Dean Trainor Patsy Dean Trainor

October 30, 1927 - March 20,1972

Patsy Dean Trainor moved to Farmington, New Mexico, in the 50's and was a nurse for a local doctor. Later when she and her husband Earl were sent to the Reservation in Arizona for work in oilfield, she served as the Camp Nurse.

Santa Monica's Hospital School of Nursing, Phoenix, Arizona
Loreen Phillips Overstreet Loreen Phillips Overstreet

December 25, 1925 - January 26, 2008

Dr. Loreen ‘Phyl’ Overstreet, 82, formerly of Fayetteville, died Jan. 26, 2008. She was preceded in death by her husband, the Rev. Dan Overstreet, and son, Marcus Overstreet. She was a professor emeritus with the University System of Georgia. She attended Ouachita College in Arkansas, the University of Georgia, Southwestern Theological Seminary in Texas, and Emory University where she received her master's degree. At the University of South Carolina she received her doctorate of education degree. She also received her nursing degree from the Georgia Baptist Hospital School of Nursing. She began her career as a registered nurse as a World War II Army Cadet. She taught in several colleges and schools of nursing. She was honored with medals and awards for her work including the Individual Service Award by the Georgia Rural Health Association in 1988.

Georgia Baptist Hospital, Atlanta, Georgia
Nancy Fitzgerald

January 9, 1918 - November 16, 2012

Nancy Smith Phibbs was born on January 9, 1918, in Linwood, North Carolina. She was the youngest of three children and grew up in High Point, North Carolina. After she graduated from high school she held various jobs and in 1941 she entered a Seminary in Nyack, New York. A year later she began Cadet Nurse training at Memorial Hospital, Charlotte, North Carolina from 1942-1946. Upon graduation she was given the choice of the Army, Navy, or Indian Service. She chose Indian Service as a nurse and worked at both Fort Defiance and Tuba City, Arizona. Nancy considered her work on the reservation the highlight of her nursing career. In Tuba City, Arizona, she met and married George A. Sakiestewa in 1947. In 1948 her only child Ramona Sakiestewa was born. Nancy continued her nursing career in Albuquerque working at the Indian Sanitarium, St. Joseph's Hospital, Presbyterian Hospital, the Veteran's Administration Hospital, and the Kirtland Dispensary.

More information

Memorial Hospital, Charlotte, North Carolina
Rita Swinghamer Rita Soller Swinghamer

July 5, 1925 - October 1, 2013.

Rita wrote:

On August 16, 1943, I entered the St. Francis School of Nursing in La Crosse, WI. At the time it was depression years. My parents were struggling financially but willing to find some way to pay. Can you imagine how $300 for 3 years was a financial burden? I wanted to be a nurse since I was a little girl. A few days after admission, we were called into assembly and told that the school had been accepted by the United States Cadet Nurse Corps. It was an answer to our prayers, and I was also able to serve my country in the time of WWII.

For the next 30 months, I went to classes, did floor duty on the general units and specialized departments. We worked all three shifts including split shifts. I was in the Communicable Disease Department during the polio season. We had six patients in the iron lung of which one survived. During our last six months, I worked on several different units, including OB. In OB it was nine months after the war was over and we had babies, babies, etc. OB was my favorite department. We also studied for State Boards and I am happy to say I passed on my first attempt.

For the next 34 years I worked in many areas including Medical, Surgical, Orthopedics, OB, and Office Nursing. After graduation I worked one year in Highland Park, Michigan, in OB, and in 1955-1956 I worked weekend float Nurse in Denver General in Colorado.

In 1950 I married Walter Swinghamer. He served in the Aleutians WWII -- Staff Sargeant in the U.S. Air Force. He worked for Whitaker General Medical until retirement. Our daughter, Sandy, was born in 1954, our son Jim was born in 1956. Our daughter has worked as a CCU Nurse and is now a Telephone Nurse Advisor. Our son is a Nuclear Medicine Technologist in a VA hospital. His wif is the District Manager for Cardinal Health Nuclear Pharmacy Services. They have two daughters. Erin will start as a fourth year Pharmacy Student at Drake University. Kelly will be a first year Psychology student at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse. She is interested in occupational therapy. Our son-in-law owned Fanning Electric and is retired.

In 1957, I went to work in OB-Labor and Delivery and in 1967 I was appointed Head Nurse. In 1980 I retired from St. Francis Medical Center on disability with MS.

Rita Swinghamer 1943-2013A collage of Rita Swinghamer as Nurse (left), Cadet Nurse in uniform (center and top right), and now.


St. Francis School of Nursing, La Crosse, Wisconsin
Florence Hilda Johnson

May 18, 1926 - January 18, 1977

Her married name was F. Hilda Gutek. 

Salem Training School for Nurses, Salem, Massachusetts
LaVondah Helen Crouch

August 1, 1927  - July 30, 2005  

Kokomo, Indiana and Springfield, Illinois
Edith Estelle Whitt Mullins

Edith Estelle Whitt Mullins, age 88, a lifelong resident of Cedar Bluff, Va., died Friday, December 30, 2011. Mrs. Mullins was born February 13, 1923, the second of seven children of the late George Dewey and Annie Steele Whitt. Mrs. Mullins was a registered nurse, a graduate of Richlands High School (class of 1942) and The Knoxville General Hospital School of Nursing (class of 1945) where she was a member of the U.S. Cadet Nursing Corps. Mrs. Mullins retired from Clinch Valley Clinic/Medical Center in Richlands in 1988 with over 40 years of professional service.

Edith’s nursing demeanor and her life can best be described as one of total unselfishness and caring. She was at her best giving, loving, and serving with compassion and kindness. She will forever be loved and remembered by those whose lives she touched for those endearing qualities.


The Knoxville General Hospital School of Nursing, Knoxville, Tennessee
Dorothy Backman Hampton Dorothy Backman Hampton

Passed away in 2009

Samuel Merritt Hospital School of Nursing, Oakland, California
Ruth Ann Slivka

1926 - 2009
Serial Number 137338
Admitted June 17, 1945
Graduated July 28, 1948

Mercy School of Nursing, Chicago, IL
Catherine Murphy Catherine Murphy

November 25, 1927 - April 3, 1984

The Cambridge City Hospital School of Nursing, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Photo of Rena Arsenault McDonald Rena Arsenault McDonald

March 8, 1925 - February 4, 2014Rena wrote: I graduated in 1946 from the New England Hospital for Women and Children in Roxbury, Massachusetts. This hospital has the history of graduating America's First Trained Nurse. Her name is Linda Richards.My dream in high school was to be a nurse. I therefore worked at this same hospital on weekends, holidays and summer vacation. The dietary department was my favorite place.I am one of eight children, and the Cadet Nurse Corps program was a blessing to me.My class had a yearbook that I treasure. It includes pictures and fond memories including cartoons.Our class during training had a dance for service men stationed in Boston. We were closely supervised. The dance was a great success as I met my husband there. He was a sailor from New Jersey stationed in Boston. We raised six children.I'll be 88 in March 2013.

New England Hospital for Women and Children, Roxbury, Massachusetts
Photo of Theo Jespersen Theo E. Jespersen

April 7, 1926 - November 3, 2012

My mother, Theo E. Jespersen (at the time) completed the Cadet Corp nurses training program at LA County - USC Med. Center during WW2.  I don't know the exact years.  She passed away on Nov. 3, 2012.  She was always very proud of her service in the Cadet Nurse Corps.  She became an RN and worked in Santa Maria, CA, at Sister's Hospital, Marian Hospital, and later became a School Nurse at the local high schools.  She married and had 2 sons (last name Openshaw). 

Neal Openshaw


LA County - USC Med. Center, California
Photo of Neola Louise (Noell) Younker Neola Louise Noell Younker

September 7, 1924 - July 7, 2001

Bishop Johnson College of Nursing, Los Angeles, California
Photo of Mildred Ethel Laird Mildred Ethel Laird

Passed away peacefully on September 3, 2012, at age 85.

Mildred Ethel Laird lived a wonderful and honorable life. We are very proud of the part of her history and lifelong career that came from the U.S. Cadet Nursing Corp. Thank you for your service and for the blessing that the Corps gave her, my family and all of the people she helped over her 51 years of service. 

from Russell Riall, Mildred's son

Touro Infirmatory, New Orleans, LA
Photo of Rose Arabelle Logue Carter Rose Arabelle Logue Carter

Died March 19, 2011 at the age of 87.

Rose Arabelle (nee Logue) Carter, was a graduate of the USCNC, serving in the burn ward at NTS Sampson (Hospital), Sampson NY, from April to October 1945.

Rose was a student & (Nov ’45) graduate of St Michael’s Hospital School of Nursing, Newark NJ. She served as a visiting public health nurse in the Monmouth County Organization for Social Services (MCOSS) in New Jersey until 1967, when she moved to Florida. She served as a geriatric charge nurse in various hospitals and nursing homes in the Clearwater FL, area until she retired and moved to New Smyrna Beach FL in 1986 to be close to my younger sister and her new family.

St Michael’s Hospital School of Nursing, Newark, New Jersey
Mary Gloria Kelleher

December 18, 1927 - December 8, 2011

Mount Auburn School of Nursing, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Naomi M Whadcook Fitzpatrick

February 9, 1920 - March 1, 2009

Westchester School of Nursing, Valhalla, New York
Agnes Jane Yettke

November 22, 1923 - July 30, 1996

Iowa Methodist School of Nursing, Des Moines, Iowa
Photo of Doris Meharry Doris Meharry

Died January 13, 2012 at the age of 89.

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Traverse City State Hospital School of Nursing, Michigan
Charlotte Katona

March 1, 1924 - February 13, 2010

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Nightingale tribute

Evangelical Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Photo of Betty Gerl Betty Gerl

October 4, 1926 - November 8, 2010

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St. Joseph's School of Nursing, Joliet, Illinois
Photo of Joan Douglas Joan Douglas

March 23, 1923 - April 12, 2011

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Stanford University School of Nursing, Palo Alto, California
Photo of Constance Besch Constance Besch

February 7, 1925 - March 5, 2010

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St. Vincent Charity School of Nursing, Cleveland, Ohio
Photo of Mary Callahan Mary E. Gillespie Callahan

Died February 5, 2010, at age 82.

The shortage of nurses was so great, recalls Mary Callahan of her training days at Chelsea Memorial Hospital, "that the students were running the hospitals. The only Registered Nurses on the floor were supervisors. Everyone else was a student and we had 120 beds." 

The routine of classes and duty in the hospital was demanding, but she acknowledges she may never have been able to pursue a career in nursing without the incentives offered by the government.

Following graduation she worked at the Contagious Disease Hospital in Brighton dealing with patients with polio, cholera and yellow fever "and we had one whole unit full of iron lungs" at the height of the polio crisis.

Married in 1949, she and her husband Paul moved to Baltimore where she worked at the Sinai Hospital for three years before returning to Foxboro where they would raise their five children.

Mary left nursing in 1969 to devote her full attention to caring for Paul, who passed away in 1973. She then went back into the work force full time as nurse manager when the Foxboro Area Health Center opened on Mechanic Street, working there until 1989.

She looks back on a rewarding career and a fulfilled life, grateful for the program that helped make it possible and her opportunity to step forward when her nation called.

-adapted from The Foxboro Reporter, Thursday, November 12, 2009, p. 3 & 5

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Chelsea Memorial Hospital, Massachusetts
Photo of Barbara Louise Hofstra Barbara Louise Hofstra Almy

February 22, 1925 - June 12, 2012

Barbara Lousie Hofstra Almy graduated from Nursing School in 1947 and continued in nursing until she retired from South Shore Hospital Nursing Administration in 1987.

She often spoke of her service as a cadet nurse. Barbara would always joke about how she met her husband under a bed at the MGH.The truth is after the war her husband to be was a volunteer orderly at the hospital. He heard the sound of breaking glass coming from a patient's room and went in to investigate.The patient dropped a glass urinal on the floor so he knelt down next to the bed to clean up the glass not realizing Barbara was knelt down on the other side picking up pieces of glass. She said their eyes met and it was love at first sight.They married August 28,1948. As a prank they would tell people their oldest daughter was born August 21st to see how people would react. Shortly later the would tell the truth; their daughter was born August 21st 1949. Two more daughters and a son came later.Barbara retired as the Quality Care Director at South Shore Hospital in So.Weymouth, about 15 miles south of Boston. They bought their first home in Halifax, MA, near Plymouth in 1965.

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Massachusetts General Hospital School of Nursing, Boston, Massachusetts
Photo of Elaine Etter Emerson Elainne Etter Emerson

October 1926 - June 2010

Elainne took training at the Alexandria Hospital School of Nursing in Alexandria, Virginia.  She traveled from her hometown of Waynesboro, Pa. in 1944 and graduated in 1946.  She stayed in Alexandria where she worked in the hospital ER and married, of all people, a fireman.  She started a family of 3 in 1949 and remained in nursing for 35 years.  Elaine also volunteered in the Alexandria Fire Dept. Ladies Auxiliary which was made up of many different talents.  The nurses' focus at that time was to provide emergency care "on scene", triage, support for hospital staff called to the incident and rehab for the firemen.  They provided training to the firefighters at a time when basic first aid was the only thing available.  Many of the ladies who graduated after the war, weren't afforded the opportunity to serve in forward theaters,  continued with a purpose, their chosen vocation.   

Alexandria, Virginia, Hospital School of Nursing
Photo of Eileen Elizabeth (Wattman) LaRivee Eileen Elizabeth Wattman LaRivee

September 24, 1925 - April 13, 2011

Born September 24, 1925 in Lynn, MA to Thomas M. Wattman and Elizabeth (Beary) Wattman. Educated in the Lynn Public Schools and graduated from Lynn English High School in 1943. She served with the U.S. Public Health Service Cadet Nurse Corps, which was the largest group of uniformed women to serve in World War II, and did her training and work out of Lynn Hospital until 1945.


Lynn Hospital School of Nursing, Lynn, Massachusetts
Photo of Sarah Ann Morazzini Richards Sarah Ann Morazzini Richards

August 4, 1925 - February 20, 2010

Recent photo of Sarah RichardsSarah graduated from high school in 1944, and was accepted into the Registered Nursing program of the Cadet Corps, graduating in 1947. Upon graduation from nursing school, Sarah's nursing career was centered in public hospitals. According to her daughter, Nancy Richards-Stower, the cadet program was her mom's way to her nursing career.


Leominster Hospital School of Nursing, Leominster, Massachusetts
Portrait of Helen Kleinschmidt Olson Helen Kleinschmidt Olson

September 26, 1922 - February 25, 2013

Helen Kleinschmidt Olson was a member of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps during World War II. She entered in 1943 at the Indianapolis City Hospital and graduated in 1946. She served in the tuberculosis ward at the hospital after the war.

Unfortunately, Helen was diagnosed with Alzheimer's ten years ago and hasn't been able to communicate for years. Her daughter, Lisa, is doing all she can as a child of a Cadet Nurse to get the recognition they deserve and is very proud of her mom, what she had to go through and her service to our great country. Lisa hopes that these great women are recognized before all of them are gone. .


Indianapolis City Hospital, Indiana
Photo of Cadet Mary E Prendergast Mary E Prendergast McNamara

1924 - 2004

Mary E. Prendergast was a 1945 graduate of St. Margaret’s Hospital School of Nursing in Boston MA. After graduation she and 16 of her classmates entered the Cadet Nursing Corps to help meet the Army's and Navy's nursing needs. Mary went on to serve at Lovell General Hospital at Ft. Devens Massachusetts until the end of the war. Following WWII, she married Army SSGT Jim McNamara and raised 11 children in Quincy Massachusetts where among other jobs, she was the neighborhood nurse for tens of kids in the area.

St. Margaret’s Hospital School of Nursing, Boston MA
Geraldine Wagner

Geraldine Wagner died in 1990.

Grant Hospital School of Nursing, Columbus, Ohio
Picture of Jean Butler Booher Jean Butler Booher

March 24, 1927 - April 14, 2011

Clarkson School of Nursing, Omaha, Nebraska
Nancy R. Kasfeldt Blasco

April 7, 1924 - June 2, 2011

The Danbury Hospital School of Nursing, Danbury, CT
Picture of Elsie F Ulrich Szecsy Elsie F. Ulrich Szecsy

September 28, 1925 - June 19, 2005

Elsie Ulrich learned of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps while a student at Pleasantville High School in Westchester County, New York. She and her sister lived with an aunt, who took care of them after their previous caregiver left employment by their father. Her mother died in childbirth when she was 8, and in those days a man was ill-equipped to care for two daughters. Elsie's childhood was difficult, and she received little encouragement to pursue her dreams.

Elsie saw the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps as both a way to serve her country as was a means to improve her prospects as an emancipated adult at a time when achieving this status was difficult for women. She started Nursing School in 1943 and graduated in 1946. Her favorite specialties were surgical and psychiatric nursing. She continued working in the hospital where she trained until she married. When she and her husband moved to Queens, NY, for her husband's work as an industrial nurse with an airline, she continued her work in nursing at Queens General Hospital. When they moved to suburban Long Island and started a family, Elsie resigned her hospital nursing position to pursue a career as homemaker, caregiver, and encourager to her two children in reaching for a better life for themselves. Through her experience with the USCNC, Elsie had the knowledge to equip her children to work hard and do well in school so that they would be prepared for college.

Westchester School of Nursing, Valhalla, NY