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UNITY AND STRENGTH
It is time we come forward,
we have waited long enough,
to be recognized as veterans.
We've fought numerous battles
of attitudes and prejudices.
We are, indeed, unique,
for we are risk takers,
and ground breakers,
by joining the service.
We've marched in every war,
helping fight behind the lines
and on front lines with you.
We've dealt with hositility
by being put in places
where we weren't wanted.
We've been ignored, harassed,
threatened and assaulted.
We've faced the same enemies as you,
even had more enemies than you,
for sometimes you were our enemy.
We're not here to point a finger,
to condemn or make accusations.
We're here to join hands and voices
in unity and strength,
to claim our right to be recognized
not just as women veterans,
but that we're veterans, too.
by Lynda K. Dokken USMC 1966-67
Historians seem reluctant to record or publish the names and numbers of American women who gave their lives in service to their country. Whether from illness, injury, disease, enemy fire, plane crashes, or the unknown, they deserve to be remembered as having made the ultimate sacrifice. Let us all remember that women have served proudly since our nation began.
The Civil War
Some historical records verify
the fact that over sixty women were either wounded or killed at various
battles during the Civil War.
Perhaps one of the the most poignant stories about women in the Civil War is
told in Women in War1866, by Frank Moore.
In 1863, at age 19, a woman known only as Emily, ran away from home and joined the drum corps of a Michigan Regiment.
The regiment was sent to Tennessee and during the struggle for Chatanooga a minie ball pierced the side of the young soldier. Her wound was fatal and her sex was disclosed. At first she refused to disclose her real name but as she lay dying she consented to dictate a telegram to her father in Brooklyn. "Forgive your dying daughter. I have but a few moments to live. My native soil drinks my blood. I expected to deliver my country but the fates would not have it so. I am content to die. Pray forgive me...... Emily."
After the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1863, the bodies of two Confederate women, in uniform, were found. A Union flag bearer, also a woman in uniform, was killed on the hill near Picketts Charge. A young woman named Frances Day was mortally wounded while serving as Sgt Frank Mayne in the Western Theater.
Spanish American War
Ellen May Tower of Byron, Michigan was the first U.S. Army nurse to die on foreign soil, of typhoid fever, in Puerto Rico during the Spanish-American War, and was the first woman to receive a military funeral in Michigan.
Twenty two women died as a result of service in the Spanish American War:
Bailey, Lurecia - Army Contract Nurse - Died from Typhoid Fever
Source Material graciously provided by WIMSA - The above names came from Record Group 112, National
Archives, 2nd Report, NSDAR, p. 87; 3rd Report, NSDAR, p. 50 ; Record Group
112, "Order of Spanish American War Nurses," Trained Nurse and Hospital
Review, Vol. 23, p. 81 and ps. 208-210; same peridocal, Vol. 24, p. 423; Vol
25, p. 447; Record Group 112, "The Village of Byron and It's Heroine, Ellen
May Tower," by Kathryn Seward.
Bradford, T.R. - Army Contract Nurse - Died From Typhoid Fever - African
Burke, Mary - Army Contract Nurse - Died From Typhoid Fever - Nun
Cameron, Emma - Army Contract Nurse - Died From Typhoid Fever
Campos, Anna - Army Contract Nurse - Died from Typhoid Fever
Dorothy Cochrane - Army Conttract Nurse - Died From Typhoid Fever
Flanagan, Elizabeth - Army Contract Nurse - Died From Typhoid Fever - Nun
Greenfield, Margaret - Army Contract Nurse - Died From Typhoid Fever
Larkin, Anne - Army Contract Nurse - Died from Typhoid Fever - Nun
Plant, Lulu - Army Contract Nurse - Undiagnosed
Roberts, Alcice - Army Contract Nurse - Died From Typhoid Fever
Stansberry, Katherine - Army Contract Nurse - Died From Typhoid Fever
Sweeney, Mary - Army Contract Nurse - Died From Typhoid Fever - Nun
Toland, Irene - Army Contract Nurse - Died From Typhoid Fever
Tower, Ellen - Army Contract Nurse - Died From Typhoid Fever
Trioche, Margaret - Army Contract Nurse - Died From Typhoid Fever
Turnbull, Minerva - Army Contract Nurse - Died From Typhoid Fever - African
Walworth, Ruebena - Army Contract Nurse - Died From Typhoid Fever
Ward, Clara - Army Contract Nurse - Died From Typhoid Fever
Wolfe, Carolina - Army Contract Nurse - Died From Typhoid Fever - Nun
Phinney, Dorthea - Volunteer - Died From Malaria
Spanish American War Nurse Clara Maass, died as a result of yellow fever. Army Contract Nurse Maass volunteered to participate in an experimental treatment program, after having survived the war.
A U.S. postage stamp was issued in 1976 in honor of Clara Maass.
World War One
"In progress" - several hundred women lost their lives in WWI.
Army Nurse Edith Ayers, Attica, Ohio.
Army Nurse Helen Burnet Woods, Evanston, Ill.
YMCA Volunteer Marion G. Crandall, Alameda, California
YMCA Volunteer Winona Martin, Rockville Center, N.Y.
American Red Cross Worker Ruth Landon, NYC, New York
World War Two
During the battle on Anzio, six Army Nurses were killed by the German
bombing and strafing of the tented hospital area. Four Army Nurses among
the survivors were awarded Silver Stars for extraordinary courage under
In the Pacific Theater a Japanese suicide plane bombed the hospital ship USS Comfort off Leyte
Island. In the attack 6 nurses, 5 medical officers, 8 enlisted men, and
7 patients were killed, and 4 nurses were wounded
In all, more than 400 military women lost their lives during World War
II. In 1944 U.S. Army Nurse Aleda E. Lutz of Freeland Michigan was the first U.S. military woman to die in a combat zone during World War II when her hospital plane went down on her 196th rescue mission.
A little known fact is that thirty eight WASPs gave their lives during WWII - and yet the WASP were not given full military status until many years later.
Susan P. Clarke
Margie L. Davis
Marjorie D. Edwards
Frances F. Grimes
Kathryn B. Lawrence
Hazel Ah Ying Lee
Lea Ola McDonald
Jeanne L. Norbeck
Margaret C. Oldenburg
Marie Mitchell Robinson
Margaret J. Seip
Helen Jo Severson
Ethel Marie Sharon
Gertrude Thompkins Silver
Betty P. Stine
Mary E. Trebing
Mary L. Webster
Bonnie Jean Welz
Betty Taylor Wood
The Korean Conflict
Ensign Constance R. Esposito, Navy Nurse Corps
Lt.jg. Alice S. Giroux, Navy Nurse Corps
Lt.jg. Calla C. Goodwin, Navy Nurse Corps
Lt.jg. Constance A. Heege, Navy Nurse Corps
Lt.jg. Margaret Grace Kennedy, Navy Nurse Corps
Ensign Mary E. Lijegreen, Navy Nurse Corps
Major Genevieve Smith, Army Nurse Corps,
Lt. Wilma Ledbetter, Navy Nurse Corps
Ensign Eleanor Beste, Navy Nurse Corps
Ensign Marie Boatman, Navy Nurse Corps
Lt.jg. Jeanne E. Clarke, Navy Nurse Corps
Lt.jg. Jane L. Eldridge, Navy Nurse Corps
Ensign Edna J. Rundell, Navy Nurse Corps
Captain Vera M. Brown, Air Force Nurse Corps
SN Doris Frances Brown, Milwaukee, non-hostile death Navy.
AN Virginia May McClure, Sioux City, non-hostile air crash, AF.
AN Margaret Fae Perry, Morgantown, non-hostile crash, AF.
AB3 Kay Sherill Platt, Dexter, non-hostile death, Navy.
Click on the Womans Statue to visit the
Vietnam Womens Memorial Page
Military and Civilian
Who Died in the Vietnam War (1959-1975)
2nd Lt. Carol Ann Elizabeth Drazba ~~~~~~ 2nd Lt. Elizabeth Ann Jones
Lt. Drazba and Lt. Jones were assigned to the 3rd Field Hospital in Saigon.
They died in a helicopter crash near Saigon, February 18, 1966. Drazba was
from Dunmore, PA., Jones from Allendale, SC. Both were 22 years old.
Capt. Eleanor Grace Alexander ~~~~~~ 1st Lt. Hedwig Diane Orlowski
Capt. Alexander of Westwood, NJ and Lt. Orlowski of Detroit, MI died
November 30, 1967. Alexander, stationed at the 85th Evac. and Orlowski,
stationed at the 67th Evac., in Qui Nhon, had been sent to a hospital in
Pleiku to help out during a push. With them when their plane crashed on the
return trip to Qui Nhon were two other nurses, Jerome E. Olmstead of
Clintonville, WI and Kenneth R. Shoemaker, Jr. of Owensboro, KY. Alexander
was 27, Orlowski 23. Both were posthumously awarded Bronze Stars.
2nd Lt. Pamela Dorothy Donovan
Lt. Donovan, from Allston, MA, became seriously ill and died on
July 8, 1968. She was assigned to the 85th Evac. in Qui Nhon.
She was 26 years old.
1st Lt. Sharon Ann Lane
Lt. Lane died from shrapnel wounds when the 312th Evac. at Chu Lai was hit
by rockets on June 8, 1969. From Canton, OH, she was a month short of her
26th birthday. She was posthumously awarded the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross
with Palm and the Bronze Star for Heroism. In 1970, the recovery room at
Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Denver, where Lt. Lane had been assigned before
going to Viet Nam, was dedicated in her honor. In 1973, Aultman Hospital in
Canton, OH, where Lane had attended nursing school, erected a bronze statue
of Lane. The names of 110 local servicemen killed in Vietnam are on the base
of the statue.
Lt. Col. Annie Ruth Graham, Chief Nurse at 91st Evac. Hospital, Tuy Hoa.
Lt. Col. Graham, from Efland, NC, suffered a stroke in August 1968 and was
evacuated to Japan where she died four days later. A veteran of both World
War II and Korea, she was 52.
U.S. Air Force
Capt. Mary Therese Klinker
Capt. Klinker, a flight nurse assigned to Clark Air Base in the Philippines,
was on the C-5A Galaxy which crashed on April 4 outside Saigon while
evacuating Vietnamese orphans. This is known as the Operation Babylift
crash. From Lafayette, IN, she was 27. She was posthumously awarded the
Airman's Medal for Heroism and the Meritorious Service Medal.
American Red Cross
Died in a jeep accident, Bien Hoa, 1969.
Murdered by a U.S. soldier in Cu Chi, 1970.
Died of Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Cam Ranh Bay, 1971.
Army Special Services
Died in a jeep accident, Bien Hoa, 1968.
Died in a plane crash, Qui Nhon, 1967.
Catholic Relief Services
Shot in Pleiku, 1969.
Central Intelligence Agency
Died when a car bomb exploded outside the American Embassy, Saigon, March
Died in Saigon, 1971.
United States Agency for International Development
Murdered by a U.S. soldier in Nha Trang, 1967.
United States Department of the Navy OICC (Officer in Charge of
Regina "Reggie" Williams
Died of a heart attack in Saigon, 1964
Georgette "Dickey" Chappelle
Killed by a mine on patrol with Marines outside Chu Lai, 1965.
Killed in a firefight, Da Nang, 1966.
Killed in raid on leprosarium in Ban Me Thuot during Tet 1968.
Janie A. Makil
Shot in an ambush, Dalat, 1963. Janie was five months old.
Killed in a raid on the leprosarium in Ban Me Thuot during Tet 1968
Killed in a raid on the leprosarium in Ban Me Thuot during Tet 1968.
Captured and burned to death in Kengkok, Laos, 1972. Remains recovered and
returned to U.S.
Captured and burned to death in Kengkok, Laos, 1972. Remains recovered and
returned to U.S.
Betty Ann Olsen
Captured during a raid on the leprosarium in Ban Me Thuot during Tet 1968.
Died in 1968 and was buried somewhere along Ho Chi Minh Trail by fellow POW,
Michael Benge. Remains not recovered.
Eleanor Ardel Vietti
Captured at leprosarium in Ban Me Thuot, May 30, 1962. Still listed as POW.
The following women were killed in the crash, outside Saigon, of the C5-A
Galaxy transporting Vietnamese children out of the country on April 4, 1975.
All of the women were working for various U.S. government agencies in Saigon
at the time of their deaths with the exception of Theresa Drye (a child) and
Laurie Stark (a teacher). Sharon Wesley had previously worked for both the
American Red Cross and Army Special Services. She chose to stay on in
Vietnam after the pullout of U.S. military forces in 1973.
Barbara Adams | Clara Bayot | Nova Bell | Arleta Bertwell | Helen Blackburn
| Ann Bottorff | Celeste Brown | Vivienne Clark | Juanita Creel | Mary Ann
Crouch | Dorothy Curtiss | Twila Donelson | Helen Drye | Theresa Drye | Mary
Lyn Eichen | Elizabeth Fugino | Ruthanne Gasper | Beverly Herbert | Penelope
Hindman | Vera Hollibaugh | Dorothy Howard | Barbara Kauvulia | Barbara
Maier | Rebecca Martin | Sara Martini | Martha Middlebrook | Katherine Moore
| Marta Moschkin | Marion Polgrean | June Poulton | Joan Pray | Sayonna
Randall | Anne Reynolds | Marjorie Snow | Laurie Stark | Barbara Stout |
Doris Jean Watkins | Sharon Wesley
Sources: Vietnam Women's Memorial Project (Military) and A Circle
of Sisters/A Circle of Friends (Civilian).
Vietnam Women's Memorial Project, 2001 S Street NW, Suite 302,
Washington, DC 20009 202-328-7253.
A Circle of Sisters/A Circle of Friends, 1015 South Gaylord, Suite 190,
Denver, CO 80209, 303-575-1311.
Revised May, 1998. This list is subject to correction and addition as
further information becomes known.
The Vietnam Information graciously provided with permission by:
Ann Kelsey, Army Special Services-Libraries Cam Ranh Bay 1969-1970
Major Marie T. Rossi was killed 1 March 1991
in Saudi Arabia in Operation Desert Storm. She was flying a CH-47D
CHINOOK Cargo Helicopter when it crashed into an unlit Microwave Tower in bad weather. Major Rossi
was 32 and a native of Oradell, NJ.
PFC Pamela V. Gay, 19, Surrey, Virginia
PFC Cindy D.J. Bridges, 20, Trinity, Alabama
Private Dorothy Fails, Taylor, Arizona
Private Candace Daniel
Sergeant Tracey Brogdon, Bartow, Florida
2Lt Kathleen M. Sherry, 23, Tonawanda, NY
Specialist Cindy Beaudoin, 19, Plainfield, Conn.
Specialist Christine Mayes, 22, Rochester Mills, Pa.
Specialist Beverly Clark, 23, Armagh, Pa.
Specialist Adrienne L. Mitchell, 20, Moreno Valley, Calif.
Staff Sergeant Tatiana Khaghani Dees, Rockland, New York.
Sergeant Cheryl LaBeau O'Brien, 24, Racine, Wisc.
Lt. Lorraine Lawton
AG1 Shirley Marie Cross
ANG Pilot CWO2 Carol McKinney, Missouri
Lt Cmdr. Barbara Allen Rainey, 34, US Navy
-- First woman pilot in the history of the U.S. Navy, earning her gold wins in 1974. She was killed while
training another pilot, in an air accident in Florida in 1982.
Lt. Kara Hultgreen, 26, US Navy
Lt. Hultgreen was the first woman to qualify in a combat-ready F-14 Tomcat, graduating third in her pilot training class. She was a member of the Black Lions of VF-213 readying to deploy to the Persian Gulf. As she was approaching the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln on 25 Oct 1994, her aircraft began losing altitude. Her radar intercept officer ejected successfully.
Hultgreen ejected immediately after, but the jet had already rolled. After an exhaustive search, her body and the plane were not recovered.
She received full military honors upon her death.
The Navy salvaged the plane and recovered her body, still strapped
inside the ejector seat. A four-month investigation found that engine malfunction caused the crash and that almost no pilot could have saved the plane after the left engine stalled.
Captain Amy Lynn Svoboda, 29, US Air Force
Captain Svoboda, an Air Force jet pilot, died on May 29, 1997, after her A-10 Thunderbolt plane crashed during a training mission at the Barry Goldwater Air Force Range in Arizona. Capt. Amy Lynn Svoboda's death marked the first fatality of a woman pilot in the Air Force, which has only 13 other women fighter pilots. The No. 2 training officer in her squadron, Captain Svoboda had logged more than 1,400 hours piloting jets and was part of a training flight with another A-10 when her plane crashed near Gila Bend, AZ.
Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Sherry Lynn Olds, 40, of Panama City, Florida.
Sergeant Olds joined the Air Force 20 years ago after graduating from junior
college. She had been assigned to the U.S. embassy in East Africa for the last year
and was killed in the August 1998 bombing.
Lt.j.g. Meredith Carol
Loughran, 26, of Sandston, Va.
crew member missing since the aircraft crash aboard the Norfolk-based nuclear-powered aircraft
carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) Nov. 8, 1998,
The crew members are presumed lost at sea.
This list is by far complete if any of you have any additions, corrections, or more information about these wonderful women who gave their lives in service to America, please email me at email@example.com
It is VERY important to insure that all women veterans are remembered.
The Women's Memorial has been formally dedicated on October 18, 1997, and is officially open, but that is not the end of the story - it's the beginning - the beginning of over two hundred years of forgotten history finally on public display.
But much more is needed.
Your support in getting each and every woman veteran registered is paramount.
Your support in getting donations and contributions is essential.
Most of all your support in letting the world know that the Women's Memorial exists, and that this long overdue tribute to America's Military Women is a reality,
is the single most important thing that you can do.
The Women's Memorial is for all women veterans, all branches of service and has no "inclusive" dates. Every woman veteran from the Revolutionary War to the present day can register. If you know a woman veteran whom you would like to add to the database, please, get in touch with the project in Washington DC. I will post the address for inquiries. You can also email me and I can send you a copy of the application for inclusion. It's a wonderful way to help preserve the memories that our women have. All women who registered before October 31, 1997 are "Charter Members". Registration is still open and donations are always welcome. Remember, just because dedications has come and gone does not mean contributions are at a halt. They still need money to continue to preserve the Memorial. We all make a difference.
The Women's Memorial can be contacted by writing to:Women In Military Service For America Memorial Foundation, Inc.
Washington, DC 20042-0560 or email them: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or visit the website, CLICK on the link below.
Women Veterans Please Register:
This Information Was Researched And Provided By:
Captain Barbara A. Wilson, USAF (Ret), MA, MBA
Women Veterans - a history of their past: