2018 Genealogy Fair Session 6 – America’s Military Made the Call: Hello Nurses!


>>Welcome back to the 2018 Virtual Genealogy
Fair! If you are following along from home, this
is session number 6 – our final presentation for this yearís fair. The lecture is accessible for all skill levels
and is entitled, America’s Military Made the Call: Hello Nurses! And our speaker is Anna Csar. During this session, she will discuss Navy
Nurse Corps and Army Nurse Corps histories, provide useful finding aids, and explain how
to request records. Anna Csar is an Expert Archives Technician
at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. I am turning the broadcast over to Anna.>>Hello, everyone, my name is Anna Csar and
today I will be presenting on 20 Century military nurses. Next slide, slide five. It would require an entirely different presentation to
discuss all the intricacies of civilian nurses in Federal service so the focus of this presentation is
on military nurses. The easiest way to determine if the nurse you’re
researching was civilian or military is to look at who they worked for. Military nurses worked for the United States
Navy, Army and Air Force, et cetera. Civilian nurses could work for almost any
Federal agency but usually for agencies such as war department, department of the Navy
and Department of Veterans affairs just to name a few. Public health service nurses could be both. For example, cadet nurse corps nurses. Ancestry has a great collection of World War II cadet nursing corps card files. Ancestry is available at the NARA facilities and most local libraries, check your local
library for information about Ancestry access. To request records of civilian nurses in
Federal service, contact the National Archives at St. Louis. Next slide. Before we jump into the records I would like
to provide a brief history of the nurse corps. The Army nurse corps was established 1901 and Navy Nurse Corps followed
in 1908 at the beginning of the nurse corps the the nurses were not considered much more than uniformed civilians but by World War I they were invaluable to the armed forces. The Red Cross was great recruiter for nurses
in World War I. Red Cross nurses sent to France as members of the armed forces would be considered
American expeditionary forces AEF but there were Americans, to include nurses who worked with the British expeditionary forces BEF, as well. A Red Cross nurse may have started as civilian volunteer and incorporated into an active military Army nurse corps member out of necessity. The Red Cross continued to recruit nurses well into World War II. From 1901 to 1920 Army nurses were appointed
to the military without military rank. In 1920 Army nurses were made temporary officers
with relative rank starting with second lieutenant and in 1947 Army nurses were permanent appointed
military officers. From 1908 to 1942 navy nurses were appointed
to the military without military rank as well. In 1942 Navy nurses were made temporary officers
with relative ranks starting with ensign and by 1948 Navy nurse corps nurses were permanent appointed military
officers. The relative rank given to nurses was supposed
to be equivalent to male officers of the same level but the nurses were not paid equally nor
were they treated with the same respect. Flight nursing began during World War II with
Army Air Force first graduating class in 1943. Followed by the Navy in 1944. Pictured here is Navy flight nurse lieutenant
Lorraine Mcnaughton Knight who started her Navy nurse corps career September 30th,
1940 and by May 7th, 1945 she became a Naval flight nurse and throughout her time in the Navy
served under various naval air flight squadrons and January 20th, 1947 she returned from overseas on leave as passenger
on hospital plane which crashed at Oakland, California. As a result of the crash and contingent fire
her personal property was completely destroyed but she survived with minimal internal injuries. In 1948 lieutenant Knight was aboard the Caroline
Mars on its record breaking 24-hour nonstop flight. By the end of her military service in 1951 lieutenant
Knight had over two years of overseas service assisting with air evacuation matters and
became a flying liaison officer and instructor at the school of aviation medicine at Gunter Air
Force base. The Army and Air Force nurse corps officially
separated in 1949. Although the Army and Air Force had medics,
they did not formally accept male nurses until 1955 and similarly the Navy had corpsman but
did not formally accept male nurses until 1964. The first male Army nurse was second lieutenant
Edward T. Lion male — first male Navy nurse was ensign George M Silver and next slide,
slide eight. The United States armed forces were racially
segregated until 1948 when President Harry S. Truman signed the executive order to desegregate. The Army nurse corps had only 14 Native Americans during World War I. It was also during World War I that the Army nurse corps began appointing black nurses and by World War II there were thousands. The Navy nurse corps, on the other hand, only started appointing
black nurses during World War II but there were only four and of the four only one stayed in after the war, lieutenant junior grade Edith Devoe. The two great photographs shown here are both from Edith Devoe’s archival Navy official military personnel file. Next slide. Slide nine. Shortly after midnight on July 12th, 1973 a fire was reported at National Personnel Record
Centers military personnel records building The official military personnel files OMPFs of
Army and Air Force nurses may have been lost, burned or damaged. Prior to the fire the Army nurse personnel files for the World War I period were the second largest in bulk next to commissioned officers. Fortunately the National Archives St. Louis
houses non-OMPF records that may supplement the deficit the fire caused. To learn more about the burn files and how
they are preserved check out the and 2017 genealogy fair presentation called A is for archives B for burn file by Ashley Cox. Next slide slide 10. If you are unsure where to begin your research start with requesting an OMPF, official military personnel file and if the file was damaged in the fire you will be notified
this photograph is of World War I Army reserve nurse Dorothy Tarback.She was incredibly fortunate that her OMPF is completely intact and was never affected by the fire.It is rare but not unheard of. Due to the rolling accession dates more OMPFs become archival each day.The accessioned files are records of military service members whose date of separation from service was at least 62 years ago. Please note that non-accessioned records are subject to access restrictions imposed
under the Department of Defense privacy act rules. Next slide. Slide 11. OMPFs may contain military service dates disciplinary
action awards earned and foreign or sea service and military schooling and training and some even contained photographs. Depending on the era the nurse retired resigned or was discharged the separation document she received may not be DD form 214 report of separation because it was not used until January 1, 1950. Next slide.>>Navy OMPFs were spared by the 1973 fire but like
I mentioned before Navy nurses were not officers until 1942. What does it mean for the navy nurses who served in the nurses corps prior to that? It may mean they have an enlisted OMPF. An index of the enlisted Navy records for World War I and pre-World War II are on the National Archives catalog. Navy nurses during World War I may not have had an enlisted OMPF unlike most enlisted yeomenettes. Shown here is an example of Navy nurse corps superintendent Lena S. Higby’s enlisted record,
even though she was the highest ranking nurse in the Navy nurse corps she still only had an enlisted OMPF. The image on the right is the front cover of her enlisted jacket the record documents enlisted OMPFs are usually trifolded at the bottom of the record jacket it states awarded Navy cross for distinguished service in line of her professional duty 11-11-1920 within her record I found the citation for the award which states madam
the President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lena S. Higby superintendent of the Navy nurse
corps for the services during world war the world war as set forth in the following
citation for distinguished service in the line-up of professional duty as superintendent
of the nay nurse corporate – next slide, slide 13 and Potentially, a navy nurse could have both an enlisted and an officer OMPF. But more commonly a retroactive officer OMPF file may have been created. Much like with Army OMPFs it shows appointments, oaths of service and resignations. Fitness reports and efficiency reports may list when and where
a nurse was stationed and it may also contain some personal telegrams and correspondence between the nurse, her family and the navy. Top right example is a telegram from Navy nurse
corps commander Laura M. Cobb’s sister asking the Navy if her sister, a chief nurse at the time was safe or a prisoner of war in the Philippines. The nurse in question, Laura Cobb, is in the long white dress uniform. Sadly she was, indeed, a prisoner of war and was so for nearly three years. She continued service until she retired in 1947. Lastly the officer OMPF may contain photographs of the nurse during her times in the Navy. Slide 14 What if the OMPF you requested is not archival? The Freedom of Information Act allows release of certain non-archivale record documents and information
which is transcribed photo copied or a combination of both in order to comply with your request. Navy nurse Ellen Dolof pictured on the right
was one of 29 nurses serving at the naval hospital during the attack on Pearl Harbor. On the left is the Navy unit commendation awarded
to those nurses and for extremely meritorious service and support of military operation during the enemy Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, territory of Hawaii on December 7, 1941. Alert and prompt and preparing for emergency after approximately 20 Japanese planes appeared over the buildings en-route to attack Pacific fleet ships and shore installations. The staff of
the United States Naval hospital immediately manned firefighting and battle dressing stations thereby making possible the rapid extinguishing of flames when a blazing hostile plane crashed and ignited
the hospital shortly after the attack had begun. As heavy a stream of casualties began flowing
in this gallant organization expended every effort in utilizing all available facilities and worked without thought of rest — for the relief of the
hundreds of injured. Rendering further efficient service by my
— by maintaining complete records. The courage initiative and valiant devotion
to truly — to duty displayed by the personnel attached to the Naval hospital throughout this period of extreme emergency
were in keeping with highest traditions of the United States Naval service. Award citations and photographs are some of
the documents that are releasable under the Freedom of Information Act. Next slide. Slide 15. How can you request OMPF? Submit standard form 180 to the national personnel record center. If the record you’re requesting may potentially
be fire related also submit the NA form 13075 to allow for additional information needed for record
reconstruction. Certain persons of exceptional prominence PEPS
are on the NARA catalog for example, Colonel Ruby Bradley Army nurse corps and captain Mary T.Clinker Air Force nurse corps.Every nurse has a story to tell, for example ensign Susan M Levine now known as Susan Shawl pictured second from the left tried and convicted by general court-martial in 1969 for antiwar activities while a member
of the U.S. Navy. The National Archives of St. Louis has Navy court martial records for the years 1951
to 1976 and they are open to the public. Next slide. Slide 16. If you have ever requested a Navy nurse OMPF
and were told that nothing existed, there may be a Navy nurse corps professional jacket. Also known as a Navy Pro-jacket. They are the newest accession of the National Archives
of St. Louis and my personal favorite collection. These records are what really peaked my interest
in military nurses and I haven’t looked back. They range from the inception of the Navy nurse
corps in 1908 to the mid-1950s. They are very similar to Navy officer OMPFs and may
even be crossover. The pro-jackets contained personnel documents of nurses serving in the Navy nurse corps and dates of service and type of discharge often found on front side of the personnel jacket. Next slide. Slide 17. They may also contain applications for appointments
which could list prior civilian education, military service and Federal service. Without a rank for over 30 years there had
to be a way to differentiate between the hierarchy of nurses so you will find the title the nurse
listed throughout the projacket and her title may change over time if she received a promotion
or she became active or reserved. The nurses service number may be listed in
the record if she did not receive one in service she may have been given one retroactively. Health surveys and physicals in a projacket
may have next-of-kin information – next slide, slide 18. Navy projackets may contain various service record cards about training, professional qualifications and personnel related data. They may also contain applications or documents
from nursing organizations like the Red Cross. The example on the left is an American Red
Cross nursing service application for war reserve, first reserve and second reserve. It lists the name and address of the nearest relative
or friend residing in the United States. The example on my right is a training card for
Lou Willa Juanita Herriman King she had requested training to be a flight nurse in 1948 but disapproved by the advisory board
in 1949 because no senior lieutenants were assigned forces that year it lists her nursing organization as registered nurse with the VA. If you like the photograph of her on this
slide, just wait. Next slide. Slide 19. Here is another example of a service record
card called the history card it may provide brief overview of service. Like with Navy officer OMPF’s the projackets
will contain information relating to dates of appointment to separation and miscellaneous
orders where being they are be stationed and performance reports there are often handwritten letters and typed correspondence from the veterans, their families and the Navy nurse corps. These may plainly list next-of-kin and beneficiaries
addresses. Next slide slide 20. Pro-jackets may also contain vital records such as birth,
marriage and baptism records. These may be especially helpful when researching
next-of-kin. I also enjoy finding vital records in these files because each one is so unique. Next slide. Slide 21. Pro-jackets may contain several photographs. While some of the earlier projackets in the collection do not have any. These photographs are one of the reasons I fell in love with these records since many of the nurses stayed in service for many years it is really neat to see how they matured. Remember Lou Willa Juanita Harriman King she has
three more photographs on this slide. The two pictures on the bottom left and middle
row on the left. Next slide. Slide 22. If you requested the OMPF and it was negative
or you want to find additional records for your nurse begin with the VA master index. I utilize it nearly every day for military reference. The VA master index files provide useful information
for research the two example shown here are from the wars prior to the 1940 series highlighting
World War I era. Both show full names that may include additional maiden or married surnames, knowing all names will definitely assist your research and may give you another name to
request OMPF or projacket. Below the name it may list branch of service,
unit affiliation, rank or title with address used in or prior to military service. You might notice that one of the examples
doesn’t list service number under SN. Army nurses were not given service numbers until
1922 and Navy nurses were not given service numbers until 1919. Each card is individualized and may list dates
of birth and death but keep in mind the date of death could be well in or after military
service and could list military entrance and separation dates. One of the handouts for this presentation
is the VA master index key to codes and prefixes. This would be a good time to use it. On the right-hand side of the index there
are letters. Each one is code or prefix that may be used
to verify in cross-reference information if unsure if you have the correct person. C stand for claim number. Claim number was assigned wherever a veteran
made application for benefits such as service connected disability, pension, education and
training. XC Indicates the veteran is deceased. World War I veterans were paid a sum of money
based on service during the world war commonly referred to as a bonus. Veterans who were eligible for bonuses were given an A number. A stand for adjusted compensation. The bottom example is one of the 14 Native
American World War I Army nurses Charlotte Anderson. Next slide. Slide 23. The VA master index files are also known as
VA tape. It is an index of claims filed with Department
of Veterans affairs. They contain cards for more than 34 million
veterans spanning from prior wars to 1940 and World War II through 1972. The prior wars micro film is available for
use in the public research room. If unable to visit us in St. Louis that’s
okay. Good news is prior wars were digitized this
year and are on familysearch. The World War II micro film may contain Social
Security Numbers and cannot be digitized. However, it is available to public by request
only. The example shown here are for World War II
era while doing research for this presentation I came across the list of Navy nurses who
were prisoners of war in the Philippines during World War II and one name I really wanted
to check out on the VA tape was for ensign Disna Cetrinilla —great example of multiple middle names being listed. Couple of tips about the VA tapes that may
assist in your research are it may only list one branch of service when the nurse may have served
in two and may be multiple service numbers listed. next slide, slide 24. If the VA index is negative or inconclusive because it
doesn’t list a service number or maybe you are looking for large groups of nurses what can be checked. Use finding aids and and primary records sources available in our public research room or through subscription services like Ancestry. The term service or serial may be used interchangeably but ultimately they mean the same thing, like I mentioned earlier nurses not enlisted but also not quite commissioned officers either so service numbers given to the Army nurse corps may not have been given at all or retroactively given after separation from service or she may have had two
or more service numbers because she served in both the Army and Navy nurse corps. Common prefixes you may encounter are A for Army, N for nurse and AN for Army nurse. Enlisted service numbers usually have seven to eight digits while officer service numbers have three to seven and there are exceptions to amount of digits the service
number may have but for all intents and purposes a blanket digit amount works. Examples shown here — example shown here
from Army officer register list from ancestry and bottom name listed is Captain Adolpha Meyer Army nurse corps retired who was from St. Louis, Missouri and prisoner of war in the Philippines during World War II. Other primary record sources we haven’t covered yet that may list service number are deceased
veterans claims XC files and nurses medical cards and World War II Army nurse cards. The World War II Army nurse cards were indexed as of July 10th, 1944. The information located on these cards may
be redundant with other finding aids but keep in mind this is an auxiliary record that helps with record
reconstruction for OMPFs that may have been affected by the 1973 fire .They may contain name, service number, rank, address and name changes. When you request them give all known surnames. Not all Army nurses who serve dduring World
War II will be in the series. The example Maude C Davidson chief nurse
of the nurse corps in the Philippines during World War II and an angel of Baatan prisoner of war. Next slide. Slide 26. Navy service number information is very similar
to Army service numbers. A common prefix and suffix may be listed are
N for nurse W for women as previously mentioned it is possible for Navy nurses to have more
than one service number or none at all and retro active service numbers and rank may
have been given or the nurse may be listed as retired with no service number given. There’s one big difference between Army officer
registers and Navy officer registers. Navy officer registers may list a designator number. Designator numbers are to identify the primary Naval
specialty of officer Navy nurse corps officer designator numbers start with 290 with the last digit denoting the
officer’s type of commission. 2900 officer of the regular Navy whose permanent
grade is ensign or above and 2903 means an officer of the regular Navy who was on the list of permanent
or temporary retired officers. The example shown here are Navy nurse officer registers from Ancestry. The top example shows Captain Sue Douser, retired superintendent of the Navy nurse corps with a designator number 2903. The bottom example shows the nurse corps listed as its own entity. This would be a great place to research nurses who served during the same time. Some registers may list date or year of birth which is helpful if you’re unsure if you have located the right person. Slide 27. The Department of the Army nurse medical cards from
1912 to 1939 are an excellent auxiliary record for Army OMPFs affected by the 1973 fire. The medical cards are available for use in our public research room. The 1918 influenza pandemic did not spare
anyone and nurses themselves became patients among the soldiers and civilians they were treating. These two examples show two nurses three months and thousands of miles apart who were both afflicted by the flu. Next slide. Slide 28 These cards may contain full name, demographic information, rank and title and service number.They may even list events leading to a nurse’s demise. Even though they are available for public use third party information may be subject to the privacy exemption of the Freedom of Information Act. Related record groups are the World War I nurse pay cards and vouchers and return to the nurse corps files. Next slide slide 29. World War I Army nurse pay cards are an auxiliary record used to reconstruct vital military data that may have been destroyed. The pay cards may include name, rank or title, duty component and final pay date. On the top card please make notice of the bonus 60-dollar final this is indicative of an adjusted compensation bonus which may have been found on the VA master index tape. The dispersing officer information is required
for requesting World War I nurses final pay vouchers next slide, 30. The World War I nurses final pay vouchers, like the pay cards, are an auxiliary record to
off-set the damage caused by 1973 fire and if the nurse has a pay card it does not guarantee there will be final pay voucher in the series. She may have had service past World War I, The information located from these vouchers contain full name, rank and title, organizational unit and date of
oath and entry into service and date of separation from active duty, the station locations for duty and separation from service can be useful when requesting return of the nurse corps records. Next slide 31. Return of the nurse corps records are an auxiliary
file used to help reconstruct World War I era OMPFs affected by the fire. Most contained — most contain a range of
dates spanning 1 month to four years depending on the installation station. Nurses listed on each sheet within categorical
groupings such as chief nurse, active duty and reserve nurses and personnel losses from
the unit. These files may also contain information regarding rank, transfers, illnesses, deaths, marriage, promotion
and demotion, discharges leaves and and miscellaneous documents and orders for that unit and next slide, slide
32.>>Military installations in the United States and overseas may have been the same location
but over time the name may have changed. For example, the base hospital number 21 unit from the
Washington University medical school in St. Louis, Missouri took over for the number 12
British general hospital in France in 1917. Next slide. Slide 33. The return of the nurse corps records include installations state side, some U.S. territories and overseas with the American and British expeditionary forces to include
Red Cross hospitals. The U.S. Army medical department office of
medical history has a great summary of World War I Red Cross nurses in France and how they
became members of the nurses of the Army nurse corps.. Next slide, slide 34. There cannot be war without casualties and there cannot be life without death. Death and service may be listed in personnel
records but the reason of demise may be vague or unavailable and nurses were right behind
the front lines and some cases on the front lines they were not immune from being killed in action,
dying of wounds or from disease and some deaths in service were self inflicted while others were simply accidents. The example shown here is World War II Army individual deceased personnel file of nurse, Laverne Farquare who was killed at the battle of Anzio. Records directly relating to death in service are burial case files and IDPF and decesed veterans claims, XC files,, OMPFs and Navy projackets. Next slide. Slide 35. Burial case files, also known as 293 files, are records of
the office of the quartermaster general the records are for all branches and may contain
reports, telegram and other documents relating to burial of service personnel they may also
contain the organizational unit service number and XC of the veteran. Next slide, slide 36, they may contain handwritten
letters and typed correspondence from next-of-kin, applications for headstones and grave registration
service forms. The grave location form which is the middle
example lists place and cause of death and date and place date and place of burial and also list the nearest relative
and their address. Army nurse military installation like base
hospital 35 shown in the left example located in the burial file should be used to request
return of the nurse corps records. Slide 37. What are gold star mothers.The U. S. government paid for overseas trip for the mother or eligible family member of the fallen World War
I nurse to see where their daughter was interred. The program was not restricted to just nurses
but to all service members of the armed forces buried oversees. Gold star mother documents may be located
in the burial files to include trip itineraries photographs of the mother and additional
information relating to the pilgrimage. The mother of deceased World War I Army nurse
Esther Edmundson ended up getting sick with fatigue and cold wet feet while at the cemetery and was given brandy as a treatment. Another interesting document found in this burial file was the original Pullman Company train ticket stub from her trip. Next slide, slide 38. Individual Deceased Personnel Filles, IDPFs dates vary by branch
for Army IDPF of World War II and Korean era we currently only have surnames A through L but surnames M through Z can still be requested through the National Archives at St. Louis. However, we do have all surnames for the Vietnam era. The top example is from Air Force nurse Captain Mary T. Clinker, her Vietnam mortuary file. Sadly, Captain Clinkre died in a plane crash in Vietnam during Operation baby lift. She is one of the PEPs I mentioned earlier whose OMPF digitized and on the NARA catalog in the PDF version of this presentation her picture is linked to her catalog entry. For more information about IDPFs I recommend
checking out virtual the 2014 genealogy fair presentation. Next slide, slide 39. Deceased veterans claims XC files. They are successor series to the pension
files. The National Archives in Washington D.C. also
has a collection of pension files for years prior to year 1898 .XC files that have not been accessioned by the National Archives can be requested from the VA directly. These records were created prior to and after death of service members. The C and XC number may be found on VA master
index. Next slide, slide 40. The XC files may contain vital records such
as birth, marriage and death certificates and may also be medical records and documents
with military service dates. A Common document in XC files are affidavits. The affidavit shown here is It is for age verification of a deceased nurse signed by her sister. The example on the right shows beneficiary information XC number and application number which may be on the VA master index. Next slighted. Slide 42. You can begin your military nurse research
right here at the National Archives at St. Louis. Thank you for watching.>>Thank you so much, Anna so we have a few questions lined up for you online
and let’s get started with what I have so far. Someone asked -Could someone who’s job — I’m not sure I will be able to answer this. Could someone whose job was bacteriologist
and laboratory technician could that person have entered the Army as part of the nurse corps?>>Potentially if they may have along for
the ride essentially on the return of the nurse corps records there may show some civilian service
and requesting the person in question they can always request the OPF for the war department or any umbrella agency
they may be affiliated with and we can give you positive or negative or essentially tell
you where to go if all the responses are negative so far.>>Thank you. Also wondering the Navy projacket the person is
assuming that it is not OMPF so how do you request Navy projacket.>>To request a Navy projacket you can — just like I said at beginning of the presentation you can contact the National Archives at St. Louis and for RLSO and request
it and request it on the SF180 and one of the documents that the I provided as handout the technicians who
receive these requests will know specifically to forward it to the correct office.>>Thank you, this about the WAVES. If someone was a college student who joined the WAVES while in college, where would those records be? Those records would be with us as well.Whenever they wanted to do something relating to Navy service if we know for sure they were enlisted, Just fill out the 180 handout and when it is submitted to the national
personnel record center they will order the OMPF for that person.>>While we are waiting to see if any more questions
come up already gotten a lot of kudos online and thank you, everybody, giving us your comments
and also like to take the opportunity to please fill out evaluation form and link under more
information right here on screen below the video and if there’s any more questions and
looks like that is it and turn the microphone back over to Britney Crawford.>>Thank you so much
>>This concludes our sessions for the 2018 Virtual Genealogy Fair. Thank you for joining us. If you missed a lecture, the videos and handouts
will remain available on the Fair website. Thank you for participating! If you have lingering questions check our
website, visit us in person, or send an e-mail to [email protected]

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