More U.S. Army hospital ships than U.S. Navy hospital ships during WWII? It’s true. Emory Massman’s book, Hospital Ships of World War II, is a terrific reference with many illustrations and histories. Simply put, the army wanted to have their own ships, and by the end of the war had 24, five of them named to honor army nurses. Four doctors were honored as well.
Aleda E. Lutz John J. Meany
Emily H. M. Weder Jarrett M. Huddleston
Frances Y. Slanger Charles A. Stafford
Ernestine Koranda Louis A. Milne
Blanche F. Sigman
Massman’s book names many of the army nurses who served on ships, most who were very surprised to get that assignment. In my book Margaret Carlson Larson served aboard the USS Dogwood both in the Atlantic and Pacific. The USS Comfort, jointly operated by the army and navy, was attacked by a Japanese Kamikaze plane where 29 people were killed, including six army nurses.
U.S. Navy hospital ships served everywhere, with navy nurses and crews. USS Solace was in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and served the rest of the war in the Pacific theater. Ensign H.C. ‘Pat’ Daly wrote the history of this ship in a book titled, The U.S.S. Solace Was There.
My book cover features U.S. Navy nurses at the rail on the Refuge, which also served on the Atlantic and Pacific. Included are interviews with nurses of the Solace, Refuge and Benevolence .
More to come about the nurses and doctors who had ships named for them.