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Monday, May 11, 2015

Deaths in the Army Nurse Corps During World War I

I've been posting material about Norene Royer, a member of the Army Nurse Corps and staff of Oregon's Base Hospital 46 in Bazoilles-sur-Meuse, France. Royer was the only female staff member who died during the conflict. How did this compare with the Army Nurse Corps in general?

In November 1918 there were 21, 480 nurses in the Army Nurse Corps, with over 10,000 serving with the American Expeditionary Force in France. (Julia Stimson, "The Army Nurse Corps," Part Two of Volume 13 The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1927), 290.) Stimson's records showed 134 deaths in the nurse corps in the United states, primarily from influenza. One hundred two women serving with the American Expeditionary Force died in service from 1917 to 1919. Norene Royer was among those who died due to the influenza epidemic (Stimson, 350).

"Gold Star Women 161," Oregonian, November 12, 1922, Sec. 1, 1.
The women's veteran organization the Women's Overseas Service League had a record of six women in the Northwest who died serving outside the U.S. in the World War. They listed Norene Royer at the address of her sister in Winchester, Idaho. And they also named Ima L. Ledford of Hillsboro. Ledford served with the Army Nurse Corps at Base Hospital 116, also at Bazoilles-sur-Meuse. She died on October 7, 1918. [Lavinia Dock, et al., History of American Red Cross Nursing (New York: MacMillan, 1922), 1482.]