They are simply called “The Angels of the Airfields”. These brave nurses escorted the physically and psychologically wounded soldiers from the pits of hell to the safety of forward operating hospitals. They are the forgotten heroes of the Second World War.
In 1945, the first two U.S. Navy flight nurses land on an active battlefield (Iwo Jima): Ensign Jane Kendeigh, USNR, and Lt. j. g. Ann Purvis, USNR.
Ensign Jane Kendeigh, (NC), USNR, is administering medical attention to serious casualties awaiting evacuation on an air strip on Iwo Jima. Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Institute, NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 95014.
Navy Flight Nurse Ensign Jane “Candy” Kendeigh photographed on the wing of a Naval Air Transport Service Evacuation aircraft on Okinawa, April 1945. Plane appears to be an R5D. Ensign Kendeigh was one of the first Flight Nurses to land on both Iwo Jima and Okinawa. National Archives photograph, 80-G-K-5277 (Color).
Ensign Jane Kendeigh, (NC), USNR, was one of the first Navy Flight Nurses to serve on a battlefield. She is going over her patient’s charts with Chief Pharmacist Mate Silas V. Sturtevant, USN. Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Institute, NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 95142.
Heroes, every single one of them!