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Aerial Nurse Corps of America and WWII WAC Medical Department Group


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I purchased this group yesterday from a person that does home clean outs. Initially, I thought the blue uniform was Civilian Air Patrol, but when I got home I discovered pinned under the lapel an Aerial Nurse Corps of America (ANCOA) identification badge. Further research revealed it is actually an ANCOA uniform. I also read at the start of WWII some members of the ANCOA served in the CAP and were permitted to wear their ANCOA uniforms with CAP insignia. As you can see, this uniform still has an original ANCOA patch above the left breast pocket. However, I have been unable to identify the patch...the only two example I have found have the word nurse on them. Perhaps she served/assisted a flight nurse? Also included in the group were the WAC uniform items. A few of the WAC items are named. I'm assuming this veteran served in the ANCOA and CAP prior to joining the WAC since they all came out of the same home. However, as I stated only some of the WAC uniform pieces are named, but they are all patched the same. I did find on Ancestry.com a veteran with the same name listed on a Cadet Nursing Corps card in 1944 and 1945. If the same veteran, would she have worn this uniform while going to nursing school?

 

If there is anyone out there that knows more about the ANCOA and possible avenues to research this uniform and patch I would sincerely appreciate it. Also, what type of jobs would this veteran have held in the Medical Department.

 

Thank you for viewing...any comments or additional information welcomed.

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Aerial Nurse Corps of America is discussed in Dressed for Duty page 21/22. A pretty obscure organization.

The three best things in life are a good landing, a good orgasm, and a good bowel movement.

A night carrier landing is one of the few opportunities to experience all three at the same time.

 

You can not pronounce as knowledge anything you can not demonstrate.

 

 

 

 

ASMIC Secretary

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Given that the WAC uniform has medical collar disks, I'd say there's a good chance they're from the same person. And congrats on a terrific group!

In memory of Dr. Leo P. Krall, USPHS
USS Uniontown (PF-65)

Interested in uniforms / groupings from Massachusetts and New England veterans

(particularly 26th "Yankee" Division), and original propaganda leaflets from WWI and WWII.

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Given that the WAC uniform has medical collar disks, I'd say there's a good chance they're from the same person. And congrats on a terrific group!

 

I do not believe they are from the same person. If she was a nurse in the Aerial Nurse Corps of American then she would have joined the Army Nurse Corps as an officer not the WAC as an enlisted person.

 

ANCOA is discussed in the first section of the book "Beyond the Call of Duty Army Flight Nursing in World War II". In the chapter it states "ANCOA nurses who by regulation were members of the ARC First Reserve, were mobilized for active duty with the military. Some one hundred of them, including Stroup, according to an uncorroborated newspaper account, served with distinction as flight nurses with the army air forces".

 

You stated the WAC uniform was named. These two women may have been sisters.

 

...Kat

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I did find on Ancestry.com a veteran with the same name listed on a Cadet Nursing Corps card in 1944 and 1945. If the same veteran, would she have worn this uniform while going to nursing school?

 

 

 

The cadet corps uniform was grey and was different than these uniforms. I do not believe she would have worn any of these while in the cadet nurse corps.

 

...Kat

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Also, what type of jobs would this veteran have held in the Medical Department.

 

 

 

The WAC uniform looks like there is a service command patch on the sleeve. A WAC usually wore the Athena insignia unless she was detailed to a branch of service. It looks like she may have been assigned to the medical division of a service command. There are any number of jobs that she may have done. I will see if I can find out more detail about the jobs. The WAC could have eventually joined the cadet nurse corps program as you found on ancestry but that was late in the war and after ANCOA was basically grounded.

 

Like I said earlier, I believe these items are from 2 different women.

 

...Kat

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From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lauretta_Schimmoler

 

 

 

"Lauretta M Schimmoler (September 17, 1900 Fort Jennings, Ohio - January 1981 Glendale, California) was an aviator who was the first woman in the United States to establish an airport in the United States, the first woman to command an American Legion post and was the founder of the Aerial Nurse Corps of America the predecessor of the flight nurses of the United States Air Force.

Biography[edit]

Schimmoler graduated from the Bliss Business College in Columbus, Ohio and began studies in law after working as a court stenographer. She left the study of law to become a secretary in a chicken hatchery in Bucyrus, Ohio that led her to become the owner of her own poultry business.[1]

Her life changed when she witnessed a test flight in Dayton. She began an intensive study of flight through working various jobs with the United States Air Mail, Lockheed Aircraft where she studied the manufacture of aircraft and the US Weather Bureauearning a student pilot licence on August 10, 1929 and becoming the advertising manager of her flight school. She became the first woman to establish and maintain an airport that was located in Bucyrus. She received her full pilot's licence on September 8, 1930.

In 1932 in recognition of her works in aviation, she was inducted into the Ninety-Nines: International Organization of Women Pilots.

After witnessing the results of a tornado in Ohio in 1930,[2] Schimmoler saw the necessity of evaucating medical patients by air and created what today is recognised as the forerunners of the flight nurse. In 1933 she formed the Emergency Flight Corps.[3] In 1936 it was reformed as the Aerial Nurse Corps with 78 nurses.

Initially, both the American Red Cross and the United States Army Air Forces took a dim view of the Aerial Nurse Corps. However, during World War II a medical air ambulance evacuation squadron was formed in May 1942. During this time Shimmoler became the technical advisor to and played a role in the Columbia Pictures film Parachute Nurse that was released in August 1942.

The United States Army Air Forces changed their minds on flight nurses and on 30 November 1942 made an appeal for experienced female registered nurses and air hostesses to be flight nurses in the Army Nurse Corps to be assigned to air evacuation units."


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Last night, I was reading the book about flight nurses a little closer. The ANCOA had some members that were not nurses. These women worked in communications and other areas as staff. Since not all members were nurses, it is possible that this veteran worked for ANCOA as staff rather than as a nurse. Once the war broke out, she joined the WAAC. With her experience working with ANCOA, she was assigned as staff for a medical unit. Then later in the war, she decided to pursue her nursing degree.

 

Based on this criteria, you could search the name in the WAAC uniform to see if she was staff for ANCOA and not a nurse.

 

...Kat

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Thank you very much to everyone for viewing and responding. Kat special thanks to you for researching/reading to find more information on possible positions she held during her service in the WAC. Your theory in your last post seems plausible to me...I think because the patch above her left breast pocket doesn't say "Nurse" she held a different position in the ANCOA. I have only found two other examples of ANCOA uniforms and they had similar patches, but the word "Nurse" above the left breast pocket.

 

Now a very pleasant surprise that also adds to my confusion. :) The person I purchased the uniforms from called yesterday and said he founds some other things of hers he forgot he had. I got there and he had her original ANCOA shoulder patch, sterling pin back wings, chevrons patches, Service Comand patches and a Victory Medal. My confusion is, the wings are National Aviation Emergency Corps. I have found it very difficult to turn up any information on the organization. She had quite a career if she served in the ANCOA, NAEC, CAP and the WAC.

 

I have my fingers crossed the seller turns up more. He claimed yesterday that he remembers having documents and photos belonging to her, but can't remember what he did with them. Only time will tell!

 

Again, thank you to everyone!

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Just a comment. Could this woman have been a practical nurse, equal to what is now a Certified Nurses Assistant?

 

That could explain the nurse to enlisted status also.

 

If she was a practical nurse then she would not have been a nurse in the ANCOA. From everything that I have read, both the ANCOA and the ANC only had RNs not LPNs.

 

If both items are from the same veteran, then I believe she worked as a staff member in the ANCOA and not as a nurse.

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I found this information regarding WAACs who served in the medical department:

 

 

WAACs within the Army Medical Department (ASF) were used as laboratory, surgical, X-ray, and dental technicians as well as medical secretaries and ward clerks, freeing Army nurses for other duties.

 

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Kat and Bob,

 

Thanks again for the additional information. I am waiting to hear from the seller in hopes he turns up some paperwork and photos. I purchased a large scrapbook from him that she put together, but it was all from the late 30s and there was nothing related to her service in the ANCOA, NAEC or WAC.

 

Thanks again to everyone for viewing, commenting and adding additional information.

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