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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

BETTY BERRY GODIN PAPERS

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BIOABSTRACT

Elizabeth "Betty" Berry Godin, of Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, served as a U.S. Army Air Forces (AAF) evacuation nurse from 1943 until January 1948.


BIOGRAPHY

Betty Berry Godin was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and grew up in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. She graduated from high school in 1937 and did nursing training at West Pennsylvania Hospital in Pittsburgh until 1940. She then worked in obstetrics at Women’s McGee Hospital in Pittsburgh until joining the Army Air Evacuation Nurses in spring 1943. Godin attended the School of Air Evacuation at Bowman Field in Louisville, Kentucky, and graduated two months later as a member of the 349th Air Evacuation Group. She was then sent briefly to Camp McCall, North Carolina, and then Camp Anza, California, for overseas debarkation. In summer 1943, she sailed on the George Washington, stopping briefly in Hobart, Australia, before going to Bombay, India. From Bombay, a British ship took her to Calcutta, India, and then Godin was flown to the staging area of the 803rd Air Evacuation Squadron in Chabua, India, in the Assam province. She remained there over a year, ferrying soldiers to hospitals, until returning stateside at the end of 1944.

From the Miami Beach Replacement Training Center, Godin was next assigned to the orthopedic ward at Buckley Field in Denver, Colorado, where she met her future husband. She later moved to Lowry Field, also in Denver, when Buckley closed. After VJ Day, she volunteered to return to flying status and was sent to Hickam Field in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she flew all over the Pacific. In 1947, she flew to San Francisco, California, to marry Gene Godin, then returned to her duties in Hawaii, while her husband worked in Denver and later Korea and Japan. Godin left the military in January 1948 and moved to Japan to be near her husband.

The Godins had many residences as a result of Gene Godin's twenty-one year career with the Medical Service Corps of the U.S. Air Force, including Tucson, Arizona; Madrid, Spain; Santa Barbara, California; and Westover, Massachusetts. He left the military in 1964 and went to work at a hospital in Springfield, Massachusetts, before the Godins retired to Florida. They later settled in Etowah, North Carolina. Godin died in November 2006.


CONTENTS AVAILABLE ONLINE:
Item
Two Army air evacuation nurses in India, circa 1943
Item # WV0096.6.001
From the Betty Berry Godin Papers
Betty and Gene Godin in Tokyo, 1947
Item # WV0096.6.003
From the Betty Berry Godin Papers
Betty Berry Godin on graduation day, 1943
Item # WV0096.6.005
From the Betty Berry Godin Papers
349th Air Evacuation Group graduating class, 1943
Item # WV0096.6.012
From the Betty Berry Godin Papers
Oral history interview with Betty Berry Godin, 1999
Item # WV0096.5.001
From the Betty Berry Godin Papers
Betty Berry Godin holding a snake, circa 1944
Item # WV0096.6.006
From the Betty Berry Godin Papers
Earl Mountbatten in India, circa 1944
Item # WV0096.6.007
From the Betty Berry Godin Papers
ANC nurse in India, circa 1944
Item # WV0096.6.008
From the Betty Berry Godin Papers
ANC nurse getting ready for bed, circa 1944
Item # WV0096.6.009
From the Betty Berry Godin Papers
Betty Berry Godin knitting, circa 1944
Item # WV0096.6.010
From the Betty Berry Godin Papers
Mess hall crew in India, circa 1944
Item # WV0096.6.011
From the Betty Berry Godin Papers
Betty Berry Godin and parents on graduation day, 1943
Item # WV0096.6.004
From the Betty Berry Godin Papers
Betty Berry Godin carrying gas mask, circa 1943
Item # WV0096.6.002
From the Betty Berry Godin Papers

ADDITIONAL CONTENTS:
The Story of Air Evacuation, 1942-1989 (The World War II Flight Nurses Association), 1989; Newspaper Clippings, 1943, 1995; Burmese Dha and scabbard