1. LIBRARY CATALOG
  2. DATABASES
  3. JOURNAL A-Z List
  4. SUBJECT GUIDES
  5. LIBRARY SERVICES

The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

BERNICE ISABEL HEATH PAPERS

Search the Collection


AND   OR   EXACT PHRASE


BIOABSTRACT

Bernice Isabel Heath (1917-2003) of Portsmouth, Ohio, served as a nurse in North Africa, Europe, Japan as a member of the Army Nurse Corps from 1942 to 1946 and 1948 to 1964.


BIOGRAPHY

Bernice Isabel Heath was born on 1 December 1917 in Richmondale, Ohio, to Herbert H. and Beatrice Armsey Heath, a steel worker and and a housewife. Heath graduated from Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, Ohio, in 1935 and worked in a department store for two years. She attended nursing school at Bethesda Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, from 1938 to 1941, and did general duty nursing for the next year.

Heath joined the Army Nurse Corps in September 1942 and was stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky, for three months before being shipped overseas with the 91st Evacuation Hospital. From December 1942 to November 1943, Heath served in Casablanca and Port Lyautey, Morocco; Mostaganem, Algiers; Bizerte, Tunisia; and Palermo, Sicily. In November 1943, Heath was transferred to Falfield, England, in preparation for the invasion of Normandy, and on 10 June 1944, her unit arrived on Utah Beach. Heath and the 91st Evac Hospital then followed the battlefronts through France and into Holland for the Battle of the Bulge. They then moved deep into Germany and were stationed at Wiepke on VE Day in May 1945. After a brief stint in Stuttgart, Heath returned to the United States in November 1945 and was discharged from the service on 9 February 1946.

Heath worked as a nurse in Ohio and Arizona for two years, then reenlisted in the Army Nurse Corps on 22 March 1948. After a few months at Percy Jones Army Hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan, she volunteered for overseas duty and was assigned to the 130th Station Hospital in Heidelberg, Germany. In 1952 Heath was transferred to Camp Atterbury, Indiana, and in 1955 she was sent to Fort Riley, Kansas. Heath then attended nursing administration school at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Following that she spent several years at Fort Knox and in the early 1960s served at Camp Zama in Japan. Heath retired from Fort Knox in 1964 after twenty-two years of service.

After her retirement, Heath continued to work part-time as a pediatric and Emergency room nurse in Portsmouth. In 1975 she moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina, where she did volunteer office work at the local Cancer Society. Bernice Heath died on 19 September 2003.


CONTENTS AVAILABLE ONLINE:
Item
Portrait of Bernice Heath, circa 1942
Item # WV0195.6.001
From the Bernice Isabel Heath Papers
Oral history interview with Bernice Heath, 2001
Item # WV0195.5.001
From the Bernice Isabel Heath Papers

ADDITIONAL CONTENTS:
Certificate from French government; "A Chronological History of the 91st Evac Hosp Nurses Overseas," 1945; "A Detailed Account of the 91st Evacuation Hospital," by Shorty Reese, 1944; BBN program by Iris Carpenter on the 91st Evacuation Hospital, ca. 1944; Military papers, 1946, 1964; "Nurse Here in France to Help Move Wounded," The Portsmouth (Ohio) Times, 1944