Frances Turner was born in June 1918 in Orange County, North Carolina, and raised in Durham. She graduated high school in 1936 and completed nursing training at Watts Hospital in 1939, after which she worked as a private nurse and as an industrial nurse for a local tobacco company.
Turner joined the Army Nurse Corps (ANC)in 1942. She was stationed at Camp Butner, North Carolina, where she worked in the base hospital for several years. She was then sent to an army hospital in Georgia. In summer 1945 she was transferred to the Philippines, where she worked in the 80th General Hospital in Manila. She returned to the United States at the end of the year and was discharged from the ANC in January 1946.
Turner remained in the army reserves after returning to Durham, North Carolina, where she worked as an industrial nurse. In July 1950 she returned to active duty and was sent from Fort Bragg to Japan in early 1951 with the 2nd Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH). The unit was stationed in Korea from March 1951 to March 1952. Turner returned to Fort Bragg, and remained there until she was sent to Heidelberg, Germany, in 1955. She returned to the United States in 1957 and attended the Army Medical Services School at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. After completing the program, Turner served in nursing administration at Fort Stewart, Georgia from 1959 to 1962; at Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii from 1962 to 1965; and Fort Lee, Virginia, until 1969.
Turner returned to Korea in 1969 to work as chief nurse at the 44th Surgical Hospital. She spent her last two years of service at Fort Bragg before retiring in February of 1971 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Turner volunteered with the American Red Cross after her retirement from the ANC. Turner died in February 2009.