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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

Letter from Lola H. Ryan to Mother, Dad, and Stub, 1944

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Object ID: WV0362.4.001

Description: Lola H. Ryan writes of being inspired by Army Nurse Corps (ANC) personnel treating the wounded at the Battle of Anzio in Italy. She also discusses various aspects of her training, her pending graduation from nurse training, having difficulty in obtaining new uniforms, and an upcoming twenty-mile hike.

Creator: Lola H. Ryan

Biographical Info: Lola H. Ryan of McGraw, New York, worked as an operating room nurse in the Army Nurse Corps during World War II.

Collection: Lola H. Ryan Papers

Rights: It is responsibility of the user to follow the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). Materials are not to be reproduced in published works without written consent, and any use should credit Jackson Library, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Full Text: Dear Mother, Dad & Stub,

Have intended a dozen times to start this letter but something or other has always interfered. Last nite [sic] was in bed before 9:30 even though one of the Capt. talked to us on evacuation of wounded from Anzio Beach. Boy, they certainly had it tough there if any one did. He said that it was surprising how well the nurses stood up even when they were under fire as many were there. He said the nurses reacted much better than many of the men and keep up the morale of the wounded. They tell us we’ve got a hard job ahead of us living up to the reputation those nurses carved for the A.N.C.

Sunday morning was my turn to work on the wards as we all volunteered our Sundays off. There are so many of us that it will probably mean just the one half day. Worked on one of the Orthopedic Wards. (Pa, orthopedic means pertaining to bones.) Had loads of fun. Seems strange to see so many young fellows in one place but we have loads of fun kidding each other.

On a desk just inside the entrance to Haddon Hall is a name card. The Sgt’s last name is Christ. We have a lot of fun about it because sometimes Christ has risen and there is another name there. This morning we noticed that Christ had taken things over again.

Somebody was off the beam on the graduation date and it should be July 27th. On the 28th we leave? Our orders are restricted and we’re not supposed to write or telephone anyone about them for safety’s sake.

1:00 PM: Perhaps I’ll land in Niagra, Pine Camp or any other of dozens of places.

Person sent a card which we received at noon and she has been again transferred to a hospital back in New Jersey and leaves soon for destination unknown?

This morning we’ve been having more movies and going to the tailors to see about our uniforms. Some of the girls still haven’t their beige uniforms that they’ve ordered through Saks [Fifth Avenue]. If they don’t get there by graduation we’ll have to graduate in these seersuckers which won’t be nearly as nice. The seersuckers are cooler than the white but they aren’t especially good looking. They cross over and tie on the side like Hoaverettes[?]. Think they’ll make nice maternity dresses post war.

Tomorrow is the day we’re all dreading — the 20 mile hike. Next Tuesday we go over the obstacle course which promises to be exciting.

Received a letter from Frances at noon which was funny as usual.

Was going to have you send the Book of the Month on but may as well wait until I get at the next post unless you’ve already sent it. However send the bulletin on as the substitution form has to be returned before a certain date or they sent the book anyway.

Will stop for now as it is already past time for this class to start.

Love, Lola