From New York City, and fresh out
of nursing school, Yetta Moskowitz enlisted in the Army
Nurse Corps in June 1943. As she recalled, "fever
was running high for nurses to serve in the military."
Deciding to become a flight nurse, Yetta was trained
at the Air Force School of Air Evacuations in June 1944.
Sailing to New Guinea to serve in the South Pacific,
Yetta was soon called upon to evacuate the many combat
casualties, taking them fresh from the battlefields,
and straight into regional area hospitals. Yetta's many
responsibilities took her to the war zones of Bismarck
Archipelago, Luzon and the Southern Philippines. All
told, she cared for approximately 7,000 troops as a
flight nurse between July 1944 and December 1945 including
the first contingent of WACS sent overseas. Her amazing
performance under fire earned her a promotion to chief
nurse of her squadron, the 804th MAES.
When Yetta flew, she and the other
nurses were required to wear the same flight uniforms
as the pilots. This included carrying .38 caliber revolvers
in case planes were shot down and the crew needed to
bail out over enemy territory (often comprised of vast
jungles inhabited by wild animals). Tragically, Yetta's
best friend and roommate was killed while evacuating
Yetta Moskowitz was discharged from
the Army Air Force as a 1st lieutenant in December 1945.
She received an air medal for flying over 100 hours
above combat territory to evacuate wounded in New Guinea
and the Philippines. Reflecting on her wartime experiences,
Yetta says, "The world should be made aware of
what the flight nurses did. We started air evacuation
medicine, which helped save thousands of lives."
Sources: Courtesy of the Jewish
Women's Archives and Jewish