Military Records

Records of Nurse Casualties in the Korean War

Electronic Records Reference Report

Electronic data records in the custody of the National Archives, and in consultation with other official sources of such information, suggest that there were no female nurses who died as a result of hostilities during the Korean War. The following is a recounting of how we reached this conclusion:

  • The Records of Military Personnel Who Died as a Result of Hostilities During the Korean War, also known as the Korean Conflict Casualty File (KCCF), from the Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, does not provide information about the major organizational affiliation or military occupational specialty code of each casualty. Therefore, it could not be determined whether anyone associated with the Nurse Corps from any branch of service was a hostile casualty. However, there are no records for female casualties in the KCCF.

  • Records in a second digital casualty file, Records on Korean War Dead and Wounded Army Casualties, from the Records of the [U.S. Army] Adjutant General's Office, provide branch information, such as Army Nurse Corps, and occupational specialization for Army casualties (dead and wounded) of the Korean War. One possible Army organization to which a casualty could have been affiliated was the Army Nurse Corps. No casualties are recorded for this branch of the Army. No subsequent identification or analysis of the applicable military occupational specialty codes for Army nurses has been conducted by Division staff.

  • The Archives II Reference Section at the National Archives at College Park has records pertaining to individuals who served in the various branches of service during the Korean War (i.e. organizational records). As of 1999, they have not compiled information from these records that is responsive to an inquiry regarding nurse casualties.

  • Appropriate historical and casualty offices for each branch of service were contacted during the drafting of this report to determine if they had records for nurses killed or wounded during the Korean War.

    1. The Research and Analysis Office of the Center of Military History was contacted. They referenced one of their publications, Highlights in the History of the Army Nurse Corps (CMH Pub. 85-001), and concluded that no Army Nurses were killed due to enemy action. In total, 540 Army nurses served in Korea and only one died. She died en-route to her post (name: Genevieve Smith) and was not considered a casualty of war.

    2. The Operational Archives Branch of the Naval Historical Center informed us that of the 3,081 active duty and 1,702 reserve Navy nurses who served during the Korean War, none was killed or wounded as a direct result of enemy action. It should be noted that these nurses, officers on active duty, served on three hospital ships and on troop ships in both U.S. and overseas hospitals during the Korean War. Nurses also worked as flight nurses on evacuation aircraft.

    3. The Casualties Branch of the Military Personnel Center for the Air Force reported that none of the Air Force nurses (no number given) who served during the Korean War was killed or wounded as a direct result of enemy action.

Reference Services
Electronic Records
National Archives at College Park
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001
(301) 837-0470
email: cer@nara.gov

October 2012


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