Thanks to Giant Killer member Albert H. Baker for this picture. We would like to recognize some of the Unsung Heroes of the Vietnam War U.S. Army Women in Vietnam.
The great majority of the military women who served in Vietnam were nurses. All were volunteers, and they ranged from recent college graduates in their early 20s to seasoned career women in their 40s. Members of the Army Nurse Corps arrived in Vietnam as early as 1956, when they were tasked with training the South Vietnamese in nursing skills. As the American military presence in South Vietnam increased beginning in the early 1960s, so did that of the Army Nurse Corps. From March 1962 to March 1973, when the last Army nurses left Vietnam, some 5,000 would serve in the conflict.
Five female Army nurses died over the course of the war, including 52-year-old Lieutenant Colonel Annie Ruth Graham, who served as a military nurse in both World War II and Korea before Vietnam and suffered a stroke in August 1968; and First Lieutenant Sharon Ann Lane, who died from shrapnel wounds suffered in an attack on the hospital where she was working in June 1969. Lane was posthumously awarded the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm and the Bronze Star for Heroism. Colonel Graham is one of eight women whose names are listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, a monument designed by 21-year-old female college student Maya Lin.
Did you know? In November 1993, the Vietnam Women’s Memorial was dedicated at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. in front of a crowd of some 25,000 people. The centerpiece of the memorial is a bronze statue by Glenna Goodacre, which depicts three female nurses assisting a wounded soldier.
Early on, the U.S. Army resisted sending women other than nurses to Vietnam. The Women’s Army Corps (WAC), established during World War II, had a presence in Vietnam beginning in 1964, when General William Westmoreland asked the Pentagon to provide a WAC officer and non-commissioned officer to help the South Vietnamese train their own women’s army corps. At its peak in 1970, WAC presence in Vietnam numbered some 20 officers and 130 enlisted women. WACs filled noncombat positions in U.S. Army headquarters in Saigon and other bases in South Vietnam; a number received decorations for meritorious service. No WACs died during the conflict. Story courtesy of historyDOTcom.
The Giant Killer book and page honors these unique war heroes making sure their stories of valor and sacrifice are never forgotten. God Bless our Vets!🇺🇸