On This Day in Women’s Aviation : March 3
In 1945, Ensign Jane Kendeigh landed on Iwo Jima, becoming the first flight nurse to set foot on a battlefield. A member of the first class of flight nurses that finished training 6 weeks earlier, she was also the first flight nurse to land on Okinawa.
The Army Air Forces also used specially trained nurses as part of their flight evacuation program. These nurses, known as flight nurses, were specially trained to help transport stable patients from frontline makeshift hospitals in Europe to regular medical facilities in England for further medical treatment, using the same transport planes that the Airborne used to “drop” paratroopers. Although considered experimental for most of the war, the flight nurse program was considered highly successful, and were believed to have saved thousands of lives.