Jane Kendeigh

Jane Kendeigh was born March 30, 1922 in Ohio. Not much is known about her life. However, we do know that she played a major role in the Second World War.

After graduating school, Kendeigh joined the first class of the United States Navy School of Air Evacuation. The class was composed of twenty-four pharmacists mates and twenty-four nurses. They were trained for crash procedures and field surveys and were subjected to simulated attacks. These women were also trained on how to treat patients in high altitudes. The School of Air Evacuation program also included aeromedical physiology, calisthenics, and physical conditioning. Without it, wounded soldiers overseas would not have been saved at such high amounts.[1]

After her training was completed. Jane Kendeigh was sent to the active combat zone in the Pacific. There, she boarded the Naval Air Transport Service R4D with other flight nurses. While in the Pacific Kendeigh was seen as being an essential asset. At only twenty-two years old, she took part in an effort of the Battle of Iwo Jima, serving as a flight nurse. During the effort, they were able to rescue and attend to two-thousand-three-hundred-ninety-three marines and sailors. She would later say that soldiers whistled at her after witnessing a woman in the combat area.[2]

After the battle of Iwo Jima, Jane was sent back to the United States. Well there, she participated in the war bond drive. However, she was not satisfied with doing this. It did not take long for her to request to return to the Pacific. Therefore, on April 7th, 1945, she landed in time to serve at the battle of Okinawa. Just like she was the first nurse to land at Iwo Jima, she was also the first nurse to land at Okinawa. After Okinawa, she also served at the battlefronts in Marianas and Hawaii.[3]

While serving as a flight nurse, Kendeigh and her fellow nurses evacuated one-million-one-hundred-seventy-six-thousand-forty-eight military patients. Only forty-six died on the journey.[4]

After the war, Kendeigh retired to private life. She died on July 19, 1987 while living in San Diego, California. She was sixty-five years old.

[1] Andre Sobocinski, “Angels of the Airfields: Navy Air Evacuation Nurses of World War II – Navy Medicine”, Navy Medicine Live, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.
[2] “Battlefield Lifeline”, National Aviation Museum, Naval Aviation Museum Foundation, 12 March 2015.
[3] Margie Bedell-Burke, “Ensign Jane Kendeigh, Navy Flight Nurse”, Women of World War II, Burke Enterprises, January 14 2018.
[4] “Winged Angels: USAAF Flight Nurses in WWII,” National Museum of the United States Air ForceTM, https://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Visit/Museum-Exhibits/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/196161/winged-angels-usaaf-flight-nurses-in-wwii/https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nationalmuseum.af.mil%2FVisit%2FMuseum-Exhibits%2FFact-Sheets%2FDisplay%2FArticle%2F196161%2Fwinged-angels-usaaf-flight-nurses-in-wwii%2F.


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