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Introduction
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Myths and Mermaids
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Life in Port
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Going to Sea
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Lighthouse Keepers
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Changing Roles for Women
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Women in the Military
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Women in Wartime Production
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Early Yachting and Racing
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Women and the Sea in the 20th Century
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Timeline
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Resources
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In This Chapter

Introduction

Naval Nurses
The Yeoman (F)
Navy WAVES
Coast Guard SPARS

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Naval Nurses

The Naval Hospital Boat "Red Rover"
1863
From Harper's Weekly, May 9, 1863
The Mariners' Museum Research Library and Archives


During the Civil War, the paddle wheeler Red Rover became the Union's first hospital ship. On December 24, 1862, three Sisters of the Holy Cross and six African-American women boarded the Red Rover to help nurse the sick and wounded soldiers. The women served as nurses throughout the war, and two of the nuns--
Sister Veronica Scholl and Sister Adela Moran--remained on the ship until the last patient was moved to the Grampusin November 1865. In February 1962, the navy honored the women as the forerunners of the modern Navy Nurse Corps.
The Sister
1863
From Harper's Weekly,
May 9, 1863
The Mariners' Museum Research Library and Archives


The Ward: The Floating Hospital on the Mississippi
1863
From Harper's Weekly,
May 9, 1863
The Mariners' Museum Research Library and Archives
The Navy Nurse Corps
During the Spanish-American War, nurse instructors were hired to train hospital workers for the newly established Navy Hospital Corps of 1898. The Navy Nurse Corps was established in 1908, with the first twenty nurses assigned to the naval hospital in Washington, D.C. By World War I there were 446 nurses in the Navy Reserve Nurse Corps.
The "Sacred Twenty," Original Members of the Navy Nurse Corps
Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Historical Center
















A Posed Shot aboard the USS Relief,
1926
The Mariners' Museum

Become a Nurse
1942
The Mariners' Museum

In 1920, the first nurses were stationed on the new hospital ship USS Relief. Though given the status of officers with "relative rank," they did not enjoy most officers' privileges.

 

 

 

USS Relief, Navy Nurses on Deck
1926
The Mariners' Museum



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