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"If they’re going to die, let them see an American woman that smells good." (Video Interview, Part 2, 26:52)

   Frances M. Liberty
Image of Frances M. Liberty
Frances Liberty
War: World War II, 1939-1946; Korean War, 1950-1955; Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Branch: Army Nurse Corps
Highest Rank: Lieutenant Colonel; Lieutenant Colonel; Lieutenant Colonel
Place of Birth: Plattsburgh, NY
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Frances Liberty’s saga in military nursing covers three declared wars as well as the Cold War--she cared for John Foster Dulles at Washington’s Water Reed Hospital. She saw a sea change in the Army; when she enlisted in 1943, she notes, “They weren’t really prepared to handle women.” She maintained a reputation as a self-described disciplinarian who was also a bit of a maverick. “Medical people aren’t good at saluting,” she admits, but her 28-year military career clearly attests to a fondness for serving her country.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (14 clips)
»Complete Interview  (89 min.)
»Photo Album (2 photos)
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»Military Medicine: Nurses
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (14 items)
Korea: hospital train; paperwork; stealing supplies from MASH units; taking over an abandoned train. (05:40) Going to Korea with her father’s blessing. (00:37) Anzio. (02:39)
Changing status of nurses; conscientious objectors as medics. (01:44) Enlisting, defying her father’s wishes. (02:00) Difference in treatment for patients in WW II and Vietnam; a gift from a grateful patient.(Part 1) (05:51)
A practical joke involving snakes. (02:13) Vietnam: disciplining a problem nurse; under attack at Cam Ranh Bay. (07:32) Working at Walter Reed with celebrity patients. (02:25)
Memorable burn patient. (02:14) A practical joke with a water fountain at Walter Reed. (02:29) Running into her brother in Vietnam. (01:36)
Escaping from a downed helicopter. (02:50) Difference in treatment for patients in WW II and Vietnam; a gift from a grateful patient. Part 2 (00:05) 
Home » Frances M. Liberty
  The Library of Congress
  May 29, 2007
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