WW2 air evac nurse to tell her story, share her book at Stafford

ed-BarbaraGruning MANAHAWKIN –    Barbara Gruning, a WWII air evacuation nurse, will talk about her battle experiences and book, “Flight Nurse: From Pearl to Tokyo” 6:30 p.m. Monday Nov. 3 at the Stafford library branch, 129 N. Main St.

Gruning joined the Army Air Corps in September 1943 and went on to train in a newly developed program to become a flight nurse. After her training she flew nearly 300 hours during a period of eight months, caring for wounded soldiers who were being flown to base hospitals all over America.

In December 1944 she volunteered for overseas duty and was based at Hickam Field in Oahu which was bombed by the Japanese when they attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  She flew over 600 hours more, bringing back the severely wounded from all over the Pacific Ocean to Hickam for treatment and transfer to other stateside military hospitals.

The Japanese surrendered on August 14, 1945 and officially signed the document of surrender on September 2nd.  Her final mission just twelve days later was to fly into Tokyo and return to Guam with a plane full of American prisoners of war. She left the Army as a 2nd Lieutenant and returned to civilian life.

After returning to the States she settled in Philadelphia and married. She and her husband had one daughter and they moved to rural South Jersey where she worked for several years as a hospital nurse.  She then went on to spend 25 years as an industrial nurse for a large chemical company.   This program is free and open to the public. Please register by calling the branch at (609) 597-3381, registering online at www.theoceancountylibrary.org or in person.

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