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Re: Hospital ships during Korean conflict
In a message dated 10/29/00 11:24:29 PM Eastern Standard Time,
The Benevolence collided with a civilian ship and sank during sea trials
before heading to Korea. How many of her passengers and crew were lost?
In August 1950, off the California coast, the hospital ship USS Benevolence
was rammed by another ship on a trial run and sank within 30 minutes. In
looking at some notes I have when I was doing research for women in service,
but unfortunately I didn't write down the source. But my notes tell me that
15 nurses assigned to the ship ended up in the water hanging on to wooden
rafters to keep afloat; eventually they were picked up by an Army tug but one
died from shock. I was unable to get names from DOD DIOR which does not keep
records on outside-of-theater deaths -- so they say.
The following are names I gave to Captain Barbara Wilson for her website, but
none of them are from the Benevolence. The names listed below died in plane
<A HREF="http://userpages.aug.com/captbarb/lives.html">The Women Who Gave
Their Lives</A> http://userpages.aug.com/captbarb/lives.html
Ensign Constance R. Esposito, Navy Nurse Corps *
Lt.jg. Alice S. Giroux, Navy Nurse Corps*
Lt.jg. Calla C. Goodwin, Navy Nurse Corps *
Lt.jg. Constance A. Heege, Navy Nurse Corps *
Lt.jg. Margaret Grace Kennedy, Navy Nurse Corps *
Ensign Mary E. Lijegreen, Navy Nurse Corps *
Major Genevieve Smith, Army Nurse Corps **
Lt. Wilma Ledbetter, Navy Nurse Corps *
Ensign Eleanor Beste, Navy Nurse Corps *
Ensign Marie Boatman, Navy Nurse Corps *
Lt.jg. Jeanne E. Clarke, Navy Nurse Corps *
Lt.jg. Jane L. Eldridge, Navy Nurse Corps *
Ensign Edna J. Rundell, Navy Nurse Corps *
Captain Vera M. Brown, Air Force Nurse Corps ***
* Sep 19, 1950, nurses on way to US Naval Hospital, Yokosuka - killed when
plane crashed off Kwajelein Island in the Pacific.
** Smith died in plane crash on way to her new assignment as Chief Nurse for
the Korean theater.
*** Air Force officer
These are listed by DOD DIOR
SN Doris Frances Brown, Milwaukee, non-hostile death Navy.
AN Virginia May McClure, Sioux City, non-hostile air crash, AF.
AN Margaret Fae Perry, Morgantown, non-hostile crash, AF.
AB3 Kay Sherill Platt, Dexter, non-hostile death, Navy.