Katherine Leahy, Navy Nurse Receives WW II Service Medals At 98

From Hartford Courant http://www.courant.com/community/stafford/hc-23-nurse-medals-0102-20110103,0,7898668.story


Navy Nurse Receives WW II Service Medals At 98

By MELISSA PIONZIO, mpionzio@courant.com

3:58 PM EST, January 3, 2011


When she was honorably discharged from her World War II service with the Navy Nurse Corps in 1945, Katherine Tierney Leahy wasn’t thinking about applying for the military service medals she was due. At the time, the Bridgeport native was just thinking about getting home.

Leahy, who served in the Pacific Theater at Naval Fleet Hospital 111 in Guam from December 1944 to the fall of 1945, says she enjoyed her wartime experience, even though the soldiers she treated came to her with serious, often debilitating injuries. Many were casualties of the Iwo Jima campaign, which took place from February to March in 1945, and the battle for Okinawa in April of that year, according to an article about Leahy written by Eileen Hurst in the Connecticut History journal. Approximately 2,300 U.S. Marines were transported to Guam hospitals after Iwo Jima. Leahy and her fellow nurses were there to care for many of them.

When Leahy was sent home after the war ended, she wasn’t thinking much about medals and ribbons.

“I just didn’t ask for them,” said Leahy, who now lives in Stafford. “You don’t even think of it when you are being discharged.”

But John Hinchliffe, a friend and fellow member of Stafford’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9990, kept after her to apply to the Defense Department for the medals. At age 98, Leahy finally agreed. With help from VFW member Lou Estabrook, Leahy received the American Campaign, Asiatic Pacific and World War II service medals in the mail this past November… read the rest of the article at Hartford Courant

in 2005, Katherine Leahy was videotaped telling her story to Eileen Hurst for the Library of Congress Veterans Oral History Project, an online archive at Central Connecticut State University that includes video interviews with Connecticut veterans who served in U.S. wartime conflicts.

Katherine Leahy’s interview at CCSU Veterans History Project

Published in: on January 6, 2011 at 11:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

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