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Nurses uniform in General Hospital

Posted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 05:39
by ryanluke
Hello there,

Could anybody enlighten me as to the working uniform of nursing staff at an overseas General Hospital?

Also, I assume Doctors wore officers wools whilst on duty, though were white coats worn?

Any info on uniforms at Generals appreciated.


Posted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 05:51
Any uniform? How about the working uniform of physical therapists, at a General Hospital?

September, 1944, through May, 1945, 203rd General Hospital, Paris

Posted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 18:15
by littlelotte
How about this one...

Posted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 19:13
by Ben
As the two ladies have already posted, the photographs represent a good selection of the numerous Duty and Dress uniforms worn by members of the female staff at two General Hospitals (i.e. 102d & 203d). I think that the following list of Uniform Regulations, as prescribed in the General Orders of the 100th Gen Hosp, 1945 (the Regulation also contained Class A uniforms, and Athletic uniforms, but since you have requested duty uniforms specifically, I have only posted those sections which are pertinent to the discussion):

Male Officers' Duty Uniform
    Cap, Garrison
    Shirt, Wool, OD (Green or Pink)
    Trousers, Wool, OD (Green or Pink)
    Necktie, Khaki
    Belt, Web, Waist
    Shoes, Service or Low Quarter (when combat or paratrooper boots are worn, the trousers will not be tucked in)
    Socks, Plain Tan or Brown
    The Eisenhower Jacket is optional for wear with the Duty Uniform
    Jacket, Field may be worn from the billet to the place of duty
    Dog Tags are considered part of the uniform and must be worn at all times.

Female Officers' Duty Uniform:
    Seersucker Uniform will be worn while on duty at the Post.
    Dog Tags are considered part of the uniform and must be worn at all times.

I hope that the above will be of use to you.
Many thanks,
Ben :)

P.S. Please note that I have also moved this post to the "General Discussion" Forum...

Posted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 19:35
And then there's this verbal description, from the "Testimony" of Nurse Elinor Warner Bird, 203rd General Hospital. See "Testimonies" section of this website for the entire narrative. She's writing here about preparing to go overseas:

"Christmas Day, 1943, was spent in preparing for movement overseas. Our Blue Uniforms had been replaced by Olive Drab, our White Uniforms replaced by Brown and White cotton Seersuckers which were one piece and fastened like a bathrobe. Everything else had been or had to be sent home. Our Capes were of Olive Drab material. We were issued Class A Uniforms which consisted of a Suit (2), Shirts, Skirts, Neckties, Russet Brown Oxford Shoes and Gloves. The Cap had a large eagle on the front. We had Rayon Stockings, a Service Gas Mask, which was worn over the shoulder, a Pistol Belt to which was attached our Canteen and a Mess Kit. The latter consisted of two parts, inner and outer container, and furthermore a Canteen, Cup, Knife, Fork and Spoon. We carried water in the Canteen.
The Musette Bag which we carried on our backs would hold 40 pounds and we packed it to capacity. We had a footlocker, which was a ‘must’, where we put some things that we would not be using for some time. We had bedrolls that held two blankets and other things. It had what you would call a hood, for when we were camped this would hang over the head of our cot and the rest of the bedroll served as a mattress. We were issued a Red Cross pin which was the only pin you were supposed to wear. Our bedrolls were rolled by our enlisted men as our Commanding Officer did not think it proper that women should do this."

No comment on the last sentence.

Other brief comments re uniforms and gear are found in her Testimony.


Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 02:31
by ryanluke
Thank you all so much.

This covers everything I neede to know. The photos are fantastic, and I was also particularly interested in Physical Therapists which is a great coincidence! The written information is extremely useful also.

Thanks again to all


Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 05:08
One last comment on Elinor Warner Bird's statement about her nursing uniform:
"We were issued a Red Cross pin which was the only pin you were supposed to wear."

This is significant because when American nurses graduated from nursing school, they were given a distinctive pin designed by the school, which they were supposed to wear throughout the rest of their career, as part of their nursing uniform. The army, apparently, did not permit personal "school pins" in certain settings.

In addition to a distinctive pin, each school had a distinctive cap which also was to be worn by their graduates, from then on.

So in most private hospitals, nurses wore different caps and pins, identifying the school they graduated from, not the place where they worked. That practice has been abandoned for years, but was the norm in the war years.


Re: Nurses uniform in General Hospital

Posted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 02:30
by LOZ
Outside the Conntinental United States, Army Nurse Corps, Physical therapy aides and Hospital dietitians all wore the same uniform ( olive drab, shade # 51 ) class "A"
and the brown and white seersucker for ward duty, the only difference was the devices of the caduceus, N , P or H
AR 600-37 29 July 1943
Prescribed service Uniforms

Re: Nurses uniform in General Hospital

Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 22:11
by LOZ
that last line sould read
N or
P over T or
H over D

Re: Nurses uniform in General Hospital

Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 15:59
by Ben
Thanks for the information Loz. Do you have a copy of the Army Regulations that you might be able to copy for me?

Ben :)

Re: Nurses uniform in General Hospital

Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 23:12
by LOZ
Not sure I can copy it , the uniform regs are part of a collection of FM's in a period binder that runs to several hundered pages of army regs from 1921-1943.
I think it must have belonged to a career army nurse ( Chief Nurse )as it cover marriage, transportation sick reports etc.

Are you going to Malvern?


Re: Nurses uniform in General Hospital

Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 23:24
by Ben
Ah right, I see. Yeah should be at Malvern in November, not sure if I'm standing with a stall this year though.


Re: Nurses uniform in General Hospital

Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 23:43
by LOZ
I think it is an important collection of documents covering almost every aspect of a nurses life in the army. i have just checked the strapping on the binder and it will come apart without damage. I have decided to loan you the binder(and some other FM's) I will bring it to Malvern .
I trust you and I you lose it I can always strap you into that chair!

Re: Nurses uniform in General Hospital

Posted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 09:26
by Ben
Thanks Loz, that would definitely be a great help. I look forward to catching up with you in November!
Take care,
Ben 8)