Flight Nursing and the U.S. Air Force Nurse Corps


Name: Patricia Chamings

Rank: Col, USAFR

Organization: University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Performance Site: UNC-Greensboro, Greensboro, NC; HQAFMC, Wright Patterson AFB, OH; Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

Year Published: 1995

Abstract Status: Initial


The purpose of this research is to develop a scholarly history of the Air Force Nurse Corps with particular attention to the aeromedical evacuation components of this history. This research will review and analyze existing documents relevant to aeromedical evacuation and the Air Force Nurse Corps in military archives located primarily in Washington, DC and San Antonio, TX (Brooks Air Force Base). Selected Air Force Nurse Corps Chiefs and flight nurses who participated in significant events in this history will be interviewed. These interviews will be analyzed for content themes and significance documented as part of the written final report. Specific aims include: (1) Explicate the initiation and contributions of flight nursing in the Army Air Corps during World War II. (2) Document the establishment and evolution of the education for flight nursing from its beginning at Bowman Field to its current location at Brooks AFB, TX. (3) Explore the leadership of the Air Force Nurse Corps (1947-1994) and the significant contributions of these leaders to the corps and professional nursing at large. (4) Chronicle major events of Air Force Nursing over its life time and delineate the meaning of these events in the context in which events occurred. (5) Describe the significance of special missions undertaken by the Air Force using flight nurses, such as transportation of BAMC's Burn Team, evacuation of respiratory dependent patients (started during poliomyelitis epidemics), and "mercy missions" of civilian patients. (6) Develop a scholarly work that chronicles Air Force Nursing in the first 50 years. This research is a significant and essential component of the history of nursing and will entirely focus on the contributions of the Air Force Nurse Corps and predecessors in aeromedical evacuation.