Section I, Series
10. Pennsylvania Hospital Nursing Collection, 1876-1995.
World War II, Evacuation Hospital No. 52, 1941-1981
(MG 3.12, Boxes 1-6)
Evacuation Hospital No. 52 was formed at the request of the
Surgeon General of the Army in 1940. Following the Japanese
attack on Pearl Harbor, orders for activation were received,
and in March 1942 the unit arrived in New Caledonia, a French
island in the Coral Sea. Joseph B. Vander Veer, M.D. provides
a complete history of this unit in his book History of
the Pennsylvania Hospital Unit in World War II. This
series consists of primary source materials -- letters, documents
- Box 1 pertains to Helen G. McClelland’s nurse recruitment
efforts and includes letters and photographs from former
students who became Army nurses, as well as news clippings
from The Philadelphia Inquirer, Evening Bulletin
and The New York Times.
- Boxes 2, 3 and 4 contain letters and photographs taken
from a scrapbook compiled by Helen G. McClelland. These
letters provide insights into the life of the 1940s Army
nurse, which are both touching and amusing, and reflect
the great admiration and affection her former students had
for their teacher.
- Box 5 contains the papers of Frances E. McClelland, Chief
Nurse of the unit. Items include a passenger list of the
ship that transported Pennsylvania Hospital medical staff;
pen and ink drawings by staff, and a report McClelland authored
entitled “My Experiences in the South Pacific.”
- Several articles from Life magazine about surgical
advances made during WW II are found in Box 6, along with
news clippings, publications and photographs from an Armed
Forces base in Iceland.
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