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"But they named it after me and somebody sent pictures of it: the Kathryn Miller Memorial Latrine." (Audio interview, 14:10)

   Kathryn M. Taylor
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War: Korean War, 1950-1953
Branch: Air Force Nurse Corps
Service Location: Chanute Air Force Base, Illinois; Korea; Mitchell Air Force Base, New York; England; Castle Air Force Base, California
Rank: Captain
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Leaving a lucrative job in New York, Kathryn Miller enlisted in the Air Force in 1952 to join the war effort in Korea as a nurse. She arrived at her duty station in Kunsan in the midst of an air raid, which hardly deterred her. In charge of the medical ward of a hospital, she saw a bit of everything, from wounded pilots to an outbreak of the mumps. Her lobbying for indoor plumbing for the hospital led to a dubious honor after she returned to the States. She regretted having to leave the military when she decided to get married; those rules were relaxed two years later.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (8 clips)
»Complete Interview 
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»Women of Four Wars
 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (8 items)
Volunteering for duty in Korea; landing in the middle of an air raid. (01:36) In charge of the medical ward at a hospital in Korea; treating everything from snakebites to wounded fliers who could either be patched up and sent back to fly or shipped on to Tokyo for more treatment; massive turnout to donate blood to an injured sailor; small epidemic of mumps. (02:53) Her excitement at being in the midst of the action; as a youth, following around a World War II nurse veteran and being inspired by her; almost rejected for service due to a history of tuberculosis in her family; pushing the Air Force to take her; morale of her patients was high. (02:37)
On her arrival, there were no indoor toilets at the hospital, making it difficult for some patients; she complained about it, but indoor plumbing was installed only after she left, and the latrine was named after her. (01:10) Getting a ride in the glass nose of a B-26 on a mission chasing a train. (00:22) Communicating with the locals; going into town one day with an African American woman, attracting a crowd for her skin color and for Miller's red hair. (00:35)
Wanting to leave the service when she returned home, but changing her mind; an assignment in England in charge of an orthopedic ward; many injuries were motorcycle accidents; leaving the Air Force because she got engaged and married nurses weren't allowed in the Air Force; working in VA hospitals back in the States. (03:36) Staying on active reserve; about two years after she left active duty, rules were changed because the service was losing so many nurses; service accommodating other aspects of military life for women. (02:05) 

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  October 26, 2011
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