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“One day we lost six of our thirty patients and I was pretty depressed, but our commanding officer said if we weren't here not a single one would live [crying] to get back to the evacuation hospital.” (Audio interview, Part 2, 9:23)

   Elsie F. Getz Perch
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Elsie Perch, Louisville, KY [1942]
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army Nurse Corps
Unit: 105th Station Hospital; 33rd Field Hospital
Service Location: Nichols General Hospital, Louisville and Fort Knox, Kentucky; Fort Dix, New Jersey; Ferryville, North Africa; Rome, Anzio and Pisa, Italy
Rank: First Lieutenant
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Ordered to the Anzio beachhead as a replacement—six nurses had been killed there—Elsie Perch wondered what on earth she had gotten herself into when she signed up for the Army Nurse Corps. However, she sustained her courage by thinking of the sacrifices of the men she treated. Although stationed at a hospital station removed from the front, Perch was far from safe. Once, the Germans deliberately shelled the hospital, killing five patients and wounding eighteen. When speaking of the dead and wounded, and of the bravery of the men she helped, Perch is often overcome by emotion, her private wounds still raw after 60 years.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (4 clips)
»Part 1 | Part 2 
Download: audio(1) | 
Download: audio(2) (61 min.)
»Photo Album  (3 photos)
»Assignment: Anzio
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 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (4 items)
Carrying on a long-distance romance with her future husband, Dan Perch, a soldier stationed elsewhere. (01:59) Assigned to the Anzio beachhead. (05:35) Conditions at the Evac Hospital at Anzio. (02:09)
Treating the wounded; a deliberate shelling of the hospital. (01:36)  

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  October 26, 2011
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