Keep Oral Histories coming through your tax-deductible donation now.

Jackson, Wilma Leona (1909-1998)

Captain, Nurse Corps, U.S. Navy (Retired)

Based on a single interview conducted by Paul Stillwell in September 1986. The volume contains 113 pages of interview transcript plus an index and appendix. The transcript is copyright 1999 by the U.S. Naval Institute; the interviewee has placed no restrictions on its use.

This was originally intended as a full-length oral memoir, but a decline in Captain Jackson’s health prevented further sessions beyond the first one. Nonetheless, it provides valuable insights into the character and achievements of an individual who eventually reached the pinnacle of her profession as director of the Navy’s Nurse Corps. After civilian nursing training in Ohio, Jackson entered the Navy in 1936 and had initial tours of duty at the naval hospitals in Philadelphia and Brooklyn. Her transcript discusses the relationship between nurses and other Navy health care providers, including physicians and enlisted pharmacist’s mates. She provides a number of examples of the ways to treat patients and to ensure high standards in their care. In 1941 she was transferred to Guam, where she was captured by the Japanese when the island fell in December 1941. After a few months’ imprisonment in Japan, she was repatriated as part of a diplomatic exchange of internees in 1942. She later had the satisfaction of returning to Guam with the invading American forces in 1944.


Conferences and Events

View All

From the Press

23 February - Seminar

Sat, 2019-02-23

David F. Winkler

3 March - Lecture

Sun, 2019-03-03

Stephen A. Bourque

Why Become a Member of the U.S. Naval Institute?

As an independent forum for over 140 years, the Naval Institute has been nurturing creative thinkers who responsibly raise their voices on matters relating to national defense.

Become a Member Renew Membership