Dubuque County

Major Genevieve M. Smith




Washington -- The war department Tuesday announced the promotion of Capt. Genevieve Smith, army nurse corps, Dubuque, Ia. to major.

Promotions to other Iowans were as follows:

Lieutenants to captain - Myra H. Heeren, army nurse corps, Creston; Charles A. Striegel, infantry, Des Moines; Edward E. Anderson, medical corps, Dubuque and Donald G. Colby, signal corps, Monona.

Second to first lieutenant -- Maryann Hughes, army nurse corps, Clear Lake; Mabel S. Heth, army nurse corps, and Hazel F. Kallenbach, women's auxiliary corps, both of Des Moines, Aletha Steen, army nurse corps, Iowa City; Isadore A. Dilley, army nurse corps, Kingsley, and Ruth M.E. Kosbau, army nurse corps, Waukon.

Source: Quad City Times, July 19, 1944

Smith, Maj. Genevieve Marion - obituary:

Genevieve Marion Smith was born April 25, 1905 in Epworth, Iowa, daughter of Thomas Aphonaius Smith (1875-1947) and Mary Elizabeth Kennedy Smith (1874-1965). In addition to her mother, Major Smith was survived by siblings Mrs. Frank (Veronica) Dagenais, Mrs. Edwin (Catherine) Horsfield, Mrs. Alfred (Alice) Arensdorf, Joseph Smith and Thomas K. Smith.

Genevieve Smith graduated from St. Joseph Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in Dubuque, Iowa, on August 15, 1925, and joined the Army in 1928. After World War II she spent two years in Germany and then in October 1948 she was transferred to the Philippines. She was later transferred to Japan, where she was serving as chief nurse of the 155th Station Hospital in Yokohama, Japan when she was selected by General Douglas MacArthur to be chief nurse for Korea.

Although the former World War II Army nurse was due to retire in January 1951 after 22 years of military service, she accepted the position and sealed her destiny on a fatal air flight to Korea. On July 27, 1950, a three-man aircrew, twenty-two male passengers and one female--Genevieve Smith, left Haneda, Japan for a flight to Pusan, Korea in a C-47D. Less than a half hour later the plane veered to the right and flipped onto its back. The tail section broke off and the plane crashed into the ocean. There was only one survivor--saved because he was sucked out of the airplane and was able to pull his parachute ripcord before he lost unconsciousness. He was picked up out of the water by a Japanese fishing boat eight hours later. All others on the aircraft were lost at sea.

Website: koreanwar-educator.org