Frances Slanger

1913–October 21, 1944

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Frances Slanger until we are able to commission a full entry.

Nurse and military officer Lt. Frances Slanger.

One of four nurses to wade ashore at Normandy Beach on D-Day, Frances Slanger was the only nurse to die as a result of enemy action in the European Theater. Slanger immigrated to the US with her family at age seven and studied at Boston Nursing School before working at Boston City Hospital for two years. She enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps and was ordered to report to Fort Devens, Massachusetts in 1943, but argued for the right to be sent overseas as part of the Second Platoon, 45th Field Hospital. Slanger was both compassionate and inventive, fashioning water bottles from IV bottles and rubber tubing for wounded men who couldn’t easily drink water. On October 21, 1944, she wrote a letter to Stars and Stripes about her experiences as a nurse and her admiration for the courage of the servicemen she helped, and the newspaper published it without knowing she had been killed by a German sniper an hour after writing it. The letter prompted an outpouring of responses from servicemen, and news of her death was mourned throughout the military.


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Get JWA in your inbox

Read the latest from JWA from your inbox.

sign up now

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Frances Slanger." (Viewed on April 19, 2024) <>.