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.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Frances Slanger." (Viewed on December 11, 2016) <https://jwa.org/people/slanger-frances>.