Descriptive Summary

The Myra Clark collection is a well-rounded photographic documentation of Clark’s life as a Navy nurse during World War II at Pearl Harbor. Clark took pictures of her experiences chronicling three segments of her life: beginning with her experiences at the Great Lakes Navy Training Station, continuing as a naval nurse serving at a hospital in the Pearl Harbor area during the 1940s and finally, as a naval nurse stationed at the National Navy Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. Her personal and professional experiences are well documented by photographs taken personally by Clark. The photographs were originally taken from four scrapbooks created by Clark. The photographs were kept in their original order whenever possible in order to preserve the time period and place that was being captured. The newspaper clippings were scanned. There are two scanned biographical newspaper clippings in folder one. This collection contains original photographs owned by Clark of American nurses returning from Japanese internment camps in February 1945. Many of the photographs appear in the book, We Band of Angels by Elizabeth M. Norman, published by Pocket Books in 1999. Important publications in the collection include two recruitment booklets; "The White Force” about the history of Navy nurses, and “The Army Nurse” which contains facts, figures and photographs chronicling the history of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. Other publications of interest are newsletters and yearbooks from the Aiea Heights Hospital in Pearl Harbor where Clark was stationed that provide local historical detail. 

There are two CDs of photographs in this collection. CD #1 contains 5 personal photographs of Clark and a poem and is in folder one in Box 1. CD #2 contains (11) scanned photographs of the American nurses returning from a Japanese internment camp in 1945.

Biographical Information

Myra Clark was born in Middleboro, Massachusetts, in 1916. As a child, she was involved in the Girl Scouts and once received a scout pin from Juliette Low, founder of the Girl Scouts. While in that organization she received letters of recommendation written by Mrs. Herbert Hoover and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge. She graduated from Memorial High School in 1936 and trained as a nurse at New Hampshire State Hospital in 1939 with stipend of $10 a month. Next, she went to Orange Memorial Hospital in Orange, New Jersey, where she received her R.N. degree in 1942. She trained as a Navy nurse at the Brooklyn Naval Hospital and received training as a medical illustrator in New York City. She was stationed at the Great Lakes Naval Hospital in Great Lakes, Illinois. In 1945, she served as a U.S. Navy Corps nurse at the Aiea Hospital in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. She finished the last two years of military service at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. In 1947, she retired from the Navy as a lieutenant commander. Clark attended the University of Virginia School of Nursing for a B.S.N. Ed and graduated from that program in 1950. She served as Assistant Director of Nursing Education at the Blue Ridge Sanatorium. She received a master’s degree in counseling and education from University of Virginia in 1956. She became the Director of the Blue Ridge Sanatorium and served in that capacity until it closed in 1972.

Scope and Content

Oversized Box F4, Folder 1:

(2) WWII world maps, showing important battles and events, c. 1944
Various newspaper clippings - such as Ernie Pyle’s obituary, photographs of servicemen and women from Middleboro, Mass., 1943, photographs and information about Bethesda, Maryland's role as a Navy hospital

CD #1 - photographs from Myra Clark collection – in folder 1

Poem, “Red Cross on Navy Blue” date unknown, author unknown
Navy Nurses, Bethesda Hospital, 1945
Navy Nurses Marching, Bethesda Hospital, c. 1945
Myra Clark, navy uniform, date unknown
Myra Clark and friend, date unknown
Navy nurses, Feb. 14, 1945

Box 1
Box 1 Folder 1: CD (contents listed above), newspaper clippings on Clark and Navy nurses, medical illustrations drawn by Clark (taken from United States Naval Medical Bulletin, 1943), poem “Red Cross on Navy Blue” author unknown, holiday card designed by Clark, (2) scanned newspaper clippings containing biographical information on Clark

Box1 Folder 2: “The Army Nurse: U.S. Army Nurse Corps,” the Recruiting Publicity Bureau, 1944, booklet, (33) pages printed material, and extensive photographs of the history of the U.S. Army Nurses Corps

“Great Lakes: Naval Training Station” the Universal Press, San Antonio, c. 1940, publicity booklet of photographs of experiences of Navy recruits at Great Lakes

“White Task Force,” U.S. Government Printing Office, 1945, history of the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps

Photograph of nurse leaving the gates at the US. Naval Hospital, Great Lakes, Illinois, c. 1943

Box 1 Folder 3: postcards of the U.S. Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois, c. 1940s, various postcards of U.S. tourist attractions, Thanksgiving card, c. 1942, U.S. Naval Training Station, menus and programs from various restaurants and performances

Box 1 Folder 4: (39) scenic black and white photographs, Great Lakes, Illinois, c. 1943

Box1 Folder 5: (54) photographs, c. 1943, Great Lakes Training Station, pictures of Clark, other nursing students, naval personnel & hospital

Box1 Folder 6: (33) photographs, c. 1943, Great Lakes Training Station, nurses, hospital, regional

Box 1 Folder 7: publications, U.S. Navy Hospital Aiea Heights, Hawaii, yearbook, c. 1945, Independence Day menu, July 4, 1946, Aiea Heights, Hawaii, Hospital, Various scenic postcards, Hawaii, c. 1940, Pearl Harbor area

Aiea Heights Hospital, patient orientation booklet, c. 1940

Ship orientation booklet, Matson Line, San Francisco, CA. date unknown

Scanned newspaper clippings, military nurse uniforms, float of King of Hawaii on Kamehameha Day, date unknown, Pearl Harbor Open House, Admiral C. W. Nimitz, newspaper clipping, date unknown,

Hospital Hi Lites, Aiea Heights Hospital newsletter, 15 February 1946

Box1 Folder 8: various photographs of Pearl Harbor Area, c. 1944, scenic, local islanders & Hawaiian celebration

Box 2
Box 2 Folder 1: (34) black and white photographs, c. 1944, Aiea Hospital in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, nurses, Navy personnel, Hawaiian scenic pictures, (12) photographic negatives, (photos various sizes)

Box 2 Folder 2: (12) black and white photographs of nurses and Navy personnel

Box2 Folder 3: (23) black and white photographs, hospital interiors, nurses & patients, iron lung, physical therapy

Box2 Folder 4: CD #2 photographs, returning prisoners of war, nurses, 1945:

Cobb & Captain Camerer
Dorthy Still
Eldene Paige
Goldie O’Haver
Gorzelanski & Still
Harrington & Cobb with Captain Camerer
Helen Gorzelanski
Homecoming – just off the plane
Mary Harrington
Nash & Evans
Homecoming – on the air field

(14) black and white photographs, American nurses returning from Japanese internment camp, February 1945

(1) Captain Camerer presenting nurse Cobb with lei
(1) Captain Camerer with nurses Harrington & Cobb
(1) Captain Camerer presenting nurse Cobb with lei
(6) Photos, Helen Gorzelanski & Dorothy Still before a mirror
(5) Photos, Bertha Evans & Margaret Nash eating candy

Box 2, Folder 5: (13) black and white photographs, American nurses returning from Japanese internment camp, February 1945

(1) Helen Gorzelanski being interviewed
(1) Mary Rose Harrington
(1) Eldene Paige
(1) Freed nurses mingle with military personnel at Hickam Field, Hawaii
(1) Nurses line up in front of airplane that carried them to freedom, 1945
(1) Dorothy Still
(1) Five freed nurses with officer
(5) Goldie O’Haver tests mattress on bed

Box 2 Folder 6: (26) black and white, various sizes, photographs, c. 1944-1945, United States Navy Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, nurses on parade, military nurses, hospital, nurses & patients, medical center

Box 2 Folder 7: (4) large photos, nurses at Navy Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, c. 1945, (4) cards & postcards, Navy Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, (8) National Navy Medical Center News, newsletters, c. 1945

Box 2 Folder 8: (16) black and white photographs, various sizes, c. 1952-1956, Blue Ridge Sanatorium Nurses Training School, photos of UVA (Clark’s graduation) & scanned pages from Lee Mansion National Memorial, booklet, Arlington, VA. (date unknown)


Donated by: Myra Clark