Watson, Almyra Maynard

by Kelly Agan, Government & Heritage Library, 2018.

17 Sept. 1917 - 

Snapshot of U.S. Army nurse Almyra M. Watson (left) and an unidentified nurse, wearing their Army Nurse Corps uniform and capes, sitting outside on a wooden fence on a beach next to a building at an unidentified military installation during World War II (from the John L. Watson Papers, WWII Papers, Military Collection, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, N.C.).Almyra Maynard Watson entered the Army Nurse Corps after completing training in 1939 and had a nursing career in the military that spanned a quarter of a century. During her career she served in both the U.S. and in foreign countries, and she was one of the first nurses to work in military field conditions.

Almyra Watson was born on September 17, 1917 to G.M. and Jennie Llloyd Watson. The family lived in the Lake Landing commuity of Hyde County, North Carolina. When Almyra was a young girl, they moved to Bethel in Pitt County. According a brief biographical entry in the Chronicles of Pitt County, her father was the first owner of an automobile in Pitt County and he operated the county's first service station there.

She trained to be a nurse at St. Vincent's Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia in 1939. Following this training, she joined the National Guard and was due to leave the service after her year was up when the U.S. entered World War II. She was selected for a special field hospital program in the Army and ended up staying in the Army for 23 years. During that time, she became one of the first nurses to work in medical setups in field conditions and she later became a consultant for this area of operations. She eventually attained the rank of major.

During her Army nursing career she was stationed in a number of places, including: Fort Monroe, Virgnia (in the early 1950s); the Army's Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. (in the mid-1950s); Fort Knox, Kentucky (around 1960); and locations overseas including Germany, the Phillipines, and Japan. She served in both WWII and the Korean Conflict. 

Almyra Watson retired from the Army in 1963. During her retirement, she has been active in local civic and volunteer efforts, including the Red Cross, veterans organizations and the Daughters of the American Revolution. Even into her 90s, Watson stayed active in the community. In 2008 she was part of a local excercise class called "Hearts 'N Sync" and participated in the local Reindeer Dash for Cash, 5 and 10K road races organized to raise funds to support fallen soldier charities.

Almyra Watson celebrated her 100th birthday in 2017.


Archived interview with Almyra Maynard Watson

References:

MilColl OH 906, Almyra M. Watson Interview, June 11, 2004, Military Veterans Oral History Collection, Military Collection, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, N.C.https://archive.org/details/MilCollOH0232Dimmick (accessed February 19, 2018).

Ottumwa Daily Courier (Ottumwa, Iowa), July 29, 1952.

Rocky Mount Evening Telegram (Rocky Mount, N.C.), September 10, 1960.

Rocky Mount Evening Telegram (Rocky Mount, N.C.), July 29, 1956.

"DAR Members Turn 100 years old." Farmville Enterprise (Farmville, N.C.), October 4, 1917. 

"Maj. Benjamin May Chapter Honors Dedicated Members." Farmville Enterprise (Farmville, N.C.), April 2, 2014. 

"Festival celebrates bumper crop." Daily Reflector (Greenville, N.C.), September 21, 2013.

Copeland, Elizabeth H. 1982. Chronicles of Pitt County, North Carolina, 1982. Greenville, N.C.: The Society.

"Preparing for 'Dash for Cash' - Seniors among those taking part in charity run. Daily Reflector (Greenville, N.C.), December 5, 2008.

"WWII veteran shares stories at open house in Bethel." Daily Reflector (Greenville, N.C.), November 28, 2004.

Image Credits:

Snapshot of U.S. Army nurse Almyra M. Watson (left) and an unidentified nurse, wearing their Army Nurse Corps uniform and capes, sitting outside on a wooden fence on a beach next to a building at an unidentified military installation during World War II (from the John L. Watson Papers, WWII Papers, Military Collection, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, N.C.).

 

Authors: 
Years: 
1917

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