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 Frances Y. Slanger

Frances Y. Slanger

Lodz, Łódzkie, Poland
Death 21 Oct 1944 (aged 30–31)
Burial West Roxbury, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Memorial ID 51484324 · View Source
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World War II US Army Nurse. The first American nurse to die in action in Europe. Born in Poland, she moved with her family to Boston, Massachusetts as a young girl to escape the persecution of Jews. She attended the Boston City Hospital school of nursing and in 1943 she enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps. She was one of four nurses who waded ashore at Normandy France four days after the D-Day invasion, where they immediately started treating wounded soldiers. A few months later, she wrote and sent a letter to "Stars and Strips" newspaper, praising the soldiers fighting around her. One paragraph of the letter read: "The wind is howling, the tent waving precariously, the rain beating down, the guns firing, and me with a flashlight writing. It all adds up to a feeling of unrealness. Sure we rough it, but in comparison to the way you men are taking it, we can't complain nor do we feel that bouquets are due us. But you—the men behind the guns, the men driving our tanks, flying our planes, sailing our ships, building bridges—it is to you we doff our helmets. To every GI wearing the American uniform, for you we have the greatest admiration and respect." The response to the letter was overwhelmingly positive with hundreds of GIs writing to thank her. However, she did not live to learn about the reaction to her words, as shortly after writing this letter, she was killed during an enemy attack. She was the first American nurse to die in Europe. Four months after her death, on February 13, 1945, a United States Army hospital ship was commissioned as the "Lt Frances Y. Slanger" in her honor. She was initially buried in Belgium before being returned to the United States for burial in 1947.

Bio by: Anne Cady

Family Members



"The wounded Do Not Cry,
Their Buddies Come First."

  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: mokennehan
  • Added: 22 Apr 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 51484324
  • mokennehan
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Frances Y. Slanger (1913–21 Oct 1944), Find A Grave Memorial no. 51484324, citing Independent Pride of Boston Cemetery, West Roxbury, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave (contributor 8) .