Today the Veterans Domiciliary in White City, Oregon, sits on the grounds of old Camp White, originally built to serve as a training facility for the United States Army during World War II.
Some of the first residents were part of the 79th General Hospital Army Nurse Corps. These were women who had already graduated from civilian nursing school and were at Camp White to train in military procedures prior to being sent overseas.
The nurses adhered to a strict dress code, which required them to wear their uniform at all times. They were not allowed to wear any colored slips, colored handkerchiefs or colored jewelry. The nurses worked six days a week and were not only responsible for caring for any soldiers who became sick or injured at the camp, but also endured a rigorous training program of their own.
The nurses learned how to fire a gun, apply a gas mask, march in formation, hike as far as Eagle Point and back, and crawl on their stomachs under barbed wire as bullets flew overhead.
Once the women finished their training at Camp White they left for their next station in Northern Ireland.
Source: Foster, Doug, “Women At Camp White….Women At The Dom.” Southern Oregon Heritage Today. Vol. 2 No. 11 (November 2000): 8-14.
— As It Was is a co-production of Jefferson Public Radio and the Southern Oregon Historical Society. As It Was stories are broadcast weekdays on Jefferson Public Radio and are available online at asitwas.org.