Korean War Legacy Project

Eleanor Newton


Eleanor Newton joined the United States Air Force after serving as a nurse in Veteran Affairs hospitals. She trained with multiple specialties that dealt with soldiers and their medical concerns during the Korean War. She describes how she treated soldiers sent stateside to Berkeley, California. She elaborates on the training required to properly ‘ditch’ a patient when emergency landings occur in the ocean or desert and recalls a situation where she was able to override a doctor’s decision regarding a patient. She also explains the need to assure patients who came home with PTSD that they were safe and no longer in danger.

Video Clips

Duties of an Air Force Flight Nurse

Eleanor Newton describes her role as an Air Force Flight Nurse. Eleanor received many Korean War soldiers under her care while stationed in Berkeley, California. Soldiers were sent to her for treatment and evaluation before moving on to other locations stateside.

Tags: Basic training,Home front,Living conditions

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Care in Air and Ditching the Patient

Eleanor Newton describes the training she received in caring for patients in the air as well as 'ditching' patients. She explains that the training involved what to do if an airplane transporting patients ever crashed into the ocean or desert. She describes the steps taken to ensure that the patients survived until help arrived.

Tags: Basic training,Living conditions,Physical destruction

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Earthquakes and PTSD

Eleanor Newton describes the responsibilities of responding to civilian accidents while on base at Edwards Air Force Base. This included responding to help after an earthquake in Tehachapi, California. She also explains the importance of treating patients with PTSD and assuring them they were safe.

Tags: Fear,Home front,Living conditions,Physical destruction

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Decision to Override a Doctor

Eleanor Newton shares memories of an encounter with a doctor. She recounts a situation where a doctor insisted that she accept a patient on her aircraft. Despite orders, she refused to do so due to the patient's health status and was able to override the doctor.

Tags: Home front,Pride

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