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Royal Australian Air Force Nursing Service (RAAFNS) (1940 - )

From
26 July 1940
Occupations
Armed services organisation

Summary

Established in July 1940 The Royal Australian Air Force Nursing Service (RAAFNS) personnel expanded from 45 in December 1940 to 616 in December 1945. Miss Margaret Irene Lang was appointed Matron-in-Chief and her staff's conditions of service were similar to those of the Australian Army Nursing Service. The nurses were orginally attached to Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) bases in Australia, and later in New Guinea and the Pacific Islands. With the Medical Air Evacuation Transport Unit (MAETU), established in 1944, nurses helped with aerial evacution of casulties and were involved with the liberation of Prisoners of War from Singapore and other areas. The service was disbanded at the end of the war, but in 1948 a peace-time service was formed and RAAF nurses have served in the Korean War, the Malayan Emergency and the Vietnam War. They continue to attend to the sick and injured at RAAF hospitals.

Sources used to compile this entry: Jacobson, Gwendoline, 'World War II : Nursing Services', in Chisholm, Alec H (ed.), The Australian Encyclopaedia, vol. 9, The Grolier Society of Australia, Sydney, pp. 485-486; http://www.raafmuseum.com.au/raaf2/html/a6.htm accessed 2003-10-01 and http://www.awm.gov.au/atwar/thismonth/jul.htm accessed 2003-10-01.

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Archival resources

Australian War Memorial Research Centre

  • Commandant Janice Webb (later Hilton), Australian Red Cross (ARC) (left), and Wing Officer Betty Docker, Matron of 4 RAAF Hospital at Butterworth, Malaysia, 1967, P02017.027; Boyle, Marie C; Australian War Memorial Research Centre. Details
  • Doherty, Muriel Knox, RRC (Matron, AANS and RAAF Nursing Service), 1914 - 1954, 3DRL/2518; Doherty, Muriel Knox (1896 - 1988); Australian War Memorial Research Centre. Details
  • A group of members of the RAAF Nursing Service model outdoors their flying uniform, c. 1944, P00784.016; Australian War Memorial Research Centre. Details
  • Joyce Catherine Anne Connolly (née Patterson), as a Flight Officer, Royal Australian Air Force Nursing Service, interviewed by Angie Michaelis for the Keith Murdoch Sound Archive of Australia in the War of 1939-45, 26 March 1989, S00567; Australian War Memorial Research Centre. Details

Anne Heywood

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