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2nd Lt. Elsie S. Ott

Brig. Gen. Fred W. Borum presents the Air Medal to Lt. Elsie Ott, who was the first woman to receive the Air Medal. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Brig. Gen. Fred W. Borum presents the Air Medal to Lt. Elsie Ott, who was the first woman to receive the Air Medal. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- "Winged Angels: USAAF Flight Nurses in WWII" exhibit in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- "Winged Angels: USAAF Flight Nurses in WWII" exhibit in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

As the flight nurse on the first intercontinental air evacuation flight, 2nd Lt. Elsie S. Ott demonstrated the potential of air evacuation in January 1943. An Army nurse who had never flown in an airplane and had no air evacuation training, she successfully oversaw the movement of five seriously ill patients from India to Washington, D.C. This six-day trip would have normally taken three months by ship and ground transportation. For her actions on this historic flight, Ott received the first Air Medal presented to a woman, and she also received formal flight nurse training.

Click here to return to the WWII Flight Nurses Overview.


Mask Policy:
In accordance with the updated guidance released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Defense (DoD) and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will require all visitors to wear face masks indoors effective July 30, 2021 until further notice.

Visitors ages three and up will be required to wear masks while indoors at the museum. This policy applies to all visitors, staff and volunteers regardless of vaccination status. Visitors may wear their own masks or a free paper mask will be provided. Cloth masks will also be available for purchase in the Museum Store.
Additional information available here.

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