Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Jane Quigley: Army nurse, American hero

We lost another member of the Greatest Generation this month. Jane Quigley was an American hero, serving as an Army nurse in England during World War II. She passed away Nov. 13, 2013, just a few months after her 100th birthday.

I learned of Jane through a postcard for sale on eBay by a seller in England. The history of the card remains a mystery. Lt. Jane Quigley sent the card from England to a minister friend in New Jersey in 1943. How it got back to England and showed up on eBay 70 years later will never be known.

Since the price for the card (about $25 with shipping) was higher than I usually pay, I tried to find Jane’s family to let them know about it in case they wanted the card. When I did a Google search I found a newspaper article from July 2013 about Jane’s 100th birthday. I contacted the newspaper and they put me in touch with Jane’s niece, but Jane had passed away by the time I reached her.

The niece said she knew the person the card was addressed to but had no idea how it got back to England. I contacted the eBay seller, and they didn’t know either.

Following is an excerpt from Jane’s obituary:

“Jane volunteered to be in the Women’s Army Nurse Corps during World War II. She went to England on the Queen Mary and served two years of active duty in Braintree, England at the 121st Army Station Hospital. When she returned to America, she went home on the Queen Mary and served a third year in the Army. Jane was an RN Graduate of Newark City Hospital. She was a member of the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Manville and the George Taylor Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Easton, PA.”

The news article published on her 100th birthday said Jane told her niece that she sat in the same seat on the ocean liner Queen Mary when going to England and when returning two years later.

Here are links to the news article and Jane’s obituary:

Jane was one of about 59,000 nurses who served in the Army Nurse Corps during the war. If you’re interested in the Nurse Corp, here’s a good history.

The listing of the card on eBay is here (the link may expire when the card is sold or removed):

More stories about World War II postcards can be found in my book, "Postcard Memories From World War II.:

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