Aleda E. Lutz

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Aleda E. Lutz (1915 Freeland, Michigan - November 1, 1944 France) was an American Army flight nurse.

Serving in the Army Nurse Corps during World War II, she participated in six separate battle campaigns over a 20-month period, accompanied air combat missions, and conducted all-weather medical evacuations in Tunisia, Italy and France.

On November 1, 1944, she was fatally injured in a Medevac C-47 crash near Saint-Chamond, Loire, France. At the time of her death, Lutz was perhaps the most experienced flight nurse in the U.S. military service. She had the most evacuation sorties (196), most combat hours flown by any flight nurse (814) and the most patients transported by any flight nurse (3500+).


Lutz was awarded the Air Medal four times, and was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross—the second woman to receive it (Amelia Earhart was the first).

Lutz has been honored with an 800-patient hospital ship—the USAHS Aleda E. Lutz—and a C-47 cargo plane christened Miss Nightingale III in her honor. In 1990, Saginaw Veterans Hospital was rededicated as the Aleda E. Lutz Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

On Saturday, April 17, 2010 Lutz, along with four other former military members with Michigan connections will be enshrined into the Air Zoo's Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame.[citation needed]

A stele (monument) exists at the crash site which states Lt. Lutz was the first American woman who died in action during WW II. The stele is near Doizieux, France on Mt. Pilat. A local citizen has written a book about the crash and has interviewed all the witnesses. He was still alive as of September, 2011 at age 90.

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