Cordelia E. Cook

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Cordelia E. Cook
Cordelia E Cook 1945.jpg
First Lieutenant Cordelia Cook 1945
BornMarch 17, 1919
Fort Thomas, Kentucky
DiedJune 19, 1996(1996-06-19) (aged 77)
Upper Arlington, Ohio
Resting placeEvergreen Cemetery, Southgate, Campbell County, Kentucky, US
Occupationregistered nurse
Cook tending a wounded serviceman in 1943, showing her shrapnel wound, for which she received a Purple Heart award

Cordelia Elizabeth Cook (March 17, 1919 – June 19, 1996) was an American combat nurse in the United States Army Nurse Corps during World War II. She was the first woman in the U.S. Army to receive both the Bronze Star Medal award and the Purple Heart.

Early life[edit]

Cook was born in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, on March 17, 1919.[1] She obtained her primary schooling in Fort Thomas. She went by the name "Betty".[2]

Military duty[edit]

Cook attended the Christ Hospital School of Nursing in Cincinnati, Ohio, for 3 years and graduated in 1940.[2] She became a surgical nurse with the rank of first lieutenant in the United States Army Nurse Corps.[3] Cook was sent to Europe during World War II. The field hospital in Italy she was working at was bombed in 1943.[4] In spite of the dangers, she continued her nursing duties into January 1944 at the 11th Field Hospital in the Presenzano sector at the Italian front.[5] She received a Bronze Star Medal award for her service, being the first woman to receive the award.[6][7] Cook sustained a shrapnel wound to her right arm from German artillery fire while carrying out her duties.[1][4] Because of this she received the Purple Heart award, becoming the first woman to receive both the Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart awards.[4][6][8][9]

Personal life[edit]

Cook married Harold E. Fillmore, a U.S. Army captain.[10] The Fillmores had a daughter, Sara, and two sons, David and William.[11] After the war, she worked as a registered nurse at Doctors Hospital North in Columbus, Ohio, for 28 years. She was a member of the Crestview Presbyterian Church in West Chester, Ohio, near Cincinnati.[11] Cook died in Upper Arlington, Ohio, on June 19, 1996, at 77 years of age.[11]


  1. ^ a b Commire & Klezmer 2007, p. 429.
  2. ^ a b Frank 2013, p. 161.
  3. ^ Read & Witlieb 1992, p. 101.
  4. ^ a b c Baron 1998, p. 68.
  5. ^ Loomis 1958, p. 75.
  6. ^ a b Kane 1964, p. 358.
  7. ^ "World War II Honoree". National World War II Memorial. American Battle Monuments Commission; National Archives and Records Administration. 2003. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  8. ^ Robinson 1946, p. 352.
  9. ^ Jackson 2006, p. 58.
  10. ^ Note: The married name she used for documents and legal use was Cordelia Elizabeth Fillmore or Cordelia E. Fillmore.
  11. ^ a b c Columbus Dispatch newspaper (Columbus, Ohio) - Thursday, June 20, 1996 - obituary, p. 7F


External links[edit]