Ruth Alice Erickson

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Ruth Alice Erickson
CAPT Ruth Alice Erickson USN.jpg
CAPT Ruth Alice Erickson, USN
Born (1913-06-20)June 20, 1913
Virginia, Minnesota
Died November 25, 2008(2008-11-25) (aged 95)
Rochester, Minnesota
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1936–1966
Rank Captain
Commands held Director of the United States Navy Nurse Corps, 1962–1966
Battles/wars World War II
Korean War
Awards Navy Unit Commendation, American Defense Service Medal with one star, Navy Occupation Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal

Captain Ruth Alice Erickson was the Director of the United States Navy Nurse Corps, serving in that position from 1962 to 1966. As a LT in the Navy Nurse Corps, she witnessed the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 7 December 1941.[1]

Early life[edit]

Ruth Alice Erickson was born in 1913 in Virginia, Minnesota.[2] She graduated from Methodist Kahler School of Nursing in Rochester, Minnesota in 1934.[3]

Navy Nurse Corps career[edit]

Ruth Erickson joined the Navy Nurse Corps in July 1936. During her career she served on the hospital ship Relief, witnessed the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor,[1] and served on the hospital ship Haven while bringing home prisoners of war from Japan in 1945.[3] Erickson moved through positions of increasing responsibility, including nursing supervisor, senior nurse and assistant chief of nursing services at various naval hospitals, Nurse Corps representative in the 12th Naval District and Military Sea Transport Service in Seattle, WA, and personnel officer for the Nurse Corps at the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in Washington, D. C..[3] She served as chief nurse at three major naval hospitals and, on 30 April 1962 became the Director of the Navy Nurse Corps. She retired from the U. S. Navy on 1 May 1966.[2]


Erickson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing Education from Indiana University in 1953.[2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Oral History of LT Ruth Erickson
  2. ^ a b c Sterner, Doris M. (1997). In and Out of Harm's Way: A history of the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps. Seattle, WA: Peanut Butter Publishing. ISBN 0-89716-706-6. 
  3. ^ a b c d Godson, Susan H. (2001). Serving Proudly: A history of Women in the U.S. Navy. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-317-6. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Ruth Agatha Houghton
Director, Navy Nurse Corps
Succeeded by
Veronica Bulshefski