Wilma Leona Jackson

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Wilma Leona Jackson
Nickname(s) Leona
Born (1909-09-01)September 1, 1909
Union, Ohio
Died March 23, 1998(1998-03-23) (aged 88)
Dayton, Ohio
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1936–1958
Rank Captain
Commands held Director of the United States Navy Nurse Corps, 1954-1958
Battles/wars World War II
Korean War
Awards American Defense Service Medal
Asiatic Victory Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Commendation Ribbon

Capt Wilma Leona Jackson was the third Director of the United States Navy Nurse Corps, serving in that position from 1954 to 1958.

Early life[edit]

Wilma Leona Jackson was born to Roy and Carrie (Furnas) Class in Union, Ohio in 1909. She attended Butler Centralized School, Vandalia, OH, graduating in 1927. In September 1930 she graduated from nurse's training school at Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton, OH.

Navy Nurse Corps career[edit]

Leona Jackson was appointed to the United States Navy Nurse Corps on 6 July 1936. She served her first few years, from 1936 until 1939 at the Naval Hospital, Philadelphia, PA and then at the Naval Hospital, Brooklyn, NY from 1939 to 1940.

In 1940, then Ensign Jackson was assigned to the Naval Hospital, Guam, Marianas Islands. In December 1941, two days after Pearl Harbor, the Japanese invaded and took all personnel prisoner. Jackson and three other nurses, under the supervision of Chief Nurse Marian Olds, continued to work at the hospital until they were transported to Japan where they were held as prisoners of war until August 1942 when they were repatriated through Mozambique.

Jackson was promoted to LTJG in 1943 and then, in 1944, she was assigned to the Navy's Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) in Washington, D. C.. After her promotion to LT in 1944, she returned to Guam where she was assigned to Fleet Hospital #103. She was the Senior Nurse Corps Officer in the Island Command until her transfer in December 1945.

Director, Navy Nurse Corps[edit]

  • 1 May 1954 - Director, United States Navy Nurse Corps
  • 2 May 1954 - Officer Grade Limitation Act of 1954 (Public Law #349) increase in temporary CDRs and LCDRs in the NNC
  • Retired 1958

Later life[edit]

Jackson retired to Ohio. She died on 23 March 1998 at the Veteran's Administration Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio, and is buried at Polk Grove Cemetery in Vandalia, Ohio.[1]


Graduated Miami Valley Hospital, Nurses Training School, Dayton, Ohio in 1930. BS and MA in Nursing Administration, Columbia University, NYC, 1952.

Further reading[edit]

  • "I Was on Guam", Leona Jackson, The American Journal of Nursing, Vol. 42, No. 11 (November, 1942), pp. 1244–1246.
  • "Nurse Prescribes Navy For Wedding Belles", Stars and Stripes, 8 May 1954.
  • "New Navy Nurse Director", Stars and Stripes, 8 March 1954.
  • 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. 
  • Ebbert, Jean and Marie-Beth Hall (1999). Crossed Currents: Navy Women from WWI to Tailhook [Revised]. Washington, D.C.: Brassey's. ISBN 978-1-57488-193-6. 
  • 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.  Fact filled, extensively researched account of the evolution of the roles of women in the United States Navy, treating the parallel and intertwined paths of the Navy Nurse Corps and the WAVES. About one-third of the pages are devoted to notes and bibliography.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Winnie Gibson
Director, Navy Nurse Corps
Succeeded by
Ruth Agatha Houghton
  1. ^ Capt Wilma L Jackson at Find a Grave