Wounded Men Good Patients, Says First Denison War Nurse
Home from Overseas
first war nurse home from foreign service is Second Lt. Eileen Badgett,
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R.C. Badgett, 218 West Heron, who spent a year
in an army station hospital in Australia.
severe cut on the left hand, suffered in the accidental breaking of a
medicine bottle, sent the Denison girl back to the States early this
month. Now a convalescing patient at Ashburn General Hospital
McKinney, Lt. Badgett spent the week-end with her parents here.
as an army nurse in April, 1941, Lt. Badgett spent two years on general
duty in this county and went overseas in September, 1943. She
with an evacuation unit, headed for service close to the front, but the
outfit was assigned to detached service at the Australian station
hospital where the Denisonian remained until returning to the States.
American boys not only are good fighters - they're also good patients,"
Lt. Badgett says of the many soldiers and marines she administered to
while serving in the hospital surgery department. "They don't
worry much about their injuries and keep in high spirits."
Badgett said that the marines especially, most of them very young, were
a carefree lot at the hospital. She described them as
treatment the wounded were to the United States. Lt. Badgett
that coming home meant so much to the men that they didn't find time to
worry about their injuries.
the boat bringing the Denisonian home were a number of Australian
brides of American servicement, many of them with young babies.
She described the Australian women as "nice girls" and agreed
that Australian wives for American soldiers "are all right if they want
before World War II, Lt. Badgett had something of an international
background. She was born in Hull, England, after her father,
American sailor during World War I, married an English girl.
family came to Denison when Eileen was a small child.
graduating from Denison High School in 1937, Lt. Badgett entered
nurse's training at St. Joseph's Hospital, Fort Worth. where she
graduated in 1940. She became an army nurse eight months
Badgett trained at Ft. Wolters and spent five months with the troops in
the field during the Louisiana maneuvers. Even after oversea
duty, she still winces at the memory of the field maneuvers.
Barkeley, the nurses went through commando training along with the men
preparatory to going overseas.
still remembers her first patient in Australia, a Negro soldier who had
been burned severely in a gasoline explosion., who finally returned to
the States after much skin grafting and the amputation of a leg.
Badgett gives assurance that American wounded are receiving every
possible attention in army hospitals. She explains that the
hospitals are fully equipped and staffed with top medical talent.
Denison girl doesn't know where she will be sent after her release from
the McKinney hospital, but it likely will not be overseas again.
Courtesy of Sharon L. Ward, niece of Eileen Badgett Olson, the
first Denison War Nurse - she was actually cut on her hand and sent home; she is still crippled to a degree with that
hand. She is almost 90 now and lives in Indianapolis.