The Human Machinery of War

Photograph: Two Nurses Stand on Either Side of a Soldier on the Steps of Walter Reed General Hospital

Original Title/Caption: “Three of Uncle Sam's soldiers stand on the steps of an Army hospital. Lieutenant Eleanor Whalen of Chicago (left), Army transport nurse; Major Edward Rector of Marshal, South Carolina, veteran AVD flyer; and Lieutenant Frances Bullock of the Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. typify the spirit of America's soldiers and soldier-nurses standing strong in the fight against brutality and aggression.”

 

Description: In this black and white photograph, two women nurses stand on either side of a male soldier.  The nurse on the left wears a white uniform, while both the nurse on the right and the soldier wear military uniforms.  The three stand on the front steps of a military hospital.  Walter Reed General Hospital is etched into the stone face of the hospital above a series of columns.  This photograph was taken in May 1943 by Ann Rosener.

 

Source: Rosener, Ann, photographer. “Three of Uncle Sam's soldiers stand on the steps of an Army hospital. Lieutenant Eleanor Whalen of Chicago (left), Army transport nurse; Major Edward Rector of Marshal, South Carolina, veteran AVD flyer; and Lieutenant Frances Bullock of the Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. typify the spirit of America's soldiers and soldier-nurses standing strong in the fight against brutality and aggression.”  Photograph, 1943.  From Library of Congress: Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information Photograph Collection, Call number LC-USW3- 023875-D.  http://loc.gov/pictures/resource/fsa.8d16958/ (accessed March 20, 2007).

 

Historical discussion: During the Second World War, the U.S. Armed Forces suffered 1,077,245 military casualties.  A total of 405,399 military personnel lost their lives, 291,557 in battle and 113,842 because of disease or other causes.  Additionally, 671,846 military personnel suffered non-fatal wounds.

See Scott Sigmund Gartner, “Military personnel and casualties, by war and branch of service: 1775–1991,” Table Ed1-5 in Historical Statistics of the United States, Earliest Times to the Present: Millennial Edition, eds. Susan B. Carter, Scott Sigmund Gartner, Michael R. Haines, Alan L. Olmstead, Richard Sutch, and Gavin Wright (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006) http://proxy.lib.ohio-state.edu/login?url=http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/ISBN-9780511132971.Ed1-145.