Monday, April 12, 2010

1st Lt. Aleda E. Lutz, Army flight nurse

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—On Saturday, April 17, five former military members with Michigan connections will be enshrined into the Air Zoo’s Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame. The Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) and author Andrew Layton will also be honored during the ceremony.

The 2010 Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame enshrinees include:

Aleda E. Lutz to be enshrined in Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame

Lutz was born in Freeland. While enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps, she participated in six separate battle campaigns over a 20-month period, flew combat missions, and conducted all-weather medical evacuations in Tunisia, Italy and France. On November 1, 1944, she was fatally injured in a Medevac C-47 crash near St. Chaumon, France.

At the time of her death, Lutz was perhaps the most experienced flight nurse in the U.S. military service. She had the most evacuation sorties (196), most combat hours flown by any flight nurse (814) and the most patients transported by any flight nurse (3500+). Lutz has been honored with an 800-patient hospital ship—the USAHS Aleda E. Lutz—and a C-47 cargo plane christened Miss Nightingale III in her honor.

In 1990, Saginaw Veterans Hospital was rededicated as the Aleda E. Lutz Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.