• AFMS looks at role on National Vietnam War Veterans Day

    Each year on March 29 the nation honors the service and sacrifices of Vietnam War veterans for National Vietnam War Veterans Day. This date marks the day the last U.S. combat troops departed Vietnam, on March 29, 1973.

  • Air Force adoption of water fluoridation in 1954 led to dental improvements

    On September 22, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force posted images to its social media page as part of a story about one of the crewmembers of Lt. Col. Charles “Deacon” Miller’s B-29, Deacon’s Disciples II, whose last flight in World War II set a record for the fastest non-stop trip from

  • AFMS Readiness and the Korean War

    Each year on July 27th we recognize National Korean War Armistice Day, which marks the anniversary of the day in 1953 when hostilities during the Korean War came to an end. This provides a timely occasion for the Air Force Medical Service to reflect upon the challenges of readiness in the face of

  • The Hawley Board and the establishment of the Air Force Medical Service

    The Air Force Medical Service celebrates its 72nd birthday on July 1 thanks in part to the “Hawley Board” and the “Hoover Commission,” the earliest joint panels that advocated for greater centralization within the Military Health System while also providing venues for ideas in favor of a separate

  • First Chief of the Nurse Corps

    Verena M. Zeller, the first chief of the Air Force Nurse Corps, was promoted to lieutenant colonel in April 1950. Zeller led the Nurse Corps during the Korean War, overseeing its growth and evolution into an organization focused on flight care.

  • ANZAC Day: A time for honoring partnerships

    Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) Day is a time to honor members and reflect on the long-lasting partnership between ANZAC and the Air Force Medical Service, which reaches back to the Korean war when ANZAC and AFMS members worked together as allies. Pictured above, Australian flight

  • Air Force Medicine during the Vietnam War

    By the height of the Vietnam War in the late 1960’s, the U.S. Air Force had 1,900 medics conducting medical operations in Southeast Asia. The steady aeromedical evacuation and in-theater care performed by the Air Force Medical Service (AFMS) in Southeast Asia drove innovation and evolution in flight

  • Air Force Medicine in the Korean War

    The Air Force Medical Service (AFMS) became independent from the U.S. Army in 1949, just four years after the end of World War II. The Korean War, just a year later, was the first opportunity for the new medical arm of the U.S. Air Force to demonstrate its value in a wartime situation. Many of the

  • This Month in AFMS History: Malcolm Grow and the 1934 Alaskan Flight

    Before Maj. Gen. (Dr.) Malcolm C. Grow became the first surgeon general of the U.S. Air Force, he was already well-known for his medical activities.  Grow was a recognized leader in creating unique equipment, such as armored vests and electric gloves, to help the flyers during World War II.  He was

  • Creation of the first Central Medical Establishment in World War II

    In the early days of World War II, Eighth Air Force Surgeon, Col. Malcolm C. Grow, grew concerned about the mental and physical well-being of aircrews within the command. To address these concerns, he first created a ‘Care of the Flyer’ section on his staff. Shortly thereafter, with the help of Col.

  • First Flight Nurse of the Year Award

    On May 5, 1968, the Aerospace Medical Association established the “Flight Nurse of the Year award.  The first recipient, Maj. Virginia M. Alena, received a trophy, a wrist watch, and a $500 honorarium from the sponsor of the award, Douglas Aircraft Company. She was recognized for her work as the

  • This month in AFMS History: Operation Little Switch

    On April 20, 1953, Operation Little Switch marked the first successful efforts toward ending hostilities in Korea and ultimately set in motion the Korean War Armistice. Nine days earlier at Panmunjom, talks between Commander in Chief, General Mark W. Clark, Premier Kim Il Sung, and Chinese General

  • 40 Years Ago: Last Nurse Survivor of Bataan Still on Active Duty Retires

    Air Force Lt. Col. Helen M. Hennessey retired Jan. 31, 1967, after 27 years of military service. Hennessey was the last remaining active duty Air Force nurse to have been amongst those who served at the Battle of Bataan in 1941.    Hennessey joined the Army in November 1940 and was assigned to the

  • Women's history: Honoring WWII AF flight nurse

    During World War II, an American flight nurse was captured, becoming the only female U.S. military member held prisoner of war in the European Theater. Her name was Lt. Reba Z. Whittle.In 1943, Whittle joined the Army Air Forces School of Air Evacuation, where she trained as a flight nurse. It would