Ryan, Mildred Martha Strohschein
Date of Interview
Mildred Martha Strohschein Ryan was born on 3 February 1922 in the small town of Lydia, Scott County, Minnesota, and she grew up here and in Webster, Rice County. Martha graduated from Northfield High School in 1939, and after a year working in Watertown, Minnesota, she entered the nurses training program at St. Joseph Hospital (later Health East), in St. Paul. Martha completed this program in 1943 and worked one year as a nurse before enlisting in the US Army in March 1944. Following Basic Training at Camp Carson, Colorado, Martha was stationed until November 1944 at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, where she performed various duties. At that time she was transferred to the 119th Evacuation Hospital and shipped to England. The unit moved to France in early 1945, and Martha spent the remained of the war at locations in Belgium and Germany. Her primary duty was in the recovery room of a first-echelon hospital facility; combat casualties were operated on here, while others were stabilized for shipment to rear area hospitals. It was demanding and emotionally exhausting work. After V-E Day, Martha was stationed at several facilities in France before being rotated back to the US in December 1945. Rather than leave the service, Martha re-enlisted; she spent all of 1946 at Percy Jones Army Hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan, and was only discharged from active duty in 1947. She did stay in the Reserves, though, and was called up for twenty-five months during the Korean Conflict. Martha finally retired from the Reserves in 1954, but worked at VA hospitals until 1957. Martha and her husband James Ryan (married 1955) lived in Vancouver, Washington, and Richmond, Virginia, before returning to Minnesota permanently in 1973. Jim died shortly thereafter, but Martha kept busy with worldwide travel and numerous other interests.
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Saylor, Thomas, "Oral History Project World War II Years, 1941-1946 - Martha Ryan" (2002). Oral History Project: World War II Years, 1941-1946. 163.