When World War I broke out in Europe in 1914, two Navy Nurses requested discharges and joined the Red Cross. There they served in the war zone, helping treat men who were injured in battles.
The women would spend a year on the front lines. In 1915, both returned to the United States and reenlisted in the Navy. Their experience was important, because it would help shape the role of women when the U.S. entered the “Great War” two years later, in 1917.
This photograph at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Norfolk, circa 1914, comes from the collection of the Naval History and Heritage Command.