Ground Support

Nurses, cryptographers, intelligence agents, Red Cross workers, and information officers existed in all theaters of World War II. But in the CBI, they had to adapt to unfamiliar cultures and keep reminding themselves that they were making a difference in winning the war against the Japanese.

Featured Story: Geraldine L. Boock

“When you work in an Army hospital like we did you feel like the whole world is wounded, because that’s all you see all day.”

(Video Interview, 1:16:29)

Geraldine “Gerry” Boock graduated from nursing school in 1944, and she and several of her classmates decided to join the war effort. One of her friends volunteered the two of them for overseas duty, and after six weeks at sea, she landed in Calcutta, where she worked with patients wounded or taken ill in the China-Burma-India Theater. She wasn’t immune to an occasional bout of dysentery; she also encountered a shifty snake charmer, and, on a moonlight visit to the Taj Mahal, an amorous British soldier. After the war ended, she stayed on in India until spring 1946 and in the Army until December of that year. Her last assignment was in a California hospital obstetrics ward, as different an experience as possible from her sojourn in India.