Annie Ruth Graham – Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army

Lieutenant Colonel Annie Ruth Graham, from Efland, North Carolina, was a veteran of World War II and Korea, and was the Chief Nurse at the 91st Evacuation Hospital, Tuy Hoa, Vietnam. She suffered a stroke on August 14, 1968 and was evacuated to Japan where she died four days later. She was 52.

She was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

Annie Ruth Graham was born on November 7, 1916 and joined the Armed Forces while in EFLAND, North Carolina.

She served as a Nurse in the United States Army.  In 26 years of service, she attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. She began a tour of duty in Vietnam on November 16, 1967.

On August 14, 1968, at the age of 51, Annie Ruth Graham perished in the service of our country in South Vietnam.

Thank you for this wonderful site. I know Ruth touched many lives during her career, as evidenced by the letters she sent home to her parents. Ruth began her Army career as a Second Lieutenant in 1942 general duty nurse. She served in WWII, the Korean War and finally Vietnam. Her numerous tours of duty included caring for polio victims in Ethiopia. Ruth spent her off-duty hours in Viet Nam caring for civilian land mine victims.

Colonel Graham died in Viet Nam on August 14, 1968. Her last post was Chief Nurse at 91st Evacuation Hospital, 43rd Medical Group, 44th Medical Brigade, Tuy Hoa. She was never married, and had no children.

She was buried in the nurse's section of Arlington Cemetery. I am putting together a scrapbook of my Great-Aunt Ruth. If you knew her, or knew of her, I would appreciate anything you would like to say to add to the scrapbook. Thanks for any
information you can provide.



  • American Campaign Medal
  • European – Afreican – Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 2 Bronze Service
  • Stars
  • World War II Victory Medal
  • Army of Occupation Medal (Japan)
  • Korean Service Medal
  • United Nations Service Medal
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • National Defense service Medal with 1st Oak Leaf Cluster
  • Armed Forces Reserve Medal with 10 Year Device
  • One of eight nurses listed on the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial, Washington, DC
  • Buried in Arlington National Cemetery


  • Second Lieutenant March 1942
  • First Lieutenant April 1944
  • Captain November 1946
  • Major May 1953
  • Leiutenant Colonel June 1966


  • General Duty Nurse 3/1942 – 11-1945 Station Hospital, Fort Jackson, South Carolina,
  • 57th Station Hospital and 171st Evacuation Hospital, U. S. Army, Europe (WWII)
  • Not on active duty 11/1945 – 12-1950 Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree
  • at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
  • General Duty Nurse 1/1951 – 9/1952 U. S. Army Hospital, Camp Rucker, Alabama
  • General Duty Nurse 10-1952 – 9/1954 U.S. Army Hospital, Camp Yokohama
  • Osaka Army Hospital, Japan
  • Army Health Nurse 11-1954 – 3/1958 U.S. Army Hospital
  • Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri
  • Army Health Nurse 4/1958 – 10/1960 45th Field Hospital, U.S. Army, Europe
  • Surgical Head Nurse,
  • Medical Surgical Supervisor 10/1960 – 11/1963 Walter Reed General Hospital
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Head Nurse 1/1964 – 3/1966 U.S. Army Hospital, Asmara, Ethiopia
  • Supervisor, Department of Surgery,
  • Assistant Chief Nurse 3/1966 – 10/1967 Womack Army Hospital
  • Fort Bragg, North Carolina
  • Chief Nurse 11/1967 – 8/1968 91st Evacuation Hospital, 43rd Medical Group,
  • 44th Medical Brigade,Tuy Hoa, Viet Nam

Born November 7, 1916 in Efland, North Carolina

Annie Ruth Graham's final Christmas Letter to friends and family, 1967:


“This Christmas finds me a long, long way from North Carolina.  I arrived in Saigon on 18 November and almost immediately departed for Tuy Hoa (pronounced Too-ey Wah) where our hospital (400 bed) is located directly on the beach of the South China Sea which is perfectly beautiful but quite treacherous.  All buildings here are tropical type and the hospital is cantonment style.  It is monsoon season now so we have torrential rains at times.  The climate is quite humid but the nights are really rather pleasant.  Getting used to my new outfit (tropical fatigues, jungle boots, and “baseball cap”) is not as “exciting” as in World War II but I'm quite sure I'll manage to survive it all!  Our nursing staff consists of 59 nurses (12 male) who of our enlisted personnel seem very well trained and apparently have been doing an excellent job.

“The tour of duty here is 12 months so I plan to be home for Christmas next year.

“I hope you have had a good year and that your Christmas is filled with joy and the New Year with more happiness than you could possibly wish for.

“Hope, too, that everyone will pray for peace.  Love, Ruth”

Lieutenant Colonel Annie Ruth Graham died at the Tachakawa Air Force Hospital, Japan, on the fourteenth of August 1968.

Ruth was admitted to the 91st Evacuation Hospital at 10:30 p.m. on 8 August, after suffering what appeared at first to be a fainting spell. Upon admission to the hospital her illness was diagnosed as a subarachnoid hemmorrhage. Due to the seriousness of her condition she was evacuated, with one of the physicians in attendance, to the U.S. Air Force Hospital at Tachakawa Air Force Base, Japan, where, despite every effort to save her life, she died at 9:55pm on the fourteenth of August.



Is awarded posthumously to


Lieutenant Colonel Graham distinguished herself by exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service during the period November 1967 to August 1968 while serving as Chief, Nursing Service, 91st Evacuation Hospital, 43rd Medical Group, 44th medical Brigade in the Republic of Viet Nam.

In this position Colonel Graham was responsible for the entire nursing service for an active four hundred bed inpatient and outpatient medical complex. She personally controlled and coordinated all nursing care, and through her diligence and close supervision, the admission, treatment and disposition of patients were handled in an expeditious and efficient manner.

During the enemy's Tet Offensive and other mass casualty situations, she was continually present and worked tirelessly in organizing and directing all nursing activities. Her meticulous attention to detail and astute planning ensured the smooth functioning of her staff during these critical periods.

Colonel Graham developed and implemented a comprehensive and intensive training program of instruction for ward personnel, which significantly enhanced the technical ability of her staff. Displaying a sincere interest in the welfare of the Viet Namese civilians, she often spent her off duty hours visiting the nationals who, as innocent victims, suffered the consequences of the war.

Through her forceful leadership, keen foresight and unrelenting determination, Lieutenant Colonel Graham contributed immeasurably to the medical support mission in the Republic of Vite Nam. Her professional competence and outstanding achievements were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon herself, her unit and the United States Army.


  • DATE OF BIRTH: 11/04/1916
  • DATE OF DEATH: 08/14/1968

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