Elizabeth A. Blomer – Colonel, United States Army

From a contemporary press report:

Elizabeth A. Blomer, 75, a career officer in the Army Nursing Corps and a decorated veteran who served in three wars, died Tuesday, October 28, 1995 at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Philadelphia. Born in Clarksboro, New Jersey, Colonel Blomer was a 1938 graduate of the old Swedesboro High School. At the time of her death, she lived in Thorofare.

While still a teenager, Colonel Blomer had an appendectomy, and the operation was the inspiration for her career. “She was so impressed by the nurses that she decide to become a nurse,” said her sister Suzanne Graham of Toronto. Immediately after high school, she attended and graduated from the former St. Mary's Hospital School of Nursing in Philadelphia. In 1943, she enlisted in the Army Nursing Corps as a general-duty nurse and remained there for most of her career, which included tours of duty in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. When she retired in 1975 as a colonel, she had a collection of ribbons and medals that included a Bronze Star and the Cross of Gallantry with Palm.

Her unit was among the first nursing units sent ashore following D-Day. In Vietnam, she had occasion to serve overnight on a gunboat traveling down the Mekong River, her sister said. “She saved a piece of shrapnel that went right over her bed and could have killed her” – except that she was attending a New Year's Eve Party that evening. While in Korea, Colonel Blomer helped develop procedures for MASH units. In Vietnam, she was an assistant to the chief of nursing administration and helped oversee field hospitals, her sister said. She also served as chief nurse for Army hospitals in Missouri and San Francisco and as a recruiter in New York City and Rochester, New York. In 1951, Colonel Blomer graduated from Temple University with a degree in nursing education. She later earned a master's degree at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

“She was really dedicated and a hard worker,” her sister said. “And she was very gratified by the work she did.” After retiring, she lived for a time in Texas, where she enjoyed gardening. She returned to South Jersey about eight years ago, settling in Thorofare. In addition to her sister, Miss Blomer is survived by two brothers, Frank of Woodbury and George of Kansas City, Kansas; and another sister, Jane Carlson of West Deptford. Military services will be private in April at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

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