Mildred Irene Clark Woodman – Colonel, United States Army

From a press report: November 29, 1994

From the time the bombs started falling on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, it was three weeks before Lt. Mildred Irene Clark left her appointed post as a nurse/anesthetist at Schofield Barracks Army Hospital. In those weeks, she lived in the hospital, nursing the wounded.

The young lieutenant, later Colonel Irene Clark Woodman, who retired in 1967 as chief of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps, shared her experiences as a career Army nurse in a special program and exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of History on November 20, 1994.

After visits with her family in Elizabethtown, Ms. Woodman and her husband were on their wayhome to Michigan when she suffered a heart attack and died Friday in a Kentucky hospital. She was 79.

The funeral will be at 11 a.m. today at Elizabethtown Baptist Church. Burial will be in Arlington National Cemetery.

Ms. Woodman, formerly of Bladen County, graduated from Baker General Hospital School of Nursing in Lumberton, did postgraduate work in Philadelphia and earned a bachelor's degree in nursing education from the University of Minnesota.

She started her military career with a direct commission in the regular Army in 1938 and had been in Hawaii for nearly a year when the United States entered World War II.

When she returned stateside in 1943, she was chief of nursing service at wartime general hospitals in Texas and  Massachusetts. In 1947, she went to the Far East and later was director of nurses in Korea. Because of her work, a training
program was started for Korean nurses who later formed the nucleus of the Republic of Korea Army Nurse Corps.

When the Korean War started in 1950,Ms. Woodman was chief nurse at General Headquarters in the Far East Command and nurse consultant to the surgeon of the Far East Air Forces. She later worked in Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas, was chief of the nursing service at New Mexico hospital, and directed personnel procurement programs for the nurse corps and the medical specialist corps in the office of the Army Surgeon General. She worked in Germany, then returned to the United States and became chief nurseof the 6thU.S. Army in San Francisco.

From 1963 to 1967, Ms.Woodman was chief of the Army Nurse Corps. She was credited with establishing the corps' standard requiring all nurses to have bachelor'sdegrees and withcreating the Army student nurse program that gave financial assistance to students in return for an active duty commitment.

She became a patron of the N.C. Museum of History, donating hundreds of uniforms, medals, decorations and objects of memorabilia, in addition to making substantial financial contributions.

“I came to see her as a role model for North Carolina women,” said Vicki L. Berger, curator of costume and textiles for the museum.

Dr. Berger said more than 100 people attendedMs. Woodman's program and exhibit at the museum November 20.

Surviving Ms.Woodman are her husband, retired Army Col. Ernest A. Woodman; stepsons Ronald C. Woodman of Michigan, and Russell P. Woodman of Arlington, Va.; four step-grandchildren;sister Lucille Clark Anderson of New Bern and brother John Wesley Clark of Elizabethtown.

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