Aleda E. Lutz

Aleda E. Lutz

Aleda E. Lutz
Born 1915
Freeland, Michigan, United States
Died November 1, 1944
Saint-Chamond, Loire, France
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Army
Rank Lieutenant
Unit Army Nurse Corps
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Medal (4)
Purple Heart

Aleda E. Lutz (1915 – November 1, 1944) was an United States Army flight nurse during World War II.

Serving in the Army Nurse Corps during World War II, she participated in six separate battle campaigns over a 20-month period, accompanied air combat missions, and conducted all-weather medical evacuations in Tunisia, Italy and France.

On November 1, 1944, she was fatally injured in a Medevac C-47 crash near Saint-Chamond, Loire, France. At the time of her death, Lutz was perhaps the most experienced flight nurse in the U.S. military service. She had the most evacuation sorties (196), most combat hours flown by any flight nurse (814) and the most patients transported by any flight nurse (3500+).


Lutz was awarded the Air Medal four times, and was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross—the second woman to receive the decoration after Amelia Earhart.

Lutz has been honored with an 800-patient hospital ship—the USAHS Aleda E. Lutz—and a C-47 cargo plane christened Miss Nightingale III in her honor. In 1990, Saginaw Veterans Hospital was rededicated as the Aleda E. Lutz Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

On Saturday, April 17, 2010 Lutz, along with four other former military members with Michigan connections will be enshrined into the Air Zoo's Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame.

A stele (monument) exists at the crash site which states Lt. Lutz was the first American woman who died in action during World War II. The stele is near Doizieux, France on Mt. Pilat. A local citizen has written a book about the crash and has interviewed all the witnesses.

External links

  • Aleda E. Lutz Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center
  • National Museum of the US Airforce: Factsheet on Aleda Lutz
  • Aerosteles Has a picture of the monument erected on the site of the crash.