Cherry Ames 05 Flight Nurse

CHERRY AMES, FLIGHT NURSE

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CHERRY AMES NURSE STORIES

CHERRY AMES

FLIGHT NURSE

By

HELEN WELLS

Copyright C 1945 by Grosset & Dunlap, Inc.

Copyright C renewed 2007 by Harriet Schulman Forman Springer Publishing Company, LLC

All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy-ing, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of Springer Publishing Company, LLC.

Springer Publishing Company, LLC

11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor New York, NY 10036-8002

Acquisitions Editior: Sally J. Barhydt Production Editor: Matthew Byrd Cover design by Takeout Graphics, Inc.

Composition: Techbooks

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10/5

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Wells, Helen, 1910-Cherry Ames, flight nurse / by Helen Wells.

p. cm. — (Cherry Ames nurse stories) Summary: With the war still ongoing, Cherry Ames works as a flight nurse, flying into battle zones to pick up wounded soldiers and take them to base hospitals for treatment.

ISBN 0-8261-0397-9

[1. Nurses—Fiction.

2. United States. Army Nurse Corps—Fiction.

3. Flight—Fiction.

4. World War, 1939-1945—Fiction.]

I. Title.

PZ7.W4644Ce 2006

[Fic]—dc22

2006022322

Printed in the United States of America by Bang Printing
Contents

Foreword

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vii

I

Practice Flight

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II

Somewhere in Britain

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III

Mystery of Mark Grainger

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IV

“Aunt” Cherry

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62

V

First Mission

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VI

A Medal for Johnny

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113

VII

Christmas Party

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128

VIII

Under Fire

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149

IX

The Mystery Explained

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174

X

Mission Home

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194

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Foreword

Helen Wells, the author of the Cherry Ames stories, said, “I’ve always thought of nursing, and perhaps you have, too, as just about the most exciting, important, and rewarding, profession there is. Can you think of any other skill that is
always
needed by everybody, everywhere?”

I was and still am a fan of Cherry Ames. Her courageous dedication to her patients; her exciting escapades; her thirst for knowledge; her intelligent application of her nursing skills; and the respect she achieved as a registered nurse (RN) all made it clear to me I was going to follow in her footsteps and become a nurse—nothing else would do. Thousands of other young people were motivated by Cherry Ames to become RNs as well. Cherry Ames motivated young people on into the 1970s, when the series ended.

Readers who remember reading these books in the past will enjoy rereading them now—whether or not vii

viii

F O R E W O R D

they chose nursing as a career—and perhaps sharing them with others.

My career has been a rich and satisfying one, during which I have delivered babies, saved lives, and cared for people in hospitals and in their homes. I have worked at the bedside and served as an administrator.

I have published journals, written articles, taught students, consulted, and given expert testimony.

Never once did I regret my decision to enter nursing.

During the time that I was publishing a nursing journal, I became acquainted with Robert Wells, brother of Helen Wells. In the course of conversation I learned that Ms. Wells had passed on and left the Cherry Ames copyright to Mr. Wells. Because there is a shortage of nurses here in the US today, I thought, “Why not bring Cherry back to motivate a whole new generation of young people? Why not ask Mr. Wells for the copyright to Cherry Ames?” Mr. Wells agreed, and the republished series is dedicated both to Helen Wells, the original author, and to her brother, Robert Wells, who transferred the rights to me. I am proud to ensure the continuation of Cherry Ames into the twenty-first century.

The final dedication is to you, both new and old readers of Cherry Ames: It is my dream that you enjoy Cherry’s nursing skills as well as her escapades. I hope that young readers will feel motivated to choose
F O R E W O R D

ix

nursing as their life’s work. Remember, as Helen Wells herself said: there’s no other skill that’s “
always
needed by everybody, everywhere.”

Harriet Schulman Forman, RN, EdD

Series Editor

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c h a p t e r

i

Practice Flight

lieutenant

cherry

ames,

of

the

army

nurse

Corps, training at Randolph Field, Texas, to become a flight nurse, decided to take time out, this hot Septem-ber morning, for a Coke.

In the PX—the post exchange—Cherry ran into her old friend Ann Evans. Ann, looking pale, was buying chewing gum.

“Why, Annie, you don’t chew gum!” Cherry protested.

“No, but my pilot does,” Ann replied grimly. “We made a pact. Anyone who gets airsick on training flights has to buy the crew chief six packs of gum. Not only am I flipsy-flopsy in the stomach—I’m going broke!” Cherry grinned. “You’ll outgrow it as I did. Come on over here to the soda fountain and have a cup of tea.”

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C H E R R Y A M E S , F L I G H T N U R S E

The two girls were perched on stools at the fountain when redheaded Gwen Jones burst in. She waved a special-delivery letter.

“For you, Cherry! I’ve looked all over for you! Open it quick—it’s from Dr. Joe.”

Cherry ripped open the letter and scanned the small, neat handwriting—a scientist’s hand.

“Hurray! Dr. Joe is coming to our graduation. But something seems to be up. He wants me to—” she read on “—to look for someone and do something when we get overseas—
provided
we are sent to England. He says he can’t explain it in a letter.” She turned the page over, and examined it again. “That’s odd.”

“A mystery,” Gwen suggested hopefully.

“Rumor sayeth all new flight nurses are slated for England,” Ann contributed.

Ann and Gwen, old, dear friends who had been student nurses with Cherry, read the letter, too. Cherry sipped her Coke thoughtfully. Major Joseph Fortune had been Cherry’s friend and neighbor from the moment she and her twin brother were born. His moth-erless daughter, Midge, was practically Cherry’s little sister. Cherry was really touched that Dr. Joe was trav-eling from his Army research laboratory in Washington, D.C., to see her graduated. She knew her family could not come to Texas all the way from Illinois. She was bursting to know what Dr. Joe was referring to in his letter. It was not like him to be mysterious.

P R A C T I C E F L I G H T
3

“Is Lex, or should I say Captain Upham, coming, too?” Ann asked.

“Your old beau, now Dr. Joe’s assistant,” Gwen chanted. “My, my, what a change of role!” Cherry said absently, “Do you know it’s almost a year—a year this coming Christmas—since I’ve seen Lex? It’s pretty hard to keep up a friendship by mail.”

“Never mind Lex,” Ann said. “What’s this mystery?” Cherry shrugged. “We won’t know until Dr. Joe gets here.”

“How can you wait?” Gwen demanded. “I’m already itching with curiosity and it isn’t even
my
who-killed-Cock-Robin.”

“I just hope we get to England,” Cherry said. “Oh, graduation day, hurry up and get here!” Between the day the letter arrived and graduation, Cherry had plenty to learn. Here at Randolph Field, Texas, about a ten-minute ride from San Antonio, she attended the Army Air Forces School of Air Evacuation. At this Troop Carrier Command base, teams of AAF doctors, nurses, enlisted medical technicians, and pilots, trained together. They were people of fire and courage. They had to be. Six weeks of intensive work, and then they would be ready to fly, in their winged ambulances, to every American battle front on the globe.

They would fly to places where wounded men needed help
fast
—places where only planes could get through.

They would pick up the wounded and fly them back 4

C H E R R Y A M E S , F L I G H T N U R S E

to base hospitals. “Flying angels,” soldiers called these gallant nurses of the air.

“This is the strangest, most wonderful school I ever saw!” Cherry thought, as she walked across the vast, windy airfield, to meet her pilot, Captain Wade Cooper.

Cherry looked up to the sky. It was full of Army planes—her new home was the sky, now.

Parked planes were so thickly clustered that Cherry walked under their wings as often as under blue sky.

The air vibrated with the hoarse thunder of plane engines. Dozens of gray planes swooped and roared over her head. Propellers flashed in the sun. Everywhere, aloft and on the earth, were sunburned young men in khaki uniforms, or hard-working young men in green fatigues. Cherry’s dark eyes shone. She put one hand on her blouse. She, too, like the young men, would wear silver wings there.

She would also wear the flight nurse’s jaunty uniform of slacks, shirt, and side-perched trench cap, in Air Force blue. But now, she ran into the nurses’ barracks, and into her room, to slip on her working coveralls.

Cherry’s room was small, with fresh-smelling wood walls and a big open window, which gave her the good feeling of living almost outdoors.

“The rooms I’ve lived in!” she marveled as she changed her clothes.

First and dearest was her own room at home. Home was Hilton, a neighborly Middle West small town,
P R A C T I C E F L I G H T

5

where Cherry and her twin brother, Charlie, had gone to school together—where they had two of the nicest, liveliest parents anywhere. Yet Cherry had left home, when Dr. Joe had awakened her to the great work of helping people through nursing. Right after high school, Cherry moved into a chintz-and-maple room at Spencer Hospital Nursing School. There, despite a number of scrapes and her stormy romance with Lex, she had proudly earned her R.N.—Registered Nurse.

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