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Former San Diego Navy Nurse, 98, Finally Receives WW II Medals

Back in 1945, when she was honorably discharged from her World War II service with the Navy Nurse Corps, Katherine Tierney Leahy, who trained at the San Diego Naval Hospital, wasn't thinking about applying for the military service medals she earned. She just wanted to go home.

But as Melissa Pionzio writes, a friend and fellow member of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), kept urging her to apply for the medals. At age 98, Leahy finally agreed. With help from the VFW, Leahy recently received the American Campaign, Asiatic Pacific and World War II service medals in the mail

Leahy, who served on Guam from December 1944 and 1945, often treated seriously wounded soldiers from the Iwo Jima campaign, which took place from February to March in 1945, and the bloody battle for Okinawa in April of that year in which casualties totaled more than 38,000 Americans wounded and 12,000 killed or missing, more than 107,000 Japanese and Okinawan conscripts killed, and perhaps 100,000 Okinawan civilians who perished in the battle.


Leahy recently told Pionzio: