Korea and Japan: 1946-1953. Altogether: 130 photographs (98 in the album + 32 in mylar sleeves). ALBUM: contemporary hand-painted Japanese (?) string-tied album (masking tape on spine): on upper cover a map of Japan with rooster and hen, Mount Fuji, and bamboo, containing 98 photographs affixed with corners to both sides of pages, two off-duty passes, an itinerary for sea duty for 1947-48 and two manuscript letters. The photographs vary in size from 4x5 inches to 2 ½ x 3 ½ (a few smaller). Many are around 2 ½ x 3 ½. Some of the photographs have been cut down from larger photographs, so a few not exactly square or in a few cases oddly shaped. Many captioned on the face of the photographs and/or on the back, with date and place. One of the letters (loosely inserted) is printed on American Red Cross letterhead, written by a Japanese nurse upon her departure from the 343 Tokyo field hospital thanking someone (possibly Louise and/or her nursing group) for their help. The other is from a Korean hut maid at Tongna (?) POW Camp, dated 10/2/52 addressed to “Capt. McCloud,” which is presumably a misspelling of MacLeod. By that time, Louise was apparently a Captain and had relocated to the Tokyo hospital. The letter acknowledges an earlier letter, sends some money and asks her to send fabric to make clothing. MYLAR SLEEVES: 32 small photographs of MacLoud and her Army associates, plus tourist photos of the Imperial Palace, Panama, Manila, Hawaii. Very good. Item #3323
¶ Extensive photographic archive of Capt. Louise MacLeod, a Korean War nurse in the ANC (Army Nurse Corps); that she earned the rank of Captain was a sign of particular achievement for women and men alike. As she was already activated in 1946, she must have been among the first U.S. Army nurses in Korea when the Communist North Korean Army crossed the 38th parallel, in 1950. Archives such as this are rarely seen on the market.
¶ MacLeod underwent basic training in 1945 at Ft. Devens, MA. By 1946 she was a 1st Lieutenant and certified Army nurse, and dispatched on Army transport sea duty on the USAT Adm. W. L. Capps and the USAT Gen. E. T. Collins. From February 1947 through March 1948 she rotated through Korea, Japan, Honolulu, San Francisco, Shanghai, Manila, Seattle, Guam, and Okinawa according to a typewritten itinerary (loosely inserted). Such a rotation was not at all uncommon for members of the ANC, who were rotated overseas more often than other soldiers. In the early 1950s she served at the combined 3rd and 14th Field Hospitals in Pusan, Korea and some time at the 343rd Army Hospital in Tokyo, Japan.
¶ In Korea, the 3rd and 14th were combined under one command, forming a large general hospital treating POWs direct from battle, as well as injured and sick U.N. casualties. The hospitals treated all kinds of medical conditions there, from amputations to TB, frostbite and gangrene, mental health, even leprosy (one of the photographs shows several leprosy patients). At the facility thousands of patients were housed in tents and huts in barbed wire compounds.
¶ The photographs in the present archive show a wide range of subjects, including groups of nurses and doctors, patients, facilities at the field hospitals, recreational activities of the doctors and nurses, the army transport ships, and a few photographs of Louise and companions engaged in tourist activities in Asia. Some of the images include the USAT Adm. W. L. Capps transport ship at Buckner Bay, Okinawa; WWII devastation in Manila; nurses celebrating at the Officer’s Club; 3rd and 14th Field Hospital, Pusan, Korea; nurses, medics and doctors; buildings at the Pusan facility including the mess hall; guard towers at the facility; Korean hut helpers; Korean nurses; children at a leper facility; one of the nurse’s dogs (with notation on the back that when it got fat the Koreans ate it); a UN cemetery at Pusan; and a Christmas dinner party with a general and his wife and the chief nurse.
¶ Little is known about MacLeod, but she appears to be 25-30 years old in the photos and may have been from Boston, as a nurse named Capt. Louise MacLeod from Boston is quoted in a 1952 article in The Seattle Times about an uprising at one of the Pusan army hospitals (reproduction of the article loosely inserted).