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Dianne M. Gagliano Papers

Identifier: 2022-101

Scope and Contents

The Dianne M. Gagliano Collection contains materials assembled by Gagliano over the course of her career. These include certificates, commendations, diplomas, and detailed military records in addition to limited correspondence, publications by Gagliano, and newspaper and journal articles concerning Gagliano and other topics. Supplementary items relate to the Vietnam Women's Memorial Project – campaign materials, correspondence, and news articles – the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation - and Mercy Medical Airlift. A large collection of photographs includes images from the Vietnam era.


  • Creation: 1966-2016

Biographical / Historical

Col. Dianne M. (White) Gagliano (1944- ) received her first registered-nurse certificate in 1966, granted by the North Carolina Board of Nursing. She subsequently enlisted in the United States Air Force and completed medical officer basic training in 1967, serving for two years as a staff nurse at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In 1970, First Lieutenant Gagliano obtained flight nurse certification from the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine at Brooks Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. Shortly afterward she deployed to Vietnam, where she joined air medical and humanitarian missions all over Southeast Asia, including airlifts for prisoners of war and orphaned children, in addition to caring for critically injured troops. She earned a B.A. in Child Development from the School of Education at California State University, Sacramento, in 1979, as well as registered-nurse certifications from New Jersey and Virginia in 1980 and 1991. Gagliano spent 18 years of her 28-year Air Force career as a flight nurse, and beyond her medical responsibilities also developed expertise in training, evaluation, and service coordination initiatives. The Air Force Surgeon General named her to a special staff position in the Medical Readiness and Planning Office of the Surgeon General's command in 1988. Here Gagliano performed analysis and developed policies to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of Air Force medical operations wherever their theater of action. This assignment was interrupted for six months when Gagliano was mobilized in support of Operation Desert Storm. She received numerous military commendations and awards over her career, wrote numerous articles and manuals primarily focused on military and civilian training in flight medicine.and retired from the service in 1996.


2 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



(b. 1944) Colonel in the United States Air Force with 18 years of her 28-year career as a flight nurse. Deployed to Vietnam in 1970 for air medical and humanitarian missions in southeast Asia. Performed medical readiness planning for the Air Force, then civilian aeromedical consulting and employment. Materials concern flight nursing in the military and civilian world, as well as her involvement with the Vietnam Women's Memorial Project and Women in Military Service for America Foundation. Photographs include Vietnam era.


The original collection, boxes 1 and 2, is organized alphabetically by subject category. Within each subject division, items are arranged chronologically. Boxes 3, 4 and 5 reflect the original order.

Henry K. Sharp
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2016: Addition and note revision by Eric Drongowski

Repository Details

Part of the The Eleanor Crowder Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry Repository

University of Virginia School of Nursing
P.O. Box 800782
Charlottesville Virginia 22908-0782 United States