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Edythe Goldstein Pallin Papers

Identifier: 2022-058

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the experiences of Edythe Goldstein Pallin, in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps, from 1943 to 1945. The original setting for most collection materials was a scrapbook assembled by Pallin. It includes U.S. Army documents, various publications, correspondence, ephemera related to activities of daily life. The bulk of the collection, however, is photographic prints, many of which include context in the form of written notes either on the back or beside the original placement in the scrapbook. Most of the oldest photos are from 1943, although there are a few from Pallin’s earlier nursing school years. The latest photos are from Pallin’s last days on Ie Shima in September of 1945. A rich element of the collection is an interview that effectively frames the detail found in examining photographs and documents. In 2004, the collection was used as the basis for a project at the University Of Virginia School Of Nursing, part of the doctoral work done by Francis Bernier, PhD, RNC.


  • Creation: 1943-1945, 2004

Biographical / Historical

Edythe Goldstein Pallin served in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps, posted in Japan, during the last months of World War II. She was born in Brooklyn, New York, but as a teenager, moved with her family to Los Angeles. There she graduated high school and then went on to attend UCLA, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in 1936. She graduated from the Jewish Hospital Training School for Nurses in Philadelphia in 1942 and was appointed a Reserve Nurse, Second Lieutenant, of the Army Nurse Corps in January, 1943. She served at Fort Lewis, Washington from January until April when she was transferred to Hawaii. Almost two years were spent on Kauai, working at several hospitals, doing further training, and adjusting to the life of a young adult in the Army. Beach scenes and tropical settings are framed by barbed-wire fences, firearms and military structure. Goldstein and her fellow nurses spent some of their time shooting, crawling through live fire, swimming with full packs and climbing up and down cargo nets. During training, she met Ralph Parker Pallin, whom she married in early 1945. Ten days after the wedding, Ralph was deployed to the Philippines and Edythe, to Japan. Pallin was stationed at Ie Shima with the 156th Evacuation Hospital. The object of her training, caring for those stricken on the field of battle, is presented in far fewer photos than was the training environment of Kauai. Images of damaged tanks, trees, equipment and people are shown in her pictures, to be sure, but the relative scarcity of these images is eloquent. The work she and her fellow nurses, doctors, and corpsmen did is not revealed in a comprehensive documentary. Instead, most pictures show the more tolerable aspects of life on Ie Shima. In an interview from 2004, Pallin described the need for her and her Army colleagues to exceed the traditional boundaries of nursing practice. Due to the severe and challenging conditions, they trained with rifles, worked with jury-rigged equipment and carried out medical procedures normally prohibited for nurses. Pallin also revealed the core of the experience; hunger, infection, brief periods in which to treat her patients, and the general struggle to make scarce resources meet intense demands. Pallin revealed much about her state of mind, even sixty years later, “And you have red, white and blue running through your veins. Don’t forget World War II was ‘The Good War.’ That’s what it’s known as ‘The Good War’… so you are out there to protect your god and your country.”


1.0 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



World War Two Army Nurse. Scrapbook materials including extensive photograph collection from 1943–1945, including stateside training and service in the Pacific theater, Japan. Digital media contains 2004 audiotape interview.


Most of the Pallin Collection is digitized, including documents, photographs and audio recordings. All of the original materials associated with a particular scrapbook page are arranged according to the page number. The smaller photographs and audio/multi-media arranged are in Series 1, subdivided into three small boxes. Series 2 includes documents and a few larger photographs. These materials, as well as a nylon map (preserved in a cylinder separate from the other materials), are in the archival room. Furthermore, there are several oversized items that are stored in the workroom’s oversized materials drawers.

Eric Drongowski
Language of description
Script of description

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