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US Army

The Experiences of Lieutenant Dorothy M. Taft during WWII

The Experiences of Lieutenant Dorothy M. Taft during WWII
Miss Dorothy M. Taft was born in Oxford, Massachusetts on July 17, 1918.  She was in Nursing School when Hitler declares war on the United States on December 11, 1941.  She graduated from the Massachusetts Memorial Hospital in Boston.
She joined the Service on July 5, 1943, as a Registered Nurse, she was given Serial number N- 752 051 and assigned to the 16th General Hospital, which was reorganized at Fort Andrews, Massachusetts, on September 1, 1942.   On August 25, 1943 the unit was moved to Fort Devens, where the nurses went through Basic Training.
On December 21, 1943 the unit was moved to Camp Miles Standish.  On December 28, 1943 the Hospital embarked on the ”Edmund B. Alexander”  transport ship anchored in Boston Harbor.  The ship departed on December 29, 1943 to arrive in Liverpool England on January 8, 1944;  the 16th General Hospital was moved to Oulton Park, Cheshire England on January 8, 1944.   On February 19, 1944 the Hospital was moved to Penley Hall Flintshire, in Wales.  On May 5, 1944 a plane crashed on the hospital.
January 8, 1944, Arrival at Liverpool, England (Photo: D. Taft)

On July 9, 1944 the unit leaves by train, to arrive the next day at Bridport, Dorestshire.  The following day the 16th General Hospital arrived at a Marshalling Area, at Camp C5 Brushfield Hants County.  Arrived at 1230 hours on August 13,1944 on the Southampton Docks, embarked on the Dutch ship “Nieuw Holland” at 1300 hrs, arrived at Utah Beach, Normandy, France via LCT’s at 1900 hrs, left the beach within one half hour to arrive one mile North of Lison, France on August 17, 1944.


Dorothy Taft on July 1944 at Bridport, England (Photo D. Taft)

 The 16th General Hospital was moved to a bivouac area near Enghien les Bains, France, which is located 10 miles from Paris on October 2, 1944, it stayed there until October 9, 1944. Then moved from Paris on October 9, to arrive in Liege, Belgium on October 11, 1944.

Normandy, September 1944.

Left to right: Dorothy M. Taft, Nelly, Ann, Woody (Doris) (Photo D. Taft)

The hospital was set up in tents in Jupille, Belgium. The hospital was hit by a V-1 on December 17 and again on December 18, 1944; it was bombed and strafed on December 24. It was again hit by a V-1 on January 11, 1945. 
V-1 Buzz bomb December 17, 1944 fell 50 feet from Enlisted Men area; 24 injured. 
V-1 Buzz bomb December 18 fell 100 feet from EM area at 1210 hours, 6 men injured. 
December 24, 1944 EM are and Hospital strafed and bombed, 2 dead & 27 injured.POW’s area bombed and strafed;2 dead and 18 injured. 
V-1 Buzz bomb January 11, 1945 fell 15 feet from QM & Med. Station no injuries. 

Fayembois (Jupille) fall 1944 (Photo D. Taft)

The Hospital took care of hundreds of injured soldiers during the Battle of the Bulge, also called the Ardennes Battle.
It finally functioned as a General Hospital in Chalons-sur-Marne, France until late September 1945, when it was moved to Marseilles on October 23, 1945.   The unit left Marseilles on November 3 and arrived in New York on November 19, 1945.
After the War Dorothy married Clarence Barre, who was a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne Division, he fought in Normandy, France and Bastogne, Belgium.
Source: Emails from Christian W. de Marcken dated 24 & 27 April 2011
By Lt Dorothy M. TAFT

16th General Hospital


Battle of the Bulge,