Naval Historical Center
805 Kidder Breese Street SE
Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5060
Elisabeth Leonhardt served in the Navy Nurse Corps in the early 20th century. In 1919, she held an appointment as Chief Nurse, USN and was assigned to the Naval Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia. She was detached from service in Norfolk for several months in 1920. During this time she was on temporary duty onboard USS Mercy for a voyage from New York to San Francisco. Having left Norfolk on 21 May 1920, she returned on 18 July and resumed her previous duties.
In September 1922, Leonhardt was ordered to the Naval Hospital in Puget Sound, Washington, to assume the post of Principal Chief Nurse. She held this position through 1926, when this collection ends.
Scope and Content Note
The collection contains papers related to Leonhardt's career in the Navy Nurse Corps and items that she collected during her service. In the Correspondence folder are Leonhardt's orders and official correspondence with Navy officers and J. Beatrice Bowman, Superintendent of the Navy Nurse Corps.
Leonhardt kept 18 postcards sent to her by friends in the Nurse Corps. Many of the cards were sent from Guam, though the Virgin Islands, South Carolina, and California are also represented.
During her trip to San Francisco onboard USS Mercy, Leonhardt kept a handwritten diary in a small notebook describing her experience. It begins on 21 May with her departure from Norfolk, and ends on 18 July when she returned.
Three published items are present in the collection. Presumably as a memento of her time on board, Leonhardt kept a copy of The USS Mercy: A Souvenir Log of the Part it Played in the World War. Also in the collection are copies of "The Fleet Review" for March 1920, and "The Red Cross Courier" dated 30 June 1923.
Completing the collection are a dance card from the Jagatna Civil Club of Guam, dated 24 August 1912; three "Evening Concert" programs from the U.S. Naval Station on Guam for 1912 and 1914; and clippings of ship's letterhead collected by Leonhardt.
This collection should be cited as Papers of Elisabeth Leonhardt, Operational Archives Branch, Naval Historical Center, Washington, D.C.
Subject Headings (LCSH)
United States. Navy--Nurses.
Mercy (Hospital ship : AH-4)
United States. Navy Dept. Nurse Corps.
United States. Navy--Women.
Women Soldiers--United States.
United States. Navy--History--Sources.
0.25 cubic feet
7 February 2003