© 2024 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
Listen | Discover | Engage a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

As It Was: World War II Nurse Moves at War’s End to Ashland, Ore.

A nurse who went ashore on Normandy Beach immediately after World War II’s D-Day invasion of France, Florence Louise Platko Schilling, moved in 1946 to Ashland, Ore.

Schilling was born in 1923 in Pennsylvania.  She finished nursing school in Pennsylvania in three years and joined the Army nursing corps during World War II.  As the youngest army nurse in the European Theatre, she served as a surgery nurse in the 138th Evacuation Hospital in France and Germany throughout the war.  Evacuation Hospitals arrived within days of an invasion, staying about 30 miles behind the front lines as troops advanced.

Upon her discharge in 1946, Schilling turned down an offer to be the head surgical nurse at Walter Reed Army Hospital, deciding instead to join her family in Ashland.  She practiced nursing for 40 years in many capacities, including surgical supervisor at Ashland Community Hospital.  She retired in 1988.

In 2009, Honor Flight of Oregon honored veterans by flying them to Washington, D.C.  Schilling had died, but the non-profit held a special ceremony at the WWII Memorial in Washington to honor her service.

Sources: Hosfelt, Kristin. "Southern Oregon Nurse honored during recent Honor Flight." Honor Flight of Oregon Archives, KOBI5.com, 8 Nov. 2018, kobi5.com/category/features/honor_flight/; Hosfelt, Kristin. "Part 3: The Southern Oregon Honor Flight." , KMVU Fox 26, 7 Nov. 2018, fox26medford.com/part-3-the-southern-oregon-honor-flight/; "Florence Louise Schilling Obituary." Litwiller-Simonsen Funeral Home, Jan. 2018, www.litwillersimonsen.com/obituaries/Florence-Schilling-2/#!/Obituary.

Luana (Loffer) Corbin graduated from Southern Oregon College, majoring in Elementary Education.  The summer after graduation she was hired to teach at Ruch Elementary, where she taught for 32 years. After retiring, Corbin worked for Lifetouch School Photography and then returned to Ruch as an aide helping with reading instruction and at the library.  More recently, she has volunteered at South Medford High.