MARGARET LYNCH CALLAN
From 'Fanning the Embers', published 1971, Range Rider Reps, Miles City, Montana
Margaret Mary Lynch was born in Miles City, Mont., Aug. 15, 1917, to Hugh and Agnes Lynch of Lee, Mont., whose ranch was referred to as the IL. Margaret attended the local log cabin school and went to high school in Forsyth. Butte and graduated from Custer County High School in 1935.
From September, 1935, through June, 1939, she was enrolled in professional nursing school at St. Elizabeth Hospital and later did supervisory nursing. She spent a year in Stockton, Calif., as a staff nurse and returned to the ranch in Montana when her father was ill. Following his death in November, 1940, she accepted a position on the nursing staff of the Tongue River Agency Hospital in Lame Deer, Mont., where she remained for two years.
In Seattle, Wash., where she was nursing she received a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps in June, 1943. After one month at Fort George Wright Army Hospital, Spokane, Wash., she was transferred to the Army Air Corps base at Wendover Field, Utah. In June, 1944, she received the designation "Flight Nurse" and her silver flight nurse wings at Bowman Field, Ky.
December, 1944, found her boarding a troop train at Randolph
Air Base, San Antonio, Tex., together with the other members of her Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron. They were enroute to Hamilton Field, Calif., where they would be airlifted to the Pacific Theater. From Hickman Field, Hawaii she was assigned duty on the island of Guam. With five other flight nurses they were the first Aeromedical Evacuation personnel on that island. Before long her flying duty area was greatly expanded to include the Philippine Islands, New Guinea and Australia. In October, 1945, Margaret was caring for the wounded inflight from Japan. She attended patients inflight from Shanghi, China, to Japan on the occasion. The week she spent in Shanghi prior to her mission back to Japan was perhaps the most fascinating interval of her entire overseas duty. She was the first flight nurse to attend battle casualties picked up from Okinowa before that island was secured by the U.S. Forces. Her many hours spent in flight administering to the sick and wounded American and Allied Forces casualties merited for her the Air Medal and various other ribbons and campaign battle stars.
When the war was over, Margaret elected to return to civilian life and was released from active duty in September, 1946. She practiced nursing in Illinois, Montana, California and Michigan until May, 1953, when she returned to active duty in the Air Force as a Captain, stationed at Warren Air Base, Cheyenne, Wyo. She was assigned as Chief Nurse at the Air Force Hospital at Etain, France in October, 1955, where she served 11/2 years. For the outstanding accomplishments and nursing improvements that she initiated she was awarded the Commendation Medal. After a short tour of six months at Hahn Air Force Base, Germany, she was stationed at Lockland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Tex. She attended the Advanced Nursing Administration Course at Brook Army Medical Center there and was then assigned supervisory duties at Harlingen Air Base, Tex., immediately afterward. In July, 1961, she returned to flight nursing as the Chief Flight Nurse of the Eleventh Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron at Scott Air Force Base where she served for two years. Her next duty was Flight Nurse Advisor to the Minnesota Air National Guard and Aeromedical Units in New Hampshire, New Jersey and New York.
While residing in Minneapolis, Minn,, she met and married James J. Callan, formerly of Boston, Mass., an engineer with Honeywell Corp. She was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel while assisting the Aeromedical Units of the Air National Guard. For her outstanding contributions in training the Air Guard Aeromedical Personnel she was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal.
In July, 1967, she reported to Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, where she executed Chief Nurse duties until September, 1968, when she was reassigned as Chief Nurse of the hospital at Richard Gebaur Air Force Base, Kansas City, Mo.
Margaret completed 20 years of active duty the last day of December, 1969, and retired from the Air Force. She resides with her husband in a suburb of Minneapolis, and enjoys being a housewife and her civilian status after a long and interesting military career.