Vilma Vogler

Private Gladys Grinsel, who recently enlisted in the WAC, has had the interesting experience of being "on the ground" of the historic Quebec conference. The following communication from Fort Oglethorpe, GA will be of interest to Private Grinsel's many friends in Eau Claire. 

FT. OGLETHORPE, GA—Private Gladys Grinsel of Eau Claire, WI, one of the WACs who participated behind the scenes and helped make history at the recent Quebec Conference, has arrived at the Third WAC Training Center here.

Attached to a Signal Corps Service Company in charge of all telephone communications at the conference, the WACs worked hard and won commendation for their services from Major General  H. C. Ingles, Chief of Army Communications. 

They handled about 4,000 calls a day; set up a telephone directory; received and delivered messages from the fighting fronts to the chiefs of staffs assembled at Quebec; were waved at by Winston Churchill, and smiled at by Anthony Eden. In eight-hour shifts, they manned the switch board, guarded night and day by MPs and Canadian Mounties, as they gave 24-hour service to important calls of military significance to and from the conference. 

Private Grinsel is the daughter of Mrs. Alice Stevens, 311Garfield Avenue, Eau Claire.

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An interesting note was also received from Lieutenant Vilma Vogler, Red Cross nurse serving in Sicily. Lieutenant Vogler is a graduate of the Luther Hospital School of Nursing and was a member of the hospital staff before her enlistment.  

"Dear Friends: 
I am enjoying a swim each day in the beautiful blue Mediterranean Sea that is surrounded by high rocky cliffs. All the land here must be irrigated but every inch that can be cultivated is put to use. They raise fine fruits—figs, oranges, tangerines, plums, lemons, dates, grapes, pears, peaches, apples, and melons as well as olives, almonds and walnuts. The vegetables, too, are wonderful and surely have added much to our Army rations which, of course, is all canned food. 

I have had a touch of malaria but am in good health now. I enjoy it all so much and say, to all my friends, 'Join the Army Nurse Corps and see the world.' Best wishes to all, LT. VILMA VOGLER" 

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In the honor roll of Red Cross workers who have given their time during August—five names were inadvertently omitted from the list of workers in the Luther Hospital workroom. We apologize, and here recognize the work done by these women. 

They are Hazel L. Baker, 41 1/2 hours; Mrs. Al Froseth, 36 3/4 hours; Mrs. B. L. Peters, 26 hours; Mrs. Eugene Stoll 43 1/2 hours; and Mrs. Charles Eick, 32 1/4 hours


Vilma Vogler One of First Army Nurses in Normandy
Lieutenant Vilma Vogler was one of the first group of American Army nurses to arrive on the beaches of Normandy, four days after the start of the invasion, according to word received here. In an Associated Press picture published in the Chicago Tribune, showing Army nurses on their way to field hospitals after they had waded ashore from landing craft, Lieutenant Vogler has been identified by relatives and friends as one of two nurses in the lead. 

A V-mail letter headed, "Beaches of Normandy" and dated "4 days after D-Day," was received by Lieutenant Vogler's brother, Edgar Vogler, Route 4, Chippewa Falls.

Miss Agnes Newbold of Luther Hospital received a V-mail letter from France, dated 3 am June 22. 

The letter stated: "We were the first nurses to arrive here" on D plus 4 and have been very busy. We are back to tents, helmets and coveralls. I have five tents to take care of at night, so have plenty to do. My, it has been something! Rather cold at night; days are warm. Too noisy to sleep at night. Hope this finds you all well. I know you are busy. Mrs. Plath, you ought to hear me speak German. Have plenty of practice. Write when you can and best wishes to you all." 

Invasions are not new to Lieutenant Vogler. She participated in the invasion of  North Africa and Sicily; then of Italy. Several months ago, she was transferred to England on detached service. 

A graduate of Luther Hospital School of Nursing, she was supervisor on second floor at the hospital for several years before she enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps.


Former Luther Nurse Wins Bronze Star For Heroism
First Lieutenant Vilma Vogler of the Army Nurse Corps, former supervisor at Luther Hospital in this city, who has been serving overseas since 1942, has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service. The citation, from Courtney H. Hodges, Lieutenant-General U.S. Army, is as follows. 

"To First Lieutenant Vilma E. Vogler, N730035, Army Nurse Corps, United States Army. For meritorious service in connection with military operations against the enemy as Ward Nurse, 128th Evacuation Hospital, from 11 June 1944 to 8 March 1945, in France, Belgium and Germany. Exhibiting rare skill and judgment in the detection of complicated cases, First Lieutenant Vogler capably performed various medical procedures, which contributed to the rapid recovery of her patients. Despite frequent enemy artillery and aerial bombardment, she calmly remained at her post for long periods of time, nursing the wounded and supervising their care and treatment. By her professional ability and devotion to duty, First Lieutenant Vogler eased the suffering and speeded the recovery of countless seriously wounded men." 

Lieutenant Vilma E. Vogler was a graduate of the Luther Hospital School of Nursing, Class of 1930. After post-graduate study in Chicago, IL, she was supervisor at  Luther Hospital for several years, before joining the Army Nurse Corps in the summer of 1941. 

After several months at Fort McClellan, AL, she went abroad in 1942. 

Lieutenant Vogler took part in the African, Sicilian and Italian Campaigns, and then spent several months in England. She was among the first nurses to go to Normandy and waded ashore on the Normandy beaches on D-Day plus four. 

Lieutenant Vogler will soon wear, on her sleeve, six yellow service stripes. On her European Theater of Operations Ribbon, she wears eight Battle Stars which, with the Bronze Star Medal, gives her 120 points and, now, with two more Battle Stars, she will have 130 points, the most of anyone in her unit. 

She has recently moved into the Wagner Memorial Hospital at Bayreuth, Germany.


Written by Harold (Diz) Kronenberg

Vilma Vogler, originally from Lake Hallie, Chippewa County, was Supervisor of Nursing at Luther Hospital, before entering the military, where she was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, an Officer in the U.S. Army. 

She enlisted in the summer of 1941 and served as a nurse in the Red Cross. She served in Africa, Sicily, and Italy, before being transferred to England. She was among the first to serve in Normandy, where she waded ashore on D-Day + 4.

Of the over 17,000 nurses to serve, Lieutenant Vogler accumulated the largest number of ETO (European Theater of Operations) points of any of the service women. She could wear six yellow service stripes on her sleeve. Each stripe represented six months overseas. She could wear eight Battle Stars and was awarded the Bronze Medal for meritorious achievement. 

Author's note: When the war ended, service men and women received points for time in service, time spent overseas, and medals received. Those with the largest number of points were discharged first, and on down the list. All told, thirty-nine nurses from Luther Hospital served in the military. One of them, Lieutenant Jackley, was killed in action.