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Prudhomme Lourse Marie Anschicks

Lourse Marie Anschicks Prudhomme
Second Lieutenant
Serial Number:
United States Army Nurse Corps
Date of Death:
Restland Cemetery, Mendota, Illinois
Bronze Star Medal

A native of Mendota, Louise was one of eight children, four boys and four girls, born to her parents, Ernest and Katherine (Knauer) Anschicks, her father having four other children by an earlier marriage.

Louise attended the North School and the East Mendota Public Schools, graduating in 1907. It was about 1909, while she was a patient at the Dr. A. W. Chandler Hospital in Compton, Illinois, that she decided she would like to enter the nursing profession. However, she first remained at home for several years, and on a few occasions attended the sick with Dr. O. P. Harris.

In 1912 she entered nurses' training in Chicago at Englewood Hospital, an accredited school affiliated with the Northwestern University Medical School and the Children's Memorial Hospital. She was graduated in 1915 with a class of 13 members.

After a short term of private duty nursing and institutional work she answered the call for Red Cross Nurse in World War I. She received an appointment to the Army Nurse Corps Reserve in 1917 and was stationed at Camp Sherman, Chillicothe, Ohio. Later she was transferred to West Baden, Indiana General Hospital, a temporary reception center for wounded from France. Other assignments included Lakewood, New Jersey; Camp Dix, New Jersey and New Haven, Connecticut General Hospital, No. 16. After completing her year of service she returned to civilian life.

The following three years she worked in Chicago, as a member of the Visiting Nursing association, giving care in homes. She went East and took post-graduate courses at the Manhattan Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat hospital, New York City, for six months and at Philadelphia Communicable Disease hospital for three months.

She then accepted a position for six months at the Philadelphia General hospital. Ther work was followed by tubercular nursing in Colorado and subsequently at Fitzsimmons General hospital where in addition to tubercular cases there was general hospital nursing.

She worked as a member of the Regular Army Nurse Corps for 20 years. In June, 1920, a National Defense Act amendment granted nurses relative rank equivalent to that of commissioned officers. But it was not until April, 1947, that an Army-Navy Nurse Act was passed and nurses given full commissioned temporary rank and all the rights and privileges of the male commissioned officers.

Louise Anschicks was assigned duty to many posts within and outside the United States. Her station assignments on foreign duty included Hawaii from 1935 to 1937, and the Philippines from June 1941 to Feb. 1945.

The years 1941-1945 included Corregidor, Bataan and three years in prison camp. She was among ten nurses on a plane which was disabled on the Island of Mindanao. They were prisoners of the Japanese there from the time of the surrender of General Sharpe's forces in May, 1942, until August, 1942. Then the Japanese took them by various methods of troop transportation and boat around the coast of Zamboanga to Manila. There they were reunited with the other Corregidor prisoner nurses and placed in Santo Tomas.

There were 4 thousand men, women and children who were prisoners in Manila, but the nurses were the only military persons in the group. The Japanese did not consider nurses as military persons when they learned that their relative rank was not connected with any knowledge of troop formation.

The overflow of prisoners from San Tomas, about 2000, were sent to Los Banos. Captain Louise Anschicks arrived at Santo Tomas on September 10, 1942, and remained there until liberation by General MacArthur's Forces on February 3, 1945.

In spite of all the hardships endured Captain Louise Anschicks has never regretted the service to our country and says if given a second choice she would again volunteer.

She received many awards consisting of Army ribbons and medals. She was given a raise of one grade in rank as a nurse by the order of General Douglas MacArthur. She was also awarded the Bronze Star.

At the close of her service of 20 years she was given disability retirement in the grade of Captain. She has served mankind with eagerness and has maintained a positive outlook on life.