Fort McCoy News Sept. 23, 2016

World War II-era photo album donated to Fort McCoy

STORY & PHOTOS BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

The 70-year-old photo album is a bit tattered but still together. The opening page, with "Camp McCoy" handwritten in big letters, has a small black-and-white photo taken in 1945 from an overlook bluff that shows an area that is now home to Regional Training Site-Medical and other parts of the Fort McCoy cantonment area.

Public Affairs Specialist Theresa Fitzgerald (left to right), Sue Machan, and Kathleen (Machan) Hill look over a 1945-46 photo album Sept. 12 at the Fort McCoy History Center.
Public Affairs Specialist Theresa Fitzgerald (left to right), Sue Machan,
and Kathleen (Machan) Hill look over a 1945-46 photo album Sept. 12
at the Fort McCoy History Center.



The photo album contains World War II-era photos of then-Camp McCoy.
The photo album contains World War II-era photos of then-Camp McCoy.

This was the photo album former 2nd Lt. Lorraine Machan created when she began Army nurse training on post in May 1945. Kathleen (Machan) Hill of Pewaukee, Wis., along with her sister-in-law Sue Machan of Waukesha, Wis., delivered the album to the Fort McCoy History Center Sept. 12.

Hill said she wanted to find a "good home" for the album. "It's a piece of history I received from my aunt, and I thought somebody (at Fort McCoy) would appreciate the history it holds," she said.

"This is a great addition to Fort McCoy's history collection to show the medical training that was once a part of the training mission at the installation during World War II," said Public Affairs Specialist Theresa Fitzgerald with the Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office (PAO). "It also was great to meet with Family members and learn more about Lorraine's life as a nurse in the Army."

The album has several photos of Lorraine at then-Camp McCoy when many parts of the cantonment area were new. It also chronicles Lorraine's career as an Army nurse with photos from other places she was assigned, including Europe and Alabama.

Lorraine, now 93 years old and a resident of Denton, Texas, went on to have a long career in the medical sciences after she left training at McCoy, Sue said.

"She was an amazing woman of many talents," Sue said. "I've only been able to get to know her in recent years, but she did some amazing things."

Hill said Lorraine worked for many years in Africa as a nurse and missionary and helped start a university there in the years after her Army service ended in 1946. She said her aunt also earned a doctorate degree in zoology and helped establish the four-year nursing program that is still going at Marquette University in Milwaukee.

"She also has been instrumental in developing (medical) outreach programs in other countries," Hill said.

Hill said she is proud of her aunt's accomplishments during her time in the service and after. She also was happy to be able to visit Fort McCoy for the first time.

The album’s creator, former Army 2nd Lt. Lorraine Machan, stands atop a bluff at Fort McCoy in 1945.
The album's creator, former Army 2nd Lt. Lorraine
Machan, stands atop a bluff at Fort McCoy in 1945.

"Thanks for letting Sue and me view your museum," Hill said. "I've lived in Wisconsin all my life and had never been to Fort McCoy, so it was a real treat for me."

The album eventually will be on display at the History Center. For more information about the Commemorative Area or the History Center, call the PAO at 608-388-2407.