First Lieutenant Martha Pegram Mitchell
Listen to Martha Pegram Mitchell's War Stories (Requires Real Player)
Read the Transcript from the original recording
Born in Mecklenburg County, Martha Pegram lived a very sheltered life until the beginning of World War II. She studied nursing for three years and graduating in 1940 from the Presbyterian Hospital (Charlotte) nursing program. She worked for the hospital briefly then went into private duty nursing. When the opportunity to serve her country arose, she was eager to answer the call of duty and find adventure. And what an adventure it would be!
After hearing about some local doctors and nurses forming a medical group to go overseas, Pegram chose to join the war effort and serve on the front lines with them. She took the oath of allegiance into the military at Morris Field and joined what became known as the 38th Evac Hospital. She trained or served at Ft. Bragg, N.C.; Indiantown Gap, Penn.; Salisbury,England; Oran, North Africa; Tunis, N. Africa; Naples and Vairano, Italy; the POW hospital in Roswell, N.M.; and Ft. Sam Houston,Texas; Ft. Bliss,Texas; and Dallas, Texas.
While in North Africa, she posed for a Life magazine artist and was on the front cover of the magazine on December 27, 1943.
She met her husband, Capt. Raymond. M. “Jack” Mitchell, while he was her patient at Presbyterian Hospital. They both entered the service and married in 1944. He was a pilot in the 8th Air Force and was also a POW in Germany. They have three children.
After 13 years of raising children, she returned to nursing and retired from Presbyterian Hospital in 1988. She currently lives in Charlotte, NC.
Photo Credits: All photos courtesy of Martha Pegram Mitchell.