Korean War Begins.

Colonel Emma R. Vogel, Chief of the Women's Medical Specialist Corps, at her desk in the Main Navy Building in Washington, D.C. [U. S. Army photograph.]

Congress had just passed a law establishing the Women’s Medical Specialist Corps (WMSC) within the U.S. Army in 1947. Major Emma E. Vogel was chief officer of the corps and promoted to the rank of colonel. This law provided for the first time full military recognition for women physical therapists serving in the armed services. Vogel’s all-women command had scarcely adjusted to its new status when the United States found itself once again at war, this time in Korea. And, as with the last two world wars, the military services were woefully short on PTs, with less than 300 in service to care for an army that, when fully mobilized, totaled 1.5 million men. Combat in Korea was fierce, and casualties were heavy. Several members of the WMSC were recognized for exceptional service during the war, including Major Ethel M. Theilmann, with the Legion of Merit; and Captain Mary Torp and Major Elizabeth C. Jones, with the Bronze Star Medals.

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