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Oldest Living WW2 Army Nurse Turn 100 In Jacksonville

9:02 AM, Jan 11, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --  She hopes she is never "grouchy."

She loves yogurt and isn't too keen on tacos. 

She goes to bed every night saying Bible verses and prayers.

Olive Davis turned 100 on Jan 10, a day Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown declared "Olive Davis Day."

Davis said she enlisted in the U.S. Army less than a day after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.  Pride in the military runs in her family: Her late husband was a Purple Heart recipient, and her son, Paul Davis, is a Vietnam veteran.

Davis taught Sunday School for decades, and her friends and family at First Baptist Church downtown celebrated her century of life.

Turning 100, Davis said, doesn't strike her as immensely important, but she said she's been blessed with a good life.

Davis said she watches Ch. 12 and "Wheel of Fortune."    

Her memory is sharp as she recalls life as an Army nurse during World War II, saying she was more scared of the rats than anything. They were as big "as cats" and "jumped up on my bed."

She remembers having to boil needles because there were no disposables available then, and sometimes the needles had bumps in them and the nurses would file them down.

Davis said she and fellow Army nurses tried to give German soldiers equally humane treatment. They were shocked and so frightened they had to be held down to be given treatment or medication, she said.

Davis also is a Tim Tebow fan. "He's a Christian and he's not afraid" to take a stand for what he believes.

For more on Davis, read the following from her son Paul:

OLIVE ( Grimwade ) DAVIS
1st. Lt., Army Nurse Corps
100 Years of Life


Born in Aurora, Canada on January 10th, 1912 she lived in Aurora with her parents & Brother until the age of 12. They moved to Detroit, Michigan where she became a naturalized United States Citizen. She Graduated from the Teachers Business College, taught school in a rural county school and then went back to school for another 3 years to become a Registered Nurse.

Olive Enlisted in the United States Army in Detroit Michigan the day after the Japanese attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor.

Because of her medical training as a Registered Nurse she was assigned to the 36th General Hospital Group which was being organized in Detroit.

She, along with a number of other nurses went to Utah for their basic military training, where she was promoted to 2nd Lt., in the Army Nurse Corps.

 Olive served in the military hospital in Utah where she took care of  "The Boys" as she calls them, that had been wounded in action in the Pacific.

After several months in Utah, they sailed in a "Liberty Ship" as part of a convoy headed for Africa. The convoy was attacked during the journey with the loss of several ships. The ship she was on came under direct attack by German aircraft as they approached Africa and a number of the crew were wounded in the attacks.

She first went to Algiers, Africa where they set up and staffed a tent hospital. The nurses also lived in tents next to the hospital.

Their next move was to Caserta, Italy where they took over an army hospital near the front lines, working in 12 hour shifts, seven days a week and still lived in tents.  As if war is not bad enough, rats and fleas were everywhere and many of the nurses became sick and had to be hospitalized themselves.

In the spring of 1944, Olive married one of her patients, Unites States Army First Lieutenant Stanley (Stan) Davis, who had been hospitalized for wounds received in combat.

Stanley had already been wounded twice during his service in Africa and Italy and had been given a Battlefield Commission. He received 3 Purple Hearts, 2-Silver Stars, a Bronze Star, along with the Combat Infantry Badge and was nominated for the Congressional Medal of Honor for action in Italy.

Olive and Stan were married in a church in Naples and went to the Isle of Capri on a "one day honeymoon".

Olive continued to serve in the hospital until she returned to the United States in the fall of 1944 and received an Honorable Discharged in January, 1945.

Olive and Stan ( Stan ) moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 1950. She taught Sunday school classes for more than 60 years and continued nursing at St Luke's Hospital until she retired in the early 1980's.

(Stan Passed away on Feb. 27th. 2005.)

Olive is the Oldest Living WW II U.S. Army nurse in the United States.    
She will be 100 on January 10, 2012
Jacksonville Mayor ALVIN BROWN has Declared / Proclaimed January 10th 2012 to be " OLIVE DAVIS DAY "  in Jacksonville.

First Coast News

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