Charlotte Minerva Fischer, 99, surgical nurse

June 15, 2005

Charlotte Minerva Fischer, a retired surgical nurse who worked in a Johns Hopkins medical unit in the South Pacific during World War II, died of complications from pneumonia June 7 at Asbury Village in Gaithersburg, where she lived for the past 25 years. She was 99 and formerly resided in North Baltimore.

Born in Washington, Miss Fischer was a 1928 graduate of the old Johns Hopkins Hospital School of Nursing. In a memoir, she recalled getting her first job at Hopkins and working for two prominent surgeons there, Dr. Walter E. Dandy and Dr. Hugh H. Young.

After a decade at Union Memorial Hospital and a brief stint with the American Red Cross, she returned to Hopkins in 1940. A year later, she was asked to join the Army's 18th General Hospital Unit, organized by Dr. George Finney to represent Hopkins.

In 1942, the unit boarded an ammunition ship in the Pacific and sailed in a convoy to Auckland, New Zealand. She later went to Fiji to work in a 1,000-bed hospital that cared for wounded soldiers. The unit later had duty in India, China and Burma. She attained the rank of major and was awarded a Legion of Merit decoration.

After the war, Miss Fischer became an operating room supervisor for the veterans hospitals at Fort Howard and Northwood. She retired in 1967.

Graveside services were held Saturday in Washington.

Survivors include a stepbrother, Noel Fischer of San Antonio; a stepsister, Carol Schmidt of Lakewood, Colo.; and nieces and nephews.

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