WASHINGTON — World War II was raging in 1944. American troops were instrumental in the effort to take back France, including the beach landings in Normandy that caught the Germans off guard. American forces took possession of Rome, and a Soviet counterattack pushed Germany back into Poland.
In the Pacific, Japan had gained more Chinese territory, but the communists’ presence limited Japan’s success. The Allies fought back by taking Saipan and invading the Philippines.
Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, 24-year-old nurse Regina Benson and three of her nursing school classmates joined the Army Nurse Corps right after graduation to serve their country. They were assigned overseas and remained lifelong friends.
Benson’s three brothers were also serving, so for her, joining the Army as a patriotic duty was not unusual.
“She was kind of fearless,” her daughter, Phyllis Benson, said in a recent interview.