This cap comes my way via eBay; it isn’t in the best condition, but it was inexpensive and came with the possibility of a solid research piece. I bid knowing the item was identified with a short, atypical name with a military rank (Lt.) to reference. Only $21.00, this US Army Nurse’s cap is a solid buy considering the amount of information I was able to tease out of a simple name written inside a cap.
The nurse’s name was both stamped as well as inscribed on the interior silk lined interior. I was able to determine that it belonged to a Frances Kain in 1944-1945. The cap is an overseas cap, so the veteran clearly served overseas. Nurses were required to be at least 25 years – this gave me a general birth year to search for. A quick ancestry.com search for a Frances Kain turned up a Frances Kain born in Pennsylvania in 1919. The birthyear and the name matched perfectly. A school directory subsearch on ancestry yielded PortraitsofWar gold with a solid hit for a Harrisburg, PA nurses training school.
From there I did a search for marriage records to figure out her name later in life and found that she married David H. Gleason in April of 1951.
From here I was able to confirm my hunch that she was the owner of the cap. Her obituary and grave record show that she was a WWII veteran who served in the ETO as a Lt. in the Army Nurse Corps.
On FindaGrave.com I was also able to find a wartime photo of Frances:
And a copy of her 2009 obituary:
Frances M. Gleason
Frances M. Gleason, age 90, passed away August 14, 2009 in Mount Vernon, WA.
She is survived by daughter, Beverly (Dr. Marshall) Anderson of Camano Island; and grandson Kristopher Anderson of Arlington.
She was a World War II Veteran of the Army Nurse Corp. serving in the U.S and European Theater. She worked as a nursing instructor for the Practical Nursing Program at Columbia Basin Community College in Pasco for 21 years.
At her request no public services will be held.
Arrangements are under the care of Hawthorne Funeral Home, Mount Vernon.