Litchfield News

American Legion Post 44 honors Korean War nurse (12-05-18)

At the veteran of the month service in Bantam on Saturday are, from left, Lorrie Berry of Wenham, Mass., Terri Barning of Oakdale and Robert Ryan of Severna Park, Md., children of veteran of the month Therese Ryan, and American Legion Post 44 representative Linda Sue Searles. BZ photo
A nurse who served in the 45th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean War was honored as the veteran of the month by American Legion Post 44 of Bantam on Saturday.
Recognized at the Bantam Borough Hall was the late Therese Ryan of Walpole, Mass., sister of Mary Curtis of Bantam. In attendance were Ryan’s son, Robert Ryan of Severna Park, Md., and daughters, Terri Barning of Oakdale and Lorrie Berry of Wenham, Mass.
After the ceremony, the Ryans were presented with the Korean Ambassadors War Medal in recognition of their mother’s service.
Therese Ryan, the eighth female veteran to be honored as veteran of the month by Post 44, was a first lieutenant. Her MASH unit operated close to the front line.
After the war, Ryan served at the Fort Jay Army Hospital in New York City and married William J. Ryan, who also served in Korea. For her service, Ryan received the Army Commendation Medal, the Meritorious Unit Citation, the National Defense Medal and the United Nations Service Medal.
Ryan and her husband settled in the Boston, Mass., area and had four children before she returned to nursing at Norwood Hospital in 1970. She retired in 1990.
Ryan was born March 3, 1930, in Indianapolis, Ind., the daughter of John and Helena Alerding, but spent most of her life in Walpole. She graduated from Dorchester High School and the Boston City Hospital School of Nursing.
After enlisting in the Army nursing program, Ryan trained at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Tex., was commissioned as a second lieutenant on May 5, 1952, and was assigned to the Letterman Army Hospital in San Francisco, Calif.
Ryan died July 11, 2011 in Walpole, where she was buried with full military honors. She left her son and daughters and four grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband and her youngest son, James Ryan.