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Today in World War II History

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Today in World War II History—January 17, 1943

Brig. Gen. Fred Borum presents the Air Medal to Lt. Elsie Ott, the first woman to receive the Air Medal (US Air Force photo: 090903-F-1234S-014)

Brig. Gen. Fred Borum presents the Air Medal to Lt. Elsie Ott, the first woman to receive the Air Medal (US Air Force photo: 090903-F-1234S-014)

80 Years Ago—Jan. 17, 1943: US Naval Base and Naval Air Station, Brisbane, Australia, is established.

First intercontinental medical air evacuation is conducted, and for the first time a nurse participates in air evacuation—Lt. Elsie Ott, who had not been trained in air evacuation and had never flown in a plane, cares for patients on a week-long journey from India to Washington, DC; she will receive the first Air Medal to be awarded to a woman. (Read more: Medical Air Evacuation in World War II).

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