United States Army Air Corps, American, 1926 - 1947 Search this
Louise Virginia Lomax, American, 1920 - 2011 Search this
H x W (2022.42.7.1a (bar)): 3/8 × 1 7/16 in. (1 × 3.7 cm)
H x W (2022.42.71b (ribbon medal)): 3 × 1 1/2 in. (7.6 × 3.8 cm)
Tuskegee, Macon County, Alabama, United States, North and Central America
Louise Lomax was born in January 1920 in Nottoway, Virginia, to James and Annie Shepperson Lomax. She received her high school diploma in 1938 from Ingleside-Fee Memorial High School, a segregated boarding school in Burkeville, Virginia. Her maternal grandfather sent her and other grandchildren to study at this school. Lomax continued her studies at the Saint Philip Hospital School of Nursing, a segregated nursing school that was part of the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond. She graduated in September 1942 and passed her nursing examinations in Virginia, Maryland, and D.C.
Lomax joined the Army Nurse Corps (ANC) as a 2nd Lieutenant in March 1943 with the help of the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses. While in the ANC, she trained as a psychiatric nurse at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, D.C. By September 1943 she was stationed at Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama, home of the Tuskegee Airmen, where she was eventually promoted to 1st Lieutenant. She served at Tuskegee until 1946 when the airfield was inactivated after the end of the war. For her service in World War II, she was awarded a World War II Victory Medal and an American Campaign Medal. After the war, Lomax went on to serve at Lockbourne Army Air Base in Ohio, Provident Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, at VA hospitals in Downey, Illinois, and Perry Point, Maryland, and finally at the Army’s Percy Jones General Hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan. She retired from active duty in March 1949 at Battle Creek, receiving an Honorable Discharge lapel pin, and transferred to the Reserve Corps. She served in the reserves for four years before retiring in April 1953.
Lomax married Methodist minister John Lonnie Winters in November 1954, with whom she had one child, Pia Winters Jordan, the donor. As a civilian, Lomax worked as a psychiatric nurse at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, D.C., where she served for a time as head nurse. She also instructed nursing assistants and worked with the criminally insane. She retired from nursing in June 1973.
American Campaign Medal and ribbon bar owned by Lt. Louise Lomax. The medal (2022.42.7.1a) is suspended from a ribbon with vertical blue, red, and white stripes. The back of the ribbon has a metal clasp attached to it. An identically colored ribbon bar with a clasped back (2022.42.7.1b) accompanies the medal. The face of the bronze medal features an embossed design of an underway Navy cruiser with a B-24 Liberator bomber flying overhead and an enemy submarine sinking in the foreground. The back of the medal features an embossed image of an eagle. The ribbon has vertical blue, red, and white stripes. The back of the ribbon bar has a metal clasp attached to it.
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Pia Marie Winters Jordan in memory of her mother, First Lieutenant Louise Virginia Lomax Winters, Army Nurse Corps; and her uncle, Sgt. Henry James Lomax, U.S. Army