First Female U.S. Navy Admiral Dies In Florida At 98

The first female admiral in the U.S. Navy has died at the age of 98. 

Source: U.S. Navy

Retired Rear Admiral Alene Duerk passed away Saturday in Central Florida.  

Trained as a nurse, Duerk had a long career that took her from the Pacific theater of World War Two to Washington, DC.  

She became an admiral in 1972.

“It took 197 years and a forward-looking Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Elmo Zumwalt, to break with tradition before Alene Duerk became the first woman admiral in the U.S. Navy,” NHHC director Sam Cox said, according to a report by USNI News

“But the credit goes to Duerk. From the crucible of caring for wounded sailors, Marines and prisoners of war during World War II in the Pacific, she blazed a trail of stellar performance in tough jobs, serving as an inspiration for an ever increasing number of women officers who have followed her path.”

Duerk retired in 1975. 

Her service and reputation extended to the wider nursing community, both military and civilian. 

She joined other nurses for the unveiling of a bronze statue of the bespectacled nurse displayed in 2013 at the University of Central Florida’s College of Nursing. 

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