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WWII Army nurse turns 100 this week and would like to receive birthday cards

Charlotte Kathleen Coleman Schwid (Charlotte Kathleen Coleman Schwid/Facebook)
May 20, 2019

On May 22, World War II Army veteran Charlotte Schwid is turning 100 years old and what she wants most for her special day is birthday cards.

Schwid was a nurse during World War II and was in charge of hundreds of D-Day patients toward the end of the war, according to the Roanoke Times.

In spite of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Schwid and several other nurses decided to become Army nurses. She saw the Allied aircraft invade the skies headed to Normandy, launching the epic D-Day attack.

Sharon White, Schwid’s daughter said, “She originally thought she’d be an airline stewardess, and she’d travel the world.”

In Nov. 1943, the Army assigned Schwid to the SS Argentina, destination unknown until the ship left port. She was told then that she was headed to a hospital in Great Britain, in preparation for the D-Day invasion.

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“She was there for D-Day,” White said. Soldiers leaving for battle “started giving all their money and their medals to the nurses, because if they got shot down, they didn’t want the enemy to pick their pockets for souvenirs,” White added.

White recounted what her mother had told her about being outside the hospital in England on June 6, 1944 with an officer, witnessing the planes invading the sky. “He told her, ‘You will never see that many planes ever again,’ She saw all the planes go over,” White explained.

Following the invasion, Schwid’s job was to treat the wounded soldiers and there were hundreds of them. She was often caring for up to 300 soldiers at a time.

Schwid worked as a civilian nurse for the following year in Panama and when she came home, she worked at the Veterans Administration hospital in Milwaukee, Wis., according to Military.com.

She met her husband while working at the VA hospital. Warren Schwid was a recovering WWII vet.

After the pair married, they moved to Madison, Wis. and Schwid took a job as a corporate nurse at Oscar Mayer’s meat-packing plant. They later divorced in 1976.

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Schwid suffered a stroke in 2008, which left her disabled. Her daughter, Sharon has cared for her since, at her home in Alaska.

White said, “She always wants to get up and go — to fairs and festivals and other places.”

A huge party is planned to celebrate Schwid’s 100th birthday at the Eagle River VFW Post 9785 in Alaska.

White said, “I’m expecting 200 or so people. The hall has a capacity of 120. It’ll be standing room only when they bring that cake in.”

If you would like to send a birthday card to Schwid, you can do so at:

Khampheng Scott

C/O: Charlotte Schwid

12110 Business Blvd. Ste 6

PMB 207

Eagle River, AK 99577