Norma L. Greene

2 LT Norma L. Greene was one of the earlier nurses on Tuskegee’s Army Base. She was from Elkins, West Virginia and a 1936 graduate from St. Philip Hospital School of Nursing in Richmond, Virginia, thus joining three other St. Philip graduates. Greene worked at the St. Philip Hospital from 1937-1939. She was listed in the medical department section of the 1942 yearbook. According to Blacks in the Army Air Forces During World War II by Alan M. Osur, “Police in Montgomery beat an Army nurse from Tuskegee Field when she refused to get off a bus as ordered by the driver…” Historian Zellie Orr reports that it was Norma Greene who was that nurse as reported in the September 24, 1942 Pittsburgh Courier and the incident was documented in correspondence between the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses, Inc. and the U.S. Army administration. Reportedly 2LT Greene was dressed as a civilian as she returned from a shopping trip in Montgomery, Alabama. She was not allowed to board an express bus because she was told she was a “local” passenger. The Montgomery police was called. She was arrested and Montgomery police said she had not been “mistreated in any way.” The charges were dropped…Greene was with the first group of nurses to go to Liberia along with two of her sister nurses who were also stationed at TAAF. It was mentioned in the August 7, 1943 Hawk’s Cry that 2LT Naomi Green was “among first Negro nurses to carry services to foreign soil (Liberia).” The base paper evidently put the wrong name in the article. There was no nurse named Naomi Green and Norma Greene was documented as one of the three Tuskegee nurses who went overseas. It was mentioned in the 1977 Tuskegee Airmen Convention booklet that Norma Green-McNeil [sic] was no longer living.

(Information from the 1942 base yearbook, Hawk’s Cry, Pittsburgh Courier, station hospital bulletins, The St. Philip Alumnae Association’s A Historical Bulletin, Saint Philip School of Nursing and Alumnae Association, 1978, The Shomberg Center for African American Culture, NY)