Kate Pauline Clinkscales Garrison
Lt Col
U. S. Army
WWII US Military
Dates of Service: 10/15/1944 - ?
Nurse , U. S. Army Nurses Corps

Kate was born in Anderson County, South Carolina, the daughter of Levi Newton Clinkscales, a farmer, and Matila Chall Clinkscales. Her father had eight other children before marrying her mother. Kate picked cotton on their farm and recalls walking more than a mile to a three-room schoolhouse that was heated with wood-burning, pot-bellied stoves. She graduated from Anderson High School in 1935, and then went on to a two-year school, Anderson College, where she graduated in 1938. Kate trained to be a waitress at an inn in Mount Dora, Florida. She then worked as a waitress in New Hampshire, then entered nursing school in Boston, determined to serve as a nurse in the military. Kate trained at Waltham Hospital in Waltham, Massachusetts, and spent six months at Boston City Hospital for Pediatrics and Medicine. Penicillin, she says, was discovered at just about that time. A registered nurse, she joined the U.S. Army Nursing Corps in 1943, took basic training at Camp Rucker near Dothan, Alabama, then was assigned to general duty at the hospital at Fort Benning, Georgia. She was serving there when President Franklin Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945 at nearby Warm Springs, Georgia. The war ended while Kate was stationed at Maxwell Field in Montgomery, Alabama. After graduating from air evacuation school at Randolph Field in San Antonio, she was stationed as a general duty nurse in Amarillo and then at Kessler Field in Biloxi, Mississippi. From there she was sent to Burtonwood, an air force base in England, as part of nursing support of the Berlin Airlift. During that time she visited her mother's native Germany. Kate spent 29 months in England. Hospital conditions, she says, were poor, with some patients still on cots, and orange crates for bedside tables. She returned to the States in "either '50 or '51," and was sent to Barksdale Air Force Base, where she did general nursing duties. After finishing her active duty career as captain in 1953, she entered the Air Force Reserves where she was eventually promoted to lieutenant colonel. She served in the reserves until 1979. She was hired at Confederate Hospital in Shreveport. Meanwhile she was taking courses at Centenary College where she met Charles Gordon Garrison. They married in 1954. Charles opened Garrison Nursery, while Kate worked at LSU Medical Center until she retired.