Isabelle Vaitkunas

July 7, 1921 – May 19, 2012

Massachusetts National Cemetery, Bourne, MA

“She had great memories of that ship, but she never told me about the bombings, etc. She broke her back aboard ship, but I don’t know if the accident was related to any war activity. She served with her friend Ellen “Bart” Bartolomei, a classmate from Nursing School. Another classmate joined the Navy because she wanted to serve on a medical ship. She received quite a shock when she discovered after enlisting that the Army nurses staffed the ships. The closest she got to water was the Navy hospital at Chesapeake Bay.” – Diane Weskalnies – Isabelle’s daughter

official army picture
Isabelle "Izzy" Vaitkunas

Modelling the Army nurse uniforms
Modelling the Army nurse uniforms.
Nurses at 115th General Hospital, Sydney, Australia, December 1944
Nurses at 115th General Hospital
Sydney, Australia
December 1944
From Left: Isabelle Hober, Ellen Bartolomei
Helen Renkas, and Dorothy McMillan.
Isabelle with her new friends.
Isabelle with her new friends.
Commissioning her grandson
My mother, as a retired officer,
commissioned my son, Paul Weskalnies,
as an officer in the US Air Force on Dec. 18, 2009.
His ROTC Commander
had to verify that she was really retired
because she was only a 1st lieutenant.
It was a very touching moment
to have a WWII veteran do the commissioning.
Not a dry eye in the audience.
newspaper article
Newspaper article about
Isabelle and Ellen Bartolomei
postcard to her husband
The photo of the Hope is a postcard that my
mother sent to her future husband (my
father) who was stationed in Iceland,
postmarked Sept. 18, 1944 and stamped
“passed by the Naval Censor”. Her note
reads: Dear Tony, Thought you might like a
picture of my present home and place of
duty. Pretty nice, huh? Am waiting to hear
from you. Love, “Izzy”