A Woman With Heart

Julia Buckley

Early in March, the GMHS journalism students came up with questions to ask Captain Ann Darby Reynolds. Mr. Swaim took their questions and went to conduct the interview. He recorded the full interview which is available to watch on YouTube at Georgetown Connects.


Captain Ann Darby Reynolds, of Exeter NH, was the first female recipient of the purple heart for her nursing duties during the Vietnam War. Captain Reynolds has even published her own memoir about her career in the naval corps called Silent Night: 26 Years in the Navy: A Nurses Memoir.


In 1964, there was a Christmas Eve bombing while she was on duty. Several people ended up being injured, including Captain Reynolds.


 “I didn’t know. It was the corpsman in the operating room that said I was leaving a trail on the floor. I couldn’t feel anything,” Reynolds said.


Despite being injured, Captain Reynolds rushed back to the hospital where she continued to treat the others who had been injured.


“I didn’t feel I was doing anything heroic. I was just doing my duties,” Reynolds said.


After this bombing Captain Reynolds decided to reside. Then later in 1965 she was awarded the Purple Heart for her outstanding bravery.


“I hope that students will learn about the sacrifice and bravery of the women in the Vietnam War because they played an important role in American history,” Reynolds said.