Sharon Lane: First Servicewoman Killed in Action During the Vietnam War

 January 5, 2024

Sharon Lane served in Vietnam and tragically became the first woman killed during the war.

From the time of the American Civil War, many notable women served as nurses near the front lines, helping tend to the wounded.

During the Vietnam War, female nurses were often in much more dangerous situations than their predecessors.

Sharon Lane Heads To Vietnam

On April 18, 1968, Sharon Lane became a 1st Lieutenant with the U.S. Army Air Corps Reserve. She went to the Fitzsimons General Hospital in Denver, Colorado, where she was eventually promoted to 2nd Lieutenant.

En route to her pivotal role in the Vietnam War, Sharon Lane made a significant stop at Travis Air Force Base, a key military air transport hub during the Vietnam era. This base, located in Fairfield, California, was a critical waypoint for many soldiers and personnel heading to Southeast Asia, symbolizing the transition from American soil to the uncertainties of war.

Upon her arrival in Vietnam, Sharon Lane joined the 312th Evacuation Hospital in Chu Lai, a vital medical facility operated by the U.S. Army.

This hospital was strategically located near the Chu Lai Air Base, making it a primary medical facility for treating both military personnel and civilians. In this challenging environment, Lane dedicated her skills and compassion to the Intensive Care Ward, a unit that demanded the highest level of medical and emotional strength.

Here, she provided critical care to severely wounded soldiers, often working under the intense pressures of a war zone. Her role in the Intensive Care Ward was not just about medical treatment; it was also about offering comfort and hope in a place far from home.

She was quickly moved to Vietnamese ward 4, working 12-hour shifts, five days a week. However, Lane did not want to be transferred because she was also working in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit, voluntarily taking care of the American soldiers who were critically injured.

The hospital had been attacked on multiple occasions, but Lane was very reassuring with her patients. She told them it was "still very quiet around here... haven't gotten mortared in a couple of weeks now."

Attack On The Hospital

However, the peace was short-lived. The hospital was hit by a rocket on June 8, 1969. The attack killed two people and injured 27.

Lane was killed at the age of 25 due to fragmentation wounds in her chest. She was given the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart for her care of the wounded soldiers.

She was honored in 1969 by the Daughters of the American Revolution and named Nurse of the Year. In addition, her Alma Mater, Aultman Hospital, placed a statue of her in front, reminding everyone of her sacrifice.

More about Sharon Lane

Take a look at this video, which shares more about Sharon Lane.

Most Recent Stories

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

7 comments on “Sharon Lane: First Servicewoman Killed in Action During the Vietnam War”


  2. simply the best ever, remember some of the Lady during my 3 VN tours.
    thank you thank you thank you.
    semper fi

  3. May she rest in eternal peace with the Lord our savior. Thank you Marine Corp Nov 1967 to Dec 1968

  4. Thank you for posting this about Sharon Lane. A friend of mine was in WWII as a nurse and also had been in the Army. It is a great loss for our country that many die in service.

Copyright 2024, Thin Line News LLC