Mar 29, 2018 - Sale 2471

Sale 2471 - Lot 287

Price Realized: $ 6,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 2,000 - $ 3,000
(MILITARY.) Papers of Nancy Leftenant-Colon, the first African-American in the Regular Army Nurse Corps. Hundreds of items (0.8 linear feet) in one box and one sleeve; condition general strong. Vp, 1945-2013

Additional Details

Nancy Carol Leftenant was born in South Carolina in 1920 and raised in Amityville, NY. She graduated from the Lincoln School for Nurses in the Bronx in 1944, and joined the Army as a nurse in time for the tail end of World War Two. In February 1948, she became the first African American to be integrated into the Regular Army Nurse Corps, which received international news attention. She soon transferred to the Air Force Nurse Corps, where she served in Vietnam in 1954 and retired with the rank of major. She married Bayard King Colon in 1960, resided in East Norwich, NY, and served as a school nurse after leaving the military. Her husband and brother had served in the Tuskegee Airmen during World War Two, so she became active in their veteran's group, and served a term as its president.
This collection of her papers includes dozens of awards and citations including her military flight log from her time in Vietnam; photographs from her military service including two of Brigadier General Benjamin O. Davis, who became the first African-American general in the military; papers relating to the Tuskegee Airmen including an original document and reproduction photograph relating to her brother's service; a Certificate of Special Recognition from the United States Senate issued by Hillary Rodham Clinton; and correspondence from friends, family and supporters from 1948 to 1995. In 1995, she met President Bill Clinton at the White House as part of a veterans' group. She soon wrote him an 11-page heartfelt letter of thanks, essentially telling her life story, and expressing support for his health insurance initiatives. A photocopy is in the collection. A more detailed inventory of this lot is available upon request.