“Jimmie” Harrold – “We Worked Our Butts Off, But I Enjoyed Every Bit of It!” (Part 3)

SONY DSCLt. Col. Genevieve “Jimmie” Guitrau Harrold

Army Nurse – World War II

Air Force Flight Nurse – Korean War

Career Air Force Nurse

Meritorious Service Medal

Republic of Korea Service Medal

Did you have family back home?

“I’m the oldest of nine. So I would come in on leave.  I would fly in to New Orleans ’cause Baton Rouge at that time didn’t have capabilities to accept commercial air.  So I had to go to New Orleans and my parents would meet me there.

So you did get to see them while you were in the service.

“Oh yeah!  Call’em every week.  Once a week!

After serving three years as a Chief Nurse at Dow Air Force Base in Bangor, Maine, she moved to Hamilton Air Force Base in California.  It was there that she met her husband, retired Navy Captain Clay Harrold.  

“I didn’t get married until I was stationed at Hamilton Air Force Base [near San Rafael, CA].  I got married in ’67 – a retired Navy Captain.

Where’d you meet him?

“At the bar, where else?

[Chuckle] Where was that?

“Hamilton. [The Base] is no longer in existence.

When they decided to get married, they traveled back to her home state of Louisiana  because she wanted her father to give her away.  

Navy Capt. Clay Harrold

You got married in Gretna, LA”?

“Yeah we flew. I wanted my father to give me away and we flew down here and we got married at that Gretna Country Club.”

How old were you when you got married?

“I was in my 50s.

Now a Lt. Colonel, she had been the Senior Nurse and Chief Nursing Administrator at numerous hospitals throughout her military career. 

Being promoted to Lt. Colonel
Being promoted to Lt. Colonel.

“When they closed Hamilton, I was transferred to Chief Nurse [Chairman of the Department of Nursing] at Tyndall Air Force Base at Panama City, FL . And I was married at that time. 

At Tyndall AFB
Lt. Col. Harrold at Tyndall AFB as Director of Nursing

Mrs. Harrold served at Tyndall for several months until she retired from the Air Force in November of 1970 after 26 years of service.  


“And these are my retirement photographs, see, they’re pinning a medal on me there. And they had a big production at Tyndall.  You know, the parades… there was a whole bunch of men that retired. And I was the only female.


Retirement Ceremony for Lt Col Genevieve Guitrau Harrold in 1970 - Tyndall Air Force Base, Panama City, FL
Retirement Ceremony for Lt. Col. Genevieve Guitrau Harrold in 1970 – Tyndall Air Force Base, Panama City, FL

She received numerous awards and medals for her service in various nursing roles throughout her career.

Meritorious Service Medal –  awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States for outstanding achievement or meritorious service to the United States. This award is the non-combat equivalent of the Bronze Star Medal. 

“Lt. Col Genevieve Harrold distinguished herself in the performance of outstanding service for the United States as Chairman, Department of Nursing, United States Air Force Hospital Tyndall AFB, Florida.

“– during this period the outstanding professional skill, leadership, and ceaseless efforts of Lt. Col. Genevieve G. Harrold resulted in major contributions to the effectiveness and success of the Air Force Nursing Service.  Her brilliant career and professional achievements, her delightful charm and poise, have been an inspiration to nurses and medical personnel throughout the Air Force.

Republic of Korea Service Medal – For veterans who served with distinction during the Korean War.  She is one of only three women to receive this medal.

Air Force Commendation Medal  – retirement medal – 26 years of service in the Air Force

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award – “[Travis AFB Hospital] I was assigned to received this award”

American Campaign Medal –for serving in a European Tour

European – African – Middle Eastern Campaign Medal and three Bronze Service Stars – for the Battle Bastogne and other battles that occurred

WWII Victory Medal

National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star

Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with five oak leaf clusters –  for all the medals from all the wars and campaigns in which she was involved

United Nations Service Medal  – Retirement medal

DSC00343.ARWAfter retirement, she and her husband put their household goods in storage and sailed in their ketch-rig sailboat to Key West, FL.  They eventually moved to Reno, Nevada which was close to his hometown of San Francisco. They lived there until his death in January, 2006 after being married 39 years. At that time, she moved back home to Louisiana to be near family.

Wow, wow, wow, what a life! So would you change anything?

“Hell, no! Not no, but HELL no!”Fullscreen capture 3272014 22507 PM.bmp


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