Orlowski, Hedwig Diane, 1LT

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
First Lieutenant
Last Service Branch
Army Nurse Corps
Last Primary MOS
3443-Operating Room Nurse
Last MOS Group
Nurse Corps (Officer)
Primary Unit
1967-1967, 3443, 67th Evacuation Hospital
Service Years
1966 - 1967

Army Nurse Corps

First Lieutenant

One Overseas Service Bar

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

26 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SP 6 Gary McJimsey to remember Orlowski, Hedwig Diane, 1LT.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
Detroit, Michigan

Casualty Date
Nov 30, 1967
Non Hostile- Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Binh Dinh (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Mount Olivet Cemetery - Detroit, Michigan
Wall/Plot Coordinates
31E 015 Plot Sec L Lot 545 Space 6

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2012, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
U.S. Army44th Medical BrigadeMedical Units67th Evacuation Hospital
  1966-1966, 6, US Army Medical Training Center (Student) Fort Sam Houston, TX
  1967-1967, 3443, 44th Medical Brigade
  1967-1967, 3443, 67th Medical Group
  1967-1967, 3443, 67th Evacuation Hospital
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1967-1967 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase II Campaign (1966-67)
  1967-1967 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase III Campaign (1967-68)
 Colleges Attended 
  1964-1966, Hurley Medical Center School of Nursing
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Apr 12, 2015, General Photos5
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Date of Birth April 13, 1944
Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan
Single (Never Married)
Nick names – Heddy or Harriet
Bronislaw Orlowski worked at Chrysler at the time of Hedwig’s death.
Zuzanna Orlowski was a nurse. Died in 1997.
Brother - Jerry Orlowski
Sister – Barbara / Barb – also became a nurse (RN).

St. Florian High School
Catholic High School, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit
Hamtramck, Michigan
[Information from her sister, Barg, as quoted in a newspaper article of the Detroit Free Press].
General H. H. Arnold High School
(U.S. Department of Defense School)
Wiesbaden, Germany
Hedwig may have only attended H.H. Arnold during her freshman year of High School per Paul C. Burton, a fellow classmate during that period.

[Information from two fellow classmates as stated in a 2005 remembrance messages at The Vietnam Veterans Memorial The Wall – USA for Orlowski]

Hurley Hospital School of Nursing
Flint, Michigan
Graduated 1966
Photo of Hedwig in her nurse cap is of her 1966 Nursing School Graduation Photo.
Joined the U.S. Army while attending nursing school – U.S. Army Reserve.
Hedwig worked for a short time after graduating from nursing school at the Harper University Hospital, Detroit, Michigan; now part of the Detroit Medical Center.

U.S. Army Active Service was about one year.
Enlisted in U.S. Army Reserve Nurse Corps October 18, 1966.
Vietnam Tour of Duty Started January 27, 1967.
Died in an U.S. Army aircraft accident along with 23 other individuals in the Binh Dinh Province, near Qui Nhon, U.S. Military Region 2, Republic of South Vietnam.  1LT died as a result of non-hostile action while a passenger on a US Army C-7 Caribou fixed wing plane.
Age at death 23
From C-7A Caribou Association web site – Caribou Losses 30 November 1967, regarding aircraft C-7B Caribou:
Date: 30 November 1967
Aircraft: C-7B 62-4175
Unit: 458 TAS, 483 TAW
Base: Cam Ranh Bay
  • MAJ Thomas Dewey Moore (Died)
  • MAJ William Jerome Clark (Died)
  • SSG Arturo Delgado-Marin (Died)
  • SSG Stanley Joseph Yurewicz (Died)
Aircraft Summary Description:
A C-7 Caribou crashed during a routine air transport flight in South Vietnam. As the aircraft approached Qui Nhon the pilot was advised that the weather at the airfield had fallen below safety minima. He replied that he would proceed to Nha Trang where the weather was better but the aircraft hit a mountain at 1,850 feet about five miles south of Qui Nhon. The weather at the time consisted of low cloud and rain that reduced visibility to about two miles. The four crew and 20 passengers, including two US civilians, were killed in this accident. [Coffelt Database of Vietnam Casualties].
Event:  C-7B Caribou hit mountain about 5 miles south of Qui Nhon city during bad weather.  Missed approach to airfield. [Pilot error].
Five US Army Medical Personnel Died in this Aircraft Accident:
  • CPT Eleanor G. Alexander, 85th Evacuation Hospital
  • 1LT Jerome E. Olmsted, 85th Evacuation Hospital
  • SP5 Phillip A. Ogas, 85th Evacuation Hospital
  • 1LT Hedwig D. Orlowski, 67th Evacuation Hospital
  • 1LT Kenneth R. Shoemaker, 55th Medical Group
Unconfirmed Information From Find A Grave web site as of 05-30-2017:
She was the only female soldier from Michigan killed in the Vietnam War. Hedwig graduated from St. Florian High School in Hamtramck, Michigan and Hurley Hospital School of Nursing, Flint, Michigan. She was stationed at the 67th Evacuation Hospital in Qui Nhon and was sent to a hospital in Pleiku to help during a period of heavy casualties. She died in a plane crash returning to Qui Nhon. She was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star. 
Find A Grave Memorial #96279508


Congressional Record
103rd Congress (1993-1994)
November 8, 1993
United States Senate
By: Senator Donald W. Riegle, Jr., Michigan
"Mr. President, I rise today to pay tribute to Hedwig Diane Orlowski, a nurse from Michigan who served with the 67th Evacuation Hospital during the Vietnam War. Twenty-six years ago this month Heddy Orlowski died along with two of her fellow nurses when her plane attempted to land in bad weather at Qui Nhon. She was just 23 years old.
Heddy studied at the Hurley Medical Center School of Nursing in Flint, MI. In January of 1967, she began her tour of duty in Vietnam at Qui Nhon. She was temporarily assigned to Pleiku to assist with the large number of wounded there. On November 30, 1967, Heddy's plane went down as it returned her to her post.
In observing Veteran's Day this year, [1993] I would like to pay special tribute to this outstanding young woman for the ultimate sacrifice she made for our country. At the age of 22, Heddy traveled to Vietnam to provide medical attention and personal support to the young American soldiers who were wounded in the war. During each day of the 11 months she spent in Vietnam, she faced death with courage that few of us possess. She gave all her strength to those who needed her help. Today, her memory is carried on by the people she nursed back to health, as well as her family and friends who loved her.
With the dedication of the Women's Vietnam Veterans Memorial on November 11, our Nation is paying a long-overdue tribute to the service and sacrifice of Hedwig Orlowski and the 11,500 women who served with her in Vietnam. This bronze statue honors all the women who served in Vietnam--those who served with the armed forces, and the volunteers who served with humanitarian organizations such as the USO and the Red Cross.
Like Heddy, these women faced the horrors of the Vietnam conflict on a daily basis. They offered support and comfort to thousands of young men in their final moments of life and they helped save the lives of hundreds of thousands more. The fortitude and courage that these women displayed also helped keep many soldiers from falling into despair. These women deserve recognition for their important service to their country. The Women's Vietnam Veterans Memorials will help to ease the pain that many of these women still feel. It will also remind Americans today and in future generations of their tremendous courage and let them know that this Nation is grateful for their service.
The women who served in Vietnam were willing to give their lives in service to others and their country; Heddy was 1 of 8 who sacrificed their lives to save the lives of others. The Women's Vietnam Veterans Memorial can never completely make up for the loss of a young woman like Heddy who was so full of life. But it will remind us of the bravery that she displayed and the sacrifice she made. Not only will the soldiers whom she helped always be grateful to her, but all Americans are grateful for Hedwig Diane Orlowski's selfless service to her country. Through this memorial, her memory lives on."

Remembrances From the web site The Vietnam Veterans Memorial The Wall – USA:
High School Classmates
From Paul C. Burton
Heddy, was a member, of the H.H., Arnold, High School, class, of '62. She was one, of the Angels of Mercy, who served, her country and her fellow, service men and women. She went selflessly, into harm's way, to help others. She will, always be remembered, as long, as this Vietnam Veteran, is alive. Rest in Peace, Heddy. You were an angel, then and now. We miss you! Paul C. Burton, Class, of '63. [Paul Contributed the H.S. Photo].
From Sandy Whalen
Salute to Heddy
As a fellow classmate from Gen. H. H. Arnold High School, Wiesbaden, Germany, I want to honor the memory of one of our own.  So many gave so much, the nurses risked their lives to help those at war.  I wish she had lived to share her life with those of us who meet often to share the times at H H Arnold.
Two different High Schools found for Hedwig Orlowski on the internet - She attended both schools.
St. Florian High School
Catholic High School, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit
Hamtramck, Michigan
[information from a sister Barb, who was quoted in a newspaper article from the Detroit Free Press, May 26, 2013, titled Michigan nurse was one of 8 female soldiers killed in Vietnam War.]
General H. H. Arnold High School
(U.S. Department of Defense School)
Wiesbaden, Germany
[information from two fellow classmate as stated in a 2005 remembrance messages at The Vietnam Veterans Memorial The Wall – USA for Orlowski]
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