Carl J. Young: Marriage to Bernice Boman

Captain Bernice Boman, Army Nurse Anesthetist, with some of the tools of her profession. This photo was taken at the end of the war. Captain Boman had originally gone to England as a non-combatant on the Lend-lease program before the U.S. entered the war. She went ashore on the European continent as part of the Normandy landing and worked in tent hospitals across Europe wit Eisnehauer's 7th Army. By the time she was given leave to go from Munich to Rome in April, 1945, she was a weary campaigner.

She and a group of other nurses were talking in their compartment on the train when a chaplain came in, assigned to inspect the luggage of the passengers for black market items. Rummaging through suitcases and other carrying gear is not the kind of job anyone would relish, and the nurses hooted and cracked jokes and otherwise made the job more embarrassing for him, though more amusing for them.

On a stop in Buchs, Switzerland, Bernice developed a blister on her heel. She sat down in a doorway while another nurse went to an apothecary to get a plaster for her. As Bernice was waiting, Carl Young, the chaplain whom she'd met on the train, walked down the street. He asked if she had a problem, and the two talked until the other nurse arrived with the plaster from the pharmacist. The second nurse and the chaplain assisted putting the dressing on Bernice's foot.

When the train arrived in Rome, Carl and Bernice spent a good deal of their leave sight-seeing together. When it was time to rejoin their regiments, Carl asked Bernice if he could visit her at her station in Marburg, Germany. This began a hop-scotch courtship between the bases at which they were stationed. A problem with the burgeoning romance was that Carl could not visit on weekends, because he had multiple religious services to perform from sundown Fridays through Sundays.

Their longest separation seems to have been the period when Carl was studying in England, and a brief period of finishing his teaching certificate credential at Northwestern University back in the U.S. Bernice was stationed at Percy Jones Hospital in Battle Creek Michigan when she arrived in America, and Carl could now make weekend visits. He began teaching at Lincoln Junior High School in Kenosha toward the end of their courtship.

The couple had a military wedding on November 23, 1946 at Battle Creek. This included the tradition of cutting their cake with a saber, but due to post-war shortages, their entourage could not find any plain old rice to pelt them with after they left the church. With the Kellogg cereal factory handy, however, their friends were able to shower them with Rice Crispies instead.

The couple moved to Kenosha after Bernice's discharge from the army. Their son, Karl, was born a year later. Bernice began work at Kenosha Memorial Hospital a year after that.


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