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Irene A. Gepfert Mertz Collection

Identifier: WV 0517

Scope and Contents

The collection includes an oral history transcript, 9 May 2011 oral history transcript; 1 box, 2 scrapbooks.


  • 1943-1946
  • Other: Date acquired: 05/15/2012


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the creators of items in the papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information. Please see our Sensitive Materials Statement

Biographical Note

Irene Gepfert Mertz was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana on 13 October 1919. She was one of seven siblings. After both parents died she and most of her siblings became wards of the state. Mertz spent her childhood in Fort Wayne and finished high school there. She then studied at the School of Nursing St. Joseph's Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana. After completing her studies, she worked at St. Joseph's Hospital for three months as the charge nurse supervisor of the orthopedic ward.

Mertz was commissioned into the Navy Nurse Corps on 10 May 1943 and was assigned to San Diego United States Naval Hospital in California. In early 1944, she was transferred to Aiea Heights United States Naval Hospital in Hawaii where she worked as a ward nurse. During this time, she appeared on the radio broadcast "Your Hoosier Marines" where she and one of her marine patients were interviewed about their backgrounds and their daily routines at Aiea Heights United States Naval Hospital. One of her notable patients was posthumous Navy Cross recepient Major Roger G.B. Broome, whose actions during the war warranted a visit from President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the hospital where Mertz was working. On 1 March 1945, she was promoted from ensign to lieutenant.

After the war, Irene married Richard Mertz, and they lived in North Carolina for many years. She passed away in December 2012.


.60 Linear Feet (1 manuscript box, 1 scrapbook box)

Language of Materials


Metadata Rights Declarations

  • License: This record is made available under an Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Creative Commons license.

Source of Acquisition

Gift from Irene Mertz.

Offensive Language Statement

The UNC Greensboro University Libraries collects, preserves, and makes accessible unique and historical materials for learning and research. The nature of historical materials is such that some material may represent positions, norms, and values that are offensive and objectionable. These materials represent the opinions and actions of their creators. By providing access to these records in our reading room and through our digital collections, we recognize that archives and rare books can play a vital role in holding those creators accountable and in helping us learn from the past.

Our finding aids and other collection descriptions may occasionally re-use language provided by creators or former holders of the materials, but we strive to place outdated or offensive terminology in context. That said, we recognize that we may not always make the right decision and welcome feedback from all sources so we can learn and adjust our practices. Please contact us at if you encounter problematic language in our finding aids or other collection description. We will review the language and, as appropriate, update it in a way that balances preservation of the original context with our ongoing commitment to describing materials with respectful and inclusive language.

Processing Information

Processed by Brandi Mauldin, 2018.

Irene A. Gepfert Mertz Collection
Brandi Mauldin
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives Repository

P.O. Box 26170
320 College Ave.
Greensboro NC 27402-6170 US