Irma Cameron “Pete” Dryden, the oldest living Tuskegee Aircorps nurse from WWII, died peacefully on Thursday, September 17, 2020 at the age of 100. Second Lieutenant Cameron (Dryden) was a graduate of Harlem Hospital School of Nursing’s class of 1942. She and her late (former) husband, Ret. Lt. Col. Charles Walter Dryden, were married in the first military wedding at Tuskegee in 1943. The story of her courtship and marriage is included in Tom Brokaw’s An Album of Memories: Personal Histories from the Greatest Generation. Charles Dryden also included their story in his book, A-Train: Story of a Tuskegee Airman. Dryden was an only child born to Jamaican parents in New York, May 28, 1920. Second Lieutenant Irma Dryden left military service in 1944. In 2014, Irma was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for her service. The National Black Nurses Association has established a scholarship in honor of the inspiring life of Irma Dryden. She is survived by her children, Charles Walter Dryden Jr. and Keith Dryden, as well as her grandchildren, Cameron Dryden, Jerry Phillips, Tyler Dryden, Isabella Dryden, and her great grandson Alpha Jackson Dryden. She is preceded in death by her youngest son, Eric Buckley Dryden. Her memorial service is planned for November of this year and will be available to stream online. In lieu of flowers, she wished for donations to be made to support her grandchildren directly via Venmo @drydenfund. Inquiries or requests for additional information can be sent to email@example.com.
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