August 18, 1922 - June 30, 1944
Born in North Vancouver on August 18, 1922, Kathleen Dorcas Kronbauer was the adopted daughter of Peter, a carpenter, and Katherine (nee Evander) Kronbauer of Kelowna, British Columbia. Both Mr. and Mrs. Kronbauer were born in Hungary. Mrs. Kronbauer remarried after her husband's death, becoming Mrs. Katie Benesch.
Kathleen had a Grade 9 education, then attended Fenton Commercial School in 1942. She had registered for employment as a steno at the Unemployment Insurance Commission in Vancouver in November 1942. She was later employed as a secretary/stenographer at J. G. Fraser, Ltd., a retail store in Vancouver, BC until her enlistment. She was living at 1420 Robson Street.
She stood 5' 8 1/2" tall, weighed 127 pounds, and had light brown hair and blue eyes. She attended the United Church.
Kathleen enlisted in the RCAF (WD) on September 9, 1943. She spoke English and a little German. She also had taken a St. John's First Aid course. "Good appearance, good manner...has had nine months office experience (30 wpm shorthand and 43 wpm typing). Recommended as clerk stenographer. Good type." She was taken on as a medical clerk.
"This airwoman is average in theory and practical work. She had a year in stenography before enlistment. She is very anxious and willing to learn; pleasant and neat appearance." She was 5th in a class of 5, with a 66.5%. December 2, 1943
On March 5, 1944, LAW Kronbauer was admitted to the station hospital in Rivers, Manitoba for backache and abdominal pain.
On June 8, 1944, again, Kathleen was admitted to the station hospital. "Since coming into service 8 months ago, has had 6 menses. Has missed 2 periods. With each period has had increasing dysmenorrhea. Pain is severe and crampy and is located over both lower quadrants. Usually very severe the day before a menses and the first day of the period. On June 8, after having cramps all day, she had severe lower abdominal pain with signs of mild shock. Pale, nauseated with retching, weak pulse...flow seems to be less with each period and used to have a heavy flow. Three years ago was treated for same thing and was given iron, thyroid and calcium." She was discharged from the hospital on June 10, 1944. "Has started to flow and feels ever so much better...to have complete blood count next week. Will then refer to Command Gyn specialist."
On June 13, 1944, she returned to the hospital. "She states that her periods commenced at the age of 14 1/2 years and came regularly at 28 days, lasting 5 days...saturating 5 pads per day...completely regular until she was 17 years of age, when she began to flow heavily, with a dark brown discharge in between her periods for nearly a year. Her periods then became irregular, also for about one year then she began to develop pain her her lower abdomen...she was examined by a doctor at this time who told her she had a cyst the size of a Japanese orange on her right ovary...this was in December 1941...at this time she was given some thyroid or iodine pills and was well for two years until her present complaint for the past 8 months....I can feel no cysts on the ovaries...normal cervix and uterus. Right ovary prolapsed and appears to be very sensitive."
She was sent to Winnipeg, Manitoba for surgery at the Deer Lodge Hospital, sometime before June 23: "Under general ether, laparotomy was performed, right ovary found prolapsed and in a strangulated position...appendix also removed. Chronic suture to abdmoninal layers. Clips and silk to skin...At approximately 1:25 pm today, while the patient was sitting on the bedpan, she complained that she felt weak and the nurse was called. She states the patient was very white almost ashen in colour, and said she had a pain about the praecordium. The nurse also noticed that her left hand was clenched and she had a tendency to throw it around. She was immediately put flat in bed and she was given one ampoule of Coramine at once, intramuscularly, and a few minutes later, 1 cc of pituitrin. Oxygen was commenced and the patient seemed to respond to this poorly -- her respirations were Cheyne-Stokes in type, but her heart sounds seemed to be fairly strong. However, after 15 minutes of continuous oxygen, her respirations ceased and were quickly followed by an absence of heart sounds. Coramine and artificial respiration did not revive her and the patient was pronounced dead at 2 pm."
On June 29, 1944, LAW Kronbauer died at No. 2 CMB Hospital, Deer Lodge, Winnipeg, Manitoba of post operative pulmonary embolus, blood clot, origin undetermined.
In her list of personal belongings, she had clothing, a small cedar writing paper chest, paper, a Kodak camera and film, a ski jacket, pillow cases, letters, mustard, photos, make-up, a wrist watch, a signet ring, and an RCAF heart necklace.