No more letters were published from Norman until late 1918. However the next newspaper articles in September 1918 about Norman proudly declared her being awarded the Croix de Guerre for her work under fire.
Norman’s family are able to confirm she was actually nominated 7 times for the Croix de Guerre and was awarded the medal around July/August 1918 although there is no exact date given on the citation. It is believed her bravery was rewarded after the second battle of the Marne which took place near Reims July 1918 although her hospital at Bouleuse was evacuated and destroyed in June 1918 due to a large German offensive.
Croix de Guerre For Atlanta Girl For Work Under Fire
Miss Norman Derr Decorated by French Government for Bravery While Tending Wounded
Miss Norman Derr, of Atlanta, has been decorated by the French government with the Croix de Guerre for “bravery displayed under fire while caring for the wounded”, is the message which has come from her father, Dr E Z Derr, of East Lake, Decatur, GA. She is the sister of Dr John S Derr, now in France serving with the Emory Unit.
Miss Derr was in Europe studying art when the war began in 1914. She left the studios for a nurse training school, and as soon as she qualified she was assigned to duty in a French military hospital. From the beginning she displayed efficiency and bravery, and when home on furlough two years ago she had been given the rank of lieutenant in the French army.
She has had a book published under the caption, “Mlle Miss”, which has been sold, the book a compilation of her letters written to relatives in Boston and published to be sold in relief in the French hospitals.
While in Atlanta Miss Derr delivered a series of talks on the work to be done in the war hospitals, and she was the inspiration of the initiative work then done by Atlanta women in war relief.
Occasional messages have been received from her, but the last letters indicated constant care and duties in a hospital very near the front line trenches, where she had many thrilling experiences.
The new decoration of this Georgia girl will be a source of great inspiration to those who are contemplating enrolment in the United States nurses’ reserve.
The Atlanta Constitution: 28 September 1918 with permission of ProQuest Historical Newspapers Atlanta Constitution (1868 -1945)
Below is a English translation of the original citation signed by General Petain which Norman’s family have been kind enough to share.
Cite de l’ordre de regiment- (after April 1917)
After approval by General Commandent in Chief of the expeditionary American forces in France , the General Commandent and Chief of the French army of North and of North East cite to the Order of Regiment
Miss Norman Derr
Infirmary Voluntary American
“Of a courage beyond expectation particularly with disregard of her own danger and above all her care of the wounded during a violent bombing attack of the hospital centre by plane. Throughout the Medical Unit since the very beginning of the War she has earned the admiration and respect of all the medical core and the wounded”.
Grand Operation General