As the flight nurse on the first intercontinental air evacuation flight, Elsie had never flown in an airplane and had no air evacuation training. She successfully oversaw supplying and preparing the plane as well as the movement of five seriously ill patients from India to Washington, D.C. This six-day trip would have normally taken three months by ship and ground transportation. She supplied a report that suggested the use of oxygen, wound care supplies, coffee, blankets, and the impracticality of wearing skirts for this duty. Elsie received the first Air Medal presented to a woman, and formal flight nurse training.