Jean Catherine KAHAN

KAHAN, Jean Catherine

Service Numbers: WFX37673, WF37673
Enlisted: 17 October 1942
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: General Hospitals - WW2
Born: Perth Western Australia , 27 September 1916
Home Town: South Perth, South Perth, Western Australia
Schooling: University of Western Australia (Science Graduate)
Occupation: Laboratory Technician
Died: Natural , Claremont Western Australia , 18 May 2013, aged 96 years
Cemetery: Karrakatta Cemetery & Crematorium
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World War 2 Service

17 Oct 1942: Enlisted Australian Army (Post WW2), Lieutenant, SN WFX37673, General Hospitals - WW2
17 Oct 1942: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Lieutenant, SN WFX37673
25 Jan 1946: Discharged Australian Army (Post WW2), Lieutenant, SN WF37673, General Hospitals - WW2
25 Jan 1946: Discharged Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Lieutenant, SN WFX37673
Date unknown: Involvement Lieutenant, SN WFX37673

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Biography contributed by Graham Padget

Lieutenant Jean Catherine Kahan was the daughter of Raol Robellaz Kahan of Peppermint Grove Perth Western Australia 

Jean Catherine Kahan, born in Perth, was a UWA Science graduate of 1939. From 1940 she worked as a volunteer with Dr Cyril Fortune to organise blood grouping as her part of the war effort, taking samples from enlistees at Swanbourne Barracks. At the time only Melbourne had such a unit and on Dr Fortune’s advice the Army established a unit in each state. Jean later headed the WA Unit, and travelled to Melbourne to learn the processes, purchase necessary equipment and bring it back on the troop train. She labelled the delicate precision instruments ‘Eggs Handle with Care’ and carried it as personal luggage.
The US Navy seconded two Laboratory Technicians to the Unit and she trained 25 women with no previous scientific background as assistants in the demanding tasks. Using items such as dairy cream separators, glass piping, and sourcing special filter pads from the Swan Brewery, the Unit relied on a locally-sourced refrigerated compartment. It was installed in the 110 Australian General Hospital, Pathology Department at Hollywood Repatriation Hospital.

Jean served in the Australian Army, Australian Blood and Serum Preparation Unit, with the rank of Lieutenant, from 1942 until 1946.