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Manor, Filomena R. (1926-) | Special Collections & University Archives

Name: Manor, Filomena R. (1926-)
Variant Name: Filomena R. Fusco

Historical Note:

Filomena Manor was born Filomena R. Fusco, in Troy, New York, on July 6, 1926. She graduated from Lansingburg High School in 1944 and delivered the salutatorian address "Women in the Post-War World" to her classmates. Awarded a scholarship with full tuition to Russell Sage College, she received a B.S. in foods and nutrition in 1948, before moving on to Peter Bent Brigham Hospital and Simmons College in Boston for a dietetic internship. In 1960, while serving as an officer in the United States Air Force (USAF), she obtained her M.S. from the Ohio State University. Her master’s thesis became the basis for the Air Force’s diet supervisor job training standard and course at the Air University located at Maxwell Air Force Base.

On January 17, 1950, Filomena Fusco became the first woman commissioned directly into the newly created Air Force Women’s Medical Specialist Corps as a Second Lieutenant. She married Melvin Manor, of Oak Park, Illinois, in the chapel at Hamilton Air Force Base on September 3, 1955. The couple resided in San Rafael, California. As the first dietitian sworn in directly from civilian life, she rose in the ranks of the USAF to Lieutenant Colonel in 1967. In 1971, she was promoted to full Colonel, the grade at which she retired in 1983. In November 1962, Manor became not only the first female recipient of the McLester Award for dietetics but also the first U.S. dietitian to be presented with the honor.

During the Korean conflict, from 1951 through 1953, she served as the Food Service Officer and Dietitian at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. Moving to Hamilton Air Force Base in California, where she remained until 1957, Manor was the Consultant Dietitian for Air Defense Command. While later assigned to March Air Force Base from 1960 until 1963, she was the Fifteenth Air Force Consultant Dietitian and Preceptor of the Dietetic Residency program. She then went to Headquarters, Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, before moving on to Scott Air Force Base in 1965.

At Scott Air Force Base as the Assistant for Dietetic Services, she was instrumental in the creation of the Cooked Therapeutic Inflight Meals System (CTIM), initiated in October of 1968 for use in aeromedical evacuations during the Vietnam era. She was transferred to Andrews Air Force Base in 1970. In 1972 her work at the on-base Malcolm Grow USAF Medical Center led to the establishment of the Air Force Dietetic Internship, a program for which she served as director for twelve classes. Between 1972 and 1982, Manor served as the Associate Chief for Dietetics and Nutrition with the Biomedical Sciences Corps, and published numerous manuals and pamphlets on dietetics and food preparation.

Manor retired on October 31, 1983 after 33 years, 7 months, and 18 days of service in the United States Air Force. Currently a resident of Coronado, California, Manor continues to be involved in military associations and organizations. In her post-military career, Manor has been a member of the Military Order of the World Wars and serves as an officer in the San Diego Chapter of the Retired Officers Association. She became a founder of the Retired Air Force Dietitian’s Association (RAFDA), of which she also serves as a chief officer. She conducted considerable research for the 2001 publication, 50 Years of Air Force Dietetics 1949 – 1999 by the RAFDA.

Note Author: Michael William Lapins

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