Learn The Incredible Untold Story Of These Brave WWII Nurses

It is an undeniable fact that the devastation and loss during the Second World War has had a lasting impact on those involved and their families, even until this day. It is not uncommon to hear some of the untold stories of courage and sacrifice, but there are few stories as inspiring as this one.

Few people know of the evacuation and subsequent capture of the island of Corregidor in the Philippines. When Lt. Gen Jonathan Wainwright commanded the whole island be evacuated on April 8, 1942, he left behind 77 American nurses and those who were too wounded to travel. Only a month after this, the island was taken by Japanese troops, leading to the biggest group of female prisoner of war (POW) groups known to this day.

Dubbed the “Angels of Bataan and Corregidor”, these incredible women are admired and revered for the endless courage and compassion they had for their patients. Throughout the three years these ladies were held at Santo Tomas Internment Camp, not one of them passed away, despite the awful conditions.

Bernice Fisher, granddaughter of U.S Army nurse, Mary Bernice Brown-Menzie (pictured), has opened up regarding her grandmother’s incredible commitment to her duty: “It is not that they were some of the first women POWs that made them special… they survived in a horrific environment while never losing their commitment to serving their patients.”

Ms. Fisher has told reporters her grandmother lost a total of 55 pounds over the three years in the camp and never lost hope or spirit.

The story of these heroic nurses has only recently come to light, after some of the Angels wished to dispel several rumors circulating that implied that the 77 woman were raped during their time at the camp. Elizabeth M. Norman, has chronicled the incredible story of these 77 women, using their own diaries to piece together their traumatic experience and provide a more accurate recount of their history.

Ms. Norman has highlighted the lack of acknowledgment for the incredible sacrifice these women made, with even “the military never [asking]” about their imprisonment. While it has taken nearly 70 years for the story of the “Angels of Bataan and Corregidor” to be recognized, their experience will never be forgotten.

Source: AWM
Photos: AWM

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