Army Nurses Captured in the Philippines_1942

My mother-in-law joined the Woman’s Army Corp (WACs) late in World War 2. After training in Georgia as a nurse’s aide she would be stationed in Seattle, Washington at an army hospital that received casualties from the War in the Pacific. She always spoke in such way as to reveal the great compassion she had for the mangled service men she helped take care of.


Different does not mean lesser.

All that came to my mind while reading an article in the American Legion Magazine titled Courage to Live.


I encourage my readers to follow the link for the full story but by way of summation the article deals with the 44 army nurses who were in the Philippines when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor-the event that drew the US into World War Two.

The Japanese conquered the Philippines by May, 1942 and while a few of the nurses did escape to Australia most were captured by the Japanese.

Their ordeal in captivity was no less severe than what was experienced by any allied service person who was captured by the Japanese.

By the time they were liberated in early 1945 they were starving and extremely ill although none had died. Many if not most never fully recovered after the war and sadly they were forgotten by the government.

Throughout their ordeal they stayed true to their mission and exemplified great courage in a horrible experience. The article cited seeks to make their forgotten sacrifices remembered.


4 comments on “Army Nurses Captured in the Philippines_1942

  1. They too had the indestructible spirit of the Greatest Generation. They stood strong!

  2. And they still continued to view women in general as “the weaker sex” or less intelligent. Only there to be decorations, sex objects, baby making machines, cooks, maids, etc. Or to find their “fulfillment” through owning the latest model kitchen or laundry appliance, or brand of soap. PHOOEY!! 😝
    These women, and all like them, who served in hundreds of different ways during a time of years of serious national crisis deserved only the best we had to offer them, and they just got shoved back into the kitchen with a mop in one hand and a pot in the other. Shameful. Absolutely shameful.

    • Thanks for stopping by. I think it’s a bit unfair to judge the past by contemporary standards. People are generally speaking products of their times and the standards of their times. Doesn’t make it right or wrong necessarily, just history and the way it was. My mother-in-law saw it as her duty to serve and was glad to do it and proud to help mangled soldiers and marines recovering in a hospital. She married a soldier after the war, had three children and worked in a hospital as a nurse’s aide. My mom married a soldier as well, had two kids and worked in different jobs most of her life. No complaints, no “it’s not fair” just hard working people doing the best they could. All were products of the Depression and WW2. It was a great generation-the likes of which we will not see again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: