Anyhow, its one-year anniversary passed in late July, so I thought I'd look up whether it had ever covered nurses. Two.
One of the "Angels of Bataan" dead at 88
Jean Kennedy Schmidt died Saturday, March 3, at her La Canada Flintridge, California, home from complications of a fall, her daughter, Susan Johnson of Bemidji, said last Friday. Schmidt received her nursing degree in 1941, then enlisted in the Army. She was stationed in the Philippines in 1942 when the Japanese attacked. Schmidt and other medical personnel treated the wounded in open-air field hospitals on the Bataan Peninsula. When the Philippines fell, Schmidt and 76 other nurses were held prisoner in Manila for nearly three years, treating military and civilian prisoners, sometimes eating weeds to stave off starvation. In 1945, a U.S. tank crashed through the gates freeing the prisoners. Schmidt later married a fellow prisoner, Richard Schmidt, and they settled in California. Only three "Angels of Bataan" are now believed to be living. Schmidt was 88.
Only Chinese nurse who cared for the famous "Flying Tigers" dead at 95
Rita Wong died Tuesday, June 5, in Kunming in the southwestern Yunnan province of China. Wong was born in Guangdong in southern China and attended the University of Hong Kong. She graduated in 1941 with a nursing degree. Wong began an internship at Hong Kong hospital when Japanese troops attacked and took over on Christmas Day, 1941. The Japanese declared no doctor or nurse was to leave Hong Kong, lest they be captured and killed. Wong and her brother escaped one night by floating away on a sampan. The brother and sister traveled 600 miles from Macau to Chongqing where Wong applied to the headquarters of Allied Forces, who were seeking English-speaking nurses. Stationed at the hospital of the U.S. 14th Air Force in Kunming, Wong cared for the "Flying Tigers," U.S. airmen who defended the Burma supply line to China over the Himalayas during World War II. Wong wrote in her diary that the flights were so dangerous that there were plane crashes every day, with many servicemen never found. During Wong's later years, she visited former Flying Tigers and their descendents in the United States. Wong was 95.