About this Item
Quantity Available: 1
Title: We Band of Angels: The Untold Story of ...
Publisher: Random House Inc, New York
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Edition: First Edition
About this title
"This is a gripping book. Elizabeth Norman presents a war story in which the main characters never kill one of the enemy, or even shoot at him, but are nevertheless heroes. . . . First on Bataan, then moved to Corregidor, they were under almost constant shell fire, were always hungry, close to starvation, had horrendous diseases to deal with despite a shortage or even a complete lack of proper medicines, getting little or no sleep, nothing in the way of recreation--yet they were a true band of angels, inspiring all the men whom they were there to help. In a squalid prison camp, they remained giants, despite their small size. . . . They were the bravest of the brave, who endured unspeakable pain and torture. Americans today should thank God we had such women." --Stephen E. Ambrose
We Band of Angels is the story of women searching for adventure, caught up in the drama and danger of war.
On the same day the Japanese Imperial Navy launched its surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, it also struck American bases in the Far East, chief among them the Philippines. That raid led to the first major land battle for America in World War II and, in the end, to the largest defeat and surrender of American forces. Caught up in all of this were ninety-nine Army and Navy nurses--the first unit of American women ever sent into the middle of a battle.
The "Angels of Bataan and Corregidor"--as the newspapers called them--became the only group of American women captured and imprisoned by an enemy. And the story of their trials on a bloody battlefield, their desperate flight to avoid capture and their ultimate surrender, imprisonment, liberation and homecoming is a story of endurance, professionalism and raw pluck.
Along the way, they helped build and staff hospitals in the middle of a malaria-infested jungle on the peninsula of Bataan. Then, short of supplies and medicine, they worked around the clock in the operating rooms and open-air wards, dealing with gaping wounds and gangrenous limbs, ministering to the wounded, the sick, the dying.
A few fell in love, only to lose their men to the enemy. Finally, on the tiny island of Corregidor in Manila Bay, the Japanese took them prisoner. For three long years in an internment camp--years marked by loneliness and starvation--they kept to their mission and stuck together. In the end, it was this loyalty, this sense of purpose, womanhood and honor, that both challenged and saved them.
Through interviews with survivors and through unpublished letters, diaries and journals, Elizabeth M. Norman vividly re-creates that time, telling the story in richly drawn portraits and in a dramatic narrative delivered in the voices of the women who were there.
"Found worms in my oatmeal this morning. I shouldn't have objected because they had been sterilized in the cooking and I was getting fresh meat with my breakfast.... I'm still losing weight and so are most of us..."
Ruth Marie Straub, an Army nurse, wrote those words in her diary on March 15, 1942, just over three months after the Japanese first bombed the U.S. military base in Manila. She and her colleagues had evacuated the city and established, in the Philippine jungle, hospitals for the skyrocketing numbers of casualties. In the face of the advancing Japanese Army, the nurses and other military personnel continued to retreat, first to the Bataan Peninsula, and then to Corregidor, a rocky island in Manila Bay. Straub was one of the lucky ones; she was evacuated with a handful of other nurses in April 1942. Her remaining colleagues, meanwhile, surrendered with the rest of the U.S. forces in May and were taken to STIC--Santo Tomas Internment Camp, where they were to spend nearly three years in captivity.
We Band of Angels tells the stories of these courageous women, tagged by the American media as "The Angels of Bataan and Corregidor." Utilizing a wide range of sources, including diaries, letters, and personal interviews with surviving "Angels," Elizabeth M. Norman has compiled a harrowing narrative about the experiences of these women--from the country-club atmosphere of prewar Manila; to the jungle hospitals where patients slept on bamboo cots in the open air; to the Malinta Tunnel on Corregidor, where they choked on dust and worked while the bombs rained down above them; to the STIC, where per-person rations were cut to 900 calories a day and the women resorted to frying weeds in cold cream for food. The story Nelson tells is compelling but slightly flawed: like many biographers, Nelson has a deep affection and respect for her subjects, which causes her to soften rough edges. At the same time, however, Nelson argues that these women were not heroes--nor were they angels (in the acknowledgments, Nelson notes that she didn't want the word angels in the title, but the publishers had their way). Perhaps because Nelson is a nurse herself, she is trying to stress that her profession is noble and that these women were, in a sense, just fulfilling their duties.
Nursing is noble, of course, but it is clear that these women were something special. Amazingly, all of the Angels of Bataan, some 99 in number, survived their ordeal--and clearly helped hundreds of the other sufferers survive. We Band of Angels deserves a space on the bookshelves of anyone interested in World War II. --C.B. Delaney
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Check or money order in US$ payable to DBookmahn with order. We also accept Credit
Card payments through Paypal. Will hold book for seven days with email request.
DBookmahn's Used & Rare Military Books, P.O. Box 10826, Burke, VA. 22009.
Returnable within 14 days, if not fully satisfied.
Want lists accepted. We also sell new Schiffer and Fedorowicz books for 20% off list
price. We can order any in print Schiffer and Fedorowicz book for you at the discounted
Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. If your book order is heavy or oversized, we may contact you to let you know extra shipping is required.
accepted by seller
Check Money Order PayPal Bank Draft