We Band of Angels: The Untold Story of the American Women Trapped on Bataan

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Random House Publishing Group, Jun 29, 2011 - History - 384 pages
168 Reviews
In the fall of 1941, the Philippines was a gardenia-scented paradise for the American Army and Navy nurses stationed there. War was a distant rumor, life a routine of easy shifts and dinners under the stars. On December 8 all that changed, as Japanese bombs began raining down on American bases in Luzon, and this paradise became a fiery hell. Caught in the raging battle, the nurses set up field hospitals in the jungles of Bataan and the tunnels of Corregidor, where they tended to the most devastating injuries of war, and suffered the terrors of shells and shrapnel.
 
But the worst was yet to come. After Bataan and Corregidor fell, the nurses were herded into internment camps where they would endure three years of fear, brutality, and starvation. Once liberated, they returned to an America that at first celebrated them, but later refused to honor their leaders with the medals they clearly deserved. Here, in letters, diaries, and riveting firsthand accounts, is the story of what really happened during those dark days, woven together in a deeply affecting saga of women in war.
 
Praise for We Band of Angels
 
“Gripping . . . a war story in which the main characters never kill one of the enemy, or even shoot at him, but are nevertheless heroes . . . Americans today should thank God we had such women.”—Stephen E. Ambrose
 
“Remarkable and uplifting.”—USA Today
 
“[Elizabeth M. Norman] brings a quiet, scholarly voice to this narrative. . . . In just a little over six months these women had turned from plucky young girls on a mild adventure to authentic heroes. . . . Every page of this history is fascinating.”—Carolyn See, The Washington Post
 
“Riveting . . . poignant and powerful.”—The Dallas Morning News
 
Winner of the Lavinia Dock Award for historical scholarship, the American Academy of Nursing National Media Award, and the Agnes Dillon Randolph Award
 

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Review: We Band of Angels: The Untold Story of American Nurses Trapped on Bataan by the Japanese

User Review  - Goodreads

This was an excellent account of the nurses that served at Bataan and Corregidor. Very straight forward, it presented the women not as heroes or even 'angels' (thank heavens), but as nurses who 'got ... Read full review

Review: We Band of Angels: The Untold Story of American Nurses Trapped on Bataan by the Japanese

User Review  - Stephen - Goodreads

When Japan invaded the Philippines and besieged the Bataan peninsula, the Filipino-American army wasn't the only entity enduring months of dwindling supplies and attritive warfare. Stationed alongside ... Read full review

Contents

Cover Title Page Copyright Foreword
The Nurses and Their Hometowns
Waking Up to
Manila Cannot Hold
Jungle Hospital
The Sick the Wounded the Work of
Waiting for the Help That Never Came
There Must Be No Thought of Surrender
In Enemy Hands
Santo Tomas
STIC the First Year 1942
Los Banos 1943
Eating Weeds Fried in Cold Cream 1944
And the Gates Came Crashing Down
Home Were Really Home
Aftermath

The Wounded Are Left in Their Beds
Corregidorthe Last Stand
A Handful Go Home
Across the Years 19 Last Woman Standing 11
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About the author (2011)

Elizabeth M. Norman, R.N., Ph.D., is a professor at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. She is the author of Women at War: The Story of Fifty Military Nurses Who Served in Vietnam, and co-author with Michael Norman of Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath, which made The New York Times list of top ten nonfiction books in 2009 and was named a 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize finalist. Her awards include an official commendation for Military Nursing Research from the U.S. Department of the Army.

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