Evelyn Whitlow, Army Nurse

An image of Whitlow from the N.C. Museum of History

An image of Whitlow from the N.C. Museum of History

On May 7, 1942, Evelyn Whitlow was among the 77 Army and Navy nurses captured following the fall of the Philippines. The Whitlow family of Leasburg, in Caswell County, saw six of their 12 children (four sons and two daughters) enter the service during World War II. Evelyn B. Whitlow was the first of the family to join the military. In May 1940, she enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps (ANC) as a second lieutenant. Whitlow was serving as a nurse in the Philippines when Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941.

Known as the Angels of Bataan and Corregidor, the captured nurses were the first group of American women taken as prisoners of war. For three years she remained in Santo Thomas, a Japanese internment camp outside Manila, until being liberated on February 3, 1945. After the war, she left the ANC, married a fellow POW from Santo Thomas and moved to California. Whitlow died at the age of 78, in 1994.

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