Evelyn B. Whitlow—Nurse and Prisoner of War

Angels of Bataan and Corregidor

All this month we’re bringing you stories from North Carolina women's history. Check back here each week day for a new tidbit on the women of our state's past. Evelyn B. Whitlow image from NC Museum of History

The Whitlow family of Leasburg in Caswell County saw six of their twelve children—four sons and two daughters—in military service during World War II. Evelyn B. Whitlow was the first of the family to join the military. In May 1940 she joined 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. She was among the 77 army and navy nurses captured following the fall of the Philippines in May 1942. Known as the Angels of Bataan and Corregidor, these 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 in February 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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