Brantley, H.R. 2003-02-24

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Hattie Brantley talks about her service in the army as a nurse. She discusses her experiences during WWII in the Philippines and as a POW.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: H.R. "Hattie" Brantley

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: February 24, 2003

Location: Jefferson, Texas

Interviewer: David Marshall

Length: 02:16:14


Introduction; Background; Childhood memories; Family farm; Attended high school for 5 years; Attended Baylor University; Nursing program requirements; Became an army nurse in 1939; Worked at Fort Sam Houston; Worked in the Philippines; Ambition to see the world; Travel experiences; Expectations of war; Pearl Harbor; Casual atmosphere on base; Set up hospitals in Manila; Experiences with war casualties; Extent of injuries; Japanese disregard for the Geneva Convention; Nurses transferred to Bataan; Bombing of the bus convoy; Hospital structures and amenities; Japanese bombing; Constructing new hospitals; Using available materials; Limited medical care; Transferred to Corregidor; Concern for patients left in Bataan; Morale and sense of humor; Corregidor surrendered to the Japanese; Ordered to continue caring for patients; Given morphine tablets; Issued GI clothing; Loss of radio communication; Nurses were taken prisoner; Japanese did not allow women in their army; Placed in a civilian internment camp in Manila; Used the University of Santo Tomas as living quarters; Philippine allegiance to General MacArthur; Nurses’ preference for General Wainwright; Living conditions in the camp; Meal rations; Communication through notes hidden in food; Prisoners from different ethnicities; Families were separated into different barracks; Set up a school system in Santo Tomas; Different languages; Available medical care; Malnutrition in children; Unsanitary conditions; Methods of acquiring foods; Trading rations for cigarettes; Death and loss of morale in the camp; Camaraderie between nurses; Moral support; Toughness of chief nurse; Rotation of commanders to prevent Americanization; Japanese executed disobedient Americans; Inhumanity of Japanese military; Philippine assistance to prisoners; Captured transporting notes; Punishment for prisoners; Religious services allowed within the camp; Rumors of liberation; Liberation in February 1945; Japanese intention to annihilate prisoners; Surprise attack on Santo Tomas; Received letters with information from home; Nurses were transported first by plane; Illness as a result of imprisonment; Weight loss; Common diseases; Had hepatitis later in life; Placed in hospital in San Francisco to monitor health; Arrived back in Jefferson; Her mother and siblings still lived on the farm; Rations still intact; Readjusting to life in the United States; Reported to Hot Springs, Arkansas for rehabilitation; Protocol of POW secrecy; Continued military service; Her responsibility to train nurses; She was the last POW nurse to retire; Traveled as a head nurse; Promoted to First Lieutenant, then Captain; Retired in 1969; Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel upon retirement; Moved to Jefferson, Texas; Marion County Hospital; Adventist administration of the hospital; Her brother retired to Jefferson as well; Began beekeeping; Brantley Bees warehouse; Retailers of all-natural honey.

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:

Transcript: No transcript available

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