So I had to go. It said, 'Miss Bernatitus, see me in my suite.'
I packed a box for Dr. Fraley and Dr. Smith--candy bars and oranges, and I don't know what else--for the doctor to take back to them. I was there maybe 2 years.
So I went to the Philadelphia School of Occupational therapy. You would try to get out at night. When the Japanese bombed, the whole place just shook. The nurses lived separately; they had their own mess.
Looking for a movie the entire family can enjoy? The nurses had to cut the ropes so they could fall to the deck. This came just as the aircraft released a bomb, causing it to fall a few feet wide of the Relief. There would have been another war. It wasn't until after I graduated. You could go to the markets if you wanted to. In 1911, he married Mary Irene Yarnell, with whom he would have four children. The evening of August 5, 1977, started with an exclusive reception for 100 people with Gregory and Veronique Peck.
They took us into the officer's mess That's where we sat and they gave us tea and chocolate cake. Our job was to set up the emergency operating room facility. You mentioned earlier, before we had the tape recorder on, that your relations with your fellow Navy nurses were strained at some point. I felt real bad because I knew one of the officers that was left there to do the job.
But we were getting a lot of patients with malaria, dysentery, all that. There were 24 Army nurses, 25 Filipino nurses and me, the 1 Navy nurse. Mary Chapman Hayes died in 1970. So you didn't have any official duties while you were there? Yes. All of a sudden, we had nurses assigned to the linen room. That was on March 30.
Then no one can ever come back at you and say, `If you hadn't made me do this, this wouldn't have happened.' His costar, Laraine Day, was making another film and could not attend either. So, sure enough, that's what we got orders for.
The real Corydon Wassell and his wife were married all …
He was subsequently called to active duty in the Navy in 1936 and stationed in Key West.
Was he the CO [Commanding Officer] of the hospital? Every operating table would be filled. The rooms were enormous with big, high ceilings and big windows.
You did what you could There were lice; I kept my hair covered all the time. On the 11th of December medical personnel at Canacao evacuated and reported to Sternberg in Manila. On April 1 we invaded Okinawa.
He was the one who took care of me. I trained at what was then the Wyoming Valley Homeopathic Hospital in Wilkes-Barre. I never laid eyes on the bugger He was egotistical. I remember only doing one amputation with him.
I was still thinking about Dr. Carey Smith and Dr. Fraley. I could get the women in the audience to cry. I always said that I didn't want to go of there on an airplane. My roommate Was Arlene Ellen Francis. Right. And then someone opened a hatch and we felt this gush of nice fresh air come through. The first few days I was assigned ward duty but this was changed and I was reassigned to the operating room. Anything they served was wonderful for us. He was strictly command.”.
Someone had a Victrola that was playing all the time.
Produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille this slightly above average biographical drama features Gary Cooper in the title role as the Navy doctor that saved the lives of nearly a dozen wounded United States sailors from the Japanese invasion of Java during World War II. I was there the first 6 months. Some had resigned after World War I and some had been furloughed. So there you were at Chelsea, a provisional nurse. I remember the planes came in first to evacuate people. That was just outside Manila. Peck attended a reception in the Arsenal Building where MacArthur was born.
So I packed all these things up and sent them with Mary Chapman's things.
We hadn't seen food like that. Some midshipmen would get their eye on you and then you were 'dragged' to the hops at the Academy. And I said, 'No, I don't think so. Did you have to take some kind of examination?
The utility room for the bedpans and what have you was the back porch. Of course, the Army was in charge so Dr. Smith wasn't working either. The nurses couldn't understand the Navy way or doing things. And you were responsible for so many corpsmen?
Was it as good when you got to Annapolis? So am I. It took ten days for the ship to get to Australia, during which time it was attacked numerous times. Annapolis was a smaller station. They sat there. Peggy was the civilian wife. We met the fellows coming up, going to the front lines. Yes. Yes. And that was for bathing and washing. We ran out or beds. Yes. Did you ever hear of Miss Lally? The person said, 'Well, maybe now we can go home.' Fireworks. And then I got in a car and they took us out of the tunnel down to the dock. It would be released nationally on July 4, 1944, which also happened to be Dr. Wassell’s birthday. I remember one patient we were operating on. It sold out.
I can't remember what I had to eat but they did offer us champagne. There's that famous picture of you taken on the Relief in the jump suit they made for you in Little Baguio. The Navy really took good care of me. On your way to work you dropped it off in the washroom and when you returned there it was all pressed for you. Were the patients transported by ambulance?
Are you kidding? At that time, I recall walking into the Jai Lai building to see how they had set up approximately 100 beds on the porch.
Nichols Field was bombed on the 9th. It was such a nice, close group all the time.
Someone gets out and someone immediately gets in. No.
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And I'm not a speaker. That wasn't a ball, not to me.
To get to Mariveles, they had a road they called the Zig Zag trail, with a drop-off on both sides. On April 7, the following week, they bombed us again.
Peck initially did not care for the subject or the script, but eventually stated that he grew to admire the challenges MacArthur faced. It must have been bedlam in that tunnel. Where did you go after you came back to San Francisco?
Since MacArthur only spent a few hours in Little Rock as an adult, it is possible that Peck spent more time in the building than the General did. [Source: Oral history dated 25 Jan. 1994, provided courtesy of the Historian, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery], [Photo: U.S. Navy Nurses in the Pacific Theater during World War II], I was born in this house. The chief nurse Miss [Laura] Cobb had us at a meeting and said, 'I would suggest that anything you have, you pack up and ship back.' There were pajamas in the treetops. And I wasn't there very long before I got orders for the [hospital ship] Relief (AH-1). We two nurses and the two corpsmen were on the bus just about to leave when someone came aboard and told Dorothy that she was being reassigned to Jai Lai. Dorothy Still and I originally were to go to Santa Scholastica with Dr. Carey Smith and Dr. Claude Fraley and corpsmen Jones and Cary. I was there when Franklin Roosevelt broke the champagne bottle on the place.
I was one of the four picked to go to bed right away. I think I had all I owned in a pillowcase. Casualties were heavy and the operating room was an extremely busy place.
The chief nurse kept asking me whether I wanted to go to dietetic school. I remember the supply officer who was in charge of food, came to me and said that the senior medical officer was going to give them sandwiches and I said, 'Listen, if you can't give them a steak dinner and ice cream or something, we ought to be ashamed of ourselves.'
And Grace Lally used to say that you should end a speech with a poem. The Wassell family came originally from Kidderminster, England, and the "Corydon" came from well, nobody seems to know.
Eugene E. Wassell, 66, of South Scranton, passed away on Sunday, Aug. 23, at Geisinger Community Medical Center from a recurrence of cancer. He called her around 6 o'clock in the morning. How many times did you go to the Corcoran to pose for him?
On the 8th, we were transferred to Corregidor That's when the front lines collapsed.
We were escorted by the destroyer escort McNulty (DE-581) and the Eugene Elmore (DE-686). Well, that was an experience. And that's how I ended up with three floors. The remaining patients were transferred to Army Sternberg Hospital to be accompanied by two corpsmen and two nurses. He extolled the virtues of Peck and MacArthur. But one thing happened that made us aware that something was cooking. There was a death in her family and she had to go on emergency leave and never came back. One day, I realized that I had just had it. It was just rock.
I think we have to go get the war prisoners first.' What was your impression of the Philippines? This is in Dr. Davis' diary.
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