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 Author  Topic: "Peggy" the nurse to Lt. Robert B. Kelly in "They Were Expendable
Ed Lamphier

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Ed Lamphier  Posted on: May 5, 2008 - 7:58pm
I have recently re-read the book "They Were Expendable" by W. L. White and it discusses a Navy nurse 'Peggy" who took care of Lt. Kelly while he was on Corregidor. In the movie she was played by Donna Reed.

In the book Lt. Kelly stated that she was on one of the last planes to leave Corregidor and it crash landed at Lake Lanao while on take-off to Australia.

Do any of your members know her last name and if she survived the war?

Please advise. edlamphie@cox.net

Thank you.


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  David Buck

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of David Buck   Send Email To David Buck Posted on: May 6, 2008 - 4:54am
Hi, Ed this info i received from Will Day in 2006,
"Nurse Peggy" was in fact Peggy Walcher, who was captured along with other nurses when Corregidor fell. Released in 1945, she was still alive as late as 2002. She has stated emphatically that though she might have met some of the Ron 3 Officers, she had no involvement romantic or otherwise with any of them.
From other sources the story of one of the planes with her and other nurses on board cracking up on take of is more likely than her being on Corregidor.

D.buck

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EARL RICHMOND

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of EARL RICHMOND  Posted on: May 6, 2008 - 6:50am
I HAD THE PLEASURE OF MEETING WITH LT KELLY AND HIS WIFE AT ONE OF OUR LOCAL BULL SESSIONS AT bwi AIRPORT HOTEL,IN BALTO,MD A FEW YEARS AGO.THEY WERE A VERY ATTRACTIVE COUPLE.I COULD SEE THAT HE WAS A PERSON WHO WOULD GIVE AN ORDER AND EXPECT IT TO BE CARRIED OUT PROMPTLY.HE DID NOT CARE TO SPEAK OF THE KENNEDY INCIDENT AT THAT TIME.NOR DID HE SPEAK OF McARTHUR.THIS WAS MORE OF A SOCIAL GET TOGETHER.WE ALL ENJOYED THEIR COMPANY AND WERE QUITE EXCITED AT HIS BEING AT THE BULL SESSION.HE WAS A REMARKABLE AND OUTSTANDING PERSON. EARL

earl richmond

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Will Day

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Will Day   Send Email To Will Day Posted on: May 6, 2008 - 8:47am
I believe, in fact, that Peggy Walcher sued Warner Brothers over the depiction of her in TWE. She reportedly got a small out-of-court settlement.

Will

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Frank J Andruss Sr

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank J Andruss Sr   Send Email To Frank J Andruss Sr Posted on: May 6, 2008 - 9:35am
I remmbr on EBAY, there was a UNITED PRESS realease of Peggy coming home. It was several years ago so I have no clue who won the bid. I tried to obtain it but was outbid. Will you are right, I remember she sued because she had always claimed that she had no relationship with anyone on the Island. She knew many of the PT BOAT BOYS as she put it. I wish someone had done an interview with her on the subject, because we are finding out years later, that many things that supposedly took place with Ron 3 never happened.


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Dick

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Dick   Send Email To Dick Posted on: May 6, 2008 - 10:09am

Peggy - This material is taken from the internet and included below with links back to the original material.

Addendum to They Were Expendable
K. Douglas Cook, Ph.D.
Chief, Public Affairs and
Congressional Liaison United States Army
Fort Jackson, South Carolina


Insofar as the mystery of the Army Nurse "Peggy" in William White's book, in 1981 while assigned for duty at the Presidio of San Francisco, I was contacted by a gentlemen who, with scant information provided, asked me if I would be willing to assist his wife and him in a book they've been trying to write for several years. As an exposition piece has been published in a local newspaper which listed some of my writing credits, I suspect this was the nexus of their phone call. They gave me their home address and his first name, Bruce. As I has weekend and evenings free, I agreed to a meeting. As, during our first and subsequent meetings, I signed no confidentiality statement and as of this writing in September, 2002, these events occurred some 21 years ago. It became clear to me by the second meeting at their beautiful home located south of San Francisco and being familiar with both William White's 1942 novel and the 1945 MGM motion picture, I was seated across from the mysterious Army Nurse, Peggy, and her husband, Bruce. Their desire was for me to organize their collective memories and, using boxes of photographs and documents, help them tell the "real" story which, in 1946-47, earned them a relatively paltry settlement with John Ford and MGM Studios. While married since the late 1940's, having met at an officer's rehabilitation camp for POW returnees in Colorado, the matters of 1941 to 1945 were still fresh and utmost in their minds and more so in hers. It became obvious to me Peggy was still angered and upset with how she was portrayed insofar as her relationship with the officers of MTB-3. As an Army nurse fresh out of training, Peggy had been assigned to the hospital on Corregidor. Bruce had been a part of General "Skinny" Wainwright's command and, in 1942, found himself on Bataan. He noted with some passing bit of irony that he had met up with and befriended an officer named Smothers who was ultimately killed in action when a U.S. submarine sunk a Japanese transport ship he was being held on. His sons, Tom and Dick went on to be well-known entertainers. Bruce was captured by the Japanese in 1942 and became part of the infamous "Bataan Death March." Meanwhile, Peggy and the rest of the nurses, operated a makeshift hospital in the tunnels of of Corregidor, vividly recalling the day Gen. MacArthur was quietly taken off the island fortress by order of the War Department by the officers and men of MTB-3. Another seldom-discussed fact is that Gen, MacArthur always carried a small pistol in his pocket and had privately vowed the Japanese would not take his wife, son or himself prisoner. As the Japanese encircled the embattled island fortress of Corregidor, it became clear to Peggy and her colleagues it was only a matter of time. At this juncture Peggy wanted me to be absolutely clear on the fact that she was not involved with any members of the Motor Torpedo Boats officer cadre. At best she knew them, but had far more pressing duties that needed her attention. While her future husband began that infamous journey to forward Japanese internment facilities, Peggy and her cohorts watched as the American flag was torn from the flag pole on Corregidor before they were taken to a prison camp in Manila where they would remain until liberated by the forces of General MacArthur in 1945. Based upon my months of frequent interviews with both Bruce and Peggy Walcher, I can state with utmost confidence that the "real Peggy," unlike her novelized and cinematic alter ego, was a straight-laced, professional registered nurse who had been raised with and, nearly 36 years later at the time of my interviews with her, still obviously embraced a conservative moral and social code.

In conclusion, when I have been asked to represent the Army as an advisor to motion picture production companies filming on military installations or producing motion pictures involving Army support, there has been a consistent tension existing between accuracy and marketability.

Doug Cook September 4, 2002

LINK: http://history.sandiego.edu/GEN/filmnotes/They_Were_Expendable2.html




They Were Expendable: A Critique of John Ford's 1945 War Film

by David M. Cross
Click below for the original essay written by Dr. Cross:

LINK: http://history.sandiego.edu/GEN/filmnotes/They_Were_Expendable.html





The information below was found at the History Channel
It is apparently from an old Prodigy Veterans Message Board
- see text below:


Nurses on Bataan sand Corregidor Posted: Jul 14, 2005 4:32 PM (1 of 4)
I just thought you might enjoy a series from the old Prodigy Veterans board from the early to mid 1990's. The names haven't been chaged as there are no quilty people here, just neat folks sharing. TO: ALL DATE: 08/06 FROM: CXRV68A PAT STIPE TIME: 1:58 AM

San Francisco Chronicle, 2/27/93 " Former Army nurse Beulah (Peggy) Greenwalt Walcher, who survived almost three years of captivity under the Japanese military in the Philippines durning World War II, is dead at the age of 81. Mrs Walcher, who died Monday at Stanford University Hospital.

She was barely out of nursing school when a friend urged her to join the Army to "see the world." She arrived on Corregidor, an island off the Bataan peninsula, in June 1941 and was a general duty nurse at the military hospital there when Pearl Harbor was bombed.

"After Bataan fell," she recalled for a 1983 article, "the Japanese started bombing and shelling day and night. It was horrible."

Most military operations on the island moved to Corregidor's Malinta Tunnel and it was there that the nurses and more than 1,000 patient s were captured in May 1942. "They didn't know what to think about us," she recalled of her Japanese captors. "They didn't expect any women."

Mrs Walcher, of Menlo Park, was imprisoned 33 months and endured near starvation before an American infantry division liberated the captives in Feb. 1945.

She was made a heroine in a William L. White book, "They Were Expendable." The book later became a 1945 movie in which Donna Reed played "Peggy" and starred with John Wayne and Robert Montgomery. "It's a good story, but it's not me at all," Mrs Walcher said in a Jan. 1946 interview. "The romance--well, I guess the movie and books always have to have some love interest."

She married Bruce Walcher, who had also been a POW, in 1946. They did not meet while they were prisoners. She met him when they both were transferred to a Denver hospital. Mrs Walcher received numerous decorations, including the Bronze Star Medal, the American Defense Ribbon with a Bronze Star, the American Theatre Ribbon, the Prisoner -of-War Medal, and six Overseas Service Bars."

Thought this might be of interest. Sorry about the spacing. Have a longer one about another nurse. Will try to shorten it up a bit. Take care, Pat

The actual link for above info:

LINK: http://boards.historychannel.com/thread.jspa?threadID=600006522&messageID=600118777



All the best,
Dick . . . .




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Ed Lamphier

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Ed Lamphier  Posted on: May 6, 2008 - 10:59am
To all of you who answered my question about Nurse "Peggy" thank you!

ED


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Frank J Andruss Sr

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank J Andruss Sr   Send Email To Frank J Andruss Sr Posted on: May 6, 2008 - 11:54am
Dick
Thanks for obtaining such great insight into the life of Peggy. I bet she was one swell gal. Can you imagine being a women POW of the Japanese. How she made it, is a testimony to this women's desire to live and make it back home. So much is made about MTB 3 and the men of the boats, we forget about the Nurse's on the Island, who went thru so much. God Bless them all. I wonder if any of them are still with us.


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Ed Lamphier

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Ed Lamphier  Posted on: May 6, 2008 - 4:26pm
Frank:

Yes these women were tremendous and of my fathers' generation.
I met another Nurse who had served in the Med Theater of War and after the War she met a soldier on board the returning troop transport, fell in love, married Stateside and started a family. The husband died early in the marriage so she soldiered on alone and did a great job of raising her children. She was a neat gal.

Ed


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