Monday, May 31, 2010

Who I am celebrating this Memorial Day

My great aunt, Juanita Redmond.

She was an Army Nurse who served on Bataan in WWII. She wrote a book about her service, I Served on Bataan, which was made into a movie, So Proudly We Hail. She was captured during the war and escaped during the last few days before Corregidor surrendered. I am lucky enough to have a copy of her book, which has been out of print for years.
She is pictured here on the left, giving new bars to a fellow lieutenant.

An award is given in her honor. The Juanita Redmond Award is given to an Air Force nurse who provided significant contributions to the health care of an Air Force individual or family, demonstrated excellence in critical nursing or accomplished a special achievement resulting in the improvement of nursing care.

She died at the age of 66 in 1979 and is buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery, in Section 21, Grave 769.

Her obituary:

(Lt. Col.) Juanita HIPPS
The Times and Democrat, Orangeburg, SC
Wednesday, February 28, 1979
“Juanita Hipps, Heroine of Bataan, Dies”
St. Petersburg, Fla. – Lt. Col. Juanita Redmond Hipps, a former Army nurse who served on Bataan and Corregidor in the early months of World War II, is dead at 66. She died Sunday at her residence. Col. Hipps, then Lt. Juanita Redmond, was author of the book, “I Served on Bataan.” It became a bestseller in 1943 and served as the background for the war movie “So Proudly We Hail,” the story of Army nurses. Col. Hipps was a native of Swansea, S.C., and received her nurse training at South Carolina State Hospital. She entered the Army Nurse Corps in 1936, was transferred three years later to Manila and served in hospitals on Bataan and Corregidor and later was evacuated to Australia. She was one of eight nurses to escape just before the surrender of the Philippine Islands. Upon her return to the United States she was featured on an Ed Sullivan Show as one of the outstanding heroines of the war. She also was a cover girl for a national magazine and was among the first nurses to earn her golden flight wings. She assisted in establishing the U. S. Air Corps flight nurse program and retired from the Army in 1946. Among her many citations are the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, three Presidential Unit Citations and U. S. and Philippine campaign ribbons. Funeral will be in Arlington, Va., Thursday, March 1, at 2 p.m. in the Fort Myer Chapel with full military honors. She is survived by her husband, Gen. William G. Hipps of St. Petersburg, Fla.; son, William G. Hipps; grandson, William G. Hipps, III; granddaughter, Abigail Hipps of Dayton, Ohio; sisters and brothers, Mrs. Henry P. Moore, Jr. of Orangeburg, Robert P. Redmond of Barnwell, Helen R. Campbell of Columbia, Rose Lynn Ulmer of Walterboro and Peter L. Redmond of Westchester, N.Y.; and a number of nieces and nephews. Family and friends are being received at the home of Henry P. Moore, Jr., 2068 Hydrick in Orangeburg.

Thanks, Aunt Juanita. You kicked some major ass.
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