Hattie Brantley (inset) was born April 4, 1916, in Jefferson. She was a lieutenant and nurse in the U.S. Army at the start of America’s involvement in World War II and was stationed in the Philippine Islands when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. She was evacuated to the fortified island of Corregidor and escaped the horrors of the Bataan Death March, but was taken to the prison camp at the University of Santo Tomas where she cared for fellow prisoners, including survivors of the death march and Japanese abuses, from mid 1942 until early 1945 when she was liberated. When she retired in 1969 as a lieutenant colonel after nearly 30 years of service, she was the last Army prisoner of war nurse from World War II in uniform. She was known as the “Angel of Bataan.”
Brantley is featured with other courageous women of World War II in Mary Conk Farrell’s book “Pure Grit” available on Amazon. She died September 20, 2006, and is buried in New Prospect Cemetery near Jefferson.