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Old 09-18-2007, 07:41 AM
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Default Learning From “Miss U”



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This article was written by Kenno; it is his property and may not be reproduced without his permission.

Learning From “Miss U”
COPYRIGHT 2007 KENNO

THE BEGINING
As the clouds of war gathered across the Pacific in 1941 the U.S. Government urged all American civilians, to immediately leave the Philippine Islands. For the spouses and dependants of government employees and soldiers this was an out right order, but for one woman a government order was not enough. “I was born Peggy Doolan, and having Irish blood, I don’t like being told what to do.” Instead, Peggy Doolan AKA Mrs. Margaret Utinsky, the devoted wife of civil engineer Jack Utinsky, quietly played a disappearing game. Forced aboard the Washington, the last American ship to leave Manila Bay, Margaret waited until the final second, then sneaked down the gangplank and returned to a tiny apartment she had rented in Manila’s Ermita District. Margaret’s husband, Jack, was working on the Bataan defensive tunnel system, and like many civilians December 7th had his Army Commission re-activated. Margaret refused to leave him; it was as simple as that.

While some Americans who stayed behind rented rooms in fancy hotels or had homes in the exclusive districts of Manila, Margaret chose a small second floor apartment in a less affluent area. The apartment building had an iron fence with separate locking gates for each apartment. The apartment’s windows were opaque, the window’s frames slid sideways and each had a venetian blind, this allowed Margaret to observe the street below without being seen. In November 1941 the Army and Navy Commissaries opened their doors, giving away all of their stores. Margaret used a laundry truck and a fleet of eight taxies to transport thousands of pounds of canned goods and medicines to her apartment, which became packed to the ceiling. All the while Margaret maintained her jobs as a Red Cross Volunteer Nurse and helped-out at a service men’s canteen.

The Philippines was invaded on December 8th, 1941. The USAAF was destroyed on the ground; many of the P-40 fighter planes were still in their crates when the Zeroes arrived. U.S. and Philippine ground troops mounted a spectacular, if unsuccessful defense. Manila was declared an open or undefended city on December 28th, the Japanese responded by bombing the city for four hours, it was only a matter of time before they occupied the capital. As Margaret recalled years latter: “ It was January second…I had been at the hospital, At six we had been ordered home. On my way I had been stopped by crowds in the street and inquired of a man standing near me, “Do you think it is true that the Japs will come in tonight?” He gave me a strange look and said in a kind of choked voice, “What the hell do you think that is?” Right beside me was a motorcycle; the driver got off and removed his goggles. I then saw the Japanese flags…. It made no sense.”

A mob of people pushed Margaret into the lounge of the Bay View Hotel where American’s were drinking and playing cards, no one had a clue the Nips had arrived; they were stupefied by the news. Margaret ignored advice to stay in the hotel and braved a shoot-on-sight curfew to return to her apartment, she would stay hidden there for the next ten weeks.

ROOM WITH A VIEW
Margaret’s apartment had a view to die for, all the first night Jap troops and trucks passed her window. The next day Jap infantry were bivouacked along the street and in her back yard. Canvas tarps marked U.S. soaked with blood were stretched across sidewalks as shelters. Soldiers tried to break into the apartment below hers but the door was bared and it’s rooms obviously empty, the soldiers assumed the entire building was abandoned and ignored it, just as they ignored the basic principles of field sanitation. Japanese English language radio broadcasts politely requested ‘enemy aliens’ to turn themselves in so that they could be processed at a near by facility,, “a 3 day formality, only.” All the people that had stayed in hotels or wealthy homes were rounded-up with ease. By the next day there were Japanese officers and interpreters on every street corner demanding ID papers from all non-Philippine people.

The household staff members of powerful Americans and Europeans often turned-out to be in the direct employ of Japanese Intelligence. Japanese citizens, who owned large businesses in Manila, turned out to be faithful sons of Nippon and active spies, they drove past Margaret’s apartment in stolen convertibles. There were other collaborators as well. Philippine houseboys, Madams and even one female American journalist were often seen in the company of high-ranking Jap officers. These collaborators actively betrayed Americans in hiding and latter worked as Jap spies against the resistance movement, latter they tried to infiltrate U.S. forces when General MacArthur returned.

Each day Margaret listened to broadcasts from “The Voice of Freedom” a radio station on Corregidor, when the final broadcast came in May announcing the island’s surrender she realized that she must reach Bataan and find her husband Jack.

Japanese street security had become lax and so one night Margaret stole her way along back streets to the Irish Catholic, Malate Convent where she had worked with the priests as a Red Cross volunteer. There she met with Father Lalor and the other priests, with their help and the help of a graphic artist she forged a new identity. Margaret was now Rena Utinsky, a Lithuanian by birth but raised in Canada. Fortunately there was no Lithuanian Consul in Manila, so no record of her existed, still she had to destroy any hint that she was American.

Margaret, now Rena, after a rough interview with a Japanese officer attached herself to a Philippine Red Cross expedition that was being sent to Bataan. No one trusted her, thinking she was another Jap spy. The expedition arrived at Bataan only days after the infamous Death March. The bodies of tortured and slain Americans lay everywhere, some bound in barbed wire, many shot as they accepted water from the locals. The bodies of women, raped to death, littered the landscape. Dogs ate the dead. Refugees clogged the roads, carrying their dead with them; there was no time for burial. Rena searched the piles of dead for her husband but did not find him.
The Red Cross doctors and nurses were terrified but set-up a clinic in a bombed-out and desecrated church. They tried to help the thousands of civilians dying from malaria, dysentery and rape. It was here that a Japanese Protestant Chaplain stopped Rena from treating American POWs, he spoke excellent English having lived in the USA for 29 years. Upon returning to Manila, Rena was attacked and defiled on the street by Jap soldiers while American POWs were forced to watch. Back in her apartment Rena became concerned that the Japs might occupy the empty apartment below. With the help of the Malate priests a trustworthy Spanish woman with a young son was installed in the apartment.

RESITANCE
One night, just before curfew, word arrived that an U.S. Army Captain had been found hiding near by, he had evaded the Japanese but was delirious with malaria and shell shock. Still armed with a 45, it meant instant beheading if he was captured.

Rena convinced the captain to walk to her apartment in broad daylight. The Spanish woman and a local doctor helped care for the man while he recovered. After a close call with the Japs, which forced the G.I. to hang from the apartment’s rain gutter, he was moved to a safer place and provided with false documents. Latter the captain was captured, tortured and murdered, but he never revealed his or Rena’s secrets.

Rena returned to Bataan with the Red Cross. Bodies of G.I.’s and civilians still littered the landscape. Thousands of Phillipinos lay dying from disease and malnutrition. Flies covered everything and everyone, transmitting disease. Most of the Philippine doctors were dentists and made little effort to help. Rena made contact with some POWs who were allowed to garden for the Nips and scavenge food outside the POW camps, she loaded them down with medicine and food angering a Red Cross doctor. One was a captain she had known before the invasion and she made him promise to return with a list of U.S. prisoners, eventually she would compile the most complete list of POWs in the war. Despite the Red Cross’s efforts to have her removed she stayed in the field until dysentery and malaria forced her into a Manila hospital. In her delirium she relived the nightmare of Bataan and dreamed of her husband over and over. While in hospital she learned that her husband was still alive but his location was unknown.

Fearful of the Japs, Rena left the hospital before she recovered, she could barely walk. On the way home she knocked on the door of some Spanish friends and was finally let inside by the husband who had a queer look on his face. Two Japs were approaching the home and she was hustled out the rear of the house onto a different street by the wife. Half-stumbling, half-walking Rena made it home. The strange behavior of the Spanish couple was latter explained; A young American girl, released from Santo Tomas Prison, was followed to their home by Jap soldiers and raped in their kitchen, she contracted VD as a result and was re-interned in the prison camp.

Once recovered, Rena left for the Red Cross clinic at Capas near the Camp O’Donnel POW camp. Philippine POW’s were being released and transported by Red Cross ambulances. The ambulances were searched for American POWs on their way-out of the camp but never searched on their way in. Rena, after much effort, started to smuggle hundreds of pounds of canned goods, clothes, shoes and medicine into the camp using these ambulances. To ensure that the goods were not diverted to the Nips or black market she had an American officer inside the camp sign a receipt for each load. Detailed information and plans were passed between Rena and the POWs, lists of names were passed back and forth, Rena signed her messages “Miss U”. Slowly the infrastructure for resistance was being built. It meant torture and death for anyone caught helping the POWs but hundreds of brave Phillipinos and non-enemy-aliens stepped forward. Then the last Phillipino POW left the camp and everything changed.

MISS U
In a devious ploy to escape any blame for the death of thousands of American POWs the Japs paid their charges to work in the camps, paid them five cents a day. Those that were not able to work were not paid. With this pittance 1900 G.I. survivors of the Bataan Death March were expected to buy their own food, clothes and medicine from the local economy. Rena’s stores of hoarded goods were quickly consumed; it was now easier to smuggle in money through the local food vendors and the Red Cross that were allowed near camp. The problem was where to get the money. Rena sold her jewelry, her china and her electric stove to raise $800.00, not nearly enough. With Father Lalor, she began begging for old shoes and money from friends, shops, churches and businesses, even total strangers. She said the aid was for the Phillipino people but the risks were great. Many would be donors were terrified of the Nips and others were wary of being scammed by some racket. Rena, now known as “Miss U” to her contacts, promised receipts, signed by the POWs, this helped. Latter, Rena had the POWs send lists of all their friends in Manila as well as personal letters to them. Faced with this personal persuasion many, many civilians supported the POWs and became part of the growing underground network run by Miss U.

Members of the Phillipino Red Cross helped deliver the old shoes and clothes, mostly old pajamas, to the POWs but moving money and especially drugs was far more difficult. Through the Catholic priests, the Maryknoll sisters, local resistance and others, Rena managed to smuggle money and medicines into the Camp O’Donnel. Money would be smuggled into the camp and turned over to Army Chaplain Tiffany. Drugs were shipped into the camp in specially marked sacks of beans. These sacks went straight to the infirmary. Eventually such items as eyeglasses and false teeth to replace the real ones lost to Jap beatings and even birthday cards were smuggled in. Phony bank accounts were opened in Manila and the personal accounts of POWs transferred into them. Some American officers wrote personal checks, which were smuggled out and cashed, some of the “checks” were written on scraps of paper but were still honored by sympathetic bankers in Manila who even made unsecured loans to the POWs. These monies were then smuggled into the camp as individual peso notes. Despite these efforts to improve conditions the Japs found ways to kill off POWs every day.

By December 1942, 1700 POWs had been killed in Camp O’Donnel and the remaining 200 were marched to Cabanatuan Prison Camp. Rena sent a young woman whose husband had been killed by the Japanese and two young boys disguised as food vendors to scout-out nearby Cabanatuan village. Rena’s agent, Naomi, met a Col. Mack who knew of “Miss U” and told Naomi that conditions at this camp were far more dangerous than at O’Donnel, he also sent along a letter for Rena stating that her husband, Jack, had been starved to death, dying on August 6th 1942. The agents also made contact with a vegetable stall owner named Maluto whose son had been murdered by the Japs; he and two women who lived near the prison were willing to help the POWs. The task was daunting; Rena needed new travel permits from the Nips and a way to move goods from Manila to the camp. Cabanatuan held 9000 starving GIs there was no way into the camp so money and medicine had to be smuggled to them while they were outside under the scrutiny of brutal guards. The Americans worked as slaves on the Jap’s vegetable farm, they were allowed to buy peanuts from local vendors each day and vegetables once a week from the near by village. Naomi and two other women became peanut vendors, for each 1 peso bag they sold they would give the G.I. ten pesos in change, there would be 100-400 one peso notes inside the bag of nuts as well. The wealthy owner of a distillery provided a truck and alcohol for fuel and much needed supplies. Friends of the inmates contributed more money. Several times a week the truck took a load of vegetables, drugs and food through roadblocks and check points to the village market stall owned by Maluto. The POWs would be notified of the types of goods Maluto had ‘for sale’ and submit a written request to the Camp Commandant for permission to buy the same items and listed the amount of money they had available to spend. The Commander would then issue an itemized permit to the POWs. Accompanied by guards, the POWs would pull large carts to the village market, eventually they would come to Maluto’s stall and after much haggling make their purchases for the stated price. Back at the camp their purchases were inventoried against the Commander’s list, everything would checkout. Of course the POWs never paid a cent for these items and inside the sacks of beans was more cash and medicine. Soon most of the villagers were in on the scheme helping whenever they could, the few collaborators in the village were marginalized or neutralized, still great care was taken to insulate operatives and obscure smuggled supplies. 30-40,000 pesos were smuggled into the prison camp each month in matchboxes, hidden in the POWs carts, under rocks in the fields and ditches the men traveled. A boy or woman singing near the POWs as they worked the fields meant a package was hidden nearby. It was discovered that a group of 200 POWs was being kept at Corregidor. After a covert investigation of the source an operation managed to smuggle money to those starving men. By 1943 Miss U’s network had expanded to a point that it started to raid Jap warehouses. American submarines provided radios and arms for the guerrillas in the distant hills.
Miss U’s network was made-up of many Phillipino women widowed by the Japanese but it grew to include 100’s of wealthy neutral citizens who could have spent the war safe in their mansions. These people were formed into anonymous cells and kept their identities secret from one another using code names, cutouts, signals and codes. A boy drinking from an empty rum bottle meant there was a money drop. A message about your mother meant there was a supply shipment loaded in a boxcar headed to Cabanatuan. Members of the unit rarely approached or spoke to strangers about any subject. They recruited only from friends they trusted after they had re-checked their backgrounds.

BREACH
The Japs soon noticed that their POWs were not dying from starvation fast enough and took the proper steps of torturing the G.I.s and any supposed civilian associates, friends and family of those civilians and anyone they talked to. U.S. soldiers were tied to split bamboo racks and tortured for 47 days then murdered, some buried alive. Women were hauled off to face rape and torture. No one talked, but the net was closing. Miss U realized a Spanish Mestiza who lived with a Japanese officer was tailing her. As early as September 1942 Rena had been in contact with the guerrillas providing medical help and access to guns at her apartment. Eventually several of these men were captured with the help of collaborators and tortured at Fort Santiago, few were ever seen again. Soon a collaborator arrived at her door claiming to be a guerrilla and attempted to plant a gun in her living room, it was a clumsy attempt and failed. On September 28th, 1943 Rena was arrested at her hospital by the Secret Police, the Kempeitai, and taken to the dreaded Fort Santiago. The Miss U operation stopped, its agents buried or burnt anything incriminating. An intensive questioning of Margaret started, some American souvenirs had been found in her apartment and her name had been found on a passenger manifest of a ship that had sailed to the US years before. The first blow broke Rena’s jaw and knocked her teeth out. Then the questioning intensified, minute details of her past history, her family history, senseless questions about her supposed past, all written down for further interrogation. She was tossed into a 5X8 stone cell with 7 other women who had not washed in 3 months. There was only a bucket for a toilet and Catholic priests, dressed in G-strings were made to collect these every morning. A strict no talking rule was enforced with beatings. More questions more beatings, then her Red Cross application appeared from before the war; she had listed her nationality as an American. She had been sold-out by a Phillipino Red Cross doctor but Rena insisted she had lied about her nationality to get the job. Three of the women were removed from Rena’s cell and disappeared. On the fifth day the torture started.

TORTURE
In her book, “Miss U”, Margaret describes 3 types of torture; the 2 types she endured and the 3rd type ‘other women’ were subjected to. The first two types are pretty straight forward Saddam Hussien stuff;
#1: Margaret was bound and forced to kneel on a bench make of split bamboo which cut into her shins, then the beatings, the cigarette butts and the questions would start lasting for hours.
#2: Margaret was hung with her arms behind her back from a ceiling and beaten while questions were yelled at her for hours.
#3: I will not detail this here except to say; think of the most twisted and perverted torture then add that touch of sexual sadism that the Japanese are so famous for and you have the idea.

Tortures # 1 and 2 were repeated on alternate days. Rena’s nights were spent in the 5X8 stone cell with a bowl of rice paste and broken glass. Her rations were cut and cut again but she stuck to her cover story and it held. Then the Japs started to torture other prisoners in front of her cell at night. One night 5 Phillipinos were beheaded in front of her while on another night an American soldier was beaten to death while tied to the gate of her cell, his bloody flesh lodging in her hair. That incident was followed by 96 hours in a dungeon, no food or water, just giant cockroaches. Gangrene set in on Margaret’s legs and she became delirious. Margaret’s dungeon cell had it’s own guard; a first generation Japanese-American, most of his family was back in the USA while he helped torture Yanks abroad. Manila seemed to be full of such traitors. After 32 days Margaret was ‘asked’ to sign a statement attesting to her good treatment and released. Helped home by a Phillipino boy, she bathed and went to the hospital where the doctor wanted to amputate her gangrenous leg, she refused, instead the gangrenous flesh was excised from her body, without proper pain killers as Margaret was afraid she would say something incriminating under anathiesa. Japs were everywhere in the hospital. Margaret’s internal organs, diaphragm, spine, ribs and sternum were also badly injured. After six weeks in recovery Margaret re-started the Camp Cabanatuan operation, by then there were only 6000 POWs alive in the camp, the POWs were being killed at an astonishing rate.

A few weeks latter the wife of a Philippine guerrilla captain approached her in the street. The war was going badly for the Nips and an American invasion was near. The Apostolic Delegate of Manila had placed a young boy as a spy in Fort Santiago, he had found a Death List naming all the Irish priests and Miss U along with many other civilians. It was time to flee to the guerrilla forces fighting in the hills on the west side of Manila Bay. Two hours after Margaret fled her home the Japs arrived, a few minutes latter an American plane 'just happened' to drop a bomb on her apartment. Margaret arrived at the Malate Convent to gather supplies for the guerrillas, as she said latter, “I did not intend to go to them empty-handed when their need was so great.”. Miss U pleaded with the priests to flee, they refused, their work was ‘here in Manila’, where God had placed them. Margaret escaped to Manila’s docks with hundreds of pounds of supplies an orphaned girl and a yellow cat. The priests were captured, tortured, shot, hung, crucified, or burned alive. Many other members of the Miss U organization, including the Maryhill nuns, were captured, raped, tortured and murdered as well.

So began what Margaret called her ‘greatest adventure’, she crossed Manila Bay at night in a terrible storm surviving a US bombing raid in the process. When she jumped on shore she broke her foot and was carried through the hills for several days by guerrillas, lead by a priest who prayed by day and fought by night. For the next several months she doctored the sick and wounded. Attacks by the Japs were so frequent that she moved camp 20 times in 37 days. They slept in the mud and ate grass and tree bark, fought leaches and Nips. Both Margaret and the orphan girl nearly died from illness. Margaret lost her shoes during a night attack, her clothes rotted off her body, and she became so weak that she could not support the weight of a 45 revolver and was given a 38 to carry. In case of capture she would kill the child first. For months Margaret followed the guerrillas as they attacked and retreated, always near the action, always with-in gunshot of the fighting, caring for the wounded. Months passed.

When the Yanks arrived she was many miles and several mountain ranges from the beachhead. The local aborigines offered to take her to there. She could go the long easy way or the faster and harder way; she chose the fast route and nearly died in the process. Arriving on the coastal plain. Margaret spent a night inside an abandoned Jap headquarters building, when she awoke at dawn she saw that the entire floor was covered in the blood and gore left by a brutal massacre of civilians. Too weak to walk she rode an old horse through sniper infested country and arrived at the American 6th Army lines with her orphan child, she was dressed in a torn curtain an oversized straw hat, a man’s golf shoes and a 38 revoulver. Of her time with the guerrillas Margaret said; “They had the most essential thing-the possibility of choice.” Freedom.

PAPER WORK
On her arrival at U.S. Army Headquarters she was treated as a hero, but she was in no shape to celebrate. Margaret had lost 45 pounds, 35 percent of her pre-war weight. She had lost an inch in height; she suffered from illness, parasites and the effects of her torture. Her auburn hair had turned white, she looked 25 years older than her true age, and there were the scars, physical and mental. Still, within a few days, she produced a 30 page report listing all the G.I.s she knew had been tortured, their torturers names as well as the collaborators and spies whose names she had memorized. Margaret was attached to U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps. Margaret was flown to meet the remaining 511 survivors of the Cabanatuan POW Camp, they had been rescued in a raid conducted by U.S. Army Rangers. 511 men out of 9000. “This” she said, “made all the sacrifices worth while.”. Margaret could have left for the U.S., gone home to her son and a hero’s welcome, but she was not done yet. She had yet to visit Jack’s grave.

GOT A PERMIT FOR THAT GUN?
Manila; The Japs were still on a killing rampage inside the city, 100,000 civilians were being raped, tortured and slaughtered.
A Lt. J. McElhinney took Margaret to Cabanatuan and showed her Jack’s grave. “But why is it so large?” Margaret asked. “Your husband isn’t alone. Fourteen men died that day, there are fourteen people in that hole.” Margaret latter said, “It was as bitter a shock as I had had since the moment I knew Jack was dead.”

Margaret hitched a ride in a DWUK to the outskirts of Manila and was stopped by an MP. “You can’t go in there, it is dangerous.” To which Margaret responded “Well I am the one who IS going in there!” An officer arrived on the scene and demanded “Lady have you a permit to carry that gun?”
Margaret made it into the city, she was assigned an aide,,, and a permit for her old 38 revolver. After much effort she returned the orphan to its family, they eventually settled in America. Fighting still raged in Manila, it was a charnelhouse of dead civilians. Margaret filled with rage for all Japs stayed close to the front lines seeking out collaborators. Miss U’s old prison cell at Fort Santiago was stacked high with dead civilians. The Malate Convent and school had been destroyed, burnt to the ground; body parts littered the area. In one remaining wall, hidden behind the stone work Margaret found the wristwatch Jack had given her and which had been hidden there by Father Lalore years before. The search for collaborators continued and arrests were made.

The ‘female American journalist’ haunted Margaret’s dreams, Margaret knew that this woman had turned in at least a few dozen of her comrades, members of the Miss U Network including nuns, they had all been tortured and murdered. There had been photos of that woman, with high-ranking Jap officers; the Kempeitai had seized them.

One day Margaret was in the CIC building when a woman entered to pick-up press credentials. Margaret jumped-up yelling “Arrest that woman, she’s a spy!” It was the ‘American female journalist’ but there was no hard evidence. Margaret was pressured to return home,to forget trators and torturers but she was now an officer in the CIC and long used to getting her way, “I refuse to leave the Philippines until that woman is arrested!” The woman was arrested and searched, eventually a sheet of Jap code was discovered sewn inside her bra; she was still an active spy. Margaret makes no comment on the fate that befell colaberators and spys.

THE END
Margaret Utinsky returned to the U.S. and received the American Medal of Freedom, at the time the equal of a Medal of Honor. In the photos taken at the presentation Mrs. Utinsky appears to be in her late 60’s,,, she was much, much younger. Latter Margaret published an account of her war time experiences entitled “Miss U”, she made a book tour and then settled on the West Coast working as a nurse. One could say Miss U avoided the limelight,,,, the rest of her long life is a mystery.
What is known is that she was an exceptional human being made of the stuff that few are, an extraordinary person who lived through terrible times, a person that endangered herself so that others could live and provide justice to those that were murdered.
The term 'Greatest Genertion' has been bandied about until it has lost it's meaning but the Freedom Fighters of Manila and the Phillipines truely earned that title. Tens of thousands of these men and women faced the most brutal tortures and murder at the hands of a so called superior Jap race. Thousands were tortured and most chose to die rather than talk. It is hard to believe that today's Americans could have such fortitude or can even appreicate such sacrafice.
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Last edited by Kenno; 10-13-2007 at 02:06 AM..
Old 09-18-2007, 05:42 PM
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Great article Kev!
Old 09-20-2007, 10:09 PM
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Thank you for sending this article to me so I could post it.
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Old 10-04-2007, 05:44 PM
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Thumbs up true courage!

I was truly touched by such a story. The WWII generation had a grit and honor about them that is rare these days. She is a perfect example of what we aspire too.
Old 10-04-2007, 07:46 PM
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Plus one, on thr story and comments.
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:27 PM
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Excellent article. Thank you very much. And no, today's generation doesn't display that sort of determination or guts.
Old 11-14-2007, 06:05 PM
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I am thankful that the Movie "The Raid" incorporated Miss Utinsky, even though they completely misrepresented her. it was through the movie and my library that i found her biography amd the details of her war. The truely amazing fact about the brutal Japanese occupation of Manila is that there were 100's of other women and men who were equally brave, who saw the fate of thier comrades and still continued the fight. Many of them died under torture, very few talked. There are biographies of other survivors as well as Miss U's.

Last edited by Kenno; 11-14-2007 at 06:21 PM..
Old 04-14-2009, 07:50 PM
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well get ready for our turn

we are an inconvenient impediment, and i doubt ACORN will "organize" on our behalf,
on any capacity other than turning us over
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:57 PM
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Fact or Fiction? I beleave Fact.

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Old 05-09-2009, 10:43 PM
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That woman defined "Badass"! There is no way that I could have performed as well as she did; I can't believe that she lived to a ripe old age after all of that abuse and terror. She's a true American hero.
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Old 05-10-2009, 09:13 AM
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A true Patriot with True Grit. I have to wonder if there are still people who could do that today.
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by kev View Post
Latter Margaret published an account of her war time experiences entitled “Miss U”, she made a book tour and then settled on the West Coast working as a nurse. One could say Miss U avoided the limelight,,,, the rest of her long life is a mystery.
I briefly knew "Miss U" when I was very young, during the time of that mystery. But let me explain.

I was born shortly after WWII (the age date I assigned for this forum is deliberately not correct). My father had been a Marine in intelligence recon in the Pacific campaigns. In combat, on the beaches, on places like Tarawa.

In the early 1950s our family lived near Long Beach, Calif. From time to time our parents needed a "nanny" to care for my brothers and I. I was very young and I don't know how my parents found Margaret Utinsky (my parents have long since passed away). But I do remember that she, Utinsky, had worked for my parents as a nanny or perhaps just an extended-babysitter.

At some point in my early childhood I became aware that our nanny's name was associated with a book called "Miss U" and that she had been in some terrible conditions in the war. I was too young to appreciate the details or the magnitude - "the Philippines" was just an abstraction to me. Though the years have badly fogged my memories of those days, I seem to recall that Miss Utinsky was very firm with us as unruly children, but at the same time fair and understanding. Miss U realized that I was too young to fully comprehend or deal with what had happened in her recent history, and thus I was not directly exposed to the stories of something beyond my young-child ability to understand. That in itself is a tribute to her expansive wisdom.

My parents, however, were able to dent my young world-view just enough to make me appreciate that Miss U was an important person, and that she was to be respected. And I believe that I probably did, because Miss U had about her something that called for respect, while the other nannies and such garnered nothing but well-deserved disdain. '

In looking up some details I discovered recently that Margaret Utinsky had died in Lakewood, CA, just a short distance from where I met her when I was a young child.

I wish I could contribute more to this story of Miss U. Really all I have added is that "she worked as a nanny or babysitter in the Long Beach area in the early 1950s." It was not until many years after I briefly knew Miss U, when I became a soldier, that I could more fully appreciate the extraordinary person that she was, and more importantly, that we must endeavor to keep alive the names and courageous deeds of such people.
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Old 08-16-2013, 03:52 PM
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One of our great American hero's brought to light ,thanks . I'll see if the book is still around.
Old 08-17-2013, 06:33 AM
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some criticized the US use of the A bombs on Japan civilian citys.
you better believe the Japs would have used them on us if they had 'em.
every service member that fought the Japs and the civilian resistance is more than a hero in my book.
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Old 08-17-2013, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Marlin 45 carbine View Post
some criticized the US use of the A bombs on Japan civilian citys.
you better believe the Japs would have used them on us if they had 'em.
every service member that fought the Japs and the civilian resistance is more than a hero in my book.
Yep,
I believe the big event triggering the true denoument of WWII was the advent and use of the Atom bombs.

If Germany had developed them in the race against us we would likely live in an entirely different world now.

Amazing story of an extraordinary woman!
Thank you for sharing.

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