A Janesville nurse in a Japanese prisoner of war camp, 1942-1945

Scrapbooks, 1941-1945

These two scrapbooks were kept by Army nurse Marcia Gates (1915-1970) and her mother. Gates volunteered to serve during World War II in 1941, at age 26, and was sent to the Philippines where she treated the wounded, first at Bataan and later at Corregidor. She was taken prisoner there by the Japanese on May 6, 1942, and interred at the Santo Tomas prisoner of war camp in Manila until February 6, 1945. The scrapbooks total more than 200 pages, on most of which are several items such as letters, telegrams, photographs, clippings, and memorabilia.

Because they were compiled by her mother as items became available and are in rather haphazard order; researchers should be careful to note the following significant documents. In volume one, many letters to Gates' parents from other nurses describe military life and conditions in the Philippines at the time she was captured. In volume two, Gates talked to the press on her first arrival home (see the second group of newspaper clippings in the second scrapbook) and gave a long interview about her experiences to WTMJ radio on March 13, 1945 (see "Typescript of Marcia Gates interview, WTMJ-WMFM, March 13, 1945" in the second scrapbook). Scattered throughout the volumes are many documents about and letters from other nurses held as prisoners, especially Gates' friend Alice Hahn. The final item in the scrapbooks is an unattributed obituary from 1970.

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Related Topics: World Wars and Conflicts
The World War II Military and Home Fronts
Creator: Gates, Marcia L., 1915-1970
Pub Data: Scrapbooks in the Wisconsin Historical Society Archives, call. no. M90-303
Citation: Gates, Marcia. Scrapbooks, from her Papers, 1942-1945. Wisconsin Historical Society Archives, Call Number M90-303. Online facsimile at:  http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=1681; Visited on: 10/23/2021