Sunday, December 18, 2016

Florence Ebersole Smith

From War History Online:
Florence Ebersole was born in Santiago, Isabela province, in the Philippines, in 1915. Her mother was a native Filipino woman, and her father was a US Army veteran of the Spanish-American war. After graduating from high school, Florence began working with US Army intelligence in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Here she met her 1st husband, Chief Electricians Mate Charles Edward Smith, who also worked as a crewman on a PT Boat. They were married on August 19, 1941, only months before the United States and Japan were at war.

When the war was declared on December 8, 1941, Chief Smith reported for duty on board his PT Boat. They joined the fleet to defend the islands from the Japanese who attacked the same day. Their invasion of the Philippines had begun. On December 22, 1941, the main force attacked, quickly smashing through the ill-equipped and untrained American troops on the island. Florence Ebersole Smith was in Manila at the time, with two armies advancing from either side. On the 25th, all Military personnel were ordered to evacuate, and the whole of the Army Intelligence office packed up and left. They knew if they were captured they would likely be subjected to harsh interrogations, and their information was too valuable to lose. Florence, however, stayed. She had to care for her 16-year-old sister, who had no prospects and no protection. (Read more.)

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