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Offline poche

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Escape From Paradise
« on: July 16, 2018, 08:13:56 AM »
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  • By the time World War II ended, more than 60 million people had been killed and vast swaths of Europe and Asia were in ruins. After the victors had brief moments of celebration, the world was eager to move on.
    So the remarkable story of the four American nuns who were caught up in the swirl of the war on a tiny South Pacific island and later rescued by a U.S. Navy submarine was left to gather dust on a shelf in Southern California.
    “It just was sort of buried and nobody was paying much attention to it for many years,” said Sister Eileen McNerney, who brought the story to light about three years ago.
    When McNerney asked an older nun why she thought the story was buried for decades, the nun responded, “I think that everyone was just tired of the war when it was over. People just wanted to move forward at that time and put the past behind.”
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2018/07/14/the-remarkable-story-of-four-stranded-nuns-a-remote-island-and-a-heroic-submarine-rescue/?utm_term=.12c556e25821




    Offline poche

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    Re: Escape From Paradise
    « Reply #3 on: July 20, 2018, 03:11:02 AM »
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  • They boarded a 23-ton sailing boat just off Guadalcanal that made several stops as it moved northwest to their final destination.
    Their journey had taken three months.
    “They were young, they were zealous, they were educated and they felt called to do this,” McNerney said. “I don’t think they had a clue about the war.”


    Offline poche

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    Re: Escape From Paradise
    « Reply #4 on: July 22, 2018, 03:02:02 AM »
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  • A year and one day after their arrival, Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor.
    During that year, as detailed in journal kept by Sister Hedda Jaeger, the four nuns — two teachers and two nurses — became deeply enmeshed in the village of Hanahan on Buka, where they helped to set up schools and give medical care.
    After Pearl Harbor, Japanese attacks spread quickly across the South Pacific, and the Australian government ordered evacuation of everyone other than “female missionaries and nurses” on Dec. 17. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange politely replied “we will remain at our station.”
    Within weeks, Japanese bombers were flying overhead and Sister Hedda wrote: “The natives are all very much concerned about our welfare, and some have even expressed the wish that they could give us their black skin so we could pass unseen. We do not know what the future holds for us.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2018/07/14/the-remarkable-story-of-four-stranded-nuns-a-remote-island-and-a-heroic-submarine-rescue/?utm_term=.baa532fbc1d6


    Offline poche

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    Re: Escape From Paradise
    « Reply #5 on: July 25, 2018, 12:03:25 AM »
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  • The war took hold in earnest in March when Japanese warships appeared off Buka. Father James Hennessey, a Boston-born priest who was also on a mission, was taken away — never to be seen again by the nuns. And then Buka plantation owner Percy Good was found, as Sister Hedda recorded, “His throat was cut, and they buried him in a grave about a foot deep. Such treachery! It makes us just sick, as we think the same fate might have befallen Father Hennessey.”
    The time had come to flee to Bougainville, a larger neighboring island with more jungle cover. They had no idea their ordeal on the island would last for more than nine months as they played cat-and-mouse with Japanese soldiers bent on capturing them.
    Despite such entries in Sister Hedda’s journal, the sheer terror felt by the nuns rarely surfaces in her accounting, but the journal made clear that they knew that in time they were bound to fall into Japanese hands.


    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2018/07/14/the-remarkable-story-of-four-stranded-nuns-a-remote-island-and-a-heroic-submarine-rescue/?utm_term=.b290a4da70df

    Offline poche

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    Re: Escape From Paradise
    « Reply #6 on: August 04, 2018, 04:53:46 AM »
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  • By December 1942, an escape plan was underway for the sisters and several foreign planters, including other nuns, but it required yet another 8-mile hike on jungle trails and wading rivers where, Sister Hedda wrote, “It was a sight to watch eight white figures with our skirts pinned up, moving slowly toward the opposite bank.
    They waited from a jungle perch for rescue. Three days before their planned departure, about 500 Japanese soldiers came ashore nearby.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2018/07/14/the-remarkable-story-of-four-stranded-nuns-a-remote-island-and-a-heroic-submarine-rescue/?utm_term=.0185319753ed

    Offline poche

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    Re: Escape From Paradise
    « Reply #7 on: August 06, 2018, 02:16:47 AM »
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  • On New Year’s Eve 1942, the nuns and 25 others who would eventually be rescued from the island made their way in darkness to the beach in Teop harbor.
    As they neared the beach, Father Albert Lebel, an American priest from Maine, told them: “’A submarine is going to pick you up.’” Sister Hedda wrote. “Our hearts must have stopped beating for a moment. We hadn’t anticipated this means of deliverance.”


    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2018/07/14/the-remarkable-story-of-four-stranded-nuns-a-remote-island-and-a-heroic-submarine-rescue/?utm_term=.2fdc2087ca6f


     

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