When the Japanese invaded the Philippines the wives were ordered off the island. Mrs. Utinsky snuck off of the ship because she didn’t want to leave her husband who had survived the Bataan Death March and was a prisoner at Camp Cabanatuan. She made her way to some priests who helped get her into an underground network that was helping prisoners of war. She obtained new documents that showed she was a Lithuanian nurse who was working with the Red Cross.
Working in the hospital she would take medicine out of various bottles leaving some still in it so it would be less noticeable. Getting the medicine wasn’t an easy task because she had to present a Japanese guard with a prescription each time she'd go into the pharmacy.
The Japanese knew there was an underground network but they were having a difficult time busting the ring. Those who were suspected were immediately executed. Suspected of helping prisoners, the Japanese arrested Mrs. Utinsky with the intent of having her confess and give up the other members.
She was sent to prison and tortured her for 32 days. She was beaten daily, hung with her arms tied behind her back, and sexually assaulted. During one night five Filipinos were beheaded in front of her cell. On another night, an American soldier was tied to her cell gate and beaten to death; his flesh lodged in her hair. She was then confined to a dungeon for four days without food or water. She never gave up any information and was released after signing a statement attesting to her good treatment.
Mrs. Utinsky is one of the greatest heroes our country has ever seen yet I knew nothing about her until recently. There’s no way I would’ve been as brave or as tough as she was. My heart breaks for her knowing that while giving her all to save American soldiers, her own husband died in the prison camp. Here he survived the Bataan Death March only to die of Malaria. She knew about his condition and was trying to get medicine to him but it was intercepted by the Japanese with the carrier being shot.
The military loved her and gave her the nickname: “Miss U.”She wrote a book called “Miss U” in 1948 explaining everything she went through. I wanted to buy a copy but it was around $100! I still might try to save up the money for this piece of history. She was born in 1900 and died in 1970. The White House honored her with the Medal of Freedom in 1946 but let’s face it, no amount of accolades is enough to reward her for her heroism; fortunately God’s taking care of it!