BAR HARBOR — Lt. Alice Zwicker was the only Maine servicewoman to be a prisoner of war during both World Wars. Walter Macdougall’s book “Angel of Bataan” explores Zwicker’s life before, during and after the War and explores how deeply her internment affected her life. Macdougall will be at the Jesup Memorial Library on Saturday, Nov. 7, at 1 p.m.
Zwicker was one of the 77 Army nurses known as the Angels of Bataan, who were imprisoned by the Japanese after the fall of Manila, Bataan and Corregidor at the outset of World War II. She spent three years in an internment camp. After her release, she re-enlisted in flight school, encouraged others to re-enlist as well, eventually became a captain and even found herself pictured on sheet music with Gen. Douglas MacArthur.
The book traces Zwicker’s life from growing up in a small Maine town, to her commitment to the profession of nursing to her eventual death from ovarian cancer just short of her 60th birthday. Zwicker suffered ill effects from her time in the camp. She was diagnosed with tuberculosis twice and experienced hallucinations and flashbacks during her recovery. She struggled with the lasting effects of her time there, contemplating suicide, but ultimately turned her life around.
Macdougall taught some of Zwicker’s nieces and nephews in middle school and was later drawn to her story. Macdougall taught science in public schools for a number of years before becoming a member of the faculty at the University of Maine. Throughout his adult years, he has been interested in Maine anecdotal history, writing, drawing and painting. He has written articles for “Down East” magazine for a number of years, along with other publications. He has published seven books, including “The Old Somerset Railroad,” “Freemasonry: the Vital Exploration” and “Settling the Maine Wilderness.”
Books will be on sale at the Jesup that day, with a percentage of sales donated to the library. Sherman’s is a co-sponsor of this event.
Contact the Jesup at 288-4245 or email [email protected].