Beulah Mae 'Peggy' Greenwalt Walcher,
Angel of Bataan
Prisoner of the Japanese
the American girls who fought on Bataan and
later Corregidor. Their names must always be
hallowed when we speak of American heroes.”
— LtGen Jonathan
Fourth from left with
ankles crossed, Peggy Greenwalt and fellow
nurses wait their fate outside Malinta
tunnel following the surrender of
Lt Beulah Mae ‘Peggy’ Greenwalt was born in Idaho on
December 6, 1911 to Samuel & Caroline (Stuber) Greenwalt.
The family was living near Rolla, Missouri when Greenwalt
last visited home in May 1941. By July, she was in the
Greenwalt trained and nursed at an Albuquerque, New Mexico
hospital. A friend convinced her to join the Army “to see
Lt Greenwalt was captured when Corregidor fell on May 6,
Samuel Greenwalt died in December 1942.
Rescued in February 1945 and returned to the States in
March, Lt Greenwalt flew from San Francisco to Missouri to
her mother's bedside, the family afraid their mother would
never see Peggy again before she died.
On her return, she gave the following:
“We lived under strict military rule with plenty of
regulations, especially after the Japanese Army took over
the running of the camp from the Japanese civilian
government in February 1944. We had a 6:30 curfew at night
and weren't allowed out of our quarters. I didn't get my
first letters from home until March, 1944, when the Japs
allowed some mail to get through to us.
“Uniforms and shoes wore out, but we devised shorts from
native materials and wore bakias, native wooden shoes with a
strip across the top. You should have seen what a sight I
Asked what her plans for the future were, she replied, “I
want to go back. They need nurses.”
Hospitalized at Fitzsimmons General Hospital in Denver,
Colorado, Greenwalt met Bataan Death March survivor Bruce
Walcher, also a patient. Colonel Perry O. Wilcox, also a
prisoner of the Japanese, reading from a prayer book given
to him on Corregidor from his hospital bed, united the
couple in marriage in June 1946.
Caroline Greenwalt died that August.
In December 1948, Greenwalt was awarded $290,000.00 by a
federal court jury against the makers of the movie, “They
Were Expendable.” Greenwalt contended the filmmakers used
her as a prototype for the character of Sandy in a fashion
that was humiliating and “cheapened her character.”
Lt Greenwalt's character was much in evidence when she was
surrendered in 1942. Greenwalt saved the colors of the 12th
Regimental Quartermaster Corps by convincing the Japanese
the flag was a shawl. She hung on to the colors during the three years she
was a prisoner of war. At war's end, Greenwalt presented the
colors to the 12th Quartermaster's Regimental Commander. The
colors are on permanent display at the
US Army Quartermaster
Museum at Fort Lee in Virginia, and used in the
Quartermaster's “Values” training program.
Beulah Mae 'Peggy' Greenwalt Walcher died at Stanford
University Hospital in February 1993.