This is about a woman who is a quiet, unsung hero by the name of Mary Josephine Oberst from Louisville, Kentucky. She passed of natural causes, has no children, 3 brothers, but was a woman who lived a life of adventure more than most of us could ever imagine.
The following was sent as an email from one of Shidoshi Zane Prater’s students, Lt. Hahn:
This Monday, me and my team of Soldiers will be serving at the burial of Mary Josephine Oberst, a 95 year old lady from Louisville, KY who died of natural causes, outlived 3 brothers and has no children. Doesn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary right?
What the average person doesn’t know is that this little old lady probably had a more adventurous life than anyone we have ever known. She enlisted into the Army Nurse Corps in 1937, served in Alabama first then was shipped overseas to Sternberg during the war in the surgical ward of Army hospitals. From there she went on the become one of the “Angels of Baton” who served in the area of the Baton Death March while attached to the 44th tank battalion. She was captured as a POW in 1942 where she was tortured. She was liberated by (I think) British allied troops and put back into service once she recovered. She was captured again and wounded during a German raid on the base she was stationed at, she survived again. She was captured as a POW a THIRD TIME AND SURVIVED! Unfortunately she was injured again and medically discharged finally in 1947.
62 years later she passes away and is given a small blotter in a local newspaper.
I happen to think this is an incredible story, one that you hear about in books or movies but never in real life. It actually does feel good to be assigned to carry out her funeral honors, WW2 veterans like this are very short in number and you may not always realize that pretty soon they will all be gone, the ones who served in the single greatest conflict in history which shaped our entire world as it is today.
Just thought I’d share this story with those who I think would appreciate it. I tried to find more information about her on the internet but unfortunately she is probably one of the thousands of unsung heroes we all owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to but never even knew existed.