Lt. Rita G. Palmer, Liberated By Yank Army
The Hampton Union & Rockingham County Gazette
Thursday, February 14, 1945
from a Prison Camp at Manila in Philippines
[Cut Courtesy Portsmouth Herald]
"2nd Lt. Rita G. Palmer last reported to be a prisoner of war of the Japanese Government, has been rescued by our forces and returned to military control" read the unofficial telegram from T. A. Ulio, Adjutant General, received by Mr. and Mrs. Charles D. Palmer, parents of the Army nurse, Wednesday, February 7, 1945.
This information was based upon a press release from General MacArthur's headquarters. Official confirmation and details will be forwarded to Lt. Palmer's parents as soon as it is received.
The joyful news of Lt. Palmer's release was first received by her parents last Monday evening in unofficial press dispatches which stated that she was among the 5,000 war prisoners released by the American liberating forces in their victorious entry into Manila over the weekend.
Thirty-seven hundred civilian internees were freed by the First Cavalry Division from the Santo Tomas Prison Camp No. 1 in Manila, P. I., where Lt. Palmer was believed to have been interned.
Freedom also came to 800 prisoners of war and 550 civilian internees at the filthy Bilibid penitentiary released by the 37th Division, making a total of about 5,500 prisoners released altogether.
The rescued prisoners were suffering badly from malnutrition after three years of Japanese captivity. However, some of the nurses in spite of their weakness, began caring for our wounded troops soon after they were freed.
After the news was released that the Rangers had stolen 500 prisoners right out from under the noses of the Japanese, Mr. and Mrs. Palmer have been constantly answering the telephone. It was not until Monday evening at 11:30 that they received any word concerning their daughter. At that time the Associated Press called from Boston telling them that a wire had been received stating that Lt. Palmer was one of the rescued internees. They are, however, still awaiting the official report from the War Department.
The telegram received Wednesday from General Ulio, Adjutant General reads:
"Am pleased to inform you that unofficial information just received which is based upon a press release from General MacArthur's headquarters states that your daughter, 2nd Lt. Rita G. Palmer, last reported to be a prisoner of war of the Japanese government, has been rescued by our forces and returned to military control. Official confirmation and further details will be forwarded promptly when received."