Reba Whittle - Her bag may be little, but her grit was not.
Born in 1919, this incredible lady was an inspiring Air Force flight nurse whose plane was shot down during WWII.
As a Prisoner of War (who sustained several injuries) for over 4 months, she helped rehabilitate victims also in captivity. Thankfully, she was recognized by a Red Cross representative and the State Department was alerted. Negotiations began and upon repatriation, she received the Purple Heart and the Air Medal.
In the plane crash that led to her captivity as the only female WWII POW in European theatre, Reba sustained a few physical and psychological issues that prohibited her to do her job to the best of her ability. Upon arrival back home, she put in a packet for release from active duty - unfortunately the Army was not here for that. They thought she was fine, denied her disability compensation and discharged her. Yes, you read that correctly.
Reba and her husband fought for her POW status and fair disability compensation for almost 10 years. 38 years after her capture, she was finally awarded POW recognition. Sadly, that day was two years after she lost a battle with cancer.
Fun Fact: When Reba Whittle was examined by a German doctor after taken prisoner, he told her that it was "Too bad having a woman as you are the first one and no one knows exactly what to do."
Meet The Makers:
Wear it both ways!