“It was a sad moment for her after everyone got on the bus. No one was supposed to go near the bus, but he reached out his hand. I saw this before she came over. She grabbed his hand and pulled him closer to her.” - Cpl. Michael S. Cifuentes
On Sept. 24, 1944, 1st Lt. Mary Louise Hawkins was evacuating 24 patients from the fighting at Palau to Guadalcanal when the C-47 ran low on fuel. The pilot made a forced landing in a small clearing on Bellona Island. During the landing, a piece of metal severed the trachea of one patient. Hawkins kept the man's throat clear of blood with makeshift tubing until aid arrived 19 hours later. All of her patients survived. Hawkins received the Distinguished Flying Cross for her bravery.