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A Last Link to Pearl Harbor: Navy Nurse Celebrates 105th Birthday Surrounded by Loved Ones

Alice Darrow

A navy nurse who is one of the last remaining links to Pearl Harbor just celebrated her 105th birthday surrounded by friends, family, and fans.

The milestone party took place on March 16, 2024, and turned out to be a much bigger celebration than Alice could have imagined. Not only did her friends and several generations of family show up, but a current and a former mayor were in attendance.

“I’m happy to see everyone!” Alice told Fox KTVU. “It’s a thrill!”

Alice Darrow was stationed at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California, during WWII. The base was where many injured service members were sent after the Pearl Harbor attack. While Alice was on hand to help during the aftermath, it was a soldier who came to her in April 1942 who linked her to Pearl Harbor.

The Navy Nurse Lived a True WWII Love Story With a Pearl Harbor Solider

At that time, a young man with appendicitis named Dean Darrow. came under her care. When doctors scanned his body before surgery, they found that he had a bullet in his heart.

As it turned out, Dean had been on the battleship West Virginia on Dec. 7, 1941. When the Japanese dropped the bomb, it knocked Dean off the battleship. When a rescue boat went for him, he was hit in the back by enemy fire.

“He was trying to pull himself up on the boat,” Alice said. “They shot him. He got shot in the back.”

Somehow, Dean survived four months with a 7.7 mm bullet in his heart. And his appendicitis turned into a stroke of luck that led doctors to discover it.

Before Dean went under the knife, he asked Alice if she would go on liberty, which is a brief leave authorized by the military, if he survived.

“I said, ‘Sure, why not?’ They didn’t think he was going to make it anyways,” she admitted.

Doctors removed Dean’s bullet and appendix that day, and he did survive. So Alice Darrow stood by her word—the two said “I do” two months later and were married until his death in 1991.

Alice and Dean Darrow raised four children and remained active in military services. And Alice still has the bullet to this day.

“They took out the bullet and I replaced the hole in his heart with my love,” she told the Times-Herald.

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.

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