Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

60 years later, soldier and nurse meet again

Sure it's a cliche, but sometimes we're reminded that it really is a small world.

Emil Raninen, 92, of Clearwater had one of those moments earlier this month when he read a story in the Largo Times about a World War II Army nurse who would be speaking at Heritage Village.

It had been more than 60 years. But Raninen recognized her immediately.

Hazel Murphy, 88, of St. Petersburg was a nurse in Australia and New Guinea during the war years. Raninen was a soldier during the same time period in the same locations.

He persuaded a neighbor to drive him to the WWII & the Swinging Forties celebration, where Murphy would be sharing her experiences.

"I want to see my nurse," Raninen said as he approached the display where Murphy stood.

Murphy smiled, but was a little puzzled. Raninen introduced himself and began to chat.

He was a staff sergeant with the 32nd Division, drafted just out of high school in Detroit. He received a Silver Star for gallantry in action. He contracted malaria in New Guinea and was sent to the hospital in Australia.

And Raninen knew something about Murphy that wasn't mentioned in the newspaper.

"He remembered I had red hair," said a surprised Murphy. "It gave me goose bumps."

Raninen gave her a hug and a kiss and said thank you to his former caretaker.

"It was wonderful to see her and we talked a long time," he said. "It brought back many memories. Malaria is no fun. She was a good nurse and a very pretty girl. If it wasn't for her, I probably wouldn't be here."

60 years later, soldier and nurse meet again 04/15/08 [Last modified: Monday, April 21, 2008 3:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Minors also a training ground for umpires with big-league dreams

    The Heater

    Umpire Tom Fornarola, 23, left, and Taylor Payne, 24, facing, talk before the start of the Gulf Coast League game between the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers at the Tigertown complex in Lakeland, Fla. on Wednesday, July 5, 2017.
  2. In Florida, nation's only lightning center closes after DARPA cuts funding (w/video)


    University of Florida professor Martin Uman usually spends much of this summer at an old Army base about an hour northeast of Gainesville, shooting rockets at thunderclouds, then measuring the bright flashes of lightning that followed.

    Rocket-and-wire triggered lightning at the University of Florida's International Center for Lightning Research and Testing, which recently lost federal funding. A rocket trailing a grounded wire is launched toward an active thunderstorm at the ICLRT. One launch is from a tower, one from ground. When the wire is about as high as the Empire State Building, lightning is induced to strike the top of the wire, much as it strikes tall objects like the ESB. Interestingly, the cloud charge source is about 3 miles high, so a 300 yard-long wire can cause a 3 mile or more long lightning.  After that, there are several normal tortuous strokes ( downward leaders from the cloud charge/upward return strokes) which can be seen as the wind blows the individual strokes to the right. The time between strokes is about 50 thousands of a second. Between some strokes, continuing current can be seen. Continuing current is what generally starts forest fires. [Photo by Dr. Dustin Hill]
  3. Editorial: Reasonable clarity on gambling in Florida


    Gambling expansion strategies — and misfires — are nearly an annual ritual in Florida. There were the eight counties that voted to allow slot machines but were blocked by the Florida Supreme Court. There was the governor's $3 billion deal with the Seminole Tribe in 2015 that was never approved by the …

    Gov. Rick Scott agreed to a much simpler deal with the Seminole Tribe that embraces the status quo instead of expansion. And that’s a good thing.
  4. Amid U.S. real estate buying binge by foreign investors, Florida remains first choice

    Real Estate

    Foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate recently skyrocketed to a new high with nearly half of all foreign sales happening in Florida, California and Texas.

    A National Association of Realtors annual survey found record volume and activity by foreign buyers of U.S. real estate. Florida had the highest foreign investment activity, followed by California and Texas. [National Association of Realtors]
  5. Editorial: Hillsborough smartly embraces diversion program for youths


    Children who commit minor crimes can pay for their mistakes for a lifetime — losing a chance to attend college, join the military or obtain credit and a good job. That is unjust to the individuals and a burdensome cost to society, and Hillsborough County is taking the right new approach by giving some juveniles a …

    Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren has announced an agreement between law enforcement agencies and the courts that will allow first-time offenders who commit nonviolent crimes as juveniles to be issued civil citations rather than face an arrest and prosecution.