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This World War II novel is based on the experience of Dr. Dorothy Kinney Chambers and her family who were interned by the Japanese from Easter of 1942 through February of 1945 in Calinog and Santo Tomas prisoner of war camps


Prison camp, starvation, execution...

all threaten her little family.

Dorothy and Fred Chambers met in India during a vibrant time in each of their lives.

Dorothy Kinney had found herself in remote India in 1928, a medical missionary charged with building up a hospital for the women and children of Assam. The fledgling doctor began her practice in Gauhati, where her surgeries were performed by the light of a kerosene lamp in an open-air clinic with no electricity, no running water, and no sewer system. She left it ten years later a fully functioning modern hospital, with running water, electricity, and the complete devotion of the people of the Garo Hills.

It was there she fell in love.


As Headmaster of Jorhat Christian School for Boys, Fred found his spiritual feet. But when he needed medical care that could not be provided locally, it became necessary for him to travel twice each week to the Satribari Hospital for Women and Children in Gauhati, where he swiftly fell head over heels in love with the charming American doctor. And she with him.


Nothing had prepared either of them for the joy they would find in one another, but June of 1936 found the two blissfully adapting to married life.

“Heaven on earth”, they described it, when Carol Joy was born in late 1937.


A long overdue furlough took them back to the States later that year, and soon they discovered they were not to return to India, but were to be posted to the Philippines. Fred would be Dean of Theology at Central Philippines College, and Dorothy would practice medicine in Iloilo.


The day after their ship left Vancouver, war was declared in Europe.


Their little family flourished among the charming Filipinos, and soon the three became four. Carol Joy now had a baby brother, Robert Bruce.


Caught in the Philippines when Japan invaded, Dorothy and Fred found themselves forced to make the most difficult choice of their life. Should they stay in Calinog and face an invading army? Or escape into the hills. 


Their decision found them interned by the Japanese in Calinog for 14 months, and imprisoned  in Santo Tomas from Easter of 1942 until liberation in February of 1945.


COURAGE IN A WHITE COAT recreates those frightening days, and the little family that showed resilience at every turn. Much of the story is told in their own words, from the richly descriptive letters they wrote to family and friends. But no words can truly describe the darkest days of their confinement in Santo Tomas, the days when they were little more than twenty-four hours from execution.

Dr. Dorothy Kinney Chambers
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