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Navy Medicine History

Navy Medicine has a long and proud history. The first shots of the American Revolution fired at Lexington and Concord on 19 April 1775 marked both the birth of a nation and the Continental Army. However, it was the British blockade of the American coast and the need to break that blockade that spawned the Continental Navy and ultimately what we now call the Navy Medical Department. Aboard ships captained by the likes of John Paul Jones and John Barry, were the first sickbays where ship surgeons, assisted by loblolly boys, practiced their healing craft. Although science and medicine has changed greatly over the last three centuries, Navy Medicine’s mission of healthcare and readiness remains true today as it did in the “Age of Sail.”​

 

 History Blog

 

The Sailor’s Diet of 1862

By André B. Sobocinski, Historian, BUMED
7/1/2020

On July 25, 1862, following reports of sickness and low morale, Fleet Surgeon William Maxwell Wood was ordered by the Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles to conduct a medical and sanitary inspection of the James River Flotilla.

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Building Corpsmen Culture: The Early Years of the Hospital Corps School

By André B. Sobocinski, Historian, BUMED
6/1/2020

For almost as long as there has been a Hospital Corps there has existed a school charged with imparting the values, traditions and requisite tools to prospective corpsmen.  On June 18, 1914, the Navy established the Hospital Corps School at the Naval Training Station in Newport, R.I.

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The Saga of Idaho, Hospital Ship of the Asiatic Squadron

The Saga of Idaho, Hospital Ship of the Asiatic Squadron
5/18/2020

Long before the appearance of the first white-hulled hospital ships, the Navy employed an assortment of vessels to meet the need of hospitalization at sea.  Among the lesser known, and perhaps most unique, was a sailing ship commissioned in the age of steam called USS Idaho.

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Junior medical officer holding a first aid class prior to Iwo Jima engagement, 1943.JPG
Junior medical officer holding a first aid class prior to Iwo Jima engagement, 1943
 

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