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Navy Medicine History Blog Archive

Reaching the Pinnacle: The Origin of Independent Duty Corpsmen (IDCs) in the U.S. Navy

By André B. Sobocinski, Historian, BUMED
7/11/2019

On the night of April 17, 1918, the ammunition ship SS Florence “H,” caught fire while moored in Quiberon Bay in the south coast of Brittany, France.

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Remembering Navy Medicine in the Balkan Crisis

By Rear Adm. James A. Johnson, Jr., Medical Corps, U.S. Navy, Retired
7/3/2019

When the United Nations peacekeeping mission started the U.S. agreed to provide medical support to Zagreb city where the U.N. set up its logistics headquarters.

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The Workhorse of Normandy: Remembering the Role of LSTs in Medical Evacuation

By André B. Sobocinski, Historian, BUMED
5/21/2019

June 6, 1944, Normandy Coast, France. Pharmacist’s Mate 1st Class Stephen Cromwell stood on the bow of the LST-280 watching the Higgins Boats transporting troops to the beachhead.

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A Hero’s Image: Dr. Al Mateczun and the Medal of Honor Photograph

By André B. Sobocinski
4/2/2019

Before his career in the Navy, retired captain Dr. Al Mateczun, MC, graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1964. After pilot training and reconnaissance school at Shaw AFB, tours in France and Idaho, he deployed to Tan Son Nhut AB, Vietnam where he flew 200 missions in the RF-4C Phantom reconnaissance plane.

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A Portrait of HM2 Bobby Ray, Heroic “Doc” of Liberty Bridge

By André B. Sobocinski, Historian, BUMED
1/22/2019

In the early morning of March 19, 1969, a Marine combat base at Phu Loc 6 near An Hoa, Vietnam, became the scene of a surprise enemy attack. As the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) infiltrated the camp’s barbed wire perimeter, a 24-year old corpsman named Bobby Ray charged into the melee to render emergency aid to the mounting casualties.

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The story of Sgt. Schmid and Navy Medicine’s rehabilitation of the blind in World War II

By André B. Sobocinski
1/16/2019

For thousands of World War II veterans wounded during the conflict, the war’s end was only the beginning of a long and trying road to recovery. Al Schmid was one of these veterans.

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A Navy Nurse Remembers President George H.W. Bush

By Capt. Joan Huber (Ret.), Nurse Corps, USN
12/1/2018

I reported to the White House in April of 1986, and was there until December 31 of 1989. I was there for President Reagan and Vice President Bush, and then President Bush and Vice President Quayle. Our job, the quick and dirty, is that the 25th Amendment says that if at any time the president can’t do his job, his responsibilities pass to the next person in succession.

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Songs Out of Time: Rediscovering a Navy Surgeon’s Life and Music

By André B. Sobocinski, Historian, the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED)
11/1/2018

“His music fits right into the genre of salon music – I can see why it was so successful in its day.” said Stephen Swanson, a freelance pianist and choir master based in St. Paul, Minn.<br><br>Swanson is referring to Dr. Thomas Van Dyke Wiesenthal, a naval physician who more than dabbled as a composer of popular song before his death 185 years ago.

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A Hero of the Bloody Nose Ridge: The Story of Pharmacist’s Mate Third Class Joe Marquez and the Fight for Peleliu

By André B. Sobocinski, Historian, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
10/1/2018

On the morning of September 15, 1944, the 1st Marine Division began their assault on a tiny coral island in the Central Pacific called Peleliu. For Pharmacist’s Mate Third Class Eleuterio “Joe” Marquez[1] this would be a baptism of fire.

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