Navy History

Gassed! Navy Medicine and the poison gas threat of World War I

By André B. Sobocinski Historian, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery At 0400 on April 13, 1918 shouts of “Gas attack!” could be heard across Camp Fontaine-St. Robert in the Verdun Sector of France.  Located two miles from the front, this wooden hollow served as the makeshift quarters for 300 Marines and Sailors of the 74th Company, 6th Marine …

Read More »

What’s in a name: USS Litchfield (DD-336) and her namesake hospital corpsman

By André B. Sobocinski Historian, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery For as long as there has been a U.S. Navy, ships have been named after military heroes, politicians, and individuals who have made important contributions to the service.1 USS Litchfield (DD-336) is one of hundreds of ships to follow this practice. But unlike those commissioned before or after, …

Read More »

The Saga of the Northcotts: Three Brothers at Bilibid Prison

By André B. Sobocinski Historian, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery In the annals of naval history, perhaps there are no more famous siblings than the Sullivans—five brothers whose lives were lost aboard USS Juneau (CL-52) at Guadalcanal in 1942. Less well-known are the Northcott brothers—John (b. 1918), Robert (b.1920) and Thomas (b.1921)—three seamen apprentices-turned hospital corpsmen who miraculously …

Read More »

A Message from the Navy Surgeon General: Navy Medicine Civilian Corps Anniversary

On behalf of Navy Medicine, congratulations to the men and women of our civilian corps as you celebrate your first anniversary. On April 30, 2017, the navy surgeon general and chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery authorized the establishment of the Navy Medicine Civilian Corps as part of Navy Medicine’s corps chief’s office. Since then, the civilian corps has continued …

Read More »

Remembering HM3 Bienvenido Dona – Filipino pioneer and U.S. Navy medical hero of Vietnam

By André B. Sobocinski Historian, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery On January 15, 1955, Bienvenido Dona enlisted in the U.S. Navy – one of the nearly 1,000 Filipino nationals to enlist that year. At age 27, the Northern Mindanao native had been older than most recruits in-processing at the Naval Base Sangley Point, Cavite, Philippines.  But like other …

Read More »