Navy History

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, …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Dr. French Moore & the advent of the Navy’s Jeep ambulance

By André B. Sobocinski Historian, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery World War II’s Pacific battlefields spurred a need for versatile vehicles capable of transporting casualties across rugged terrain. Throughout the war, the Army and Navy had typically turned to the Dodge Model ¾ ton truck as a “field ambulance” for overseas operations. According to reports, the Dodge was …

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