Navy History

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 *** 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. The 19-year old Los Angeles native had …

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Navy Medicine on the Santa Margarita Ranch: A Look Back at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton’s First Years

By André B. Sobocinski Historian, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery   “My first duty station was Santa Margarita Ranch in Oceanside.  I had my choice of duty stations anywhere in the U.S. but a buddy of mine talked me into going to the Santa Margarita Ranch because I liked to ride horses.  I figured that a ranch would …

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An Eye for an Eye: Navy Dentistry and the Development of the Acrylic Eye

By André B. Sobocinski Historian, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery “It’s an eye for an eye. The New eye is not flesh and it has no ability to see—but no one glancing at it would ever suspect that.” ~James Nevins Miller, Mechanix Illustrated Magazine, June 1946 *** The year is 1944. At Naval Hospital Bethesda, Md., doctors are …

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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 …

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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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