Navy History

Navy Medicine Plays Ball on the Field of Dreams

By André B. Sobocinski, Historian, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery In the photographic archives of the Naval Historical Center there is an image of a Navy officer baseball team dated 1895. Although the location the photograph is up for conjecture, the seated man holding a baseball bat is not. The man is none other than future Navy surgeon …

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Navy Medicine Presents “The Grog”

By Andre Sobocinski, historian, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery It is with great pleasure that we offer you the latest “ration” of The Grog, a Journal of Navy Medical History and Culture. In this installment, we celebrate the Centennial of the Hospital Corps Handbook, look at the famous careers of several former Hospital Corpsmen, remember Major League Baseball’s …

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The Early Years of Navy Hospitals: From 1804 to Present

By Andre Sobocinski, historian, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Two hundred and ten years ago, Navy Surgeon Edward Cutbush established Naval Syracuse, Sicily to provide medical support for the Mediterranean Fleet then engaged in war with the Barbary States (1). Although other medical facilities did exist around this time, Naval Hospital Syracuse was the first hospital to be …

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A Look Back: Navy Medicine in 1914

By Andre Sobocinski, historian, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery As the twentieth century’s first “Great War” erupted on the European stage the United States held to a policy of “strict neutrality” under President Woodrow Wilson. In 1914, the American population numbered 99, 111,000 people across 48 states. The year was marked by many “firsts” in this country including …

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The Taming of the Elephant Shrew: A Look Back at Navy Medicine’s 1948 Expedition from Cairo to Cape Town

By Andre Sobocinski, historian, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery “He was the most agile talker to whom I ever had listened,” Admiral Lamont Pugh would later recall of his meeting 26-year old explorer-to-be named Wendell Phillips in August 1947.1 A former Superintendent of the Navy Medical School, Pugh was serving as the Deputy Chief of Bureau of Medicine …

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