A Look Back

Beyond Heroism: Hospital Corpsmen and the Battle for Iwo Jima

By André B. Sobocinski, Historian, US Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Arthur C. Clayton administers a blood plasma injection to a wounded Leatherneck, Feb 1945. At 0900 on February 19th, 1945, the first assault waves from the 4th and 5th Marine Divisions hit the beaches of Iwo Jima.[i]  Embedded within these units were corpsmen like Pharmacist’s Mate Second Class …

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Sacrifice at Fort Fisher, 15 January 1865

By André B. Sobocinski, Navy Medicine Historian In January 1865, Union forces embarked on what was then the largest U.S.-led amphibious operation in history.  Their target was a colossal fort strategically located on a peninsula jutting from the Confederate seaport of Wilmington, N.C.  Its name was Fort Fisher. Naval Brigade attacking Fort Fisher, January 15, 1865. The operations in January …

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Witness to Pearl Harbor: USS Solace

By André B. Sobocinski, Historian, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery USS Solace 0755, Sunday, December 7th, 1941.  Pearl Harbor, T.H.  A group of physicians eating breakfast in the wardroom of the hospital ship USS Solace (AH-5) become startled when several explosions were heard.  As the ship began to vibrate the impression that an earthquake had hit soon shifted …

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Remembering Navy Medicine in the Balkan Crisis

By Rear Adm. James A. Johnson, Jr., Medical Corps, U.S. Navy, Retired Editor’s Note.   In the years following Josip Tito’s[i] death the tenuous confederation of states known as the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia disintegrated under the strain of ethnic nationalism.  Serbs, Croats, and Slovenians—Catholics, Orthodox Christians and Muslims— each fought to establish their own geographic borders based on their …

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

By André B. Sobocinski Historian, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery 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 …

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