A Look Back

U.S. Naval Hospital Yokohama and the Great Kanto Earthquake of September 1923

By André B. Sobocinski, Historian, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery U.S. Naval Hospital Yokohama in 1922. All images courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command Nearly 20 years after an era of self-imposed se­clusion was broken by an American trade treaty, the Japanese ports in Tokyo Bay had blossomed into thriving marketplaces of foreign trade. Prin­cipal among them was …

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Historical Notes from Navy Dentistry’s First Year

By André B. Sobocinski, Historian, BUMED On August 22, 1912, President William Taft signed into law an act creating a formal corps of uniformed dentists in the U.S. Navy.  This date did not mark the beginning of dental care in the Navy, but rather the formal establishment of a professional community of trained uniformed dentists. Some form of dental care had …

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The Sailor’s Diet of 1862

By André B. Sobocinski, Historian, BUMED On July 25, 1862, following reports of sickness and low morale, Fleet Surgeon William Maxwell Wood was ordered by the Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles to conduct a medical and sanitary inspection of the James River Flotilla.[i]  Fleet Surgeon William Maxwell Wood Travelling aboard the steamer USS Satellite, Wood visited the principal vessels …

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Building Corpsmen Culture: The Early Years of the Hospital Corps School

By André B. Sobocinski, Historian, BUMED Students at the Hospital Corps School Newport, ca. 1914 For almost as long as there has been a Hospital Corps there has existed a school charged with imparting the values, traditions and requisite tools to prospective corpsmen.  On June 18, 1914, the Navy established the Hospital Corps School at the Naval Training Station in …

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The Saga of Idaho, Hospital Ship of the Asiatic Squadron

Long before the appearance of the first white-hulled hospital ships, the Navy employed an assortment of vessels to meet the need of hospitalization at sea.  Among the lesser known, and perhaps most unique, was a sailing ship commissioned in the age of steam called USS Idaho. Extending 298 feet in length with a beam of 44 feet, Idaho was completed …

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