Corpsman Up!


The Hospital Corpsman, for 116 years, has been in the hospitals, on the battlefield and putting themselves into harm’s way. All this time, they have been putting our fallen and injured ahead of their own safety. Corpsman go into harms’s way!

Few military organizations will think of their histories with a similar degree of pride and, in some cases awe, as will members of the Navy Hospital Corps. In its century of service, the Hospital Corps has proved itself able to support Marines and Sailors by giving them aid whenever and where necessary. Because the years have progressed, the tools and techniques employed by Hospital Corpsmen and their forerunners have evolved, however the extent of dedication has remained a powerful current running through the Corps’ history.

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Revolutionary War

The first direction given to the organization of Navy drugs consisted of only 1 article within the Rules for the Regulation of the Navy of the United Colonies of North America of 1775.

Article sixteen stated:

“A convenient place shall be set apart for sick or hurt men, to be removed with their hammocks and bedding once the doc shall advise a similar to be necessary: and a few of the crew shall be appointed to attend to and serve them and to stay the place clean. The cooper shall build buckets with covers and cradles if necessary for his or her use.”

Interestingly, the cooper or barrel-maker, whose skills may well be accustomed build bedpans, had a additional careful description than did any reasonably trained health care provider.

A typical medical section was sometimes restricted to 2, maybe 3 men: the doc, the surgeon’s mate, Associate in Nursing presumably an enlisted person. The doc was a medico. The surgeon’s mate, sometimes a doctor furthermore, control standing like that of a contemporary officer however signed just for a selected cruise. though sometimes viewed at intervals the history of the Medical Corps, surgeon’s mates’ position and responsibilities seem additional to be equivalents to senior hospital corpsmen.

Few things modified in medical techniques and organization between 1775 and 1814, the amount covering America’s initial armed service wars. Among the less dramatic responsibilities of caring for the non-combat unwell and harmed was feeding and private care of the sick. the straightforward daily ration of dish or “loblolly” was certain to be carried all the way down to those within the medical house by undisciplined attendants.


Surgeon’s Mate and gruel Boy

Congress approved Associate in Nursing act on March 2, 1799 that traced the words of the Continental Congress’s medical department article sixteen of 1775 specifically. As a result, there was still no title or description for noncommissioned medical personnel. The nickname “loblolly boy” was in common use for therefore a few years that it became the official title in Navy rules of 1814. The gruel boy’s job, delineated within the rules of 1818, enclosed the following:

The doc shall be allowed a trustworthy attendant to issue, below his direction, all provides and provisions and hospital stores, and to attend the preparation of nourishment for the sick.

The surgeon’s mates shall be significantly careful in guiding the gruel boy to stay the cockpit clean, and each article in that happiness to the Medical Department.

The doc shall impose for casual cases on the deck each morning at nine o’clock, due notice having been antecedently given by his gruel boy by ringing of a bell.

The U.S. Navy’s initial gruel boy of record was John Wall, WHO signed aboard the U.S.S. Constellation on Gregorian calendar month one, 1798. The ship sailed with a doc, George national leader, and a surgeon’s mate, patriarch Henry, as well. Eight months later, in Feb 1799, Capt. Thomas Truxton won a decisive ending against the French frigate L’Insurgente within the Caribbean. this could are gruel Boy Wall’s initial chance to worry for shipmates wounded in battle.

Other gruel boys WHO square measure documented in Navy records embrace Alexander Wood, WHO served aboard the U.S.S. county in 1802 and John Domyn aboard the frigate city in 1803. Domyn and also the remainder of the crew of the city were captured at Tripoli by Algerian pirates in Gregorian calendar month 1803 and remained captive till Gregorian calendar month 1805. Further, there was a sixteen year-old gruel boy aboard the U.S.S. Eagle, Joseph Anderson, about 1800. Anderson has the excellence of being the primary proverbial African-American gruel boy.

Surgeon’s Steward and Gruel Boy

A new, senior non-commissioned medical rate, surgeon’s steward, was introduced within the succeeding decades. The term is initial seen in 1841 in Navy pay charts, however it seems that the new billet was solely allowed on larger ships. By one Gregorian calendar month 1843, the executive department issued Associate in Nursing order permitting surgeon’s steward to be assigned to brigs and schooners. The relative importance of medical Sailors was herewith redoubled. Surgeon’s stewards would rank second in seniority among the ship’s petty officers, next solely once the PO.

Herman author, famous author of Moby Dick, provides an outline of the surgeon’s steward aboard the frigate U.S.S. u. s. in White Jacket, his account of Navy life in 1843: “An official, known as the surgeon’s steward, motor-assisted by subordinates, presided over the place [sick bay]…He was perpetually to be found at his post, by night and by day.”

Melville’s careful description of the ship’s medical department notes that “Pills,” the surgeon’s steward’s nickname, performed a spread of duties. He motor-assisted in making ready and spending surgical instruments throughout Associate in Nursing operation. He conjointly ran the ship’s pill roller look, that he opened for Associate in Nursing hour some within the morning and within the evening. author remembered however he visited the steward many times once he felt a requirement for drugs, solely to be provide his freshly-ground, bitter-tasting powders during a plain tin cup. whereas he commented on the unpleasant style and after-effects, author conjointly noted that the potable was freed from charge.


Surgeon’s Steward and Nurse

The year 1861 brought a horrifying warfare to the current country and, with the large increase within the Navy, changes and developments within the medical department were certain to turn out. On nineteen Gregorian calendar month 1861, a executive department circular order established a replacement name for the gruel boy.

“In addition to a surgeon’s steward, one nurse would be allowed for ships with a complement of but a pair of00; 2 nurses would be allowed for ships with a complement of over 200; and enough nurses would be allowed on receiving ships during a range proportionate to the requirements of the vessel.”

VSW694_1-7 Devil Docs-v

While the sea medical department might have solely modified titles of personnel, new techniques in mass care of the sick and wounded were developed. A captured sidewheel steamer was repaired and changed to worry for patients. Revisions to the ship were to incorporate bogs, kitchens, laundries, even elevators and facilities to hold three hundred a lot of ice. On twenty six December 1862, the U.S.S. Red Rover became the primary Navy vessel specifically commissioned as a ship. The medical complement enclosed thirty surgeons and male nurses, furthermore as four nuns.

While the warfare was usually not as intense confused services because it was for the military, there have been variety of terrible battles that necessitated a competent medical department. Pvt. Charles Brother, a Marine stationed aboard Admiral David Farragut’s flagship U.S.S. Hartford, remembers such Associate in Nursing account in his 1864 diary. once the admiral cursed the ocean mines awaiting his fleet in bay (“Damn the torpedoes!”), Farragut directed the Hartford into the fight. serious Confederate hearth from the Confederate ram Tennessee ensued. As would usually be the case throughout combat action, Navy medical personnel risked changing into casualties from fire. In their makes an attempt to minister to battle casualties, medical personnel square measure themselves targets and typically don’t even have the possibility to render aid. Pvt. Brother noted, The shell from the ram burst because it came through killing the Docts Stew’d [sic] instantly…Very few were slightly wounded, all were either killed instantly or dreadfully mangled. Our cockpit [sick bay] looked additional sort of a slaughter house than any factor else.

Admiral Farragut’s after-action report listed a gruesome count of twenty five killed and twenty eight wounded on his ship.

Apothecary and Bayman


An pill roller (petty officer initial class) treats a associate aboard the USS Hub of the Universe in 1888.
Post-war reductions within the size of the Navy brought new classifications to noncommissioned medical personnel. The title surgeon’s steward was abolished in favor of 3 grades of apothecaries in 1866. Those hand-picked as apothecaries had to be graduates of a course in pharmacy, or to possess the information by sensible expertise. The pill roller, first-class hierarchal with a officer, whereas the second and third category were noncommissioned officer equivalents. The 3 rates were reduced one noncommissioned officer pill roller on fifteen March 1869.

Nurse, as a title for junior noncommissioned medical personnel, was replace by the title “bayman,” one WHO manned the sick bay, within the early decennary. U.S. Navy rules of 1876 used the title formally, and it remained a sound for twenty two additional years.

Charles Shaffer began a 50-year career in Navy drugs in 1897 as a bayman. His career path was typical for one achievement within the medical field. Shaffer was needed to enlist as a landsman (seaman apprentice), earning $16 a month. it had been not till transfer to his initial command that Shaffer’s rating was modified to bayman. And since the armed service hospitals used civilian male nurses as opposition baymen, Shaffer would visit a ship.

With his new title, Bayman Shaffer’s pay was upped to $18 a month. His uniform currently bore 2 strips of piping on the cuff and a “watch mark,” a half-inch white stripe seamed round the shoulder seam of the blue jumper (blue on white uniforms) denoting him as deck force or non-engineering personnel. This stripe was worn on either the left or right shoulder seam, counting on whether or not the individual was assigned to the port or starboard watch. before the institution of the Hospital Corps, no specific medical badge was worn by junior personnel.

Shaffer’s senior counterpart, the pill roller, was carrying new badge furthermore, that of the newly-created (1893) chief noncommissioned officer. Its 3 chevrons Associate in Nursingd 3 arcs were head by an eagle, and had a insignia within the angle of the chevrons. Associate in Nursing eagle whose wings extended horizontally head the arcs. The rating badge delineated within the 1894 uniform rules established the fashion that has continuing, nearly unchanged, to the current day.

An pill roller of the Eighteen Nineties mixed and distributed all medication aboard ship. He was to blame for all medical department reports, offer requests, and correspondence. The pill roller administered anaesthesia throughout surgery and would be the first educator for brand spanking new baymen. a number of the medical skills were simply learned, though. “As a rule, baymen became skillful at binding,” Shaffer noted, “perhaps owing to their previous coaching in attainment.”

Their responsibilities failed to finish there, however. throughout sea surgery, the bayman centered an electrical light-weight on the incision website whereas the doc did his work on what was listed because the “combination writing and operative table”. He sterilized surgical instruments by boiling, then storing them during a answer of five % phenol. Bandages and dressings were sterilized by baking them during a tin within the ship’s kitchen appliance. Sick bay itself was ready for surgery by wiping the complete space down with “a weak chloride solution”. On days once the ship’s routine caught up cleaning baggage and hammocks, a bayman was to blame for laundry those of the sick. He motor-assisted within the maintenance of medical department records, and had to color the ship’s medical areas once needed.

In the last 20 years of the 1800s, several within the armed service medical institution caught up reforms within the noncommissioned elements of the medical department. drugs had by currently progressed much more as a science, and civilian hospitals all had teaching faculties for his or her nurses. Foreign navies had trained medical Sailors, and the U. S. Army had established its own Hospital Corps of noncommissioned men on one March 1887. Navy doc General J. R. Tryon argued, in his annual report of 1893, against the follow of distribution landsmen to the medical department with nothing over on-the-job-training. He advocated the imperative want for Associate in Nursing organized hospital corps.
Physicians within the fleet were equally sure of the requirement for changes. Surgeon C. A. Sigfried of the U.S.S. Massachusetts created his views proverbial in his report back to the doc General in 1897.

The importance of rising the medical department of our armed service service is additional and additional apparent, seeable of the recent advances within the strategies and quickness of killing and wounding. the good need could be a body of trained bay men or nurses, and these ought to be higher paid and of higher stamp and fiber. currently then we have a tendency to procure a decent man, and proceed along with his coaching as a bay man. He shortly finds chance for betterment in some one in every of the assorted departments of the ship, within the matter of pay and compensation, either in some yeoman’s billet or in some place wherever his meager $18 per month are often suddenly redoubled to $30, $40, or perhaps $60 per month. The bay man, WHO ought to be Associate in Nursing intelligent, sober man, and well trained in several things relating nursing, dieting, ambulance, and aids to wounded, and have a moderate quantity of education, finds his pay at this time among all-time low within the ship’s company; even the boys caring for storerooms get additional per month.


Hospital Corpsman: Hospital Steward and Hospital Apprentice


Hospital Steward
VSWA019_Corpsman_devil-docA hospital steward (chief petty officer) and 2 hospital apprentices from a ship\’s company medical section, 1905.
Arguments for an expert, well-trained cluster of people to produce medical aid for the Navy finally paid off. sadly, it took the upcoming danger of combat within the war to spur Congress into action. at intervals a bill aimed toward building the military was a district to produce for the Navy’s long-needed Hospital Corps. it had been approved by President President of the United States on seventeen Gregorian calendar month 1898. From that date to the current, either generically or by rating title, medical Sailors are known as “hospital corpsmen.”

The corps would once more modification the speed titles. The hospital apprentice would be the equivalent of Associate in Nursing apprentice seaman, the hospital apprentice {first category|first-class|firstclass|top notch|top quality} was a 3rd class noncommissioned officer, and also the hospital steward was a chief noncommissioned officer. Pharmacists were warrant officers, the primary of a line of commissioned hospital corpsmen that continuing till the institution of the Medical Service Corps following war II.


Early history of the corps set a pace of conspicuous service and involvement that may still the current. Before there was even a hospital corps faculty, Hospital Apprentice Robert Stanley was serving with the U.S. contingent at Peking. Actions by a Chinese political cluster that was opposition foreign presence in China, the supposed Boxers, prompted attacks on foreign embassies in July 1900. throughout this action, Hospital Apprentice Stanley volunteered for the damaging mission of running message dispatches vulnerable. For his bravery, Stanley became the primary during a long line of hospital corpsmen to receive the laurels of Honor.
In order to make sure that the members of the new Hospital Corps were adequately trained within the disciplines pertinent to each drugs and to the Navy, a basic faculty for corpsmen was established at the U. S. armed service Hospital Norfolk (Portsmouth), VA.


Originally known as the varsity of Instruction, it opened a pair of Sept 1902. Its info enclosed anatomy and physiology, bandaging, nursing, first aid, pharmacy, clerical work, and practice. the primary category of twenty eight corpsmen was graduated on fifteen December 1902. Hospital Apprentice easy lay Armstrong, at the highest of the alphabetical list of graduates, was naturally given his credentials initial and has been publicized because the Navy’s initial graduate hospital corpsman.
The school continuing for a short time and was then captive to the armed service Hospital in Washington, DC, staying living there till 1911. For consecutive 3 years there was no basic faculty for corpsmen, however the construct was revived in 1914. consecutive 2 Hospital Corps coaching faculties were opened in Newport, Little Rhody and on herb Island, CA.


Development of the Navy’s hospital corps coaching courses would prepare the primary generation of hospital corpsmen for arduous duty, each in peace and war. A graduate of the Hospital Corps faculty’s sixth category, Hospital Steward William Shacklette, would realize himself aboard the U.S.S. Bennington in port of entry harbor on twenty one July 1905. once the ship’s boiler exploded, Shacklette was burned at the side of virtually 0.5 the crew; the opposite 0.5 were killed outright. He reclaimed and treated various of his shipmates and was awarded the laurels of Honor for his bravery. Another young corpsman, Hospital Apprentice first-class William Zuiderveld of Michigan, landed at Vera Cruz, North American country in 1914 as a part of a force of Navy and United States Marine Corps personnel. throughout intense street fighting within which he was wounded himself, Zuiderveld, a graduate of the sixteenth category of the varsity of Instruction, risked his life on many occasions to help wounded shipmates. He, too, received the laurels of Honor.

Hospital Corps: Hospital Apprentices and Pharmacist’s Mates

The next revision within the structure of the Hospital Corps would return by act of Congress on August twenty nine, 1916. below this arrange, the rates would be hospital apprentices, second category and first-class (both of whom wore a Red Cross on the sleeve), pharmacist’s mates, third, second, and first, and chief pharmacist’s mate. The officer contingent of the Hospital Corps would come with the 2 officer ranks of apothecary and chief apothecary. The reorganization would give an enormous increase, five-fold, within the size of the Hospital Corps.
At the beginning of one917 the Hospital Corps counted 1,700 men in its ranks. A joint effort to recruit and train new personnel enabled the corps to achieve its approved strength of three 1/2 % of the Navy and United States Marine Corps, or 6,000 men. however as these plans came to fruition, the u. s. entered war I in Gregorian calendar month. By the tip of 1918, the corps would peak at regarding seventeen thousand.

Hospital Corps: Pharmacist’s Mates in World War I

The massive war increase in Hospital Corps strength necessitated extra faculties to coach the newcomers. Hospital Corps School, Great Lakes, IL was established in Gregorian calendar month 1913. time period faculties were created in urban center at the University of North Star State, in the big apple at university, and at the city school of Pharmacy. a faculty for armed service Reserve Force hospital corpsmen was established at Hub of the Universe town Hospital. alternative crash-course faculties for sea personnel were conducted at variety of alternative civilian hospitals. Hospital corpsmen WHO were required to function medical department representatives on little vessels like destroyers were trained at the Pharmacist’s Mate faculty at Hampton Roads, Virginia, the forerunner of the freelance Duty Hospital Corpsman faculty.
Hospital corpsmen were assigned to the multitude of duty sorts and locations required to support a Navy concerned during a war. armed service hospitals were opened and staffed. Ships and craft squadrons got medical support. At sea, the risks of the new war were ever gift. once the troop carrier USS Mount Vernon was torpedoed by a German submersible, Pharmacist’s Mate first-class Roger Osterheld upset over fifty casualties, over half whom were killed.

Naval coaching facilities and shore institutions required hospital corpsmen furthermore as did occupation forces in Haiti and alternative bases round the world. however war I provided the Hospital Corps a task that may afford it a number of the foremost grotesque and dangerous challenges it’d ever face: duty with the United States Marine Corps.

Assignment to United States Marine Corps units wasn’t utterly new. Hospital corpsmen were serving with Marine activity forces in Cuba, Haiti, and Santo Domingo at the occurrence of the war and had seen alternative similar service. it had been the modification of the Marine Corps’ role, to 1 of military forces during a giant scale ground war, that modified what hospital corpsmen would do. sick parade and medicine were continuous roles that remained unchanged. Facing artillery, blistering agent, and machine gun hearth were new experiences.

Two to four hospitalcorpsmen were assigned to every rifle company. a primary or second category noncommissioned officer would act because the company hospital corpsman and also the others as platoon hospital corpsmen. within the trenches and additional mounted locations, postes Delaware secours or company aid stations were established by these contingents. A battalion dressing station would have from 5 to seven hospital corpsmen and a chief. The senior Chief Pharmacist’s Mate and 6 to eight additional hospital corpsmen would serve at the army unit dressing station.


These hospital corpsmen lived and worked in arduous battle conditions. In one incidence, a predawn blistering agent attack on the sixth Marines at Verdun in Gregorian calendar month 1918 had devastating consequences: 235 of the 250 in one company succumbed to the gas and had to be exhausted. the 2 company hospital corpsmen worked furiously to treat these patients despite their own gas injuries. One died and also the alternative was for good disabled. Assaults on German positions offered hospital corpsmen more probabilities to indicate their commitment. Their performance in woods standard to Marines would cause the fifth regiment’s commandant to put in writing, “there were several heroes WHO wore the badge of the Navy Hospital Corps at the Bois Delaware Belleau.”

In all, some three hundred hospital corpsmen, doctors, and dentists served with the fifth Marine Regiment, the sixth Marine Regiment, and also the sixth Machine Gun Battalion, assigned to the Army’s second foot Division. Their expertise and valor were mirrored in a number of the statistics they compiled. throughout their time in Europe, within the bloody engagements like Argonne Forest and pitched battle, they treated over thirteen,000 casualties. Eighteen of their own were killed and a hundred sixty five were either wounded or harmed by blistering agent.
A heritage of fearless service with the Marines was born. 2 hospital corpsmen received the laurels of Honor. alternative decorations to hospital corpsmen enclosed fifty five Navy Crosses, thirty one Army Distinguished Service Crosses, a pair of Navy Distinguished Service Medals, and 237 Silver Stars. 100 foreign personal decorations were granted to Navy hospital corpsmen, and 202 earned the correct to wear the French Fourragère shoulder aiguillette for good. Their 684 personal awards build the Hospital Corps, by one account, the foremost embellished yankee unit of World War I.

Following the war there was Associate in Nursing inevitable decrease within the strength of the military. Despite the loss of hospital corpsmen, there have been still missions to perform. Central American nation was supplemental to the list of activity duties to that the Marines and their hospital corpsmen were assigned in 1927. Ships and armed service hospitals still needed Hospital Corps workers. Dedicated members of the Hospital Corps remained within the service, doing what they preferred, despite the dearth of advancement chance. within the years between the wars, time in rate from pharmacist’s mate second category to pharmacist’s mate first-class was eight years.

Hospital Corps: Pharmacist’s Mates in World War II

Women entered the Hospital Corps in war II as WAVES.

World War II became the amount of Hospital Corps’ greatest men, diversity of duty, and instance of sacrifice. Between 1941 and 1945, the ranks of this little organization proud from its pre-war levels of close to four,000 to over 132,000 personnel. This increase came to meet new responsibilities with new technologies at new duty stations. within the face of nice adversity, the Hospital Corps would cement its name for effectiveness and bravado.

The Navy’s fleet dilated to thousands of ships and also the United States Marine Corps grew from a couple of regiments to 6 divisions. A 2 ocean war created horrific numbers of casualties. The Hospital Corps would ought to grow to satisfy the requirements of casualty assortment, treatment, and healing. to teach the flow of recent Sailors, Hospital Corps coaching faculty at Portsmouth, VA was increased by a short lived faculty at armed service Hospital borough, NY. the varsity at Great Lakes was recreated in 1942, et al. were started at Farragut, ID and at Bainbridge, MD in 1943. A separate Hospital Corps coaching faculty was established for ladies at Bethesda, MD in Gregorian calendar month, 1944. specialised faculties were opened to coach pharmacist’s mates for freelance duty and for service with the Marines. in addition, courses were established to instruct personnel on new instrumentality and techniques in dozens of developing medical fields.

VSWA505_Navy_E7_HMShore-based duty sent Hospital Corps personnel to hospitals and dispensaries within the u. s. and abroad. Advance base hospitals on newly-captured Pacific islands fashioned a vital link within the chain of evacuation from battle sites. Those facilities in Hawaii or England received casualties from their several fronts. Stateside hospitals watched over wounded service personnel as their healing continuing. Hospital corpsmen created the treatment of yankee casualties attainable at every of those by providing technical support and direct patient care.
Duty on surface ships afforded hospital corpsmen various challenges and long environments within which to face them. Hospital ships needed the services of personnel in a lot of a similar means as shore-based hospitals, except that those on ship were afloat and subject to attack. alternative categories of vessels, like landing ships, tank (LSTs) and patrol craft, escort and rescue (PCERs) became giant floating clinic/ambulances that needed extra Hospital Corps personnel.

Combatant ships and transports within the Atlantic, Pacific, and Mediterranean theaters took casualties from ships, aircraft, and submarines throughout the war, necessitating the service of well-trained hospital corpsmen. Casualties may well be staggering on attacked ships. In one example, the warship USS battle of Bunker Hill sustained 392 killed and 264 wounded once it had been hit by 2 kamikazes.
Role of submarine hospital corpsmen developed into one in every of nice importance. Hospital corpsmen treated 549 survivors of air or ocean calamities, U.S. and enemy alike. In one case, 3 Sailors were seriously wounded, the submarine’s C.O. wrote, “the chief pharmacist’s mate is especially recommended for his fast and economical action in caring for these 3 wounded shipmates…He has been counseled for promotion and also the {bronze star|Bronze Star laurels|Bronze Star|decoration|laurel wreath|medal|medallion|palm|ribbon} Medal.”

The most dramatic accomplishments of submarine hospital corpsmen were 3 WHO had to try and do surgery whereas submerged. Pharmacist’s Mate first-class Wheeler “Johnny” Lipes performed a sure-fire ablation aboard the USS Seadragon on eleven Sept 1942. Lipes, WHO had been a surgical technician, used temporary instruments made up of mess deck utensils and tutored assistants because the procedure went on within the officers’ military quarters. PhM1c Harry Roby performed a similar act on the USS Grayback as did PhM1c Moore aboard USS Silversides, each in December 1942.

Approximately three hundred hospital corpsmen weekday out just about the first days of the war once they were captured by the japanese WHO invaded the Philippines. In unfortunate person of war camps and huddled in prisoner of war “hell ships”, they endured deficiency disease, disease, torture, and brutality. 100 cardinal hospital corpsmen died as prisoners throughout war II, a death rate virtually twenty % over among alternative yankee POWs.

Hospital corpsmen served on the beaches not solely within the island campaigns of the Pacific, however in Europe furthermore. groups of Navy medical personnel fashioned aid stations with beach battalions at Sicily and geographic region, treating Army and allied wounded vulnerable. Hospital corpsmen ensured the survival of those casualties till they may reach hospitals in England.

Of all the hospital corpsmen in war II, Fleet Marine Force personnel endured, perhaps, the foremost punishing facet of war. As they swarmed various beaches within the Pacific, they became targets themselves as they braved hearth to achieve hewn comrades. At Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Peleliu, Saipan, Tinian, Kwajalein, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa, hospital corpsmen bled and died, usually in bigger numbers than the Marines for whom they cared. Hospital Corps casualties within the fourth Marine Division at Iwo Jima, as an example, were thirty eight %.

Pharmacist’s Mate first-class Ray Crowder created notes of his combat experiences in his diary:

Most of the boys WHO had been wounded antecedently were hit again…I was hit by a chunk of shell in my leg however I unnoted it till later. As shortly as I may get my wits together…I began to try and do what I may for the blokes. 2 of the boys were screaming with shock. Darkness had already fallen and that i couldn’t see what i used to be doing. All that I may do was to feel the blood and take a look at to induce a pressure bandage place over it to prevent the hemorrhage.

Pharmacist’s Mate Second category John H. Bradley’s valor with the twenty eighth Marines on Iwo Jima Jima is typical of acts recurrent by hospital corpsmen throughout the war. On seeing a wounded Marine, Bradley rush to his aid through a mortar barrage and serious machine gun hearth. though alternative men from his unit were willing to assist him with the casualty, Bradley motioned them to remain back. Shielding the Marine along with his own body, the hospital corpsman administered a unit of plasma and treated his wounds. Through the gunshot, he then force the casualty thirty yards to safety.

PhM2c Bradley was awarded the laurel wreath for his heroism, however he’s not sometimes remembered for this act. Days later, he and 5 Marines were captured in Joe Rosenthal’s photograph of the second flag raising on Mt. Suribachi. The image was reproduced over maybe any photograph in history. it had been the theme for the United States Marine Corps War Memorial in metropolis, VA and created Bradley the primary U.S. Navy Sailor to look on a item. His likeness as an obsessive yankee military personnel is that the most known within the Hospital Corps’ history.
Members of the Hospital Corps treated some a hundred and fifty,000 combat casualties throughout the war. This doesn’t embrace thousands of others, those affected by sickness and harmed within the line of duty, WHO were assisted by their medical shipmates. the value of this service was high: one,170 hospital corpsmen were killed in action and thousands additional were wounded. however their heroism in doing their jobs was nice. Hospital corpsmen earned seven Medals of Honor, virtually half those awarded to Sailors within the war. additionally, they earned sixty six Navy Crosses, 465 laurel wreath Medals, and 982 Bronze Star Medals.


A New Hospital Corps:
Massive reorganization of the military passed off once war II. a replacement Department of Defense was established, and also the Army-Navy Medical Service Corps Act removed commissioned allied health and medical administration officers from the Hospital Corps. This law conjointly provided for a separate denturist rating, that remained a element of the Hospital Corps till 1972. girls within the Hospital Corps had antecedently been WAVES, or members of the Women’s Reserve, U.S. armed service Reserve. New legislation allowable girls to enlist within the Regular Navy, and HM1 Ruth Flora became the primary hospital corpsman to try and do thus on twelve July 1948


Effective a pair of Gregorian calendar month 1948 the Navy modified the names and badge of the Hospital Corps. The new titles were hospital recruit, hospital apprentice, hospitalman, hospital corpsmen third, second, and first-class, and chief hospital corpsman. The red Geneva cross, that had marked corpsmen for fifty years, was replaced within the rating badge with the initial mark of the winged insignia. The rates of senior chief and master chief hospital corpsman were supplemental in 1958.


Hospital Corpsmen in Korea:

As a part of a global organization force, Marines were committed to the Korean Peninsula once South Korea was invaded by its northern neighbor within the summer of 1950. at intervals the primary year, hospital corpsmen had participated within the dramatic landing at Inchon and also the frigid retreat from the Chosin Reservoir. By the summer of 1951, a deadlocked line of opposing forces took static positions. For consecutive 2 years, the war would be paying homage to war I, with bunkers, trenches, raids and fire. The slow war of attrition was even so fatal. In late March 1953, 3,500 Chinese Communist Forces troopers attacked 3 outposts–Reno, Vegas, and Carson–of forty Marines and one hospital corpsmen every. Out of this fighting came 2 Medals of Honor and various alternative decorations. within the Nevada Cities Outpost battles, most of the hospital corpsmen WHO were concerned at the little unit level were either killed or wounded.


VSW890_1st-MADIV-JEA-vAlthough only 1 Marine division was concerned within the war, the Hospital Corps lost 108 killed in action. Disproportionate to their numbers was their valor. In Korea, hospital corpsmen earned 281 Bronze Star Medals, 113 laurel wreath Medals, and twenty three Navy Crosses. All 5 noncommissioned Navy Medals of Honor were awarded to Navy Hospital Corpsmen serving with the Marines.


Hospital Corpsmen in Vietnam

American military commitment in geographical region grew within the decades following war II. As early as 1959, a couple of hospital corpsmen provided medical support for U. S. military personnel as a part of the yankee clinic at the U.S. Embassy. Four years later, in 1963, Navy Station Hospital, city was created. Ninety hospital corpsmen would workers the power, that provided take care of U. S. and allied (Australian, New Seeland, Filipino, and South Korean) military, furthermore as South Vietnamese civilians. These medical personnel conducted routine medical aid and treated the victims of combat and terrorist actions till the hospital was transferred to the military in 1966.

A new hospital was made in 1965 at armed service Support Activity public prosecutor Nang. A workers of 485 hospital corpsmen worked with doctors and nurses to worry for combat casualties. The hospital, that was designed primarily to worry for Marines within the I Corps sector, treated 23,467 patients in 1968 alone. though not on the front lines, the hospital corpsmen here were subjected to routine rocket and mortar attacks.
Hospital corpsmen were assigned aboard ships of varied sorts, providing off-shore medical support to U. S. forces. the most important commitment here was on the hospital ships USS Repose and USS Sanctuary. Some two hundred hospital corpsmen, representing the gamut of technical specialties, worked on every ship. groups of twenty hospital corpsmen served on LPH category amphibious ships. Others supported the riverine force on APB category base ships.

U. S. State Department initiatives and also the Medical Civic Action Program (MEDCAP) provided medical support for Vietnamese civilians. on the far side routine aid and treatment, the hospital corpsmen operating through these programs provided steering in sanitation and medicine throughout Asian country.

By far the Hospital Corps’ largest contribution in Vietnam was with United States Marine Corps units. beginning with the fifty WHO landed with the Marines at public prosecutor Nang in 1965, the noncommissioned medical element would grow to a pair of,700 hospital corpsmen assigned to first and 3d Marine Divisions, first Marine Air Wing, and alternative combat support units. 2 medical battalions and 2 hospital firms operated field hospitals, collection and clearing units, and dispensaries that treated the flow of combat casualties from the sphere. nearer support was provided at the battalion dressing station (BAS) level, wherever casualties may well be stable before evacuation to additional definitive care. The BAS was usually bypassed thanks to the exceptional evacuation capabilities of chopper evacuation (MEDEVAC).

The most dangerous role of the hospital corpsman in Vietnam was within the field. Special units, like navy man groups and Marine intelligence operation units took medical Sailors with them, as did the artillery, air, and foot parts of the United States Marine Corps. Most of the fifty three hospital corpsmen assigned to Associate in Nursing foot battalion served with rifle firms, one or 2 men per platoon of regarding forty. These Sailors patrolled with their Marines, risked a similar dangers, and rendered the help that saved the lives of thousands.

Contributions of hospital corpsmen in Vietnam were noteworthy, as they cared for over seventy,000 combat Navy and United States Marine Corps combat casualties and unnumberable military and civilian sick parade patients. Their heroism was nice. HM3 Donald E. Ballard, HM3 Wayne M. Caron, and HM2 David R. Ray earned the laurels of Honor for valor. HM3 Robert R. Ingram received his laurels of Honor for Vietnam in 1998. in addition, thirty hospital corpsmen received the laurel wreath, 127 the {silver star|Silver Star laurels|Silver Star|decoration|laurel wreath|medal|medallion|palm|ribbon} Medal, and 290 the {bronze star|Bronze Star laurels|Bronze Star|decoration|laurel wreath|medal|medallion|palm|ribbon} Medal. The names of 638 hospital corpsmen were killed in action there, over in the other war except war II. Too several more–4,563–would earn the Purple Heart.

HM2 Chris Pyle wrote the subsequent letter home before assignment with first Marine Division in Vietnam.


Many people have died to avoid wasting another. The Navy Corpsman has had additional honors presented on him than the other cluster. My life has however one that means, to avoid wasting or facilitate somebody. shortly i’ll be going over to Vietnam. I actually have my fears and beliefs, however they lay hidden below my emotions. That’s why God has created Pine Tree State thus. sometime i’ll see before Pine Tree State a wounded marine. i’ll think about every kind of things, however my coaching has ready Pine Tree State for this moment. i actually doubt if i’ll be a hero, however to it Marine i’ll be God. i’m hoping that nobody can die whereas i’m serving to him; if thus, a number of myself can die with him. Love for fellow man is nice in my book. It’s true they create Pine Tree State mad every now and then however regardless of WHO it’s, if he’s wounded within the middle of a paddy, you’ll be able to bet your bottom greenback that no matter God gave Pine Tree State for power, i’ll attempt till my life is taken to assist save him, and the other.

Five months later, on twenty eight might 1969, HM2 Pyle was killed in action.


Hospital Corpsmen in Beirut
A different a part of the globe would beckon hospital corpsmen within the Nineteen Eighties, southwest Asia. the target was a “peacekeeping” mission in Beirut, Lebanon, in which U.S. forces participated with those of France, Italy, and also the nice GB during a international Force. Here, hospital corpsmen from the ships of a Mediterranean Amphibious prepared cluster and a Marine Amphibious Unit were assigned to stop a bloody, eight-year previous factional civil war. By the tip of August, 1983, the peacekeepers had become targets and responded during a ground war that was just about unknown back within the U.S.

Firefights at isolated outposts shortly created casualties, and hospital corpsmen responded below hearth to treat their wounded Marines. When a mortar round hit one of the Marine positions, one hospital corpsman, explosive Victor Oglesby, found himself with five wounded Marines, his platoon sergeant dead, and his platoon commander barely alive. 2 months later, on twenty three Gregorian calendar month a clothed suicide truck bomber attacked the headquarters of first Battalion, eighth Marines. The truck bomb unleashed the most important non-nuclear blast ever detonated, and killed 241 Americans. Virtually the complete battalion aid station–15 hospital corpsmen and also the battalion surgeon–were killed. The casualty count for the Hospital Corps would be consecutive expensive once war I. one in every of the 3 hospital corpsmen WHO survived the blast, HM3 Donald Howell, cared-for wounded Marines whereas treed within the trash and wounded himself. The relief unit for the twenty fourth Marine Amphibious Unit wouldn’t arrive in Lebanon till that they had invaded the little Caribbean nation of land.


Hospital Corpsmen within the Gulf War
The 1990-91 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait gained a powerful response from the U.S. and also the world. Preparations were created to drive the Iraqi Army out of the little country, and corpsmen were readied to reply to the requirements of their shipmates. Hospital corpsmen round the globe reacted, as their ships, stations, and Marines deployed or ready to receive casualties. In fact, the primary Navy casualty of the war was a hospital corpsman. Of the large range of armed service Reservists known as to active duty, the most important single cluster activated was hospital corpsmen. Of a listing of simply over twelve,000 hospital corpsmen within the armed service Reserve, 6,739 were recalled to active duty. the most important cluster of them, 4,617, served at medical treatment facilities and casualty receiving centers. 1,142 visited United States Marine Corps units, 841 to Fleet Hospitals and 471 of them were assigned to the hospital ships Mercy and also the Comfort.


Hospital Corpsmen in Somalia
U.S. forces would once more attempt to bring stability to a troubled land: Somalia. Hospital corpsmen there Janus-faced each bullets and also the desires of a starving world. One, HM3 Timothy E. Quinn, wrote a letter describing his experiences in Feb 1993. “I was on a foot patrol that got fastened down by automatic weapons hearth, and here i’m tucked up against a tree attempting to induce small…” He continuing, “I leave to orphanages and do straightforward sick parade and such…the individuals there tell America that food is currently plentiful, which nobody is dying of hunger any longer, however currently the medical issues square measure way more apparent.”

Hospital Corpsmen nowadays

CORPSMAN-WEBIn its initial century, the Hospital Corps has compiled a very honorable gift of heroism and sacrifice. additionally to the wars and conflicts recounted here, hospital corpsmen have undergone natural disasters, military accidents, and alternative period emergencies. Moreover, they need maintained the regular health of their Sailors and Marines, giving immunizations, conducting medicine efforts, and holding sick parade.


Today, the 23,000 regular and reserve members of the Navy Hospital Corps still serve round the globe. they’re assigned to armed service hospitals and clinics, to surface ships and submarines. They fly search and rescue missions and deploy with Seabees. They maintain constant battle readiness with United States Marine Corps units and SEAL groups.

Hospital corpsmen have perpetually had the task of maintaining the health of their shipmates. Their myriad instances of valor, of consciously exposing themselves to danger to avoid wasting lives, aren’t spectacular as a result of they were needed to act. Their displays of bravery are noteworthy as a result of these men and girls cared regarding their shipmates.


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