Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Navy Medicine


This is the Doctor's First Patient Today

“This is the Doctor's First Patient Today.” Marines were heavily engaged in ground combat. When casualties occurred, Navy corpsmen assigned to their units provided front line medical attention. Drawing, Pen and Ink on Paper; by Charles Waterhouse; 1967. Click to download. (88-162-ZH)


Navy medicine has a long and proud history. Continental Navy ships housed the first sickbays, where ship surgeons, assisted by loblolly boys, practiced their healing craft. Although science and medicine have changed over the last three centuries, Navy medicine’s mission of healthcare and readiness has remained constant.

Notable Navy Medical Personnel

Oral Histories

Videos

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Additional Reading

Documentary Histories

Finding Aids

Navy Hospital Ships

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Selected Images


Be a Cadet Nurse

Poster; by Jon Whitcomb; 1944 (65-014-Z)



Photo #: NH 82747  U.S. Naval Hospital, Washington, D.C.

Ward scene during the 1930s, with a Navy doctor, nurse and corpsman attending to a patient. (NH 82747)



Medical Staff

U.S. Naval Hospital, Chelsea, Massachusetts. Photograph taken June 2, 1919. (NH 115723)



Photo #: NH 98464  USS Columbus (CG-12)

USS Columbus (CG-12) ship's doctor examines a patient in the sick bay, during the filming of a movie by a Johns Hopkins University film crew, 2 April 1965. (NH 98464)



Photo #: 80-G-K-4554 (Color)  USS Missouri (BB-63)

USS Missouri (BB-63). Commander Louis E. Gilge, Medical Corps, makes his rounds in the battleship's sick bay as Pharmacist's Mate Second Class Frank Mancini stands by at left. Photographed during Missouri's shakedown cruise, circa August 1944.



Portrait of a Navy doctor in a pith helmet

Navy Doctor, drawing, charcoal on paper; by Joseph Hirsch; C. 1943; Unframed Dimensions 22H X 15W. (88-159-FT as a Gift of Abbott Laboratories)



Staff Officers of Naval Hospital, Memphis Tennessee 1863

Staff Officers of Naval Hospital, Memphis, TN 1863. (NH 53388)



White wooden sign with blue lettering and a red cross and arrow directing for medical care

Medical Aid Sign from the USNS Comfort used during Hurricane Katrina. (NHHC 2012-57-1)



USS SANCTUARY (AH-17)

USS Sanctuary (AH-17) ambulatory ward filled with happy ex-prisoners of war on their way back to their native lands, after three and a half years in a Japanese prison camp, September 1945. (NH 75344)



Photo #: NH 53317  Captain Norman J. Blackwood, USN (Medical Corps)

Captain Norman J. Blackwood, USN (Medical Corps) seated, second from right, with the Officers of USS Mercy (ID # 1305, later AH-4), May 1918



Cape Gloucester, New Britain, December 1943

Cape Gloucester, New Britain, December 1943, aboard a Coast Guard-manned Landing Ship, Tank (LST), a Navy doctor and Coast Guard pharmacist's mate perform an emergency operation on a wounded man. (NH 94755)



Photo #: NH 41799  U. S. Navy Ambulance Boat No. 1

U. S. Navy Ambulance Boat No. 1 just before her launching at the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 24 July 1919. (NH 41799)



LTjg Ann Bernatitus, (NC), USN

LT (jg) Ann Bernatitus, (NC), USN (88-195-G)



Photo #: 80-G-K-13003 (Color)  Munsan-Ni, Korea

Munsan-Ni, Korea. Doctor and corpsmen irrigate muscle tissue, as a wounded man is prepared for an operation, at the Medical Company, 23 September 1952. (80-G-K-13003)


Published: Tue Sep 04 11:57:49 EDT 2018