Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Related Content
Document Type
  • Finding Aids Glossaries Guides
  • Primary Source Document
  • Ship History
  • Oral History
Wars & Conflicts
File Formats
  • Image (gif, jpg, tiff)
Location of Archival Materials

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



Additional Reading

Additional Reading on the 1918 Influenza Epidemic 

Documentary Histories

Finding Aids

Navy Hospital Ships

Blog Posts and H-Grams

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)

Corpsman Lamont

Corpsman Lamont driving ambulance at Naval Hospital, New London, Connecticut. Died in flu epidemic September 27, 1918. (NH 95251)

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) 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)

Photo #: NH 97241  "Say 'Ah-ah-h'"

Say 'Ah-ah-h' Cartoon by E. Verdier, concerning the distractive effects of a Yeoman(F) on an officer, published as cover art for the October 1918 issue of Ukmyh Kipzy Puern, the magazine of the U.S Naval Cable Censor Office, San Francisco, California. The magazine's title is in Bently's Code, and translates as The Monthly 'Gob'. The cartoon, and the face mask drawn in upper right, may refect countermeasures against the 1918-19 influenza epidemic. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. (NH 97241)

Published: Thu Oct 15 10:34:37 EDT 2020