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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.

Navy Medical Corps

Navy Nurse Corps

Notable Navy Nurses

Notable Navy Medics/Hospital Corpsmen

Naval Medical Community Medal of Honor Recipients


Oral Histories



Additional Reading

Additional Reading on the 1918 Influenza Epidemic 

Documentary Histories

Finding Aids

Navy Hospital Ships


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)

Corpsman Lamont

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

Corpsman at Rest

Corpsman at Rest. Painting, Watercolor on Paper; by David Stone Martin; C. 1943; Unframed Dimensions 23H X 29W. (88-159-IL as a Gift of Abbott Laboratories)

NH 52960 The Sacred Twenty

"The Sacred Twenty." Group photograph of the first twenty Navy Nurses, appointed in 1908. Taken at the Naval Hospital, Washington, D.C., circa October 1908. They are identified in Photo # NH 52960. (NH 52960)

 What the Navy is Doing: Join the Hospital Corps

What the Navy is Doing: Join the Hospital Corps. Poster; by Unknown; 1925C; Unframed Dimensions 14H X 17W. (07-238-AQ)

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 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 #: 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)

Naval Pharmacists

Naval Pharmacists. Painting, Watercolor on Paper; by Carlos Andreson; 1943; Framed Dimensions 25H X 27W. (88-159-J)

Published: Fri Jun 07 12:02:48 EDT 2024