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Adapted from "Vice Admiral George Wehnes Calver, Medical Corps, United States Navy, Deceased" [biography, dated 30 November 1966] in Modern Biographical Files collection, Navy Department Library.

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George Wehnes Calver

24 November 1887 -  27 February 1972

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George Wehnes Calver was born in Washington, DC, on November 24, 1887, son of Dr. Thomas Calver and Mrs. (Lizzie Wehnes) Calver.  He attended Eastern High School and George Washington University in Washington, and graduated from the Medical School of that University in 1912. He entered the US Naval Reserve on June 18, 1913, with his appointment as Assistant Surgeon in the rank of Lieutenant (jg), and transferred to the US Navy in the same rank on April 10, 1914. He subsequently advanced in rank, reaching that of Medical Director with rank of Captain, on May 30, 1934, and was promoted to Rear Admiral in the Medical Corps of the Navy on October 9, 1945.  He was appointed by the President of the United States to the rank of Vice Admiral, to date from September 30, 1966.

In June 1913 he reported for instruction at the Naval Medical School, Washington, DC, and on May 27,1914, he joined USS Supply for duty at sea. A year later he was ordered to Asiatic Station, where during the two years to follow he served at the Naval Station, Guam and Cavite; on Yangtze Patrol in USS Palos and USS Galveston, and finally at the Naval Hospital, Yokohama, Japan. He returned to the United States in April 1917, at the outbreak of World War I, and throughout the war period served in Charleston, South Carolina, first at the Navy Yard, and later as Executive Officer of the Naval Hospital. 

He had successive service in USS Bridgeport, USS Thomas, and again in the Bridgeport when she joined Destroyer Flotilla Two, Atlantic Fleet. In February 1922 he was ordered to the Pharmacist Mates School at the Naval Hospital, Norfolk, Virginia, where he was on duty until the spring of 1925. He then had duty as Senior Medical Officer of USS Henderson for two years, and on February 1927 reported to the Naval Dispensary, Navy Department, Washington, DC. He served there for ten years, with additional duty from December 1928 in attendance at the House of Representatives during sessions of Congress. 

From May 10, 1937 to July 14, 1941, he was assigned to the Naval Medical Center, Washington, DC, with additional duty as Attending Physician at the Capital. He was relieved of the former duty, but continued to serve, first in the rank of Captain, and from October 1945 in the rank of Rear Admiral, ads Medical Officer in attendance upon Congress. He also served as a consultant for the Research Division of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Navy Department before and during World War II. 

Transferred to the Retired List of the US Navy on November 1, 1947, he continued active duty as Medical Officer in attendance upon the Congress until October 12, 1966, when he was relieved of active duty. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and cited as follows: 

“For exceptionally meritorious service…as Attending Physician at the Capital of the United States from September 1963 to September 1966…Vice Admiral Calver has been eminently successful in carrying out his many and important responsibilities in connection with maintaining and preserving the health and physical fitness of the Members of Congress. In addition to his primary duty of providing medical attendance to the membership of both the House and Senate, he has devoted himself diligently to medical research at the Naval Medical medicine to the Naval Hospital, Bethesda. Keeping abreast of the rapid advanced in medicine over years to insure that his patients received the very best care and were furnished every reasonable service that could be provided, Vice Admiral Calver, by his sound judgment, professional ability, and inspiring devotion to the fulfillment of his responsibilities, has contributed outstandingly to the excellent medical support for Members of the Congress of the United States…”

In addition to the Distinguished Service Medal, Vice Admiral Calver has the World War I Victory Medal; the American defense Service Medal; the American Campaign Medal; the World War II Victory Medal; and the National Defense Service Medal. 

Vice Admiral Calver was elected a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons in 1931. In addition to being a Fellow of the American Medical Association, he is a member of the District of Columbia Medical Society; the Southern Medical Society: the Association of Military Surgeons; American Heart Association; Society for the Study of Internal Secretions; Pan-American Medical Society; and American Soviet Medical Society. He holds a certificate from the American Board of Internal Medicine and is an Honorary Consultant of the Army Medical Library. In 1963 in recognition of his thirty-five years as Physician to Congress, the Council of federal Medical Directors for Occupational Health presented him with a certificate of honorary life membership.

He died 27 February 1972.


Published: Fri May 22 10:15:44 EDT 2020