Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Boone, Joel T.
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Boone, Joel T.

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Vice Admiral, Medical Corps, USN (Retired), (1889-1974)

Joel Thompson Boone was born on 29 August 1889 in St. Clair, Pennsylvania. He graduated in June 1913 from Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The following spring he was appointed from that same state as a Lieutenant (Junior Grade) in the Medical Corps of the U.S. Naval Reserve. After graduate studies at U.S. Navy Medical School, Washington, D.C. in the Summer of 1915, he transferred to the Regular Navy and served with the Artillery Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Expeditionary Force, participating in the Haiti Campaign during 1915-16. In April 1917, Boone received orders to USS Wyoming and, in June, was temporarily promoted to Lieutenant. During World War I, Boone was a Surgeon with the U.S. Marine Corps' Sixth Regiment in France. On 19 July 1918, while his regiment battled the enemy, he demonstrated "extraordinary heroism" while aiding wounded Marines. His activities at that time were recognized by the award of the Medal of Honor. In September 1918, he was temporarily promoted to Lieutenant Commander.


In June 1922, after serving with the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C. as Director of the Bureau of Naval Affairs, Boone was permanently promoted to Lieutenant Commander and reported as Medical Officer on board the Presidential Yacht, USS Mayflower. Beginning in March 1929, he served as Physician to the White House, attending to President Herbert Hoover. Boone attained the rank of Commander in September 1931. After postgraduate studies in May 1933 at the Medical School, Washington, D.C., he reported to the hospital ship Relief, transferring two years later to San Diego Naval Base where he initially served at the Naval Hospital and then as Force Medical Officer, Fleet Marine Force. In November 1938, he was ordered to USS Saratoga as the Senior Medical Officer. In July 1939, he was promoted to Captain and became the Commanding Officer of the Naval Dispensary at Long Beach, California. Early in the new year, he received orders to be Fleet Medical Officer of Commander Base Force, U.S. Fleet on board USS Argonne


In late 1940, Captain Boone became the Senior Medical Officer at Naval Air Station, San Diego, California and later transferred to the Naval Hospital in Seattle, Washington, as Medical Officer-in-Command. In April 1945, Boone was promoted to Commodore and ordered as Fleet Medical Officer to Commander, Third Fleet, where he was promoted to Rear Admiral. In January 1946, he served as District Medical Officer, Eleventh Naval District at San Diego, California. In early 1948, Boone was appointed as Executive Secretary on the Secretary of Defense's Committee on Medical and Hospital Services of the Armed Forces and later served on the Hoover Commission. In March 1950, he became the Inspector General of the Medical Department. Due to physical disability, Boone was placed on the retired list that December, with the rank of Vice Admiral. Following retirement from the Navy, he served four years as Chief Medical Director of the Veterans Administration. Joel T. Boone died on 2 April 1974 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.


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