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Adapted from "Captain Bennett F. Avery, Medical Corps, United States Navy" [biography, dated 27 September 1960] in Modern Biographical Files collection, Navy Department Library.

  • Medicine
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  • Biography
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  • World War I 1917-1918
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  • NHHC-Library

Bennett Franklin Avery

21 September 1901-July 1977

Bennett Franklin Avery was born in Vassar, Michigan, on September 21, 1901, son of Dr. James Cordon Avery and Mrs. Lavancha Fidelia (Walker) Avery, both now deceased. He attended Ann Arbor, Michigan, High School, which he left in 1918 to go to France with the Ambulance Corps of the American Red Cross during World War I. (He was awarded an Honorary High School Diploma in 1940).

He attended the University of Michigan, College of Literature, Science and the Arts, in 1919-1923 (BS, 1923); University of Michigan Medical School in 1921-1925 (MD, 1925); and the next year was a Rockefeller Fellow and Instructor in the Medical School and Hospital (MS, 1926). He engaged in research at Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory in the summer of 1926, and had a Rockefeller Fellowships at the University of Chicago Graduate School and Billings Hospital in 1928-1930 and again in 1934-1935. He was a Visiting Professor at Yale University’s School of Medicine in 1940.

 Prior to entering the Naval Service, he was Professor of Anatomy, American University of Beirut School of Medicine; Dean and Waterhouse Professor of Anatomy, Boston University School of Medicine Chairman, Medical Dean’s Screening Committee for the First Naval District and First Service Command; and Advisor to the Imperial Iranian Ministry of Health.

Commissioned Captain in the Medical Corps of the US Navy on January 6, 1950 (his date of rank July 1, 1949), Dr. Avery was called to active duty as Assistant Medical officer at the Boston Naval Shipyard, where he remained for six months. During that time he attended the Chemical Warfare School, Edgewood, Maryland, and the Navy’s 26th Indoctrination Course in May 1950. In June of that year, he was detached for duty as Medical Officer of the Naval Receiving Station, Naval Base, Norfolk, Virginia, and in addition to this primary duty he served as Radiological Safety Officer (medical) for the Naval Base.

In January 1952 he reported to the Navy Department, Washington, DC, for duty in the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, as Director of the Publications Division. While in that assignment he has been Associate Editor of the US Armed Forces Medical Journal and Technicians Bulletin, and Senior Member of the Publications Control Board. Since February 1952 he had additional duty as a member of the Naval (and Marine Corps) Physical Disability Appeal Boards and of the Board of Medical Examiners, Navy Department, and since March, the same year, he has served as a member of the Retiring Review Boards (Navy and Marine Corps). From July 1955 to July 1958, he had further additional duty as Director of the Armed Forces Medical Publication Agency and Editor of the US Armed Forces Medical Journal and Medical Technicians Bulletin.

Since July 1958, he had been national Coordinator of the Medical Education for National Defense (MEND) Program.

 Dr. Avery is entitled to the National Defense Service Medal. He is a member of the American Medical Association; Association of Military Surgeons; Massachusetts Medical Society; Norfolk Country Medical Society; American Public health Association; Society for Experiential Biology and Medicine; New York Academy of Sciences; the US Naval Institute; and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is also a member of Sigma Xi, and Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, [HTLC(1]  the Army and Navy Country Club, Arlington, Virginia.


Published: Thu Jun 17 10:04:22 EDT 2021