Robert William Babione was born in Luckey, Ohio, on September 9m 1904, son of Mrs. Anna Bollini Babione and the late Dr. A.A. Babione. He attended Waite High School, Toledo, Ohio; Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio (AB, 1924) ; Western Reserve University, School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio (MD, 1930); and Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health (MPH, 1948). Commissioned Lieutenant (junior grade) in the Medical Corps of the US Navy, after graduation from Medical School in June 1930, he subsequently attained the rank of Captain in the Medical Corps to date from March 20, 1945.
He reported for active duty in June 1930, and for a year interned at the Naval Hospital, Great Lakes, Illinois. Thereafter he served consecutively for one year at the Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington; two years in the USS Pennsylvania; and two years at the Naval Hospital, San Diego, California. Following nine months at the Marine Corps Base, San Diego, he returned to sea in July 1937, in the USS Holland, submarine tender, and for two years served successively in the USS Ortolan, submarine rescue vessel; USS Lexington, aircraft carrier; and USS Broome of Destroyer Division 27.
Reporting in September 1939 to the Naval Medical School, Washington, DC, he had instruction in Clinical Laboratory and Pathology, and was nine months attached to the Naval Hospital, Washington, DC, in the Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat Department. He was then under instruction in Epidemiology, until June 1941, when he was ordered to the Malaria Survey, New River, North Carolina, where he served for a year. From May 1942 until January 1944, he was Officer in Charge, Epidemiology Unit, San Diego, California.
He had duty on the staff of Commander Service Force, Pacific, as Sanitation Officer from January 1944 to October 1945, his duties including supervision of training and logistics of sanitary supplies for the Pacific operations. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for “meritorious service as Medical Officer attached to the Staff of Commander Service Force, United Stats Pacific Fleet, during operations against enemy Japanese forces in the Pacific War Area from January 1944 to October 1945…(responsible for) developing and initiating training in matters of sanitation for units scheduled to proceed to forward areas…”
The citation states further: “In addition he recommended changes in outfitting allowances of disease-control supplies and equipment and conscientiously supervised stock levels on critical medical and sanitary items. By his outstanding professional skill and persevering efforts, (he) was instrumental in preventing serious outbreaks of disease or in curtailing their duration in these forward areas, and his devotion to duty throughout was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”
From October 1945 until April 1946, he served at the Naval Hospital, San Diego. He then reported to the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Navy Department, Washington, DC, for duty in charge of the Sanitation and Health Branch, serving there until July 1947. The following year he was under instruction at John Hopkins University, in Baltimore, Maryland. Returning to the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, in July 1948, he was assigned as Director of the Preventive Medicine Division, his present duty.
In addition to the Bronze Star Medal, Captain Babione has the American Defense Service Medal; the American Campaign Medal; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; and the World War II Victory Medal.
He is a member of the American Medical Association; the American Public Health Association; American Venereal Disease Association; the National Society for Medical Research; and Phi Beta Kappa Fraternity.
He died on August 8, 1992.