Felix Pettey Ballenger was born in Lubbock, Texas, on June
4, 1914, son of Dr. Curtis M. Ballenger and Mrs. (Vivian White) Ballenger, both
now deceased. He attended Texas
Technological College, Lubbock, from which he received the degree of Bachelor
of Arts in 1934 and was awarded the degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1938 from
the University of Texas Medical School at Galveston. He next served twelve months rotating
internship at John Sealy Hospital, Galveston, and for three years was Resident
in Surgery at the Indiana University Medical Center at Indianapolis. On May 8, 1942, he was commissioned
Lieutenant (junior grade) in the Medical Corps of the US Naval Reserve and
subsequently advanced in rank to that of Rear Admiral, to date from July 1,
1967, having transferred to the Medical Corps of the US Navy on January 10,
After receiving his commission in 1942, he was assigned as
Medical Officer at the US Naval Hospital, Parris Island, South Carolina. He remained there until June 1942 and the
next month joined tUSS Blakeley (DD-150) as Medical Officer. Detached from that destroyer in August 1943,
he had instruction at the US Naval Hospital, Portsmouth, Virginia until
February 1944, then had duty afloat as Medical Officer of USS LST 32,
operating in the Mediterranean area. In
October 1944, he reported as Surgeon with Base Hospital #9, Oran, Algeria.
From November 1945 to December 1946, he was Chief of
Orthopedic Surgery at the US Naval Hospital, New Orleans, Louisiana, after
which he had duty in connection with orthopedic surgery at the US Naval
Hospital, Jacksonville, Florida. In
February 1950, he reported as Assistant Chief of Surgical Service (Orthopedics)
at the US Naval Hospital, Annapolis, Maryland, and in January 1951, joined
USS Wisconsin as Senior Medical Officer.
In October 1952, he became Chief of Surgical Service at the US Naval
Hospital, Quantico, Virginia. He had
residency training (thoracic surgery) at the US Naval Hospital, San Diego,
California, during the period August 1957 to June 1960, then served as Chief of
Surgical Service at the US Naval Hospital, Great Lakes, Illinois. In March 1965, he assumed the duties of
Executive Officer of that hospital.
He became Commanding Officer of the US Naval Hospital,
Yokosuka, Japan, in December 1965 and is entitled to the Ribbon for the Navy
Unit Commendation awarded that hospital.
In September 1967, he was assigned as Inspector General, Medical, Bureau
of Medicine and Surgery, Navy Department.
He assumed command of the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda,
Maryland in July 1969 and in August 1973, reported as Chairman of the Naval
Physical Disability Review Board, Navy Department. He served as such until relieved of active
duty pending his retirement, effective June 14, 1974.
In addition to the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, Rear
Admiral Ballenger has the American Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle
Eastern Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; National Defense Service
Medal with bronze star; Korean Service Medal; and the United Nations Service
Dr. Ballenger is a Fellow, American College of Chest
Physicians; Fellow, American College of Surgeons; Diplomate, American Board of
Surgery; Diplomate, Board of Thoracic Surgery; a Privileged Fellow of the
Chicago Surgical Society; and a member of Phi Beta Pi Medical Fraternity. His hobbies are golf and fishing.
He died April 20, 2000.