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Adapted from "Rear Admiral Felix Pettey Ballenger, Medical Corps, United States Navy, Deceased"  [biography, dated 19 July 1974] in Modern Biographical Files collection, Navy Department Library.

  • Medicine
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  • Biography
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  • Korean Conflict 1950-1954
  • World War II 1939-1945
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Felix Pettey Ballenger

4 June 1914 - 20 April 2000

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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, 1943.

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 Medal.

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.



Published: Wed Sep 16 10:06:36 EDT 2020