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Adapted from "Rear Admiral Philip O. Geib, Medical Corps, United States Navy" [biography, dated 6 June 1974] in Modern Biographical Files collection, Navy Department Library.

  • Medicine
Document Type
  • Biography
Wars & Conflicts
  • World War II 1939-1945
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  • NHHC-Library

Philip Oldham Geib

6 October 1921-11 October 2020

Philip Oldham Geib was born in Verona, New Jersey, on October 6, 1921, son of Amos Philip and Ada Mae (Oldham) Gelb. He attended Manheim (Pennsylvania) High School and Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Science in General Science from the latter in 1912. He was commissioned Ensign in the US Naval Reserve on August 25, 1942 and on May 10, 1943 resigned his commission to enlist as an Apprentice Seaman in the US Naval Reserve. Under the V-12 Program, he attended Temple University Medical School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from which he received the degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1945. He was commissioned Lieutenant (junior grade) in the Medical Corps on June 21, 1945 and subsequently advanced in rank to that of Rear Admiral, to date from July 1, 1972, having transferred to the Regular Navy on July 22, 1949.

Completing his medical training in 1945, he served his internship at the Naval Hospital, Chelsea, Massachusetts. In July 1946 he reported as Assistant Medical Officer at the Naval Operating Base, Leyte, Samar, Philippine Islands and in August 1947 was assigned as Staff  Medical Officer at the Naval Hospital, Portsmouth, Virginia. He remained there until relieved of active duty in March 1948. While on inactive duty, he had resident training in surgery at Scotland County  Memorial Hospital, Laurinburg, North Carolina.

Ordered to return to active naval service, he had resident training in surgery at the Naval Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from January 1949 to February 1950, after which he served as Assistant Surgeon at the Naval Hospital, Corpus Christi, Texas. In June 1951 he reported as Resident Surgeon at the Tripler General Hospital, Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii and while there had temporary duty from December 8, 1952 to January 28, 1953 in the USS Valley Forge (CVA-45) which was operating in the Korean area of hostilities. Assigned in August, 1953 to the Naval Hospital, Portsmouth, Virginia, he was Resident Surgeon until September 1954, when he transferred to the Naval Hospital,  Annapolis, Maryland, for duty as Assistant Surgeon.

In March 1957 he joined the USS Iowa (BB-61) as Medical Officer. During 1957, that, battleship participated in the Midshipmen’s summer cruise to South America, the International Naval Review off Hampton Roads, Virginia and NATO Operation “Strikeback”. Detached from the IOWA in February 1958, he returned to the Naval Hospital, Portsmouth, where he served as Assistant Chief of Surgery and Chief of Surgery. In September 1962 he reported as Chief of Surgery at the Naval Hospital, Pensacola, Florida and in July 1964 transferred, in a similar capacity, to the Naval Hospital, Great Lakes, Illinois.

Ordered to the Naval Hospital, Yokosuka, Japan, he served as Executive Officer from September 1968 to July 1969, then as Commanding Officer. He is entitled to the Ribbon for and a facsimile of the Navy Unit Commendation awarded that hospital. In August 1971 he assumed command of the Naval Hospital, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and "for outstanding meritorious service…” in that capacity was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. The citation continues in part: “…Rear Admiral Geib initiated and successfully completed numerous projects to update and modernize patient care facilities and procedures, thereby enhancing standards of medical service to all beneficiaries…”

In September 1972 he became Assistant Chief of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery for Research and Military Medical Specialties, Navy Department. He was designated in May 1974 Fleet Surgeon and Assistant Chief of Staff for Medicine on the Staff of the Commander in Chief, US Atlantic Fleet.

In addition to the Meritorious Service Medal and the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, Rear Admiral Geib has the American Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; National Defense Service Medal with bronze star; Korean Service Medal and the United Nations Service Medal.

Dr. Gelb was certified by the American Board of Surgery. He is a member of the American Thoracic Society; Federation of American Chest Surgeons, American College of Chest Surgeons, Toastmasters International and the American Institute of Parliamentarians.


Published: Mon May 24 11:11:03 EDT 2021