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Frozen in Memory:  U.S. Navy Medicine in the Korean War by Jan Herman

Frozen in Memory: U.S. Navy Medicine in the Korean War

by Jan Herman

256 pages
Oral history of U.S. Navy medicine in the Korean War

Hardcover $28.95   + $7.38 shipping & handling (USA)
(add $2.48 S&H per additional copy)
Category: History
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About the Book
For better or worse, Americans have defined military medicine during the Korean War by a novel, a movie, and a long-running TV show. But was the Korean War really like M*A*S*H? This was the war characterized by innovation--helicopters swiftly airlifting wounded patients from the battlefield to medical care, the first large-scale use of antibiotics during wartime, and the pioneering practice of vascular surgery that saved many a limb from amputation.

In these oral histories, both Navy medical personnel and their patients recount their "forgotten war," the dirty little conflict that somehow has fallen through history's cracks since it was fought more than fifty years ago. Neophyte physician Henry Litvin describes how he practiced medicine during the Chosin Reservoir campaign while trying to survive 30-below-zero temperatures and a ferocious enemy bent on annihilating him and his comrades. Hermes Grillo, a Harvard Medical School graduate, recalls how he ended up a few miles from the front operating on scores of mangled young men--without the benefit of x-ray equipment--and forced to use retractors made from the brass of discarded artillery shells. Physician Clifford Roosa remembers the day an accidental explosion aboard his ship snuffed out the lives of thirty men in an instant. The legendary Dr. Joel Boone, World War I Medal of Honor recipient, tells how he came up with the idea of equipping hospital ships with helicopter landing decks. And Pearce Grove, once a machinist's mate aboard USS Consolation, gives an account of the historic first-ever landing of a patient-carrying helicopter aboard one of those gleaming white ships. Sarah Griffin Chapman, a former Navy nurse who lost a leg in an accident before Korea, reveals how she fought to be recalled to active duty so she could teach young amputees like herself to walk again. Sergeant John Fenwick, a Marine who had nearly been torn to pieces by a North Korean machine gunner, details his rescue by a Navy corpsman and the long road to recovery from his wounds. That corpsman, Glen Snowden, relates the same story from his own perspective. Was the Korean War really like M*A*S*H? These men and women--caregivers and patients--answer that question.

 

 

About the Author
Jan K. Herman is Historian of the Navy Medical Department, editor of its journal, Navy Medicine, and author of Battle Station Sick Bay: Navy Medicine in World War II. He has spent more than twenty years interviewing veterans of Navy medicine and chronicling their stories in articles, books, and videos.

 

 

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