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Friday, October 25, 2013

New book: THE LUCKY FEW: The Fall of Saigon and the Rescue Mission of the USS Kirk

Bookcover.jpgTHE LUCKY FEW
The Fall of Saigon and the Rescue Mission of the USS Kirk
by Jan K. Herman

Published by Naval Institute Press


Binding: Hardcover & eBook Available at Publication Date
Number of Pages: 192
Subject: Vietnam War
Date Available: November 15, 2013

_______________________________________________________________________


As the Vietnam War reached its tragic climax in the last days of April 1975, a task force of U.S. Navy ships cruised off South Vietnam’s coast. Their mission was to support the evacuation of American embassy personnel and military advisers. But the task force was also assigned to secure the safety of South Vietnamese who had “sensitive” military information in their possession and whose lives would be in danger once the North Vietnamese consolidated their inevitable victory.

The magnitude of a nation’s final collapse had suddenly become tangible. For days prior to the fall of Saigon, the by-products of the North Vietnamese army’s relentless conquest included thousands of panicked refugees trying to flee the country in anything that would float or fly.

“It was Dunkirk in reverse,” observed Paul Jacobs, commanding officer of USS Kirk during Frequent Wind, the operation that turned the destroyer escort into a haven for refugees escaping South Vietnam. Kirk’s officers and enlisted personnel—trained as warriors—instantly transformed their man-of-war into a humanitarian assistance ship. Desperation and suffering gave way to reassurance as crew members fed their unexpected and anguished guests, dispensed medical care, diapered infants, and provided hope to a dispirited people.

The Lucky Few focuses on one small U.S. Navy warship from that task force. Kirk took part in the rescue of not only the remnants of the South Vietnamese fleet, but also dealt with 32,000 refugees on board those ships. Although the Vietnam War ended in chaos and shame, the epic story of USS Kirk and her success in rendering humanitarian assistance under inconceivable circumstances reflects one of America’s few shining moments during this military withdrawal. Almost forty years later The Lucky Few brings to light this relatively unknown heroic tale in the South China Sea of a people caught up in the death throes of a nation and their subsequent passage to freedom.


~ Advance Praise for The Lucky Few

“Operation Frequent Wind and the last days of the Vietnam War have remained largely absent from the public eye—until now. What an irony that such a catastrophic war comes to a close with one of the U.S. military’s greatest humanitarian efforts of the twentieth century. Jan Herman has conducted tremendous research in The Lucky Few to illustrate the immense courage displayed by the men of the USS Kirk (FF-1087), which led to the successful rescue of over 32,000 South Vietnamese. Congratulations to the men of the USS Kirk and to all of CTF 76-1.”

—The Honorable Richard L. Armitage, 13th U.S. Deputy Secretary of State

“Jan Herman’s thoroughly researched and beautifully written account of the USS Kirk and her crew’s participation in the final days of the Vietnam War, the fall of Saigon, and the evacuation at sea of thousands of Vietnamese refugees underscores both the tragedy and the triumph of war. This book illustrates the dual purpose of our Navy—a weapon of war and also an instrument to provide humanitarian assistance and care anywhere and anytime. This story, lost until this writing, needs to be read by every American sailor and citizen. They will see first hand our Navy in action. They will also see the courage, compassion, and the stellar leadership of Captain Jacobs and his brilliant USS Kirk crew.”

—Vice Adm. Adam M. Robinson Jr., MC, USN (Ret.), 36th Surgeon General of the U.S. Navy

“Jan Herman’s extensively researched and meticulously detailed account of the USS Kirk during the final weeks of the Vietnam War is a riveting portrait of heroic men in unheroic circumstances; it provides a fresh and essential perspective on this troubled chapter in American history.”

—Rory Kennedy, filmmaker


The Author

Jan K. Herman served as the historian of the Navy Medical Department and as special assistant to the Surgeon General for thirty-three years. He also produced an hour-long documentary, The Lucky Few, which has gained international acclaim since its premiere at the Smithsonian in 2010.


He is the author of Battle Station Sick Bay, Frozen in Memory, Navy Medicine in Vietnam, Murray’s Ark and Other Stories, and lives in Takoma Park, MD.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Famous Tumors on Radiolab

http://www.radiolab.org/story/update-famous-tumors/

When we first released Famous Tumors, Rebecca Skloot's book about the life and legacy of Henrietta Lacks (and her famous cells) had just hit the shelves. Since then, some interesting things have happened to both Henrietta's cells and her family. So, 4 years later, we have a newly updated show!

This hour, we poke and prod at the good, bad, and ugly sides of tumors -- from the growth that killed Ulysses S. Grant, to mushy lumps leaping from the faces of infected Tasmanian Devils, to a mass that awakened a new (though pretty strange) kind of euphoria for one man. Plus, the updated story of one woman's medically miraculous cancer cells, and how they changed modern science and, eventually, her family's understanding of itself.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

History of medicine articles in today's Washington Post

Washington museums' hidden treasures

By Roger Catlin, 

Washington Post October 13 2013

http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/museums/washington-museums-hidden-treasures/2013/10/10/ee9a9e4c-29f5-11e3-97a3-ff2758228523_story.html

Three of these are medical and Judy Chelnick and Diane Wendt are quoted -

Jarvik-7 artificial heart

National Museum of American History

Marie Curie's radium

National Museum of American History

White Eagle's Indian Rattle Snake Oil Liniment

National Museum of American History


and this wirestory is making the rounds -

Einstein's brain a wonder of  connectedness


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Other Civil War legs in DC besides Daniel Sickles

NATIONAL Museum of Health and Medicine open in spite of government shutdown.


Who needs the Smithsonian and National Gallery when there's the Medical Museum?

By ,

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/who-needs-the-smithsonian-and-national-gallery-when-theres-the-medical-museum/2013/10/02/2f31e8f6-2b8c-11e3-97a3-ff2758228523_story.html


Since it's a federal government museum, and I don't see how it can be open during a government shutdown. The Museum director is a GS government employee. Especially if the contractors have no federal employees to supervise them. Unless they've added a uniformed military presence to their supervisory chain...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Mutter Museum features Civil War medicine



Philly's Mutter Museum sharpens focus on the Civil War's slain and ... Newsworks.org
"So the Army created the Army Medical Museum during the war, in Washington. There was a standing order for physicans in the field -- when they see something ...



Thursday, September 5, 2013

BUMED's Office of Medical History's 1000th item added to the Medical Heritage Library



The Navy's Bureau of Medicine and Surgery's Office of Medical History is uploading their 1000th item to the Medical Heritage Library (http://www.medicalheritage.org/ ).  Oddly enough, the item, a logbook from Dr. James Ambler, is not medical. Instead it documents polar weather conditions.

In 1883, Lieutenants Giles B. Harber and William H. Schuetze journeyed to Siberia's Lena Delta to retrieve the bodies and personal effects of the crew of USS Jeannette, an ill-fated expedition to the North Pole. Among the remains was the body of Passed Assistant Surgeon James Markham
Ambler (1848-1881), his personal journal and a logbook of atmospheric conditions that he maintained throughout the expedition (1879-1881). One hundred and thirty years later, Dr. Ambler's journal and weather observations, in the respective collections of the National Archives
(NARA) and the Bureau of Medicine (BUMED), are to be used in the "Old Weather" project (http://www.oldweather.org/ ) headed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) and NARA. BUMED's historians brought the logbook to NARA which photographed it in 2012. Volunteers at the "Old Weather" project, which uses Navy logs to track climate, should soon finish the official deck logs and be able to work on transcribing Ambler's log (http://www.oldweather.org/ships/50a27fd77438ae05bd000002 ).

Two versions of "Atmospheric Observations on board U.S. Arctic Steamer Jeannette, 1879-1881" are being uploaded for use in different viewers - the double page where a reader can see the entire page for the day is at http://archive.org/details/JeannetteAtmosphericObservationsLogdoublePages
The single page version, which may work better on tablets, is at
http://archive.org/details/JeannetteAtmosphericObservationsLogsinglePages

For all of the items uploaded by BUMED, click https://archive.org/details/usnavybumedhistoryoffice
Adding to the value of items in the MHL, a full-text search of the interiors of publications is provided by Harvard University's Countway Library. Updated once a month, this feature can be used at the MHL homepage at http://www.medicalheritage.org/

Attached is an image of Ambler, taken from a historical plaque in the
Office's collections and a picture of the logbook cover

James L. Monro, FRCS (1939 - 2013), great-grandson of Major Walter Reed.


James L. Monro, FRCS (1939 - 2013), great-grandson of Major Walter Reed.

I was informed last week by Mrs. Sean (Mary) O'Dwyer, the great-grandaughter of Major Walter Reed, that her brother, James L. Monro, FRCS, (great-grandson of Reed) died 29 August 2013 (see below). Dr. Monro, an accomplished paediatric cardiac surgeon, died at his home in Southampton, England after a long battle with prostate cancer.

Major Reed (1851-1902) and his wife Emilie (Lawrence) had two children, MG Walter Lawrence Reed and Emilie (Blossom).

His son, MG Reed (1877-1956) married Lucy Blackford and they had two daughters, Mary and Landon.

Landon Reed (1906-1999?) married Dr. John Monro (1903-1993) of England. They had a son and daughter, the two great-grandchildren of WR named above, James (1939-2013) and Mary (b.1941), a Nightingale Nurse.

In early 2000, on the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the Yellow Fever Board, Dr. Monro was invited to attend ceremonies as guest of honor at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Hospital obligations in England prevented him from doing so. His sister Mary, however, was keenly interested and, welcomed in his place, she visited the old Walter Reed AMC in October. She was warmly received by the staff. She gave a brief talk describing the family tree of Major Reed, toured the hospital, visited the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences where a lecture on the Yellow Fever Board was presented, and was shown archival material at the National Museum of Health and Medicine (then at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology) by Mr. Michael Rhode.

Dr. Monro, a renown cardiac surgeon in his own right, was a modest man who seldom, if ever, alluded to his family heritage. But he kept prominently displayed in his office at Southampton General Hospital an old framed National Geographic map of northern Virginia (titled "Reaches of the Nation's Capital"). The map itself was illuminated, so to speak, with a border of a dozen small portraits of local historical figures and their birthplaces. Included in these embroidered figures was Major Reed -- Monro's only tip-of-the-hat to his great grandfather.

His funeral will be a private service for family only, 6 September.

A memorial service is scheduled for 23 October at Romsey Abbey, Hampshire, England.


-Dave Edmond Lounsbury, MD, FACP

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Passing of Nancy Dosch, NLM film curator

I was very sorry to receive this today, although I've known Nancy was in poor health for months. She was a great help and resource to me both at the Medical Museum, and now at BUMED.

Mike Rhode

----------------

 

Dear Colleagues, 

 

It saddens me greatly to inform you that Nancy Dosch, our dear colleague, has passed following a valiant fight for her health.

 

We will remember Nancy together for her infectious love of NLM's world-renowned audiovisual collections, and for her unwavering enthusiasm toward projects of scholarship, education, and public history that sought to reveal the value of the moving image.

 

Paul Theerman, who worked with Nancy for many years, has shared the following thoughts:

 

"Nancy was an esteemed colleague who has always had a real presence among us. Her work is now cut short. She belonged to a small community of audiovisual archivists working on the premier medium of the 20th century. Nancy's loss will be keenly felt among her peers. At NLM what I remember especially is her great dedication to the collection, its development, preservation, and cataloging. I remember her giving freely of her time with people coming to use the collections. I remember her dedicated work with donors, before and after the donation, especially those like Dr. Martine Work, whose husband, Dr. Telford Work, had created his films as home movies; some of them are now up in NLM's digital collections. I remember the discussions that she and I had over the historical audiovisuals collection, and while we did not always agree, I always admired her dedication and commitment, and I think that the collections are better for it!"

 

Personally, I will remember and always appreciate Nancy for her expertise, her generosity, and her sense of humor. I miss her already, as I am sure many of you do also, and I ask you to please join me in remembering Nancy for all she gave to the NLM during her thirteen-year tenure here as head of the historical audiovisual program within the History of Medicine Division.

 

Nancy received her doctorate in history from The Johns Hopkins University, completing her thesis entitled "Exploring alternatives: The Use of exercise as a medical therapeutic in mid-nineteenth century America," a copy of which, of course, is available here at the NLM.

 

Nancy dedicated her thesis to her parents, and to her father "whose love of history became a living legacy." Nancy's father would be proud that her love of history has been – and will remain – a legacy here at the NLM.

 

Funeral and related arrangements have yet to be announced; they will be forwarded when available.

 

Sincerely,


Jeffrey S. Reznick, PhD

Chief, History of Medicine Division

National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health




Monday, August 26, 2013

NLM History of Medicine Lecture on Medical Museum and SG Library

Dear Colleagues,

You are cordially invited to the next NLM History of Medicine lecture,
to be held on Tuesday, September 3, 2013 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., in
the Lister Hill Auditorium, National Library of Medicine, Building
38A, Bethesda, MD.

"The Civil War, the Army Medical Museum, and the Surgeon General's
Library: Medical Practice and the Science of American Medicine"

Shauna Devine, PhD; Western University, London, Ontario

All are welcome.

Sign language interpretation is provided. Individuals with
disabilities who need reasonable accommodation to participate may
contact Stephen Greenberg at 301-435-4995, e-mail
greenbes@mail.nih.gov, or the Federal Relay (1-800-877-8339).

Due to current security measures at NIH, off-campus visitors are
advised to consult the NLM Visitors and Security website:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/about/visitor.html

Sponsored by:
NLM's History of Medicine Division
Jeffrey S. Reznick, PhD, Chief

Event contact:
Stephen J. Greenberg, MSLS, PhD
Coordinator of Public Services
History of Medicine Division
National Library of Medicine, NIH
301-435-4995
greenbes@mail.nih.gov

Monday, August 12, 2013

US Navy's BUMED's Office of Medical History interruption in service

Due to a flood over the weekend, th4e US Navy's BUMED's Office of Medical History will have an interruption in archival services. 95% of the collection was completely unaffected, but due to wet flooring and drywall, all of it will have to be packed up and placed in storage for at least a month. A set of 19th century hospital plans and maps did get wet, but are being freeze-dried.

For the next four weeks, limited reference services will be available. Telephone service has been interrupted, and voice mail messages should not be left.

Contacts are Archivist Michael Rhode at michael.rhode@med.navy.mil
or Historian Andre Sobocinski at andre.sobocinski@med.navy.mil

Friday, August 9, 2013

Renowned Vascular Surgeon to Complete Donating His Vietnam War Medical Collection to NMHM

Friday, Aug 09, 2013  Fort Detrick Standard
 Renowned Vascular Surgeon to Complete Donating His Vietnam War Medical Collection to NMHM
 by Melissa Brachfeld, National Museum of Health and Medicine
 
Additional material being donated by Norman Rich who sent similar material 40 years ago.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

800th item uploading to Medical Heritage Library by BUMED

Interview with former POW, LT Francis Barker, US Army survivor of the Bataan Death March and the Oryoku Maru (October 21, 2003)
https://archive.org/details/BARKERFrancisB


Michael Rhode
Archivist / Curator
US Navy BUMED Office of Medical History
703-681-2539
michael.rhode@med.navy.mil

mailing address:
7700 Arlington Blvd
Falls Church, VA 22042

physical address:
BUMED Detachment, Falls Church.
Four Skyline Place, Suite 602,
5113 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA




Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Museum Bridges Gap between Medicine of the Past and Medicine of the Future

  
 

Monday, July 1, 2013

600th item uploaded to Medical Heritage Library by Navy Office of Medical History

https://archive.org/details/NavyMedicalNewsletter19621221

United States Navy Medical News Letter Vol. 40 No. 12, 21 December 1962

Circulating Now blog, from the NLM's History of Medicine Division


Dear Colleagues:

On behalf of the History of Medicine Division at the National Library of
Medicine, I am pleased to invite you to the launch of our new blog,
Circulating Now, which is intended to encourage greater exploration and
discovery of one of the world's largest and most treasured history of
medicine collections.

Circulating Now will bring the NLM's diverse historical collections to
life in new and exciting ways for researchers, educators, students, and
anyone else who is interested in the history of medicine. Whether you are
familiar with NLM's historical collections, or you are discovering them
for the first time, Circulating Now will be an exciting and engaging
resource to bookmark, share, and discuss with other readers.

Kicking off Circulating Now will be a series of posts that draws on the
NLM's historical collections and associated others to reenact in a unique
way a tumultuous event in medical and American history which occurred 132
years ago this summer: the assassination of, and attempts to save, our
nation's twentieth President, James A. Garfield.

Come visit Circulating Now at:

http://circulatingnow.nlm.nih.gov/

Stephen J. Greenberg, MSLS, PhD
Coordinator of Public Services
History of Medicine Division
National Library of Medicine
National Institutes of Health
Department of Health and Human Services
Bethesda, MD

301-435-4995
greenbes@mail.nih.gov<mailto:greenbes@mail.nih.gov>

 

Sunday, June 30, 2013