About “Of Ships & Surgeons”

I started this blog when I was the Executive Director (Founding) of the Society for the History of Navy Medicine. I intended it to be the public voice of the history of maritime medicine. As such, I posted a weekly article of 400 – 600 words, usually on some historical topic, though sometimes I offered my commentary on the state of history in our times. You can peruse these efforts in the archives of this site.

When Jim Dolbow took the Directorship, he created a Blogsite for the Society, and migrated my material to that site. Appropriately, the Society blog has become more of a news transmission device, keeping members and friends up to date on Society activities and programs. I believe that our new Executive Director, Professor Annette Finley-Croswhite will expand this communicatory role for the blog.

Given that the Society has its own place on the internet, and given my “emeritus” Director status, I think it’s time to take this blog “private”. Here, I will offer occasional historical pieces and thoughts on our little corner of the historical world.

Updated 4 August 2014


  • Wayne Latshaw  On 02 Dec 2014 at 12:35

    I enjoyed reading the post on the US Naval Convlaescent Hospital in Glenwood Springs, CO. My father, Joseph Allen Latshaw was stationed there till the end of the World War II.
    Today I was looking at some of my parents old photos and letters in a box and found the menu for the Naval hospital Christmas dinner from 1944. The menu is green in color, with red tied bow and red ink.
    The caption inside the front cover reads:
    Christmas is once more captivating us with its irresistible charms. Simple in origin, deep in meaning, beautiful in tradition and custom, there is scarce wonder that our hearts sing out even though our world is not yet freed from the pity of War. Another Christmas, perhaps, will bring us all its glory.
    “Peace on earth, good will toward men!”
    Inside is lettered:
    E. L. Mc Dermott, Capt. USN (Ret.), Medical Officer in Command
    “W” I. King, Capt. MC) USNR, Ececutive Officer
    W. C. Jockel, Lt. (HC) USN, Commissary Officer
    On the menu (in brief) was green onions, rose rasishes, olives, minted pineapple juice cocktail, assorted nuts, chicken soup, Roast Young Tom Turkey, with Sweet Potato Surprise, French Green Beans, Avocado, Russian Dressing rolls, pies, ice cream, assorted wafers, coffee, tea, Milk, Christmas Candies, and Cigarettes.
    Then at the bottom was listed:
    -Fabian Romero, Steward.

    Wayne Latshaw

  • Wallace R. Rust  On 01 Jan 2015 at 08:44

    1 Jan 2015: I thank Dr. Snyder for the nice PowerPoint presentation he made with my photos of the Sampson Naval Hospital site. I just now discovered it. Well done!

    • thomaslsnyder  On 01 Jan 2015 at 10:33

      Thank you Mr Rust. How is the Sampson cemetery doing? I’m thinking (from experience here with the old Naval Cemetery on Mare Island) that obtaining funding – especially from “private sources” – is a tough row to hoe…

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