here, with the postscript that in earning its
well done the Hospital Corps is assured
no other unit in the Navy did better in the
degree of essential duty inspiringly
WORLD WAR II AND THE YEARS
During World War II, a total of 15 Navy
enlisted men were awarded the Congressional
Medal of Honor; of this number, seven were
hospital corpsmen. Members of the Hospital
Corps received 820 major awards and citations
(an honor of unique distinction since none of them
bore arms). Other personal medalsthe Navy
Cross, the Silver Star, the Bronze Starwere
awarded to hospital corpsmen by the tens and
hundreds, almost too numerous to count. On
February 22, 1945, on the summit of Mount
Suribachi, Iwo Jima, along with six marines,
pharmacists mate John Bradley proudly par-
ticipated in the raising of our flag, a scene
reproduced thousands of times. The Marine Corps
memorial symbolizes this event.
Women were first brought into the Hospital
Corps during World War II. On 12 January 1944,
the first Hospital Corps School for Women Ac-
cepted for Volunteer Emergency Service
(WAVES) was commissioned at the U.S. Naval
Hospital, National Naval Medical Center,
Bethesda, Maryland. The first class consisted of
230 enlisted women.
Public Law 625 of the Eightieth Congress, ap-
proved 12 June 1948, made the WAVES an in-
tegral part of the Regular Navy.
On 2 April 1948, the nomenclature of the
Hospital Corps ratings were changed to read:
Hospitalman; Hospital Corpsman Third Class;
Hospital Corpsman Second Class; Hospital
Corpsman First Class; Chief Hospital Corpsman;
Warrant officer and Commissioned Warrant of-
ficer, Hospital Corps.
In June 1956, the Warrant and Commissioned
Warrant officer, Hospital Corps, were
redesignated as Medical Service Warrant and
Chief Medical Service Warrant.
Also in 1948, those Hospital corpsmen
classified as dental technicians were changed to
that rating. The rating structure outlines the dental
rating as follows: Dental Recruit; Dental Appren-
tice; Dentalman; Dental Technician Third Class;
Dental Technician Second Class; Dental Techni-
cian First Class; Chief Dental Technician.
Medical Service Warrant, Chief Medical Serv-
ice Warrant and Medical Service Corps officer,
so qualified and assigned, performed adminis-
trative and technical duties in dental activities.
At this same time, the rating insignia of the
Hospital Corps was changed from the Red Cross
so long familiar, to the caduceus. Dental techni-
cians have the D superimposed over the
KOREA AND THE YEARS
With the advent of the Korean conflict, the
Hospital Corps once again responded to the call
of duty. Members of the corps, individually and
collectively, added a brilliant chapter to the history
of the corps. During the Inchon-Seoul operation,
for example, medical units attached to the 1st
Marine Division cared for 2,844 casualties dur-
ing the period 15 September to 7 October 1950.
Hospital corpsmen were at the forefront of all the
fighting, saving lives on the beaches as the Marines
stormed in. They performed on-the-spot emer-
gency and first aid treatment, as Secretary For-
restal described it *** while shell fragments
ripped clothing from their bodies and shattered
plasma bottles in their hands. indeed, the
percentage of casualties among Medical Depart-
ment personnel in Korea, as in World War II, was
greater than that of the Marines they supported.
These highly trained technicians played a vital
and demanding role in the care and treatment of
those evacuated to the hospital ships of the U.S.
Navy serving in Korean waters. These ships han-
dled some 20,000 battle casualties, 30,000 non-
battle casualties, and around 80,000 outpatients.
To narrate the individual exploits of the many
who were cited for valor, resourcefulness, and
courage would require a separate volume.
It is a great tribute to the corps that of the
seven Congressional Medals of Honor conferred
upon Navy personnel during the Korean conflict,
five were bestowed upon hospital corpsmen.
The years that have followed Korea have also
proved to be eventful. For example, in 1954, ap-
proximately 190,000 Vietnam refugees were
transported from North Vietnam to South Viet-
nam on U.S. Navy ships. The corpsmen assigned
to this operation had ample opportunity to dem-
onstrate the ability and initiative that has always
characterized them. In 1957, hospital corpsmen
served in Mexico during the hurricane and
floods at Tampico. In 1961, in Texas and Loui-
siana, they aided victims of Hurricane Carla.