The Society for the History of Navy Medicine takes great pleasure in announcing that the 2019 Harold D Langley Book Prize for Excellence in the History of Maritime Medicine will be awarded to Thomas Helling, MD for his book, Desperate Surgery in the Pacific War: Doctors and Damage Control for American Wounded, 1941-1945, McFarland, 2017.
Professor Barry Gough, president of our Book Selection Committee describes the work thus:
A work of extensive scholarship and lucid prose, this is history on a grand and
descriptive scale. The account is told with commitment to recreate the past,
weaving the history of war, afloat and ashore, through various circumstances
of the Pacific war – jungles, atolls and islands. Caring for the wounded posed
serious challenges on the frontline, and the stabilizing of patients until they
could be evacuated prevented many deaths. This account of the efforts and
innovations of medical personnel forms an important chapter of the logistics
of waging war in a distant war zone.
Dr Helling is Professor of Surgery and Chief of the Division of General Surgery at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, MS.
Sincere thanks to Professor Gough (retired, of Wilfrid Laurier University) and his book prize selection committee colleagues (and Society members) Andre’ Sobocinski (historian at the Navy Bureau Of Medicine and Surgery) and Bob Bramson, MD (retired director of pediatric radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital and retired associate professor at Harvard Medical School).
Harold D Langley, in honor of whom the award is named, is an emeritus professor of history (Catholic University Of America) and retired curator of naval history at the Smithsonian Institution. He is a founding member of the Society and a revered mentor. His book, A History of Medicine in the Early U.S. Navy (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995), is a pioneering work in our field of interest.
(C)2019 The Society for the History of Navy Medicine