Test of our System

Dear Colleagues,

Please ignore this post as a test of our system.

Thank you,


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Happy Memorial Day

For memorial day I am posting this link to the US Navy’s tribute to Memorial Day.

Please see the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0QarL96wg4

I also happened to be lecturing in West Point Cemetery yesterday, and for Memorial Day might point you to the first monument established south of the Mason-Dixon line honoring African Americans who fought for the Union in the Civil War.  In Norfolk, Virginia about 1000 African Americans enlisted in the Union army.  The monument was erected in 1906 with William Carney on top, a Norfolk native who fought with the 54th Massachusetts Regiment as portrayed in the film “Glory” staring Denzel Washington.   Carney received a Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroism.  I realize this is an army story, not navy ,but for Memorial Day, perhaps I could be allowed some reprieve.   It’s a great and unusual monument and worth knowing about.  Too bad it is hidden in a cemetery and not front and center downtown.

Screen Shot 2018-05-28 at 4.09.59 PM

Have a wonderful holiday.

Annette Finley-Croswhite, Ph.D.

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Medicine and World War I–Conference in San Antonio, March 22-24, 2018

Dear Society Members,

Last week members of the Society for the History of Navy Medicine presented papers at the “Medicine and War: World War I” conference sponsored by the Army Medical Department Museum Foundation with funding from the Army Medical Department Center of History and Heritage and co-sponsored by the Society for the History of Navy Medicine. The conference was held in San Antonio, Texas.

I spoke on “An American in Paris: Nursing and World War I” and presented the film “At Home and Over There: American Women Physicians in World War I,” produced by the American Medical Women’s Association and Raw Science.  Our Secretary/Treasurer, Captain Thomas Snyder, Medical Corps, USN, (Ret) presented “The impact of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic Upon U.S. Navy Operations,” and graduate student, Aaron Jackson, presented “Coming Home Again: Military Newspapers and Reintegration in World War I.”  Aaron is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.  Aaron won our Society’s Graduate Student Travel Grant.

The experience in San Antonio was delightful and engaging.  We also recruited some new members including Gerald Stulc who presented “Abdominal Surgery in the First World War.”   All papers went over well, and we were especially proud of Aaron.  Pictures are included below as well as a link to Aaron’s session.

Annette Finley-Croswhite, Ph.D., Executive Director

Pictures include a poster from the Army Medical Department Museum, Annette Finley-Croswhite and Aaron Jackson giving their papers and a “selfie” of Annette and Tom Snyder!

Link to Aaron giving his paper: Aaron’s paper


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SHNM Book Prize

The Society for the History of Navy Medicine intends to give out a book prize this year for the best book in the history of navy/maritime medicine published between 2013 and 2018.  If you have suggestions for possible books to consider, please email Dr. Annette Finley-Croswhite at acroswhi@odu.edu.

More news about the book prize to follow!

Thank you.

Annette Finley-Croswhite, Ph.D., Executive Director, SHNM

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Conference in San Antonio

Tomorrow begins the Army Medical Department Center and School/AMEDD Museum Foundation WWI Medical Conference in recognition of the 100 year anniversary of the Great War’s end in 1918. The conference will take place at the AMEDD Center and School 22-24 March 2018.  The Society for the History of Navy Medicine is an active participant.  Please visit the website for more information.

http://www.ameddmuseumfoundation.org/   Look under “World War I Medical Conference.”  Thomas Snyder and I will keep you updated on conference events as they unfold.

Annette Finley-Croswhite, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Society for the History of Navy Medicine

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2017 Contribution…only a few hours left!

Dear Friends and Society Members,

Please consider taking time on the last day of the year to make a charitable contribution to the Society for the History of Navy Medicine.

Just go to the Society main page: http://historyofnavymedicine.org and click on Contribute—from there find Donate.

It’s tax deductible!

Thank you,

Annette Finley-Croswhite, Ph.D., Executive Director

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Happy New Year!

Dear Members of the Society for the History of Navy Medicine,

I write to wish you a Happy New Year as we move into 2018.

I also want to mention our challenges as well.  As a small society, it has been hard over the last few years to keep the momentum going.  We want to grow and attend conferences, publish academic papers and explore the history of Navy Medicine in order to bring this area of scholarship into more mainstream academic conversations and publishing.  If you have not been active in a while, please consider coming to our conference in San Antonio in March.   Think of other ways you can support the society.

I’ve always had an interest in Navy Nurses, especially from the World War I period when they were loaned to the US Army who did not have enough nurses.  At this time, nursing included making lavender sachets for bed pillows (lavender is supposed to help one sleep), mucking out soldier troop transport trains (moving ambulances for the wounded), and writing letters back home to family members telling them of their loved one’s final hours, obviously activities far removed from what Navy Nurses do today.  But in World War I, it became clear how important nurses were for patient recovery.  More extensive duties included helping to establish hospitals just behind the front lines, treating mustard gas complications, and helping patients suffering from “shell shock,” a war-complication that was often considered at the time, the result of a soldier not being “man enough.” In the latter case, nurses provided psychological comfort and relief for a little-understood problem.  Because of the filth associated with trench warfare, nurses were particularly helpful in cleaning wounds, and they worked mightily during the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918 as well.   It’s important to acknowledge, however, that working conditions for Navy Nurses were horrific, and none of them were officers.   As women and of lower rank, it was hard for nurses to exert authority.  Nursing was also deadly; 36 Navy Nurses died during the war, the greatest killer in this case being influenza.

The US Navy Corps of Nurses was established in 1908, and during World War I around 1550 Navy Nurses saw active duty.  Navy Nurses took up their first “shipboard” positions shortly after the war in 1920 on the USS Relief.  A few pictures are included below.  Please consider coming to San Antonio in March to hear my talk on Navy Nurses.

The pictures below are from from the BUMED files.  The large picture, Reeve 016486, shows nurses trying to enjoy a moment of culture at the front.  They are having tea provided by the Saturday Evening Post near Sebastopol, France in 1918. The other two show Navy Nurses in 1920 aboard the USS Relief (14-0076-013, 14-0076-019).

For more on this subject see:


Again, have a Happy New Year!

Annette Finley-Croswhite, Ph.D., Executive Director, Society for the History of Navy Medicine

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