Skip to comments.WWII veteran gets his wish, tours modern submarine
Posted on 07/06/2012 6:28:00 PM PDT by moonshot925
KINGS BAY, Ga. World War II Navy veteran Dan Edwards has fond memories of his time serving aboard submarines.
He enlisted as a physician examiner in 1944 and went to diving and submarine school. He went to Pearl Harbor, where he worked as a submarine and diving medical officer. He also served aboard submarines during the Korean War on multiple tours of duty.
He left the Navy in 1954 to earn a medical degree and worked as a general practitioner. But the lure of the sea kept tugging and in 1984, at the age of 57, Edwards tried to re-enlist in the Navy. He was rejected because he was considered too old.
So, he joined the Air Force, where he served 10 years, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.
Now, the retired physician is struggling with early onset of Parkinson's disease. He uses a cane to walk and is becoming more dependent on his wheelchair.
But his memories of serving aboard submarines remain strong.
(Excerpt) Read more at stripes.com ...
Moving story, but what was a 'physician examiner'? Enquiring minds want to know. ;-)
I toured a nuclear attack sub stationed in Groton, CT.
My niece’s husband was part of the crew. My brother-in-law traveled on the same sub from Jacksonville, Fl to Groton.
Once a sailor, always a sailor. The lure of the sea is always strong. I was on a DD and loved it when she was at sea. Worst duty I ever had was shore duty.
Good question,I wondered the same thing.The best theory I can come up with is some sort of "physician's assistant"...a hospitalman on steroids.
Just thinking out loud...
A Corpsman trained in triage?
I did several online searches and couldn’t find any reference to such a job in WWII Navy.
>> what was a ‘physician examiner’? Enquiring minds want to know. ;-)
“Turn your head and cough please, Doctor...”
And God bless Dr. Edwards. Although I was a cold war submariner myself, and after I got out of the Navy, *I* never once felt a “tug of the sea” to go back to it... :-)
I served on several DDs and found the lure of foreign ports more alluring then being at sea.
To spend my day covered in sea spray salt and not being able to get a decent shower (might be different in the ‘modern’ Navy). Boring watches. Looking out at your surroundings and seeing nothing but sea. Fighting to keep your food tray on the table while trying to eat and that was in good weather. Did I mention boring watches? Fighting to stay in your rack during a storm. Fighting to stay awake during a boring watch, did I mention boring watches?
I loved the Navy but didn’t care much for being at sea ... strange but true.
But that could be just me. ;-)
I have talked to lots of old guys who would come up with odd ways of describing their military duties, often it was my own lack of listening skills that made me have it wrong. My father-in-law as an example, he talked about being a jeep driver being attached to the First Infantry Division in WW11 which made no sense until after he passed and upon reading his military record I realized he was a Combat Courier. All I ever heard was something about jeeps and getting shelled while driving for it was the way he got his Purple Heart which was the part burned into his mind.
Shanker mechanic...that said, Semper Fi, all!
I did 7 patrols on USS Francis Scott Key (SSBN-657) in the 1980’s. You start off eating really well, but as the patrol goes on, the food gets worse and worse. Eggs, milk, bacon, beef, etc all go bad. By the end all you get for breakfast is pancakes... every day.
The food on the Ohio class boats was MUCH better thanks to great storage. The boats are so much bigger and can fit so much more food.
But I sometimes question the quality of the meat.
We sometimes got boxes of frozen beef labeled Rejected by USAF” or “Rejected by US federal prison system”.
I believe the 'physician examiner' was rated to employ a proctoscope on proctologists.
As good a guess as any. LOL!
My son spent 4 years on boomers out of Kings Bay, and I went on two day cruises...great fun. He still works at Kings Bay for Dept of Navy on boat system maintenance and overhaul, frequently is sent to Diego Garcia to work on deployed boomers.
Several years ago he was injured onboard the Nebraska, had to be medivaced at sea to the Azores, then to NAS Jax, then on to Walter Reed for six weeks and four operations. Interesting to note that this guy inquired about medivac proceedures.
After subs got their food alliance, Destroyers got the leftovers. I helped load case after case after case of frozen (labeled USDA ungraded) roast beef. Needless to say, I still have a problem eating roast beef to this day. LOL! We all have our stories.
I was not in the Navy but spent 17 years on the water in oil exploration around the world. The weather in the North Sea can be a monster in the winter. I loved it!
It will scare you but the fact that you can be there and do you job and survive the weather is a trip and thrill and also sobers the mind about death. Go to Google and type in Alexander Kieland Oil Rig. It was a bad night. Fortunately I was not there that night. You can also look up the names Ocean Ranger or Piper Alfa.
The cold seas of the North are a beautiful an alluring mistress. One must never forget that beneath her beauty and power she is a vicious bitch and will take your life in an instance if she has the chance.
A lot of guys had the same problem with being bored. I was never really board on a Destroyer. I was in sonar but if I wanted to do something else, as in a tornado, I relieved the helmsman. It was fun trying to keep the ship on course during a tornado. They gave you 10 degrees, either side of the course during a storm. I could keep her within 5 degrees. Worked my butt off but it was fun. Some times the OD would just stand there and watch me. I was also a staff driver for the Captain. Good duty. I always had a vehicle in port when the Captain didn’t need me.
Sorry, I meant typhoon (sp?) Brain went south on me.