"Surgery At Sea"

The men from the ship's Medical Department were highly thought of by the ship's personnel. In the early days of the BUSH experience, one sailor found himself at sea and needing to have his appendix removed. This made quite an impression on the some of the ship's personnel.

Letters to home, from three unknown sailors, included the following observations on July 16th and 17th, 1943:

"Yesterday afternoon everything was made ready and he was operated on by our ship's doctor. Everything came out fine. We do have the best of everything aboard ship. Everyone knows that. And our sick bay has as much modern equipment as it can hold. They are prepared for anything and it was proven yesterday."

"All during the operation, we kept right on our course, and didn't lose time or distance. So, Mom, you can see that they take very good care of us when we are on ship, and you and the other mothers who have sons in the Navy don't have a thing to worry about."

"The doctor completed the operation 1 hour after he started. The guy is feeling swell now. Last night I went to sick-bay for something to get rid of this cold of mine. The Pharmacist's Mates were cleaning up the tools that they had used in the operation. They sure seem to have everything. I've never seen so many funny looking, odd shaped, but evidently very useful gadgets in all my life. (By the way, my cold is cured.)"

Pictured below are a couple of photos showing some of the Medical Department in action, aboard ship.

Lt. George Johnson (on the right) is assisted by PhM3c Albert Brody* as they remove a shell fragment from a patient in October 1944.

* PhM3c Albert Brody was mortally wounded when a 3rd suicide plane hit the USS BUSH on April 6, 1945.

Doc Johnson and PhM1c Brody operate October 1944
Joe Pelnar, PhM1c, Scrubs for an Operation Joe Pelnar, PhM1c, Scrubs for Operation in Sick-Bay.
Joe Pelnar, PhM1c
NOTE: Joe Pelnar received a Bronze Star for his actions on April 6, 1945. The citation read in part, "During repeated enemy strafing and suicide attacks, PELNAR aided in tending the wounded and evacuating casualties until the order to abandon ship was given. One of the last to leave the ship, he rallied the men on his floater net and aided one who could not swim. His courage and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

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