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The Henry Swan Papers

[Excerpt from Swan's wartime diary] pdf (3,892,050 Bytes) transcript of pdf
[Excerpt from Swan's wartime diary]
Item is handwritten.
Number of Image Pages:
10 (3,892,050 Bytes)
Date Supplied:
31 March-30 April 1943
[Swan, Henry]
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
World War II
Exhibit Category:
Medical Training, Wartime Surgical Experiences, and Early Career, 1935-1949
Box Number: 16
Folder Number: 4
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Physical Condition:
Series: Personal and Biographical, 1936-1995
Folder: [Scrapbook, 1939 July-1943 Dec]
Wed. Mar. 31, 1943
Arrived LGH at 5:45 PM and assigned to temp quarters. Met Col. Connors, head of 4th Surg. A friendly, attractive man. Feet in poor shape. Read of med. mil. matters then to bed. First impressions of post highly favorable.
Thurs, April 1
The Morning hobbling around checking in--received 1st tetanus shot. Col. Sloat[?]--old line orthopedic army man, head of surgical services, LGH. Short chat. Capt. Waltwan[?]--exec officer in surg. service. Old Harvard Man--very pleasant and helpful. Maj. Pratt--my immediate senior on Ward 3A--officer's gen. surgery
Had long chat at Inn--Full of local gossip. Met Joe Johnson, HMS '40--Has been at P.H. in NYC, then Belleview and then [Mass?] Institute then 6 mo. private practice in Chattanooga -- now Vanderbilt Unit.
a captain. Full of good humor as always--2 little girls and one in the oven so here as psychoneurologic service, 2 weeks.
Capt. Harris--on the chest service--trained at U. of [ . . . ]--7 years postgraduate training gen surg and chest. In AUS since May '92. Tonight--letter writing.
Fri - April 2
Report to Brig. Gen. Sheep[?], CO of LGH all day trying to learn the local ground rules, [ . . . ], etc. [ . . . ] on articles of war. Captain Esprey--MAC of 4th Aux -- Adjutant for the 4th--Very enthusiastic. Bernie Santer arrived just today. Feet some better; knee still not too full extension and weak. I'm working under Capt. Greenberg, trained in general surg. but now on Neuro-Surg. Alert and smart. Major Van Waggeron--head of neurosurgical section--apparently quite a fine man, Don feels. Perhaps outstanding man
clinically in the past. Read "The Year of Decision" tonight -- great stuff!
Sat--Apr 3rd
Surgical staff rounds in AM. Lecture in PM. To Atlanta to see the sights with Don. Wonderful town full of beautiful women and [ . . . ] Maybe that's not fair!
Sun: -- On the ward all day --
To supper with Lt. Fred Corbe (USN) and Frances at her mothers home--Mr. and Mrs. [ Mist?] #1 Brookhaven Dr., Brookhaven, Atlanta, Ga. Very delightful evening. Much talk of "The Islands" from where the Mists[?] [ . . . ] everyone. I know who every in Honolulu. This weeks' weather has been beautiful.
Monday April 5th
Today doing [farm?] work most of the day. Am to be moved from Ward 3-A to Fever Therapy Clinic in Physiotherapy, starting tomorrow. Feet still in bad shape. Tonight on rounds with Capt. Daniel Beard, Atlanta reared boy and member of G.U. club here, learning the business of being [O.D.?] Also met: Maj. Hayworth, G.U. Maj. Evans: Orthoped. News from Lt. Col. Lawry, head of G.U. section, exec officer for Surg. Serv., that Colonel Faust is now head of 4th Auxiliary with Col. [ . . . ?] 2nd in command. Col. Faust from Fitzsimmons Hosp., old line army surgeon.
A Capt. Perry MD from Fort Rogers Okla brought us a pt. today. He's Chief of Surg staff at the S.H. there. [ . . . ? ] good looking boy--trained at Kings Co. in NYC--doing lots of surgery.
Tue Apr 6
Learning my way around the Fever Therapy department and then tonite[sic] into Atlanta to get my shoes stretched and get some [neats fish?] oil. A few drinks at the Hurdy Gurdy then home to bed. Capt. Hewitt--G.U.--was practicing same in Fla.
Wed: Apr 7
To work at 1:30 PM and from then to 9:30 PM. Tonite[sic] are EMO[?] -- No calls.
Thurs Apr 8:
Major Hewes[?] is second in command of the G.U. service. A pleasant but not too brilliant a man, I should judge. Lt. Col. Lawry is exec. Off. of the surg. service, more interested in army law than medicine I should judge.
Two interesting Army stories -- 1) a big strapping nurse from Panama arrived
claiming she was pregnant via an officer at a party--alleging rape, although by the size of her, it seemed unlikely. When it got too hot to handle, she was sent here. The situation called for army routine in triplicate--this time a committee of 3 colonels to decide was she pregnant. Col. Sloat, orthoped., Col. Moore, dentist, and one other, ENT specialist. After careful study, it obviously being a problem right up their alley decided that she was not preg. and that she was psycho. The PN service studied her carefully and then after 3 mos. stated she was anything but psycho--a perfectly normal woman claiming she was pregnant and a little peeved at the whole situation. Well they had to do something; so they decided to put her to work. Which she did--for 5 months
i.e. up to ten days before the baby was born. It was now hard for the Colonels to maintain she was not pregnant--their chief problem is how to hide the news from Washington. The most difficult angle is--she claims "line of duty--yes"
2) A navy doctor in the Hebrides drained an infected area in a young soldier here (shot in Guadalcanal) by neatly slicing transversally across the forearm, cutting in two most of the muscles and neatly dividing the ulnar nerve!
Fri. -- Apr. 9th
Routine day in fever clinic.
Sat. -- April 10th
News at 1:00 of mother's death. Arrangements thru[sic] Col. Lawry for departure at once. Will attempt to fly.
April 21st--Back again after a sad trip. A new job: ward officer on 19A--G.U. surgical--under Major Hayward. Much superior set-up to Fever Therapy.
April 22nd--All day learning new ropes--chiefly how to run the [ . . . ] in 19A. Much interesting pathology there, especially [ . . . ].
Tonite[sic] to "The Moon is Down" -- John Steinbeck's book in movie form. Vigorously done and effective ending.
April 23rd -- Today Gene Records, 1st Lt. arrived for duty with 4th Surg. He's been at [ .. . ] with [ . . .]--both did lots of surgery. Then 5 mos at Kilman--chiefly drilling. Then via "channels" transferred here. Don left for N.Y.C. today to study neuro-surg for 6 wks.
Incidentally, [ . . .] for 5 mos now in Iceland, pulling teeth.
They say the pregnancy rate in the nursing staff at S.H. in Iceland is approx 50 percent.
April 25th
Easter Sunday. A little fatigued this morning as up late with the Waves! This evening with Beckwith and Kneeland[?] to the Dunkler's, Connie and Karling, who own the [ . . . ] -- [Jane?] Lawless, 2nd Lt. [. . . ?] (a potential tennis player, someday, all Atlanta people.
April 27th
Working late both last nite[sic] and tonite[sic] trying to get the records up to date. Tonite[sic] am right on the nose. Miss Gately, a Boston girl, head nurse in 19A--
capable and jolly, and a great aid to the neophyte.
April 30
Tomorrow nite[sic] khakis which will be a relief.
Ward in good shape at present, with but few admissions yesterday or today.
Nurses dance last nite[sic]--rather enjoyable.
Major Hewes to leave us--Major Hayward to take over, as Asst. Chief on G.U. Section.
Beverly and Nat Turnbull (Lt.--Reims Officers Club) at picnic at the Lawless's, after golf[?] Jim McClintock, major, of Grand Junction Colo -- now returning Atlanta blood bank was on hand as the rasion d'etre--being his birthday.
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