“If it had not been for World War II, of course, I would have no story to tell. Therefore, I feel it important to mention a few items about its onset. In the 1930s, things were very unsettled in Europe, and I am sorry that I was not fully aware of what was going on. My good friend, Dr. Ben Klatch, told me his father had said that Hitler’s accession to power in 1933 would be bad for the Jews. No one suspected how bad it would be. I was in Medical School at that time, and as there was a great need for medical officers in the service, we were allowed to finish our training. That is, if we applied for a commission in either the Army or the Navy, we would be allowed to finish. I chose the Navy and was given the strange rank of Ensign(H)VP (Hospital, Volunteer, Probationary). The military kept very close tab on our activities, even without computers. I received my orders to report to the Naval Training Center at Great Lakes, Illinois, exactly ten days after the completion of my internship….”
…So begins David A. Goldsmith’s story of “A Navy Medical Officer in World War II.”
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