Pharmacist Mate's varied duties

Pharmacist Mates received special training for submarine duty. Many watched surgery and studied outside of their required reading. Many carried medical books with them onto their submarines.

When they rescued survivors of a "hell ship" they had sunk, the Pharmacist Mate had to find the least painful but fast way to take the sun-baked oil off of the skin of survivors before they were taken below.

When working as part of the lifeguard league they had to help aviators who may have been on rubber rafts for days and become dehydrated to regain their strength and be able to take care of themselves.

The first Pharmacist Mate to perform an appendectomy was named Lipes. The patient was ready to be operated on, and Lipes had watched the surgery while in training. The surgery was successful and the patient was back on duty in a few days. After the war Lipes became a physician and on his death in the early 21st century his medical work was in a long obituary in the Boston Globe and other papers, beginning with his submarine surgery.

The operation on the Silversides while off Rabaul was photographed as Pharmacist Mate Moore operated on crewman Platter. This is one photo of the surgery. Machinists remade kitchen utensils to be scalpels and other needed medical tools. Alcohol was drawn from torpedoes.