SAMPSON HAS MAMMOTH UP-TO-DATE HOSPITAL
The Equal of Any of The World's Greatest Clinics Main Building of Sampson Hospital
Capacity of 1,500 Beds or More, with Latest and
Best Equipment, also Large Medical Staff of picture
Skilled Surgeons and Physicians.
By Robert Shaplen
Staff Correspondent New York Herald-Tribune
Has 1,500 beds many of which are now filled with Sailor patients of the Station as well as Casualties of the War brought here for Treatment
Fifth and final article of a series about Sampson recently published in the New York Herald-Tribune. Reprinted special permission.
"It was our first battle for a lot of us," he said, "but not a single one seemed afraid." He told how his ship was responsible for getting rid of "about seven" Japanese boats. "They never knew what hit them," he added.
Clinton Campbell, nineteen, a seaman second class, of Wells, Me., another of the four, who lost two toes, said: "I'm not going to say how many enemy ships we sank, but I'm sure we got our share." The other two aboard the same American ship were Paul Grammens, second class seaman, of Custer, Ont., and Erich Wirth, seaman first class of Brooklyn.
Staff Totals 150 MenJack Downing, a twenty-six-year-old first-class baker, who has been in the Navy six years and comes from Sioux City, Iowa, was on the battleship Nevada, which was bombed by the last wave of Japanese planes at Pearl Harbor. Downing, who is recovering from bullet wounds in both legs, said that he and all the American seamen he knew at Pearl Harbor resented bitterly the accusation that any of them had fallen down on the job.
"All the boys I knew were on their toes," he said. "We did our share."
Commanding officer of the Sampson Hospital is Captain Claude W. Carr, U.S.N. (M.C.), a thirty-year Navy Beteran. The executive officer is Captain E. L. Whitehead, U.S.N. (M.C.). The surgeons' staff is headed by Commander Clyde L. Wilson. Heading the orthopedic staff is Lieutenant Commander Mal Stevens, former Yale and New York University football coach. Lieutenant Commander John Meyers is the chief ear, eye, nose and throat man. The entire staff of surgeons, doctors and dentists total about 150 men.
The neuro-psychiatric ward at Sampson is located at the opposite end of the station, closer to other units. Said to be the most complete of its kind in the nation it has a capacity of 140 beds. Most of the patients are incoming bluejackets who were yanked out of the reception line when examining psychiatrists detected flaws in their personalities.
A large number of such cases, forming about two percent of arriving recruits, are youths and men who have lived close to their families or alone for many years and face difficult adjustment problems when thrown in with unknown hundreds. By and large, older single men appear to have the most trouble, according to Lieutenant Commander J. H. Closson (M.C.), senior officer at the ward. Dr. Closson has been assisted by Lieutenant Commander William Titley (M.C.). Both men are psychiatrists. There are two other psychiatrists on the staff and three psychologists.
When a man comes to the ward, he is kept under observation for two weeks. If not recommended for discharge by the aptitude board, he is then permitted to join a recruit unit, where a careful check is kept on him throughout the training period to see that his adjustment works out satisfactorily.
Recruits are not alone in facing difficult adjustment problems. Sometimes their parents at home are worse, and Sampson also has to deal with them. Captain Harry A. Badt, U.S.N., commandant, and Commander John M. McIsaac, U.S.N., in charge of recruit training, answer personally from ten to fifteen letters a day written to the station by worried mothers and fathers. Most of the letters seek special privileges for the parents' sons, such as extra leave, while others deal with money matters and queries as to why the boys don't write more often.
Sea Bag Inspection at End of Training Period
A high point in the life of any sailor, sea bag inspection culminates the recruit training period at the U.S. Naval Training Station on Lake Seneca. Canvas leggings (symbol of their novitiate) discarded and in their dress blues for the first time, these men will soon be going home on their recruit leave which follows the training period. On returning to Sampson from their leave, many of the men will be sent to Navy Service Schools for further training before they are given sea duty. More than 700 men are shown here.
The inspection is held in the regimental Drill Hall, which is large enough to drill 5000 men at one time. Each of the recruit training units at the Station has a drill hall as well as drill field. The entire Navy issue of clothing and personal effects, with the exception of bedding must be ship-shape and on display for this occasion.