Doctors of the 32nd Station Hospital: Part II (Medical Service)

This article is the fourth in a series of articles about known members of the 32nd Station Hospital during World War II.  This list is based largely on rosters dated December 31, 1943, May 1, 1944, and December 31, 1944.  It will be expanded as new information comes to light.  Unfortunately, it will never be 100% complete, since officers were constantly being transferred into and out of the unit.  Until the 32nd Station Hospital’s commanding officers began submitting monthly reports in May 1944 (which included personnel transfers) there was no way to keep track of these movements.  Officers assigned on temporary duty (TD) are omitted.

In the long run, I hope family members searching for information may come across this page and be able to fill in the missing pieces.

World War II U.S. Army officers’ service numbers are typically displayed in two formats (sometimes in the same report!): With an officer prefix and hyphen (O-______) or with no prefix and a leading zero (0______).  For simplicity, ASNs are listed in the first format.

Names are listed in alphabetical order within the 32nd Station Hospital’s Medical Service.

William Alfred Carey, Jr., O-461173 (December 15, 1917 – August 27, 2002)

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Photo of Captain William A. Carey Jr. and Lt. Ina Bean(e) Carey, most likely taken in Caserta in the spring of 1944. (Courtesy of the Carey Family)

Dr. Carey was born in Quincy, Massachusetts, the son of William Alfred Carey, Sr. and Mary Ellen (Coughlin) Carey.  He graduated from the Yale School of Medicine in 1941, followed by an internship at St. Louis University Hospital.  He entered active duty in the U.S. Army on July 1, 1942.  According to the notes Dr. Carey kept about his service, his first posting was at Carlisle Barracks (one of the U.S. Army’s medical training facilities).  He was then was stationed at Barksdale Field in Louisiana (which may have been the 32nd Station Hospital’s first home…there is conflicting information).

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Ozark, Alabama’s train station in 1942; Dr. Carey apparently had a little bit more of an adventure arriving by train at Camp Rucker than Miriam Linn (left) or Lucille Silverman (right) did!  (Robert Silverman 8 mm Film)

Dr. Carey was transferred to Camp Rucker, Alabama (the 32nd Station Hospital’s first or second home) sometime in 1942.  Dr. Carey’s son recalls his father telling about how he got off the train at a poorly marked siding in the middle of nowhere, organized some bewildered enlisted men who were waiting for instructions, and set off to find the camp!

1st Lieutenant Carey was definitely a member of the 32nd Station Hospital by November 2, 1942, when his name appears on Hospital Order 15.  By December 31, 1943, he had been promoted to captain and was listed as Dispensary Surgeon, Admission, and Disposition Officer.  By May 1, 1944, that role had been assumed by Lieutenant Colonel John F. Simon; Captain Carey’s new title was Ward Officer – General Medicine.

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The Carey wedding party at the 32nd Station Hospital compound in Caserta, Italy on March 29, 1944, with Captain Carey at center (Courtesy of the Carey Family)

Dr. Carey married his wife Ina L. Bean (sometimes spelled Beane)—a 32nd Station Hospital nurse—on March 29, 1944 at St. Mary of Angela (Santa Maria degli Angeli), a Catholic church located in the village of San Nicola la Strada near the hospital compound.

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Captain William Carey, 1st Lieutenant Herman C. Needles, and Sergeant Charles Ballard in a photo dated July 1944, Caserta, Italy (Courtesy of the Carey Family)

A document in Dr. Carey’s collection, Peninsular Base Section Special Orders Number 151 (dated May 30, 1944) indicates that Captain Carey was reassigned to Headquarters, 36th Infantry Division.  (A 32nd Station Hospital report and Dr. Carey’s notes give the transfer as June 1944.)  He participated in the Southern France, Rhineland, and Central Europe campaigns.  On December 31, 1944 he assumed command of Company B, 111th Medical Battalion of the 36th Infantry Division.

Captain Carey was decorated with the Bronze Star Medal for his service with the 36th Infantry Division.  The citation for the medal—dated January 17, 1945 and signed by Major General John E. Dahlquist—states:

      WILLIAM A. CAREY, JR., 0461173, Captain, 111th Medical Battalion, for meritorious service in direct support of combat operations from 4 June to 31 December 1944 in Italy and France.  During this period, Captain Carey distinguished himself by his skill and courage in performing his duties as surgeon with the Division.  He consistently rendered superior medical treatment under the most difficult combat conditions.  His aid station was sometimes established in mountain caves, ditches, open fields and shallow beachheads.  He frequently worked under small arms, mortar and artillery fire.  In spite of all the difficulties and dangers which confronted him, Captain Carey always assured the droops of prompt treatment and evacuation.  As a result of his tireless efforts, the lives of many soldiers were saved, and his outstanding work inspired the respect and confidence of everyone with whom he came in contact.  Entered the Service from Quincy, Massachusetts.

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A June 1945 photograph with Captain Carey at center.  The cursive on the back of the photograph is a little hard to read, but appears to give the location as Mourmelon, France and the flanking officers’ names as Shannon and Danison.  It is possible these men were also 36th Infantry Division medical officers. (Courtesy of the Carey Family)

Dr. Carey later mentioned to his daughter that during his service with the 36th Infantry Division, he was deeply affected when he witnessed the horrors of a Nazi concentration camp.  This would most likely have been some of the Kaufering subcamps—part of the infamous Dachau concentration camp—which, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website, the 36th Infantry Division liberated on April 30, 1945.  Although he left active duty on January 9, 1946 (according to his Department of Veterans Affairs Record), he remained as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve.  He was promoted to major on February 10, 1947.

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Dr. Carey’s dog tags, of a type indicating they were issued between November 1941 and July 1943 (Courtesy of the Carey Family)

After the war, Dr. Carey completed additional medical training and became a radiologist.  He practiced at a number of Massachusetts hospitals: St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Boston (1948–1964), St. Vincent’s Hospital in Worcester (1964–1977), Fallon Clinic in Worcester (1977–1987), and Bethany Hospital in Framingham (1951–1987).  In 1950, the Careys moved to Framingham, where they raised three sons and a daughter.  Their marriage lasted just shy of 58 years, until Ina’s death on December 30, 2001, aged 81. William died on August 27, 2002, aged 86.

 

Marlin W. Carlson, O-339610 (August 6, 1905 – October 25, 1963)

Dr. Carlson was born and lived in Kansas.  He attended McPherson College and studied medicine at Northwestern University.

Captain Carlson was already a member of the 32nd Station Hospital by December 24, 1942 when his name appears on Special Order 314 at Fort Benning, Georgia.  His title was Assistant Chief of Service – Respiratory Disease and Internal Medicine on the roster dated December 31, 1943.  He was promoted to major on April 17, 1944.  By May 1, 1944 his title was Assistant Chief of [Medical] Service.  On the December 31, 1944 roster he was listed with his original title.  In May 1945, he was returned to the United States on temporary duty for “rehabilitation recuperation and recovery purposes.”  It doesn’t appear that he rejoined the unit before it was deactivated.

Dr. Carlson eventually attained the rank of lieutenant colonel at some point prior to leaving the army.  He and his wife Anne had a son and a daughter.  He died in Ellinwood, Kansas, aged 58.

 

James Gilbert Eblen, O-1696551 (October 25, 1906 – August 24, 1957)

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Captain James G. Eblen in Tlemcen, Algeria in 1943 (Courtesy of the Needles Family)

Captain Eblen was already a member of the 32nd Station Hospital by November 2, 1942 when he was listed on Hospital Order Number 15.  He was listed as Ward Officer – Contagious Diseases as of December 31, 1943, as well as both 1944 rosters.  Captain Eblen remained in the unit even after most of its longstanding personnel transferred out; on July 21, 1945 he became Assistant Chief of Medical Service, though the hospital was not in operation at this time and would not resume service before being deactivated.

When this article was first published, I wrote that I was unable to learn anything else about this doctor.  In March 2019, Dr. William A. Carey and nurse Ina Bean Carey’s son passed along an image of a program from a 32nd Station Hospital Thanksgiving celebration in 1943.  Unlike my grandfather’s copy, the Carey copy was signed by several officers, including one listed as Gilbert Eblen.  It seemed likely that Dr. Eblen went by his middle name.  Indeed, I quickly found a death certificate for a J. Gilbert Eblen, a physician and World War II veteran from Knoxville, Tennessee who died in Sylva, North Carolina, aged 50.

James Gilbert Eblen was born and raised in Lenoir City, Tennessee, the son of Dr. James Gustavus Eblen (which may explain why he went by his middle name, since his father was also Dr. James Eblen) and Nancy “Janie” Eblen.  A James G. Eblen appeared on a 1929 Memphis, Tennessee directory listed as a student; indeed, his obituary in The Jackson Sun (Jackson, Tennessee) lists him as graduating from the University of Tennessee Medical College there in 1930.

By the time of the 1940 census, a Gilbert Eblen listed as a pediatrician was living with his wife Louise (1912– 2002) and his in-laws in Knoxville.  Dr. J. Gilbert Eblen was listed on a 1942 Knoxville directory as working at Smith-Eblen Clinic for Children.  Interestingly, it appears that the 32nd Station Hospital’s medical officers included three pediatricians at the same time: Dr. Eblen, Dr. Robert O.Y. Warren, and Dr. Joseph Dolgin.  Dr. Eblen’s obituary describes him as a “Knoxville pediatrician and president of the Knoxville Academy of Medicine” who died of a sudden illness while on vacation in North Carolina.  I initially was unable to find a record of Dr. Eblen and his wife having children.  I contacted another user on Ancestry.com who had him in listed in a family tree.  For the record, she thought Dr. Eblen was her “paternal 1st cousin of wife of 2nd cousin 3x removed.”  Isn’t the internet grand?  (As it turned out, upon further examination prompted by my inquiry, she determined that she was related to a different Amos Breazeale than the one Dr. Eblen was related to, so she wasn’t related to him at all.  Still, a fortuitous error for this project.)  Anyway, this Ancestry.com user pointed out a pair of 1956 documents (regarding a trip to Great Britain aboard the R.M.S. Queen Elizabeth) that I had overlooked, which suggested the Eblens had a daughter.

I was able to locate Dr. Eblen’s daughter, who confirmed that her father was a member of the 32nd Station Hospital.  She also confirmed he was a pediatrician, describing him as “an honorable man” who volunteered to join the U.S. Army.  She told me that her father “gave good service” despite the fact that U.S. Army protocols “just drove him nuts.”  As an example, she recalled him complaining that the military saw fit to train them how to salute not just once, but a second time the following year!  She mentioned that he did appreciate being able to take a special psychiatry course in Rome during the war.  She also recalled him being a good friend of both of the other pediatricians in the unit.

 

George Francis Evans, O-488984 (June 14, 1900 – August 25, 1976)

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Dr. George F. Evans at the 32nd Station Hospital officer’s club in Caserta, Italy, 1945 (Robert Silverman Collection)

Dr. Evans was born in Ontario but later moved to the United States and became a U.S. citizen.  Dr. Evans eventually settled in Clarksburg, West Virginia in 1934 and practiced as an internist there.  He married his wife Elah in 1936; I have been unable to locate any record of the couple having children.  His draft card dated February 16, 1942 listed him as being 5 feet, 9 inches (175 cm) tall and 160 lbs. (72.6 kg), with gray hair and brown eyes.

Dr. Evans entered the U.S. Army on August 25, 1942.  He  joined the 32nd Station Hospital from the 29th Station Hospital in August 1944, replacing Lt. Colonel Robert O.Y. Warren as Chief of Service – Internal Medicine.  Dr. Evans was promoted to lieutenant colonel as of December 25, 1944.  In his journal, Captain Lowell E. Vinsant described Lieutenant Colonel Evans (apparently without irony, but not definitely) as “a prince of a fellow”.

In May 1945, he visited Cairo and the pyramids with my grandfather, Captain Robert Silverman.  Lieutenant Colonel Evans was decorated with the Bronze Star sometime in 1945.  He left the unit in July 1945.

Maurer-Evans-Egypt-Small-Levels
Lieutenant Colonel George F. Evans (right) in Egypt in May 1945 along with Major Murray Maurer (left), a doctor who also served in Italy and a friend of my grandfather’s.  It was probably taken early in the day, since they’re still wearing their ties! (Robert Silverman Collection)

After the war, he returned to Clarksburg.  He served on the West Virginia Medical Licensing Board (1946–1966), was president of the West Virginia State Medical Association (1958–1959) and editor of the West Virginia Medical Journal (1962–197?).  He died in Clarksburg, aged 76.

 

Richard Toshio Kainuma, O-418692 (August 31, 1911 – September 3, 1965)

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Captain Richard T. Kainuma (Courtesy of the 100th Infantry Battalion Education Center)

Dr. Kainuma was born in Hawaii and graduated from Tulane University Medical School in 1938.  He joined the U.S. Army in May 1941 and was assigned to the predominantly Nisei 100th Infantry Battalion.  He later joined the 32nd Station Hospital sometime between December 31, 1943 and May 1, 1944.  On the latter date, Captain Kainuma appeared on a unit roster as Ward Officer – General Medicine.  Colonel Goss’s September 1944 report indicates that Captain Kainuma was “reld from asgmt and asgd to 7th Replacement Depot for return to United States.”

After returning to civilian life, Dr. Kainuma resumed his medical practice in Hawaii.  Dr. Kainuma and his wife Mildred had one son.

A short biography of Dr. Kainuma by Michael Markrich is posted on the 100th Infantry Battalion Veterans Educational Center website.

 

George Raymond Lee, O-209450 (October 2, 1899 – November 12, 1964)

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Captain George R. Lee at the 32nd Station Hospital officer’s club in Caserta, Italy, 1945 (Robert Silverman Collection)

Dr. Lee was born in Toronto, Kansas.  By September 1918 he was attending St. Louis University School of Medicine, but his daughter wrote that he eventually graduated from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 1924.  After his residency at Bell Memorial Hospital, Dr. Lee worked as a general practitioner in Yates Center, Kansas. His February 16, 1942 draft card lists him as 5 feet, 9 inches (175 cm) and 165 lbs. (75 kg), with brown hair and gray eyes.

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Two 32nd Station Hospital officers in Tlemcen, Algeria in 1943; I believe Captain George R. Lee is at left and Captain Lowell E. Vinsant is at right (Robert Silverman 8 mm Film)

Captain Lee was already a member of the 32nd Station Hospital by December 24, 1942 at Fort Benning, Georgia.  Captain Lee was listed as Ward  Officer – Tropical Medicine and Dermatology as of December 31, 1943.  The May 1, 1944 roster drops the dermatology part but his title is back to the full one on the December 31, 1944 roster.  Captain Lee apparently served as the unit’s Soldier Voting Officer for the election of 1944.  He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal sometime in 1945.  Like many longstanding members of the 32nd Station Hospital, he left the unit in July 1945.  He had four daughters: two with his first wife Thelma, and two with his second wife, Lenora.

 

Walter R. Munroe, O-287763 (possibly June 29, 1909 – June 8, 1961)

Captain Munroe joined the 32nd Station Hospital in November 1944 via the 7th Replacement Depot.  He is listed as Ward Officer – General Medicine as of December 31, 1944.

The only Dr. Walter R. Munroe I could find a record of was born in Seattle, Washington to Walter and Jessie Munroe.  He graduated from the University of Washington as well as from University of Oregon Medical School.  He was living in Portland when he married Mary Louise R. Whitworth in Stevenson, Washington on August 20, 1959.  Dr. Munroe’s obituary in The Oregonian (Portland, Oregon) on June 6, 1961 lists him as having “served in Italy with the First Armored Division.”  The obituary also states he had one son.

 

Joseph G. Sorett, O-481209 (likely May 10, 1904 – January 29, 1996)

Dr. Sorett was not listed as being a member of the 32nd Station Hospital as of December 24, 1942, so he probably joined the unit in Algeria sometime during 1943.  Captain Sorett was listed as Ward Officer – General Medicine on the December 31, 1943 and May 1, 1944 rosters.   He was transferred to the 64th Hospital Train in June 1944.  Aside from the 32nd’s sparse records, he the only definite record I found of Dr. Sorett was that he attended a Jewish service in January 1944 with my grandfather and several other members of the 32nd Station Hospital.  A family member, Mrs A. Sorett, was listed as living in East Orange, New Jersey.

A possible match was the Joseph Sorett listed on the 1910 and 1920 censuses as being born in Bohemia or Romania to Russian Jewish parents, Hyman and Anna Sorotsky, who eventually changed the family name to Sorett.  I found a marriage record for a Joseph Sorett to a woman named Marion in New Jersey in 1947; they apparently had two sons, but I have been unable to confirm that this is the same individual who was a doctor in the 32nd Station Hospital.

 

Robert Otey Yancey Warren, O-475486 (June 4, 1902 – November 10, 1968)

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Lt. Colonel Robert O.Y. Warren (Willard Havemeier Collection)

Dr. Warren was born in Montana.  He married his wife Florence in 1927; they had three sons.  Dr. Warren graduated from medical school at Johns Hopkins in 1929 and completed his internship there.  He began practicing as a pediatrician in Wilmington, Delaware after completing his residency in 1931.  Major Warren was already a member of the 32nd Station Hospital by December 24, 1942 when the unit was at Camp Benning, Georgia.  According to Captain Lowell E. Vinsant’s journal, Major Warren led the hospital briefly in the spring of 1943 after Colonel Burstein suffered a heart attack, until Lieutenant Colonel Hagelshaw took command.  Major Warren was listed as Chief of Service, Internal Medicine on the December 31, 1943 roster.  He was listed as Chief of Medical Service on the May 1, 1944 roster.  Dr. Warren was promoted to lieutenant colonel on May 7, 1944.

Willard Havemeier recalled of Lieutenant Colonel Warren:  “He was a well-liked Officer, and from my perspective as an enlisted man I always thought of him as a credit to his profession and an excellent example of an Officer and a gentleman.”

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Lieutenant Colonel Warren’s Farewell Letter with handwritten note by Dwight McNelly (Dwight McNelly and Dorothy Eggers Collection. Courtesy of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library)

Lieutenant Colonel Warren was transferred to the 38th Evacuation Hospital in August 1944.  His emotional farewell letter was printed in The Weakly Reaction, the 32nd Station Hospital’s newspaper, on August 6, 1944:

TO ALL PERSONNEL, 32D STATION HOSPITAL:
It would be quite impossible for me to see each and every one of you before I leave.  I wish to take this opportunity to thank you all, many of whom I have known for almost two years, for your loyal friendship.  To know you and work beside you has been my pleasure.  I cannot, will not, say goodbye, for I hope to see you all again, the sooner, the better.  If not before, look me up in Wilmington, Delaware (the only “Doc” Warren in the telephone book).
Till that time: So long, and the best of luck to each of you.

                   Robert O.Y. Warren

According to an April 25, 1945 article printed in the Journal-Every Evening (Wilmington, Delaware), Lieutenant Colonel Warren was Chief of Medical Service in his new unit.  The article stated that he received a commendation for his leadership during the evacuation of the hospital during a flood on November 2, 1944.  According to the 38th Evacuation Hospital unit history at the WW2 US Medical Research Centre, the hospital was located in Pisa at the time.

Dr. Warren died in Wilmington, aged 66.  On November 14, 2018, the Nemours/Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children held the 49th Annual Robert O.Y. Warren, MD Memorial Seminar.

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Last updated March 31, 2019

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