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Joseph Strauss........MEDICAL OPERATION

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While operating in the South China Sea in 1965 or 66 in company with
another destroyer, the Medical Officer on that ship had diagnosed a young
man with appendicitis. He notified the STRAUSS that he requested evacuation
of the patient by seaplane early the next A.M. The seaplane landed, popped
a seam while trying to get airborne and started taking on water. The
patient was moved to the STRAUSS and the appendectomy was performed in our
Sick Bay by the Medical Officer assisted by the Air Force Medical Officer
from the seaplane and the STRAUSS Corpsmen. The young man recuperated in
the XO's stateroom and the seaplane which could not lift off had to be
deep-sixed by the other destroyer. The cost of this appendectomy was about
$150,000 (cost of one Air Force issue seaplane) and probably the only
appendectomy ever performed on a Navy Destroyer during the Vietnam era and
probably the only one on a smaller ship since WW II.

Al Kotrola, then HMC, Sr. Medical Dept. Representative,
(1964-67), USS JOSEPH STRAUSS

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