Thursday, October 6, 2011
Dr. Philip Wales, Surgeon General (1879-1884)
Philip S. Wales (1834-1906) became an assistant surgeon in 1856 and was assigned to the East India Squadron. During the Civil War he saw duty aboard two warships and at the Norfolk Naval Hospital. Dr. Wales became Surgeon General in 1879. He founded the Museum of Naval Hygiene which, when later united with the naval laboratory and Department of Instruction, became the prototype of the Naval Medical School. During his term a subordinate embezzled Navy funds and Dr. Wales was court martialed and found guilty for "neglect of duty and culpable inefficiency in the performance of duty." Although SECNAV declared that no evidence existed of any corrupt act or motive on Wales' part, the unfortunate man lived out the rest of his years in disgrace.