Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lieutenant Joel T. Boone, MC, USN

Joel Thompson Boone was born 29 August 1889 in St. Clair, PA. At the time of action he was a lieutenant in the Medical Corps, USN. His citation reads, “For extraordinary heroism, conspicuous gallantry, and intrepidity while serving with the Sixth Regiment of the United States Marines, in actual conflict with the enemy at and in the vicinity of Vierzy, France, 18 July 1918. With absolute disregard for personal safety, ever conscious and mindful of the suffering
fallen, Surgeon Boone, leaving the shelter of a ravine, went forward onto the open field where there was no protection and despite the extreme enemy fire of all calibers, through a heavy mist of gas, applied dressings and first aid to wounded Marines. This occurred southeast of Vierzy, near the cemetery, and on the road south from that town. When the dressings and supplies had been exhausted he went through a heavy barrage of large caliber shells, both high explosive
and gas, to replenish these supplies, returning quickly with a sidecar load and administered them in saving the lives of the wounded. A second trip under the same conditions and for the same purpose, was made by Surgeon Boone later that day.”

Dr. Boone had a long and varied career starting with his appointment as lieutenant, junior grade, USNR in 1914. He transferred to the regular Navy in 1915 where he advanced through the ranks retiring as a vice admiral in 1950. In his long and varied career, Vice Admiral Boone served in the White House Medical Unit during the Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover Administrations. During World War II, Vice Admiral Boone served as a Senior Medical Officer at Naval Air Station San Diego, CA and commanding officer of Naval Hospital Seattle, WA. VADM Boone represented the Navy Medical Department at the surrender of Japan on board the battleship USS Missouri on 2 September 1945.

Vice Admiral Joel Boone died on 2 April 1974 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery (Section 11, Grave 137-2).

The USS Boone (FFG-28) and the Joel T. Boone Naval Branch Medical Clinic in Little Creek, VA, are named in his honor.

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