Army & Navy: Surgeon for a Day

Aboard a U.S. submarine in enemy waters of the Pacific, Seaman Dean Rector was down with acute appendicitis. The nearest naval surgeon was thousands of miles away. Pharmacist's Mate Wheller Lipes watched Rector's temperature rise to 106, knew his only hope was an operation. Said Lipes: "I've watched doctors do appendectomies. I think I could do it. . . . What do you say?"

Groaned Rector: "Let's get going." In the wardroom, about the size of a Pullman drawing room, Rector stretched out on the table beneath a floodlight ordinarily used for loading. The pharmacist's mate and assisting officers pulled...

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