Medicine: By Short Wave

One night last week, while taking off from tiny Palmyra Atoll, 1,000 miles southwest of Hawaii, an Army C46 and its crew of six smashed into a reef. Radioman Buster Bailey, 19, reached for a fire extinguisher, found that he had no hand. He crawled from the burning plane into knee-deep water, stumbled and discovered that his right leg was gone, too. His fellow crewmen got him to shore and tied their belts around his bleeding stumps.

There was no doctor on the atoll (pop. 60)—but there was a radio ham, Steve Barnes. Barnes...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!