Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Navy medicine in Vietnam: Passage to Freedom to the fall of Saigon

Herman, Jan K. 2010. Navy medicine in Vietnam: Passage to Freedom to the fall of Saigon. Washington, DC: Naval History & Heritage Command, Dept. of the Navy.

(Paper – http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/458583716)

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What was life about a hospital ship like?
  • How did American doctors and nurses interact with ordinary Vietnamese?
  • What was it like to have to triage dozens of wounded soldiers?
  • What was the life of a medical corpsman like?
  • Why would you toss a perfectly good Huey helicopter into the sea?


This 50 page book documents the US Navy’s medical experience during its time in Vietnam from the somewhat quiet beginnings in 1954 to the mad evacuation of Saigon in 1975. Medical environments from the fox hole to major hospitals are covered in story and with photographs. A list of suggested readings appears on page 50. All of the graphics are acceptable for all ages. Some of the personal accounts are harrowing.



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