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DEPARTMENT OF ANATOMY

 

Measure of Respect

William Bligh-Glover, MD


Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was born Sept. 8, 1828, in Brewer, Maine. He attended Bowdoin College and Bangor Theological Seminary and returned to Bowdoin teaching rhetoric. In 1861 he tried to join the army. The college would not give him leave to enlist, but instead offered him a year’s sabbatical in Europe. Chamberlain took the sabbatical and then joined up. He was soon made lieutenant colonel of the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

Chamberlain fought from 1826 to 1865, in the eastern theater. He was wounded six and had six horses shot from under him. He is remembered for the battle of Gettysburg on July 2, 1863. That day, the 20th Maine held Little Round Top and broke the Confederate advance at the high mark of their advance. Chamberlain was also chosen to receive Lee's surrender at Appomattox on April 12, 1865. After the war, he served four terms as Governor of Maine, and returned to Bowdoin College as its president. He died in 1914.

John Paul Stapp

John Paul Stapp was born in Brazil to missionary parents. He was educated at Baylor University, where he obtained his B.A. and M.A. He got his Ph.D. at the University of Texas and his M.D. from the University of Minnesota, before going into the U.S. Air Force. There his career concentrated on flight-testing and safety mechanisms for airplanes. Dr. Stapp was involved in the crash survival research program at Edwards Air Force Base. Dr. Stapp frequently volunteered to ride the “human decelerator” a rocket-powered sled on a track that was driven to high speed and then suddenly stopped. As a result of Dr. Stapp's findings, the strength requirement for fighter seats was increased considerably. His work showed that a pilot could walk away from crashes when properly protected by harnesses, and if his seat does not break loose. Indeed, by riding the decelerator sled himself, (at great personal risk, as he broke bones twice,) Dr. Stapp demonstrated that a human could withstand at least 45 Gs in the forward position, with adequate harness. This is the highest known G-force voluntarily encountered by a human. The lap and shoulder belts in cars today are there because of Dr. Stapp's research. Dr. Stapp died in New Mexico at the age of 89.

Eugene B.Flukey

Eugene B. Fluckey has the most decorations of any living American veteran, four Navy Crosses and the Congressional Medal of Honor. He was born in Washington D.C. and attended the U.S. Naval Academy. In World War II, he commended the U.S.S. Barb on five war patrols in the Pacific. The Barb sank 34 merchant ships, 5 warships, conducted one of the first submarine missile bombardments and her crew performed the only landing of U.S. troops on Japanese soil, where they blew up a train. The crew of the Barb won six navy crosses, 23 silver stars, 23 bronze stars in addition to the Medal of Honor won by CMDR Fluckey. Of his many citations, Fluckey says he is most proud of the one medal no member of his crew ever was awarded — the Purple Heart. After the war, CMDR Fluckey rose to the rank of Rear Admiral and retired. He lives in Annapolis MD, writing and working for non-profit organizations.

Chuck Yeager

Brigadier General Chuck Yeager is the first person to break the sound barrier. He enlisted in the Army Air Forces in WWII as a mechanic, but he became a pilot and maintenance officer. He was shot down over Europe in 1943, but managed to elude capture and return to England. He was supposed to be relieved of combat duty, but Yeager felt his job wasn't finished and going home would let his comrades down. He continued to fly over Europe in support of the D-Day landings and after. Flying 64 combat missions, Yeager was an ace (five confirmed kills) in a day, and 13 total kills. After the war, his evasion experience as well as his mechanical abilities brought General Yeager to test flying and flight instructing.

In 1947, he was assigned to test the rocket-powered X-1 fighter plane. His team was testing technology developed during the war to improve aircraft performance, increase aircraft speed, and fly faster than the speed of sound. Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier on October 14, 1947. In 1952, he set a new air speed record of 1,650 mph, more than twice the speed of sound. General Yeager's career also included command of a fighter squadron, command of the first astronaut school, a tour of duty in Vietnam, and a dangerous ejection from a Lockheed F-104 Starfighter. In 1968, Chuck Yeager, a former enlisted man with a high school education was promoted to Brigadier General. He retired from the Air Force in 1975, but continued to serve as a consulting test pilot for many years. General Yeager also continues to fly and is active in environmental concerns.