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"There was little use for a dentist on the battlefield." (Video Interview, 21:16)

   William J. Dolan
Collection image
William Dolan, 2003
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Navy
Unit: Dental Corps, Company C, Medical Battalion, 5th Amphibious Corp
Service Location: Saipan (Northern Mariana Islands); Iwo Jima; Japan; Pacific Theater
Rank: Lieutenant
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No armed services can exist without dentists, but they’re usually assigned to duty stations well removed from the action. When the Marines recruited Naval Reserve officer William Dolan, they didn’t intend for him to stay behind as they fought the Japanese on Saipan and Iwo Jima. Dolan went ashore, after getting a quick tutorial in administering anesthetic and treating patients for shock. He never lacked for work. His video interview includes 15 minutes of home movies shot on Iwo Jima by a fellow physician, John Libby, including footage of Dolan.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (9 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (59 min.)
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 Video (Interview Excerpts) (9 items)
Practicing dentistry on new recruits; going out for football to avoid an exam (01:55) Marine training; landing on Saipan. (04:57) Fighting on Iwo Jima. (03:04)
Learning medical procedures; popular for giving anesthetic. (01:59) Heightened senses during combat. (01:22) Anticipating the invasion of Japan; serving with the occupying force; visit to Nagasaki. (04:33)
MacArthur’s dealings with Hirohito. (00:47) Coming home from Japan. (03:58) Home movies from Iwo Jima shot in 1945 by John Libby. (15:30)

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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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