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IDed Pearl Harbor Survivors USN Medical Officers Uniform


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I received this uniform from a surviving family member in 2015. I wanted to post it here to get feedback, advice, and a rough value of this grouping. Fortunately, there is quite a paper trail for the original owner. I had no idea the original owner was a survivor of the attacks at Pearl Harbor until I started researching him. The uniform I have is a black double breasted wool jacket with matching trousers. Still has his original rank(Commander, Medical Corps) and awards/battle honors. The trousers are unmarked but the jacket has two laundry tags, one has his name and possibly his serial number.


Here is a summary of what I’ve found on him so far.


William Carleton(1912-2015)

graduated from Williams College in 1935 with a BS in chemistry.

graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1939, interned at Memorial Hospital (now part of the University of Massachusetts) in Worcester, MA, and joined the Navy in July 1941.

joined the newly-commissioned Navy hospital ship USS Solace (AH-5) as a physician in early September 1941.

The Solace was part of the fleet which was attacked by the Japanese in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The hospital ship was not hit, but handled injured sailors, many badly burned, from nearby ships for days following the surprise attack

The USS Solace took part in the battle of the Coral Sea six months after the attack at Pearl Harbor. Then Dr. Carleton left the fleet and was reassigned stateside.

In 1945 he returned to the Pacific war theater, treating casualties from island assaults such as Okinawa.

Following the Japanese surrender on September 2, 1945 many servicemen who had been prisoners in Japan were brought to the 103rd Fleet Hospital on Guam where CMDR Carleton was in charge of treating the officers.


According to an interview, Carleton’s ship, the Solace, was docked next to the Arizona, and treated many of the shell shocked and burned victims. Later in the day he treated a downed American pilot that had been shot down by friendly fire since recognition signals had not been re-established.


His experiences at Pearl Harbor were also mentioned in the last paragraph on page 40 of: “Desperate Surgery in the Pacific War:Doctors and Damage Control for American Wounded, 1941-1945”

A newspaper article about him



Wiki page on the USS Solace


Article on the USS Solace and its involvement at Pearl Harbor.



His Obituary



Also the link pages he is mentioned on in :Desperate Surgery In the Pacific War”



Wade Rogers







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The uniform isn't really exciting, but the amount of information on the guy is really impressive! If I had your uniform, I'd value it around $125 or so.


Hope that helps!


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