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WORLD WAR ONE US NAVY MEDICAL DEPARTMENT FIELD SURGICAL INSTRUMENT POUCH – CARRIED BY THE NAVY SURGEONS ATTACHED TO THE US MARINE CORPS WHILE IN THE FORWARD POSITIONS WITH THE MARINES – A SCARCE WELL MARKED COMPLETE SET IN EXCELLENT CONDITION:  This World War One era US Navy Medical Officer’s Instrument Pouch has survived in excellent condition with all of the original instruments intact and showing very little use.  Larger than the U.S. Army’s Medical Officer’s Belt Instrument Pouch, this US Navy Medical Surgeon’s pouch - measuring 7” long - was intended for the doctor to carry in his pocket while on the front lines or when advancing with the Marines into a forward area.   

This pouch is equipped with a fairly comprehensive set of instruments – two full, four blade scalpel sets in steel cases, two pair of scissors, a set of forceps, a complete catheter set, an selection of smaller instruments, and three paper packets containing surgeon’s needles, silver wire sutures, and silk ligatures.  These basic instruments equipped the doctor to provide immediate life saving care to the wounded Marine before he was evacuated to the battalion aid station or field hospital.   

This pouch is in excellent condition, with a legible “MEDICAL DEPARTMENT US NAVY” ink stamped on the front cover.   The exterior of the pouch shows some soiling from being carried, but the web body and binding are all intact with no wear points, loose stitching, or heavy staining.  The interior of the pouch is quite clean.  The closing buttons retain all of their brown “OD” colored enamel finish and both snaps function properly.   

The instruments are in excellent condition showing little sign of use, all having an overall bright finish with no corrosion and no damage.  Most of the instruments are marked with the maker’s name or company logo as can be seen below in the photographs.     

Far smaller in size than the US Army Medical Department, the US Navy Medical Department served in the field with the US Marines in France, and the number of these instrument sets produced and issued was much smaller than those produced for the Army.  In addition, due to the utilitarian nature of these sets, it is quite likely they were taken into the doctors’ civilian practices after the war and were consumed through the years of use on his rounds – which probably adds to their scarcity today.  This is an excellent set to add to a World War One Medical collection, or a collection focused on the Marine Corps of World War One.  (0307)  $275 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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