Treatment and Recovery from Injury:
When we were growing up with dad, we knew he had a patch of skin on the inside of
his left wrist that was different. It was a little thicker than the surrounding skin,
and had "peach fuzz" on it, or short growing hair. It wasn't noticeable unless one
was looking for it. It did not seem (to us) to limit him in any way.
I believe the final corrective surgeries took place in the United States. Dad's description
was that they opened the wound on his wrist and opened a similarly sized area on his lower
left stomach, and sewed his arm onto his stomach for a time. I believe this may have been
after they had already done repairs to the nerves and tendons in his wrist.
After the wrist area had sufficiently healed, they detached it from his stomach and placed a
patch of the skin it had been attached to as a permanent skin graft on his wrist. This made the
visible patch, roughly 3 by 4 inches, that he had afterwards.
To repair the missing skin on
his stomach (which had been taken for the wrist), they then took a partial skin graft from his
inner thigh and put that on his stomach wound.
I could not locate any records on where these procedures were performed, but I believe they
were done by surgeons at the Newton D. Baker Hospital in Martinsburg where he was taken upon his
return to the United States. They probably took place in early 1945, though I have no direct
knowledge of how much time was involved in the surgical and healing process. The only relevant
record I can find lists his discharge from the army being from this same hospital on
January 23, 1946, a little over a year after his arrival there.
I did find a military Hospital Admission Card File with the following
- Military Branch: Infantry
- Diagnosis: FirstLocation: Wrist; Second Diagnosis: Paralysis, nerve
other & unspecified, not elsewhere classified. Second Location:
Ulnar nerve; Causative Agent: Artillery Shell, Fragments, afoot or
- Type of Injury: Casualty, battle
- Medical Treatment: Graft, skin, other (preference over cast)
- Injured in Line of Duty: In line of duty
- Jim Jr.