From School to the Navy

Life as a Submarine Doctor



Frank Faust was born in January 1916 in New Orleans [Annotator's Note: New Orleans, Louisiana]. His father worked for the Credit Clearing House. Faust attended Our Lady of the Sea School in St. Roch Park [Annotator's Note: New Orleans, Louisiana] for primary school and attended Jesuit High School [Annotator's Note: New Orleans, Louisiana]. In 1933 he attended Tulane University [Annotator's Note: New Orleans, Louisiana] for pre-med and completed medical school in 1940. He then began an internship at Touro Infirmary [Annotator's Note: New Orleans, Louisiana] and his residency in surgery soon after. In January 1941, he applied for a commission in the Navy because he was fascinated by ships. On 8 December 1941, the day after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor [Annotator's Note: Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 7 December 1941] Faust was performing an operation, when a nurse came in and told him that the 8th Naval District had called him. Faust returned the call and was told to report for active duty the next day. Faust went to the Federal office in downtown New Orleans and had signed up for flight surgery. Around that time, he had met the love of his life. He soon found out that the Navy did not want him for flight surgery but wanted him to examine the Marine recruits in New Orleans. Faust noticed that many of the football players from the universities failed their physicals due to colorblindness. He was then sent a notice to report to San Diego [Annotator's Note: San Diego, California] to the submarine repair unit Baker for the Pacific fleet. Faust thought very highly of the captain of his unit, who received the Navy Cross for his valor efforts against the Japanese while captain of a submarine tender. They were sent to Pearl Harbor and worked off the sub base. He did not care for Pearl Harbor because they were too strict.


While in Hawaii, Frank Faust can remember submarines would come in for repair and overhaul, and the crew members would go on leave, however when they returned, many of them would come back with venereal diseases. He could not treat some of the crew members in time before the submarine had to leave, so Faust was required to disqualify them, but the officers did not like this at all. The crew was a close-knit group. Faust called a local doctor and found out they were using a new drug called, penicillin, to treat the disease. Faust was a little concerned about the effects of the drug because he could get in serious trouble if an outbreak occurred on the submarine. Faust stayed in Hawaii for a few months and then was transferred to a sub base on Attu [Annotator's Notes: Attu, Aleutian Islands]. He was there mostly to close the base down so the Seabees [Annotator's Note: members of US naval construction battalions] could take over it. Faust was there by himself with no further orders from the Navy. He went to the airbase that was on the island and asked if they could use any assistance. The doctor for the airbase asked him to write to Captain Agnew [Annotator's Note: no given name provided] and tell him that he was needed on the airbase. [Annotator's Note: The interviewer pauses the interview to fix the microphone on the interviewee.] He eventually received orders to report to the Algiers Naval Support Activity in New Orleans [Annotator's Note: New Orleans, Louisiana]. After 18 months of touring with the submarine force, he put in a request to work in anesthesia. He was sent to Lahey Clinic in Boston [Annotator's Note: Boston, Massachusetts] for seven months. He was told upon his completion, with other selected doctors, that they would create a hospital for the invasion of Japan. However, that never came to fruition because the atomic bombs were dropped before he finished his studying. Faust was sent to the naval hospital in New Orleans. He was discharged from the Navy in January 1946. He only took two weeks of leave during his four years of service. He worked in A2 naval hospital after he was discharged. Faust enjoyed making miniature boats in bottles. He enjoyed being part of the Navy.


While in Hawaii, Frank Faust treated crew members from submarines while they were on leave. Faust also taught first aid to corpsmen because their submarines did not keep doctors on while at sea. He did not care for the strict rules while on the Hawaiian base. Faust remembered he had to take call at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel because it was R&R [Annotator's Note: rest and recuperation] for the submarine force. He remarked he would have to "baby" the servicemen all the time. Faust thought very highly of the men who were working in the submarines. He is amazed on the amount of destruction the submarines did during World War 2.

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