Mob 3: A Naval Hospital in a South Sea Jungle is a fine account of a mobile naval hospital extemporized on a South Pacific island, and of its development into a fully equipped resource. Captain Parsons tells the story with a rare combination of wit and learning, and his curiosity leads him everywhere. Not many four-stripers in the Navy Medical Corps would have bought a Montgomery Ward saxophone for the Polynesian, Tuputala. just because the native had a perfect sense of pitch. Not many officers, regardless of stripes, could write a more stirring sketch than Captain Parsons has achieved in his chapter, “Barton Hill,”a tale of dogged, last-ditch surgery and the indestructible quality of a Sergeant of Marines.
An authority on tropical medicine and the author of several texts about it (the result of a tour of duty some years ago in the West Indies), Captain Parsons has served for a quarter of a century in the Naval Medical Corps, He is a graduate of the Harvard Medical School and a first-rate musicologist if we judge him by the chapter on Tuputala. Of the Polynesians, their personalities and ways, he writes with as much charm as about his work with Mob 3. He is ethnologist, raconteur, technician, administrator. In an earlier hook. Trail to Light, he showed himself a capable biographer. Recently he supervised the construction of a huge new naval hospital on the West Coast, and is now off with a new hospital ship. It is a pleasant thing to meet, in the ordinarily unsung career service of the United States Navy Medical Corps, a man of such varied and effective talents. Bobbs-Merrill, $3.50.