Message Board
Oakland Naval Hospital

37 Messages Since 9-30-02

Posted 3-9-03
Bernie Mullin, HN, 1958 - 1959

Miss you Cecelia Angel !

Posted 9-2-03
Gary Dasch, 1970 - 1972

My name is Gary Dasch. I  was an HM3 and worked in the surgery from 1970 to 1972. Would be glad to hear from anyone from that time. Here are some of the people I remember: Ron Deutsch, Joe Keane, Bob Crowe, Rich Day, John Fisher (who I've talke with over the years), Dan Pixely ( was still in Oakland last I knew).

Posted 11-27-03
Thomas Stoeckel, HM2, 1965 - 1966

Worked on the ICU ward 65 B.  Had the opportunity to “special”  Fleet Adm. Nimitz for a month of nights during one of his last stays there. Remained in the Navy and Navy Reserve for 37 years and retired as a CAPT MSC. Would be interested in knowing if there are any reunions planned and would love to hear from people in that era. Especially Lt Marge Miller or other nurses who worked the ICU during that period.

Posted 11-27-03
Steve Lamkins, 1971 - 1973

My name is Steve Lamkins. I was a patient at Oak Knoll from 1971 to approx. 1973. I did not have a combat related injury, rather I was a patient in the CIC (Clinical Investigation) ward. We weren't in the main bldg. but were in one of the outlying wards. Not sure which one. I remember a nurse- Bonnie Buouy(sp) and a Dr. Weinstein.There was a guy named George who worked in CIC in the main bldg., and a lady named Kathy McVicker who was in charge of the animal lab (where I was assigned for my work detail). Kathy passed away in the early 1990's (I have heard) from a brain tumor. Another of the patients I remember was another sailor named Don Hawn(sp). Also Alonzo Gregg was there as a patient. Alonzo (Lonnie) and I have been in  contact recently. That's about all I remember for now. Except for one of the corpsmen who was killed outside of the main gate at the bus stop. I wish I remembered his name, but I don't. All I remember is that he was stabbed numerous times. He was one of my favorite corpsmen. I believe his name was Eddie, but I don't remember his last name. Any help anybody can give me would be appreciated.

Posted 11-27-03
Beverly Fields, 1987 - 1989

My favorite duty station. I was an HN there from early 1987 until mid 1989.  I worked Post Partum (8th floor) and then for Capt Riddell in Administration.  My son was actually conceived in the Ortho Duty room on the 7th floor.  My husband was HN Richard Fields (now Chief).  I would love to hear from anyone who was stationed there during this time frame.

Posted 11-27-03
Walter H Rommel, Pharmacist Mate, 3rd Class, May 1944 - May 1946

Looking for Robert G Slater from Maryland, Montana, Minnesota - No contact since 1948.

Posted 12-13-03
Jim "Flash" Henderson, October 1989 - May 1992

I am HN Jim "Flash" Henderson, Oak Knoll from October 1989 - May 1992 (includes USNS Mercy). I worked for wards 9 South and 6 West.   Looking for anyone that was part of The Crew at the hospital or on the Mercy: names include Jim "Preacher" Morris, Grizz, Amy, and Eddie Guting. There were lots of us, so please e-mail me and place Oak Knoll in the subject - if you don't I will think it's SPAM.

Posted 1-25-04
Brian E. Petersen, 1969 - 1970

I left the Navy as Brian E. Petersen HM2.  I was a HN while at Oak Knoll and worked on the 9th floor, Septic Orthopedics.  What I remember most are the patients and their tragic wounds.  Most on my ward were Marines, very recently Medivaced  from 'Nam,, with horriffic infected amputations resulting from landmines, AK47 and other weaponry.  The patients attitudes and courage in the face of a very altered future life was inspiring. It made my last year in the Navy, spent with First Marine Air Wing, much easier to be with Marines!

Posted 2-14-09
Gerry Allen, 1968 - 1969

I worked on old neurosurgery Ward in '68 and went to Lab Tech School in the New Hospital in '69

Posted 2-14-09
HM3 Darrell Pace, Surgical Tech

Looking for anyone with information on HM3  John Gaines

Posted 2-14-09
Larry Taylor, HM3, Oct 1972 thru Oct. 1974

I'm Larry Taylor, HM3, was stationed at NRMC Oakland Oct 1972 thru Oct. 1974.  Assigned to SOQ 'sick officer quarters' (6-NE) for the first year, then Psych. Testing 5th floor for a year.

I participated in 'Operation Homecoming' in 1973 as Sr. Corpman.  What a great time seeing these men letting loose after their terrible ordeal.  They got special privledges.  One wanted a bloody mary.... with the blood I drew from him.  They were absolutely ecstatic and didn't sleep for a week.   Lots of Ice Cream, booze, Playboy Bunnies, Music, and we really had fun playing jokes on the Marines who took over the 1st floor of our barracks.

Got to know LCDR Alverez (longest time POW), Cdr. Richard Stratton and several others.  Have pictures taken on the ward with all of the men, and POW bracelets piled 3 feet deep.

In psych testing, I was the solo enlisted man and worked with a Dr. Slater, and 7 other Docs.... tested everyone going on subs, Antarctica, psych school, and, of course, all the psych patients on the 5th floor.  A drug company took 20 docs deep sea fishing, they invited me.  25 miles offshore, they all were analyzing each other, and one by one they got seasick and started barfing.  Then, they analyzed why they were barfing!!

I enjoyed Oakland Hospital.  Food was great, beer dispenser in the barracks, lots of fun times.  This was also during the Patty Hearst SLA thing...a crazy time.  There was the sniper who took pot shots every night for about a month.  Then, the killing by the front gate.  But, mostly a damn good place to be stationed.

All in all, some of the best memories of my life come from that place. Did I mention the enormous amount of attractive WAVES stationed there?  What's a guy to do?

I went on to college, got married in 77, have two kids, started a Tucson printing company in 1981, and that’s where I am today.

Posted 2-14-09
Don Belt, 1978 - 1981

I was a Lt JG MSC pharmacist 1978-1981. Had wonderful memories of Oak Knoll and San Leandro where I lived. On my second OD watch, there was a fire in the BART tunnel between Oakland and San Francisco. Had a great time playing and coaching softball. Later transferred to AF and retired as Maj. (I was a former HM2 aboard the Yorktown CVS-10)

Posted 2-14-09
Jerry Lee Heilman, 1969 - 1971

I have frequent recollection of 67-69 stint in Nurse Corps (anesthesia) at Oak Knoll. Jerry Lee Heilman was my name then, Porter is last name now. I would love to hear from anybody with ties to that time. There are so many people I remember but do not recall their names. I am going through slides "from back then" and it is such a "trip"(as we used to say)! Hoping to hear from others with fond memories of those VERY YOUNG days. With shared times, Jerry Lee Porter

Posted 2-14-09

John Roberts, Volunteer, American Red Cross, Murfreesboro, Tennessee I am doing research on Marie Adams who was a POW during WWII in the Phillipeans (St Tomas Camp) for almost 3 years before all were freed by the American Military and as I understand, was Red Cross Hospital Field Director at Oak Knoll Naval Hospital after the war? Any information on her or maybe her family will be greatly appreciated. She is just a part of my "Project Find" which I started on January 8th, 2003. Thanking you in advance... John Roberts-Volunteer Heart of Tennessee Chapter American Red Cross Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Posted 2-14-09
David Burleson HM2, 1980 - 1986

My name is David Burleson HM2 stationed from 1980-1986.  I worked as a  Naval Instructor for Psych Tech C School.  Then I worked for Alcohol Rehab Center next to the Coast Guard Credit Union.   I know the  hospital closed and I tried to visit the base in June 04.  Security wouldn't let us on base.

Posted 2-14-09
Tom Rawson, Airman 3rd Class (USAF), Feb 1964 - Feb 1965
Trainee USN Prosthetics Laboratory.

There is no year of my life when I learned more than I did that year at beautiful Oak Knoll, everything from anatomy to welding.  Oh, yeah, and drinking.  We were a class of four, two rookies from the Air Force and two salty petty officers. There were me, Roberto Ramiro Paez, Max Henry Werner, and Tony ... Tony, I'm sorry, but old age is getting to me and I can't remember the rest of your names.  What a time we had with a million-dollar hobby shop open 24 hours.  We put ripple soles on all our shoes and made shanks in the machine shop.

Posted 2-14-09
John P. Leary, Patient 1967 - 1968

I was a patient at Oak Knoll from August 1967 until being retired in December 1968 with a medical disability due to gunshot wounds.  I was on ward 78A for awhile and then ward 79B.  Would like to hear from anyone who was a patient or working on those wards during that time, especially from ward 79B.

Posted 2-14-09
"Fred" Groeger, HM3, 1961 - 1963

Stationed at USNH Oakland from 61 -63.  Lotta memories.  Met and married my wife there.  I remember a lot of names but have lost touch with everyone from those days.  "V"  you still out there?

Posted 2-14-09
Ramona L. Boudreaux Portland, Maine

I am writing to find out if there is any way of contacting a LT Bob Sundin that was admitted to this hospital approximately 1970-1971.  He was my penpal during that time when I was 11 years old and I have often wondered what happened to him after discharge.  If anyone knows of a link or a site that might give me an opportunity to write to him again, I would appreciate it.   Thank you!

Posted 2-14-09
Mary Nieuwhof

I’m a college student in Michigan doing research for a memorial project dedicated to women war veterans (through my English class). Each of my fellow students and I have been assigned a veteran to interview. I was assigned to Mrs. Clarissa DeKorne (nee De Hoog). Mrs. DeKorne, who grew up in Grand Rapids, mentioned that she worked in a dressing department of Oak Knoll (Oakland, California) during WWII, and achieved the status of Lieutenant Junior Grade before finishing her term at the end of the war. I was wondering if there is anyone out there who has heard of her, or knew her at the time. It would also be interesting to hear other people’s experiences working at Oak Knoll during WWII.

Posted 3-31-12
Arthur William Nicewander, Chief, 1971-1974,
Medical Repair

Just curious if anyone here worked with my father during this time. We have fond memories of our stay at Oakland. I am sure my Dad would love to hear from some of his colleagues. Thanks.

Posted 3-31-12
Larry Cazier, 1968

I'd like to send a shout-out to anyone that was a patient in the Oak Knoll naval hospital, beginning in July 1968. I was one of the first patients to be moved from the old barrack style hospital to the new hospital. I'm surprised it was demolished last year. I'm Larry Cazier, USMC and was received at the hospital in June of '68. Some of the my fellow patients were Robbie Ford, Dan Arent, Bob Ethier, Dave Headley, and Frank Cabral, all of us were combat injured in Viet nam. Peace.

Posted 3-31-12
Tim Shalk, HM2, Dec 1967 - March 1969

I served as Corpsman on 65 B and then Senior Corpsman in  the new hospital at Oak Knoll (  Dec 67- March 69 ) …… Interested in connecting with anyone who served or was a patient there at the same time.   The base is closed, but the memories never fade.  I am active in trying to preserve the dignity of the old place, by working with possible developers to maintain some sort of memorial park on the land, some sort of tribute to all who passed through there from WW11 through the Vietnam War….. Looking for old friends who served with me at the time….. Best Tim Shalk, HM2  ( Discharged from MCB10,  Port Hueneme,  31st naval Construction Regiment in 1970 )

Posted 3-31-12
Dana (Doc') Hendrickson, 1969 - 1973

I did two tours at Oak Knoll, approximately 1969 thru 1973, after transferring from Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego. My first tour started out working with the SeaBee’s building the ball field fencing until there was a billett opening. Subsequently, I was the Lead Corpsman on the 8th floor Neurosurgical ICU unit under Capt. Gale Clark. I then spent a year at the Naval Supply Center Dispensary near the Oakland Bay Bridge returning to Oak Knoll for Operating Room School. I still recall the first wave of POW’s from Viet Nam we received. It was a grand place to be stationed. A lot of fond memories & great medical experince obtained at Oak Knoll. After the second tour I went on to Fleet Marine Force Atlantic 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing support, & the O.R. at Cherry Point, N.C. (A “Devil Doc’) until discharge in 1976.

Posted 3-31-12
K. Ottoboni

I'm trying to find my mother. I was born at this hospital on July 9, 1962. I don't have her name.she was married to a sailor, had an affair with another sailor. Her husband made her put me up for adoption. DOES ANYONE RECOGNIZE THIS STORY ?.

Posted 3-31-12
David McCamy, 1990 - 1996

Would like to hear from anyone stationed at Oak Knoll that worked in the pharmacy from 90 to 96.

Posted 3-31-12
Donna Slate (Hart), 1968 - 1970

Hart Friends   I have been trying to find some friends of mine who were medics at Oak Knoll Hospital from 1968 to 1970.  Their names were Gerry Allen, Steve Cantrell and Harold "Ozzie" Osborne.  Any informantion would be appreciated.   DONNA HART

Posted 3-31-12
Chris Dunn, USN, PR3,

My name is Chris Dunn, USN, PR3 and I was in a drug and alcohol recovery program called Project 49 in 1972.  I am looking for a nurse by the name of “Fran????” (sp) who was raised in San Francisco, or a Dr. Tobin from South Carolina, the head of the Program.  The Program worked, I have been married for 35 years, have three children, raised three brothers and sisters, built several successful companies and retired a couple of years ago.  My son with one of my daughters and I just bought another project here in Sonoma, California and so I am back to work and loving life, the idea of retirement just doesn’t set for me, I guess.  Besides, It doesn’t get any better than working with your kids. Back to Oak Knoll, I also spent some time on the fifth floor, something about a court martial, my Commanding Officer being upset because I told him “I quit…” at a Captain’s Mass in Da Nang, long story short after I turned myself in to the Chaplin at Treasure Island I was delivered to Oak Knoll 5th Floor, go figure, where I met this goddess of a nurse who saved my life. I couldn’t remember her name back then so I am not going to remember it now except I do remember calling her Franzioni which I recall was a butchery of a beautiful Italian name. I believe she also served on the Repose or another Hospital Ship off of Da Nang in ’68 & ’69. Any help you all can give me I would appreciate it.THANK YOU ALL FOR SERVING. Chris

Posted 3-31-12
James L. Wolford, HM3, 1958 - 1961

My name is James L. Wolford, HM3, who served at Oakland Naval Hosp. from 1958-1961. I began by working in the neurosurgery ward that dealt mainly with laminectomies and parapalegics. Then I worked in Pt. Personnel for a year serving disabled personnel who had to return for physicals in order to maintain their disability status. Finally, the last yr. and a half, I worked in the ER. That was great duty. I loved the work and the doctors I worked with. They taught me so much.   I began college at the age of 26 using the GI Bill. That sponsored my Associates, Bachelor and Master degrees. I got a job teaching at Joliet Jr. College and taught there for 30 years, taking a year's sabbatical during which I completed the course work for a doctorate, later earning my Doctor of Education degree in 1982. I was a high school dropout. The Navy changed my life. Thank you USN and the U. S. Congress for passing the GI Bill.   Anyone serve during that time?

Posted 3-31-12
Sue Gunderson, Hm1, 1975 - 1979

Hm1 Sue Gunderson worked from 1975-1979 Worked mostly in labor and delivery, worked night shift. Loved my time there, remember getting pulled to floors to find 1 RN and 1 corpsman and 30 patients, good old times.  Loved my Navy years.

Posted 3-31-12
Debra Heilshorn, HM3, 1969 - 1971

Hi, I am Debra Heilshorn, HM3, was stationed at Oak Knoll from 1969 - 71.  Worked on 5E, the psych unit. Some of the people I remember are Anita Van Buskirk, Jim Tissue, Jim Youngblood, Cliff Owens, Cliff Wright, Dr Voltilino, Dr Acord, Jonni Hargrove, Doyle Dalke. After discharge, went to school on the GI bill, and am now an RN working in oncology. Would like to hear from others who worked during that time.  Thanks, Deb

Posted 3-31-12
Ricardo Renteria HM2, 1984 -1987

I worked the barracks when I arived until an opening in the hospital was available. I then was assigned to 7N orthopedic ward. What a blast I was senior corpsman on the ward. I worked with Lt Pyawarzyk. I was then sent TAD aboard the USS Okinawa as part of the Surgical Support Team 5. I arrived back to the Hospital and placed in the Mobil Medical Readiness team Office down in the old building where the library was located. We then moved into the 2nd or 3rd floor where Manpower was located. Ironically after 13 years and many duty stations later I was discharged from the hospital right before it shut down. Great memories. Best duty station I ever had.

Posted 3-31-12
Christopher R. Dunn, Patient 1971 & 1972

I am looking for a nurse who worked on the fifth floor in 1971 maybe May/June.  She took care of me first on the fifth floor and then later in the old barracks across from the main hospital. I am not sure of her name, I believe it might of been "Francioso" or "Franzioni" or another Italian Name starting with Fran, she was definitely Italian and definitley from San Francisco.  We talked alot about growing up in San Francisco. I believe prior to her Oak Knoll station she may have been on a Hospital Ship or possibly at the Hospital in Da Nang.  We talked alot about Da Nang. Any Help any of you all may have would be appreciated.

Posted 3-31-12
Dave Heiberg, HM3, 1954 - 1957

I was stationed at Oak Knoll from 1954 - 1957, working on the psych units.  I'd like very much to hear from anyone from that time and place.

Posted 3-31-12
Nicewander, CPO, 1971 - 1974

Hi, My father CPO Nicewander was stationed at Oak Knoll from 1971-1974. We were the first patrons in the new housing that was built back in the 70's. I have 5 Mugs from Oak Knoll that have the Navy Emblem on one side and the words Oak Knoll Naval Hospital written along the edges. I would like to see them go to someone who worked there during the year. I am about to put them up on ebay until I found this site.   If you know anyone that would be interested in purchasing the mugs please let me know.  

Posted 4-7-12
Ken Stewart

My nmae is Cpl Ken Steart and I served with 1st Plt. Brovo Company 1st Bn. 27th Marines Regt. and finally with 1st P,T Golf Co. 2nd Bn. 5th Marine Regt. I Corps Vietam. I was transfered tp Oaknoll Naval Hospital in Jan. 1968 after being wounded in combat. I spent all my time in the old wooden WWII portions of the hospital. Spent most time on Amputee Ward, the Plastic Surgery Ward, OTO and Eye Wards recoverying from many operations. Went to NPRL (Naval Prosthetic Research Lab) under the direction of Dr. Eagletonand other Prothetic Researchers. You could tell time from all the Marines and Corpsman on the wards. Every four hours it was shout outs for Morphine or Demeral. I was a RT BK amp with other injuries, but after the night nurse made her 8 to 9pm rounds we would break out the Rum and Wiskey and get drunkr than hell and race each other down those steep wheel chair pamps, crashing all over the place. Great cpmrbadrie there. I remember a Doc Moffet from the OTO Ward, a commander Dr. Fullwyer from the Eye Ward. Some unusual skin graping that led to human pretzels on the Plastic Surgery Ward and a drunk sailor whom bit the night Nurse. Spent many days in TV rooms smoking and shooting the shit. Thanks for putting our sorry asses back together and not reporting our numerous infractions. Thanks to all the Corpsman and Nurses for putting us back together again. Looking at recent pictures of the Hospital site you would think that some of the old Wards would have been kept for historic value, since they serviced WWII, Korean War and Vietman Veterans. The Hospital Staff and Community of Oakland was very supportive of us and that I will always remember. Thanks to the Oakland Raiders, James Drury (the Virginian) and all the other service reps from the DAV and Service Organizations that gave us vital information regarding VA benefits.A special thanks to John Hanna for giving me good advive, since the USMC was going to Retire me against my wishes. Thanks for all the morning reopen and aerate the wound procedures that gave us something to bitch about. Mike Kush another patient and BKA... I hope you are well and have had a rewarding life. For those two specail nurse LTS that lusted over my body, I'm sorry that I could not accomodate you as I was happily married. To that old grumpy lifer lard ARSE nurse whom was rude to the wives of patients on the OTO and Eye Wards..... if you should happen to read this "Go To Hell". To everyone else... Thanks for caring and being so professional!

Posted 5-21-12
Connie Adams

Thank you for this website. I am the great granddaughter of Alexander Inglis whom I just found out worked on building the original wooden buildings for WWII. I have found his registration card for this work from April 25, 1942. He was 56 at the time. This is my grandma’s biological father whom she never saw after 7 years old. She thought he died in 1935 but I have found out otherwise. I am interested in any information about him for my mother and the rest of the family. If anyone knew him during this time it would be great to connect. Thanks.

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