Doc Livingood’s records include his Surgeons’ Log and his flight logs, as well as internal memorandum. Additionally, he collected poems, referenced below, and other documents, including military aerial-nautical maps used by the Marine pilots. While certain operational information is included in the Flight Surgeons Log, its primary emphasis is on the pilots of the squadron, including their condition, both physical and mental. In addition to documenting those lost in combat, the Flight Surgeon’s Log accounts for those shot down, or otherwise missing in action and returned, those injured, or sick with malaria, reactions to anti-malaria medications, acute infectious jaundice, dengue fever, acute sinusitis, diarrhea, dysentery, and other miscellaneous diseases.
The hardships of combat and environmental conditions, captured in these documents, provide remarkable context for the poems in his collection. These documents and poems allow us to peer through a unique window into the past; a time before television and the internet – a time when men captured their thoughts, recorded events, and creatively expressed their reflections on the world around them through words.
During their combat tours and in the rear, the different pilot squadrons would interact. One encounter that Doc Livingood related involved the aftermath of a "wrestling match" between VMF-213's Milton Vedder and VMF-214's infamous Pappy Boyington. Best recollections of the story have Doc Livingood sewing stitches on Pappy Boyington after the "match." Long after the war, William Livingood received signed copies of Pappy Boyington's books, Tonya and Baa Baa Black Sheep.
Dr. William C. Livingood's collection of poems, with commentary, from his three combat tours with Marine fighter squadron VMF-213 are currently available as an ebook, entitled The Hell Hawk Poems, at Amazon.com, at Smashwords.com, and at Barnes and Noble.
William C. Livingood
William C Livingood, MD, Captain (U.S.N. Retired), died Sunday September 23, 2007, at home in Orlando, Florida. He was born on February 3, 1915, in Graysville, Pennsylvania, to John Madison Livingood and Frances Cook Livingood. He attended Waynesburg College in Pennsylvania through a state Senate scholarship and graduated with a BS degree in 1936. He graduated from University of Maryland College of Medicine with an MD degree in 1940.
Following his internship and the attack on Pearl Harbor, he joined the US Navy Medical Corps early in 1942. Dr. Livingood was assigned to US Marine Corps Pacific Airwings 1942-1945 as a flight surgeon and was stationed with the marine fighter squadron VMF 213, also know as the Hell Hawks, during the battle of the Solomon Islands in 1943.
William C. Livingood, MD, Captain (U.S.N. Retired) was a member of the Marine Corps Aviation Association and the Tailhook Association. Following WWII he was reassigned back to the US Navy and served as senior medical officer on the USS Wright in late 1940s. While in the Navy, he completed his post graduate medical education in otolaryngology at the University of Pennsylvania. He had a notable career in otolaryngology with the Navy where he served as Chief of Otolaryngology Services, US Naval Hospital, Philadelphia, and Head of the National Aural Rehabilitation Center. In addition, he was one of the first military physicians to use microscopic ear surgery and served as President of the Society of Military Otolaryngologists, 1956-57.
Following retirement from the Navy in 1962, he practiced otolaryngology with the Guthrie Clinic, Robert Packer Hospital, Sayre, Pennsylvania until 1970. For the next six years he practiced medicine at the Veterans Hospital, Fayetteville, NC. He moved to Raleigh, NC, in 1977 and served as a medical consultant to the NC Department of Human Resources until he fully retired at the age of 80 in 1995. Included in many professional honors he was Board certified by the American Academy of Otolaryngology, he had been a member of the Triological Society, (the American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society), the American Medical Association and the Pennsylvania Medical Society. In addition, he also had an active academic career as a Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery, Hanheman Medical College, Philadelphia, PA, and as a Visiting Professor of Speech Pathology and Audiology at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. He was a member of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity (Hu Chapter) and was listed in Who's Who in the East in 1970-71 and Who's Who in the South and Southwest in 1973-74. In his later years he became a member of the Blessed Trinity Catholic Church of Orlando, Florida.
Dr. Livingood was survived by his wife Lucille Bernadine (Donegan) Livingood, and his children: Frances Castello (husband James), William C Livingood Jr (wife Lynn Woodhouse), Carol Swyers (husband S. Richard), John M Livingood (wife Barbara), and Charles P Livingood (wife Cheryl); a sister Sara Buchanan; 20 grandchildren and 32 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his daughter Joan Giles, his sister Rachael Jones and his brother, Arthur. William, and his wife, Lucille, were inurned at Arlington National Cemetery with military honors.