By Center of Military History United States Army
This pamphlet describes the serious position of military officials who defied the chances and observed this tremendous venture via to finishing touch. They integrated Col. William C. Gorgas, who supervised the scientific attempt that kept numerous lives and made it attainable for the hard work strength to do its task; Col. George W. Goethals, who oversaw the ultimate layout of the canal and its building and, both vital, inspired his employees to accomplish the herculean activity sooner than time table; and lots of different officials who headed up the project’s subordinate development instructions and rebuilt the Panama railroad, a key portion of the enterprise. in exactly seven years, those squaddies, hundreds of thousands of fellow american citizens, and tens of millions of employees from world wide grew to become the dream of an isthmian canal into fact. Their good fortune instantly ranked one of the maximum peacetime feats of the military and the country, and it continues to be in an effort to today
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Extra info for The Panama Canal : an army's enterprise
Roosevelt had declined, however, and Gorgas thus went to Panama as the chief public health 31 officer in an advisory capacity, reporting to the commission, but having little real authority. When the United States took possession of the Canal Zone, Gorgas surveyed the region to determine what kinds of resources he would need to tackle yellow fever. He developed a milliondollar proposal for a program similar to the one he had executed in Havana. The plan laid out requirements for the professional staff of the hospitals and medical system; the labor required to screen and fumigate homes and barracks, drain swamps, eliminate mosquito propagation areas, and inspect the results; and supplies such as screening, lumber, and insecticides that the department needed to carry out the enormous task.
His efforts succeeded in a matter of months in eliminating the disease from the city and also greatly reducing malaria. 27 Yellow Fever Work in Cuba The names of two Army medical officers are linked forever by their fight against yellow fever—Walter Reed and William C. Gorgas. Reed led the effort that unlocked the key to yellow fever; Gorgas put the new knowledge to practical effect. The story began when the United States occupied Cuba in 1898 and had to deal with Havana, a city of 250,000 long considered a source of epidemic outbreaks.
Upon retirement from the Army in 1918, the couple continued their effort. When he and Marie were passing through London on their way to Africa to investigate yellow fever there, he suffered a stroke in May and died on 4 July 1920. The King of England knighted Gorgas before he passed away. , before being buried in Arlington Cemetery. Honorary pallbearers included the secretary of war; members of Congress; and official representatives from Peru, Ecuador, and, of course, Panama. Honors continued in 1921 when Panamanian and American medical officials established the Gorgas Memorial Institute for Tropical and Preventive Medicine in Panama, and in 1928 when Congress renamed Ancon Hospital the Gorgas Hospital.