Historic Reflections: WWII Captain, Dr. Cortez Enloe

Historic Reflections: WWII Captain, Dr. Cortez Enloe

By guest contributor Jeremy P. Ämick  

In decades past, the Enloe family of Mid-Missouri produced a respected line of physicians and dentists. Additionally, many members of the family established a legacy while serving in the military, including Capt. James Enloe, who commanded a company of troops from the Russellville area during the Civil War and his nephew, Roscoe Enloe, a Jefferson City soldier killed in WWI, for whom a local American Legion post is named.

One such individual whose name has essentially faded from the collective memory of the community is that of Dr. Cortez Enloe Jr., a man whose education and experience carried him across the globe and helped inspire a character named “Doc” in a once popular comic strip.

Born in Jefferson City in 1910, Cortez Ferdinand Enloe Jr., was the grandson of the aforementioned James Enloe and a 1928 graduate of Jefferson City Senior High School. He soon made the decision to follow the example set by his father, a respected physician, by enrolling at the University of Missouri in Columbia.

“I went to Culver Military Academy (Indiana) and the University of Missouri, but my father’s savings were wiped out in (the Stock Market Crash of) 1929,” said Enloe Jr. in an interview appearing in the April 15, 1987 edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Graduating with his bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1932, he soon chose to continue his medical education overseas.

“Medical school was $450 a year then at Washington (University in St. Louis), but at Heidelberg (Germany) it was $100,” he further explained in the previously mentioned article.

Departing Missouri in the fall of 1932 to begin his studies at the University of Heidelberg, Enloe Jr. continued to follow his father’s lead, who had “returned from doing research work there and in Austria several years ago,” reported the Jefferson City Post-Tribune on September 26, 1932.

While studying in Germany, he met his wife and traveled to Jefferson City in 1933 to be married. The couple then returned to Heidelberg where Enloe resumed his studies. The following year, the joy of his recent marriage was tempered by the death of his mother, whom the August 16, 1934 edition of the Jefferson City Post-Tribune described as “one of the most gracious women of the capital city.”

He would graduate cum laude with his medical degree from the University of Berlin in 1937 and, two years later, joined the medical staff at St. Anthony’s in St. Louis. From there, he went to New York to work on a penicillin research project and, after the U.S entered WWII, enlisted in the Army Air Corps to train in aviation medicine.  

The doctor was later involved in combat operations, the magazine further explained, as a combat flight surgeon of the First Air Commando Force during the airborne invasion of Burma, participating in 39 combat missions and “in combat operations behind enemy lines in Central Burma.”

While serving in the Southeast Asian nation, he spent two months behind Japanese lines and suffered from a severe bout of dysentery. Enloe also became the medical advisor to Admiral Louis Mountbatten—a famed British naval officer admired by Winston Churchill, who led a successful military campaign against the Japanese resulting in the recapture of Burma during WWII.

Enloe’s military service, noted the previously cited article in Nutrition Today magazine, resulted in what the Mid-Missouri medical professional claimed his “greatest distinction” when he became the “prototype for the character ‘Doc’ in Milton Caniff’s comic strip ‘Terry and the Pirates,’ based upon his commando exploits in Burma.”

As the years passed, his meteoric career included not only founding an internationally renowned nutrition magazine but, according to a biography from the Air Force Academy, he “went to Europe with the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey Group (after WWII) and interrogated nearly all the doctors from Hitler’s higher headquarters inquiring about the health of the German nation during the war…”

He witnessed atomic testing in the 1950s while president of a medical advertising agency and went on to earn recognition in boating as well. The WWII veteran was awarded the 1967 New York Yacht Club Medal “for his work in establishing and promoting power yacht racing activities…” reported the January 11, 1968 edition of The Capital (Annapolis, Maryland) newspaper.  

A broad collection of achievements and interests certainly could bestow upon Dr. Enloe the title of Renaissance man, never resting on his laurels nor shying away from a new challenge. One final endeavor, however, never came to fruition since it was cut short by his passing—a book about his military experiences.

Dr. Enloe was the recipient of 13 military decorations from the Army, Air Force and Navy, becoming “one of the most decorated medical officers in the American Armed Forces” in WWII. Sadly, he “died suddenly of a heart attack in 1995 before completing his book about the First Air Commandos,” explained the Air Force Academy Library in biographical notes about the late veteran.

A longtime resident of Annapolis, Maryland, the veteran’s body was returned to Mid-Missouri and interred in Enloe Cemetery near Russellville. His life, as demonstrated by his achievements, served as an example to many aspiring physicians and military medical professionals; however, as he noted many years ago, success came from adherence to the advice of his father—simple words with enduring applicability.

In an article appearing in the November 29, 1972 edition of the Evening Sun (Baltimore, Maryland), Enloe sagely affirmed, “I remembered that my father had once told me, ‘If you want to be a success, erase the distinctions between yourself and people of great achievement.’”


Jeremy P. Ämick writes on behalf of the Silver Star Families of America. A published author of military history, Jeremy’s books are available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and missouriatwar.com.


Agent Orange: Facts to know

Agent Orange: Facts to know

Contributed by Kris Baydalla-Galasso

Operation Ranch Hand was the codename for the US program that ordered over 20 million gallons of herbicide to be spread over Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia during a ten-year span of the Vietnam War. Agent Orange was the most commonly used herbicide. Intended to be the primary agent in the destruction of the forest cover in these countries, it was an extremely powerful herbicide that not only caused the desired deforestation but also has since been known to cause a multitude of devastating conditions for the local people and returning US Soldiers.

Operation Ranch Hand was aggressive chemical warfare designed to reduce food supplies for strategic cover being used by the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese troops. The over 20 million gallons were spread across nearly 4.5 million acres. While seemingly a strategic win at the time, the fallout would prove to be a blemish on the face of American warfare history.

Operation Ranch Hand utilized six different herbicides. Produced by well-known American manufacturing companies, such as Monsanto and Dow Chemical, the herbicides were marked by colors on their packaging drums and subsequently referred to as those colors – Agent Orange, Agent Pink, Agent Green, Agent Blue, Agent White and Agent Purple. Agent Orange was the most used, most potent and most altered – with four different variations, including Super Orange. Agent Orange and its variations account for almost two-thirds of the herbicide use during the Vietnam War.

Agent Orange’s active ingredients caused plants to lose their leaves. TCDD, a type of dioxin, was not an intentional ingredient but instead a byproduct of the manufacturing process. The TCDD found in Agent Orange is the most dangerous and deadly of all dioxins.

It has been nearly 50 years since the US Government stopped using Agent Orange and other herbicides in chemical warfare. Despite the time that has passed, many of those exposed – both Vietnamese and American – still face the physical repercussions and fallout.


Special Warfare Operator Needed!

Special Warfare Operator Needed!

The U.S. Navy is seeking E-1 through E-5 applicants for conversion into the Special Warfare Operator (SO) and Special Warfare Boat Operator (SB) ratings. Applications are due quarterly; contact Naval Special Operations Enlisted Community Manager (BUPERS-324) for specific deadlines.

Additional information regarding the selection process and application requirements is available at the Navy SEAL website.

For questions about the application process, application deadlines, or about special warfare service, contact BUPERS-324, at (901) 874-2195/DSN 882 or (901) 874-3552/DSN 882.

Navy & Marine Corps Take Iceland by Storm…

Navy & Marine Corps Take Iceland by Storm…

Contributed by Kris Baydalla-Galasso

More than 7,000 American Sailors and Marines arrived in Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavík last week – and local businesses were completely unprepared. The Americans were there to participate in NATO’s Trident Juncture, but upon docking, made a swift course to the city’s local watering holes.

Bar owners did their absolute best to accommodate the onslaught of thirsty Americans, but they were no match for the Naval and Marine Corps servicemembers. Bars quickly found themselves facing a crisis: they were out of beer.  Iceland, a country of less than 350,000 citizens, was unaware of the strains that so many American servicemembers would put on its alcohol reserves.

As bars in Reykjavík ran out of supplies, they quickly reached out to neighboring businesses for assistance. It wasn’t long before even the back up supplies were depleted and Icelandic bars were tapped out of brew.

Fortunately, a local brewery, Ölgerð Egils Skallagrímssonar, came to the rescue and began to provide emergency beer supplies for businesses who were serving the Americans.

Iceland may have been unprepared for the American invasion – but the businesses handled the shock well and and were gracious and giving hosts. To their credit, the American Sailors and Marines gave a swift boost to local economy while keeping the tomfoolery and shenanigans to a minimum!

Super Typhoon Devastates US Territories

Super Typhoon Devastates US Territories

Contributed by Kris Baydalla-Galasso

Military forces across the globe are combining efforts to bring aid and relief to areas impacted by Super Typhoon Yutu, particularly Saipan and Tinian.

The Super Typhoon, a Category 5 storm, made landfall last Thursday and immediately took out power and clean water supply for the local residents. As the winds, which reached nearly 180 mph, ravaged the provinces, residents found themselves with limited shelter as many there were many reported cases of roofs being ripped from the housing structure.

The path of the storm spared Guam, which became key to aid and assistance efforts. Guam quickly became the home base for relief operations. Prior to the storms of September and October, FEMA had reported that relief supplies included more than 100,000 liters of bottled water and more than 127,000 packaged meals.Since their initial report, supplies have more than doubled. While even these increased amounts don’t seem like enough to make an impact, it is an excellent reserve on hand and will ensure that victims of Super Typhoon Yutu will have access to adequate food and water. The supplies are already being distributed to those impacted by the storms.

Commonwealth officials are reporting that the impacted regions will likely be without power for months. This report solidifies the thought that US Military operations – which include the Coast Guard, Marine Corps., Air Force, Navy, Army Corps of Engineers and more – will be on site and working together for many months to come.


Flu Facts: What you need to know this season

Flu Facts: What you need to know this season

Contributed by Kris Baydalla-Galasso

We are rapidly approaching the holiday season, and carving pumpkins turns into carving turkeys and decking the halls, we all need to be reminded and aware of the uninvited guest: Influenza. There are a few important things you need to remember about the flu:

  1. The “flu” or influenza is caused by the Human Influenza A, B and C Viruses
  2. Symptoms typically appear 1-4 days after exposure
  3. Symptoms include fevers of over 100 degrees, cough, nasal stuffiness, weakness, congestion, muscle aches, general fatigue, sore throat, chills and sweats
  4. Symptoms often last for at least a week or two, sometimes longer
  5. You are contagious for about a day before you have symptoms and for about a week after your symptoms start
  6. You get the flu by breathing. Tiny droplets are inhaled and spread the virus.

If you bring yourself to the doctor within 24-48 hours of the onset of symptoms, antivirals can be prescribed and may significantly decrease the duration of your illness. It is critical that you pay attention to your symptoms and react quickly to minimize the impact of your illness.

The best way to attempt to prevent the flu is by receiving a flu vaccination. That, combined with consistent hand washing and limiting contact with individuals known to have the flu, will limit the spread of the virus.  

Flu vaccinations are completely covered by insurance and many major chains are incentivizing customers to stop in and receive the vaccine while they shop.

It is critical to get the Flu vaccine before the flu is spreading throughout your area. The earlier in the season that vaccination occurs, the more likely you are to receive maximum protection. The CDC recommendation is that vaccinations be received in October. This year, many communities are reporting cases of the flu already, and some have even reported deaths attributed to the flu.

It takes two weeks from the time of vaccination for the antibodies to develop against the flu. While many are skeptical of vaccination, the flu vaccine does not “cause” the flu. It does, however, give the body the best protection against a virus that does, in fact, kill.


Another Order for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

The Reuters News Agency reports that Belgium has chosen Lockheed Martin’s F-35 stealth jets over the Eurofighter Typhoon to replace its aging F-16s, a move that would cement the U.S.-made war plane’s position in Europe.

The country has been deliberating for months over a multibillion-dollar purchase of 34 new fighter jets, with a late October deadline looming. Lockheed spokeswoman Carolyn Nelson did not confirm that a purchasing decision has been made, but if so, Belgium will become the 12th country to buy the radar-evading F-35 fighters and could help to strengthen the U.S. aerospace company’s position in potential offers from Switzerland, Finland and Germany.

News of the order comes not long after all F-35 fighter jets were temporarily grounded. The F-35 Joint Program Office said the U.S. and its international partners had suspended flights of the Joint Strike Fighter, also known as the Lightning II, until a fleet-wide inspection of the aircraft’s fuel tubes were completed. Officials ordered the inspection following a nonfatal crash on Sept. 28 in Beaufort, South Carolina. The F-35 Joint Program Office reported earlier this month that the majority of the single-seat, single-engine jets have resumed flight operations.

The most expensive weapons program of its type, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has been under development for decades by the U.S. and its allies and is set to enter a round of testing to determine if the jet is indeed ready for action worldwide. The highly anticipated initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) tests will start in November 2018 and conclude in July 2019. There are collectively more than 240 F-35s among the Marines, Air Force and Navy.

Over 500 Immigrant Recruits Expelled from the U.S. Army in One Year

Over 500 Immigrant Recruits Expelled from the U.S. Army in One Year

Contributed by Debbie Gregory

During a 12-month period the U.S. Army discharged more than 500 immigrant enlistees who were promised a path to citizenship.

The enlistees were part of the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) recruiting program, which allows legal noncitizens to join the military in exchange for expedited U.S. citizenship.

The recruiting program was put on hold in 2016 amid concerns that recruits were not being screened sufficiently, and the Army began booting out those enlistees last year.

The Army submitted its list of discharged servicemembers to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia last month, putting the number at 502 service members who enlisted under MAVNI discharged between July 2017 and July 2018.

Of the discharged immigrants, more than 100 were told their entry-level performance and conduct was subpar and 48 were dismissed because of an adverse security screening. Others were dismissed for reasons ranging from personal problems to encounters with police.

The names of the service members and other personal information were redacted from the list to protect their privacy.

All the enlistees had committed to active duty or reserves; many had been regularly drilling and training with their recruiters in preparation for boot camp while awaiting security clearances.

More than 5,000 immigrants were recruited into the program in 2016, and an estimated 10,000 are currently serving.

Because of the long wait caused by new screenings, dozens of immigrant recruits already in the pipeline were discharged or had their contracts canceled. The ensuing complaints and lawsuits led the Army to halt the discharges and reinstate at least 36 recruits.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has gone on the record as to his support of the MAVNI program.

“We need and want every qualified patriot willing to serve and able to serve,” Mattis said.

Recovery a Long Process at Tyndall Air Force Base

Recovery a Long Process at Tyndall Air Force Base

Contributed by Alan Rohlfing


As the recovery from Hurricane Michael continues, many of those who were forced to evacuate from Tyndall Air Force Base – Service members, civilians, family members – are searching for answers about their future. Where they will be able to live, where their military job will post them.

In a briefing with reporters at the Pentagon earlier this week, Air Force officials stressed that recovering from the worst hurricane to hit a base in years, if not decades, will be a long, difficult process. While things are much improved at Tyndall over the last few days, they said it will likely be years before the Florida base will be back to where it was before the storm landed its direct hit. The National Hurricane Center said the storm reached Category 4 status, with 150 mph winds as Hurricane Michael made landfall. Tyndall at one point was in the eye of the storm.

Brig. Gen. John Allen, the Air Force’s director of civil engineers, compared the damage to what Hurricane Katrina did to Mississippi’s Keesler Air Force Base in 2005.  “I’ve been through a hurricane and a hurricane recovery before, but not on the magnitude of this,” Allen said. “You can imagine what kind of an effort lays ahead of us.”

Many decisions have yet to be made, such as how to care for the 11,000 Tyndall AFB evacuees. Some remain local, but others temporarily relocated with friends and family across the country — and it’s still unclear when they might be able to start returning home.

“We’re going to have to make some serious decisions on which families come back to that base or not,” said Air Force spokesman Brig. Gen. Ed Thomas. “There will be families that will be displaced from the base until we make a decision on where they’re going to PCS to, who will come back to the base. And then they will have their household goods picked up from Tyndall and moved to another location.”

Just a few days ago, the Air Force started opening up five-hour windows to allow evacuees to return to their homes, assess the damage, and take out valuables or other household goods.


Hedge Fund Billionaire Spends Millions on Mental Health Clinics for Veterans

Hedge Fund Billionaire Spends Millions on Mental Health Clinics for Veterans

Contributed by Debbie Gregory

Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinics treat veterans and their families for a variety of mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, adjustment issues, anger and other concerns. The founder, hedge fund billionaire Steven Cohen, now plans to expand the Cohen Veterans Network (CVN) from 10 mental health clinics to 25 by 2020 for veterans and their family members.

“We’ve got a two-path approach — take care of today’s problems now and look for better answers in the future,” he said in brief remarks at the opening of the 3rd annual Cohen Veterans Care Summit at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center near the White House.

His clinics have treated 8,000 veterans and family members thus far, and “they tell us we’re making their lives better,” he said.

“Sadly, we’re now facing an epidemic of veterans suicides. We have to stop it in its tracks,” he added. “I want to do something about this.”

Cohen, who reportedly has an estimated net worth of $14 billion, founded CVN in 2015, two years after his firm, SAC Capital Advisors, agreed to pay $1.8 billion in fines and civil penalties to resolve a criminal indictment for insider trading.

It was the largest fine in history for insider trading, according to Preet Bharara, who was then U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Cohen, who pledged $275 million of his own funds to found CVN, has assembled an impressive board of directors, which includes retired Adm. Mike Mullen and former Sen. Joseph Lieberman.

The Cohen Network and Cohen’s own spokesman insist they’re not trying to privatize the VA and their only goal is helping veterans. “No single private person in this country has ever donated more money to save veterans’ lives and treat their mental health needs than Steve Cohen has,” Cohen’s spokesman, Mark Herr, said.

Last year, Cohen set out to persuade Congress and the Trump administration to reimburse his clinics for veterans treated there.

From the beginning, the Cohen clinics were advertised as free to patients, but the plan was always to start seeking reimbursement for their treatment from insurance reimbursements, local philanthropy and government grants, according to information posted on the Cohen Network’s website.