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First Name: Charles

Last Name: Stokes

Birthplace: Brooklyn, NY, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Francis

Date of Birth: 20 February 1863

Date of Death: 29 October 1931

Rank or Rate: Rear Admiral

Years Served:
Charles Francis Stokes

•  Spanish-American War (1898)


Charles Francis Stokes
Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy Medical Corps

Charles Francis Stokes was born on 20 February 1863 in Brooklyn, NY.

Stokes, raised in Brooklyn, attended Adelphi Academy and the Polytechnic Institute in Brooklyn prior to receiving his MD from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York (now, Columbia). He trained at Bellevue Hospital and Governor Hospital; then joined the Navy on 1 February 1889.

After initial service aboard the USS Minnesota, he was posted to the Naval Hospitals at Mare Island, CA, and Yokohama, Japan. During the Spanish-American War, he was a surgeon on the USS Solace. From 1903 until 1906, Dr. Stokes served as President Theodore Roosevelt's personal physician. He commanded the Naval Hospital, San Juan, Puerto Rico, from 1906-08; and during the cruise around the world of the Atlantic Fleet in 1908, he commanded the USS Relief, becoming the first physician ever to command a ship.

Dr. Stokes was appointed Surgeon General of the Navy in February 1910, serving in that capacity until 6 February 1914. During his tenure, he strengthened standards for the Medical Corps, and established professional training for the enlisted Hospital Corpsmen at the Naval Hospital Corps School, Norfolk, VA.

After his retirement from the Navy in June 1917, he practiced in New York City until 1928. Dr. Stokes remains known for his invention of the "Stokes stretcher" still the primary means for the transport of sick and injured individuals in helicopter rescues and aboard ships.

Death and Burial

Dr. Charles Francis Stokes died on 29 October 1931 in Brooklyn, NY. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Honoree ID: 3121   Created by: MHOH




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