Tribute to Pharmacists Killed in World War II Posted on Website

“[T]here were some who did not survive; their stories have been forgotten or never told.”

Dennis B. Worthen, PhD

A new resource on AIHP’s website honors the 165 American pharmacists and pharmacy students who were killed in action, or died while on active duty, during World War II. The resource, a directory titled We Remember Them: Pharmacy’s Fallen (accessible at this link), identifies and provides a brief biography of each man. This tribute to fallen pharmacists is the product of years of painstaking research by longtime AIHP member Dennis B. Worthen, PhD.

The directory is an outgrowth of Dr. Worthen’s book, Pharmacy in World War II (Pharmaceutical Products Press, 2004), which provides a detailed accounting of the many contributions of pharmacists to the war effort, both on the battlefield and on the domestic front. (The book was awarded AIHP’s Edward Kremers Award in 2010.) Of the approximately 12,000 pharmacists and pharmacy students who served in the U.S. military between 1940 and 1945, Dr. Worthen’s research identified 165 who were killed in action or died while on active duty.

As Dr. Worthen observes in the foreword to We Remember Them, these men have largely been forgotten:

Called to service as young men, few were married and fewer still had children before their death. Pharmacy and generations of pharmacists do not remember who they were, what their stories were, whether heroic or prosaic. Although part of the “greatest generation” the stories of their lives and sacrifices have not yet found their voice for future generations. It was almost as if the men had never been born, as if their lives had no significance.

Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial

Dr. Worthen took on the project to honor fallen pharmacists in an effort to ensure they are not forgotten. To that end, the directory not only identifies the soldier (and in many cases provides a photograph), but also includes information about when and where he was born, his parents and family, his education, how and where he served in the military, the circumstances of his death, and where he is buried. Compiling and verifying this information required a herculean effort and years of dogged research.

Dr. Worthen is a pharmacy historian, educator, and author. For 19 years he was an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy where he taught the history of pharmacy and pharmacy in World War II electives. He was associated with the Lloyd Library as its resident scholar for 15 years. He retired from Procter & Gamble Health Care as Director of Pharmacy Affairs in 1999. Dr. Worthen completed his undergraduate education at the University of Michigan and received his graduate degrees from Case Western Reserve University. He has been an AIHP member since 1986 and served on the Institute’s Board of Directors from 2005 to 2008.

AIHP thanks Dr. Worthen for allowing us to post We Remember Them on our website.

Posted: November 2, 2022

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