Archive for the ‘Kinman, Duane’ Category

465 Veterans at Walla Walla College, 1948

October 30, 2008

The Youth’s Instructor, June 1, 1948


Lincoln, Nebraska *


Perhaps none more nearly fulfill the Master’s commission to go the second mile than do the 465 veterans of World War II who are attending Walla Walla College this year. They served their country in North Africa, Italy, France, Germany, the islands of the South Pacific, and where- ever American troops were engaged. Now they are enrolled in a Christian college preparing for that second mile of service to God and country.

Fox-hole surgeon Duane Kinman, who turned down offers of scholarships in the medical school of a famous university, is taking the pre-medical course in this Seventh-day Adventist college of his choice. On the field of battle Duane saved the life of a’ fellow soldier by performing an emergency tracheotomy under the most adverse circumstances. Using a jackknife to make an incision in the badly mangled throat of his fallen, comrade, Duane inserted a fountain pen barrel into the trachea, making possible the flow of air to the man’s lungs.

Keith Argraves, paratrooper, would like to forget most of his first mile of service. Those days of torture and hunger in Italian and German prison camps, interspersed with dangerously thrilling attempts to escape to freedom, seem like a horrible nightmare to Keith. He is now enrolled as a history major in Walla Walla College, preparing for that second mile of service.

The most extensively decorated veteran at Walla Walla College this year is Warren Runyan. He received two purple hearts and clusters when he was wounded twice, once in North Africa and once in France. The silver star was awarded him for capturing twenty Germans in Cherbourg, France. This was the more, remarkable because he took the captives while he himself was totally unarmed. His only weapon was the voice that God had given him. At another time Warren received the bronze star for bravery demonstrated by successfully removing several wounded soldiers from the battlefield under heavy fire from the enemy. Finally, because of loyal and heroic achievements, he was awarded a citation from the general of the Ninth Army. Now he is at Walla Walla College taking a course in business administration.

Dick Roberts went his first mile of service in the Navy. When he came to school he was a Methodist. To the warning that Walla Walla College might make a Seventh-day Adventist of him, Dick replied, “I’ll take rny chances.” He took his chances, and became a Seventh-day Adventist. Now he is studying for the ministry, preparing to go the second mile for the Master he has learned to love.

Ralph Winslow was a sincere Catholic. Why he came to Walla Walla College no one knew. But he is an honest youth, and before very long he began to see new light. He was converted, baptized, and is now a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Veterans who choose to attend Walla Walla College find a personal friend and helper in Prof. Kenneth A. Aplington, (Continued from page 73) Walla Walla College director of the office of veterans’ affairs at the college. This office was set up by the administration to serve as a clearing center for the veterans. Knowing that they have their own headquarters, where their individual problems can be considered, supplies them with a sense of security in college life, Professor Aplington says.

The Veterans’ Club of Walla Walla College operates a commissary from which our veterans may purchase merchandise at cost prices plus a small service charge. The club proposes to build up a fund to use for veterans’ emergency relief. The Veterans’ Apartments, located three blocks from the campus, provide comfortable living quarters for fifty-six men and their families. This housing is made available at rent rates considerably below the prevailing prices.

Veterans attending Walla Walla College feel, almost without exception, that they are getting maximum benefits from their opportunities.

* This location error shows up in the online document.

Duane Kinman, Foxhole Surgeon

October 30, 2008

Facing the draft when he came to the minimum age, eighteen, Duane Kinman, of College Place, Washington, en tered the Medical Corps with his well-formed determination to become, sometime, “not just a physician, but a first-class surgeon.” It was September, 1943, and the Allied cause was looking up. Italy surrendered that month; Nimitz and MacArthur captured the Japanese bases in upper Borneo, and turned north. Perhaps new recruits .would never come to the battle line.

But in pursuit of his training and by his request, Duane was sent to a surgical technician’s school at Camp Barkeley, in Texas, where through a stiff, fast-flying course, with demonstrations, he stored up information that was to stand him in good stead on the battlefield.

A year later he was across the Atlantic, with Patton’s Third Army, in the second front. Released like an arrow from a bow, Patton’s army shot across France, flanking and forcing into flight the German divisions confronting him. In November, 1944, lie was striking for Metz. Kinman was the sole first-aid man for a heavy machine-gun platoon of the Third.

A cold, murky day, November 10, out on the front, with machine-gun fire sweeping the field, Kinman was busy band aging the torn chest of a sergeant, when he saw a rifleman some fifty feet ahead fall into the mud, frantically clutching his throat. Racing to his side, he discovered that the soldier’s windpipe had been slashed; and as he fought for air, his face turned blue with suffocation. The medic swiftly examined the wound, then whipped out his pocketknife. Time ticked its seconds, equipment was nil; but a tracheotomy must be per formed there on the spot. Now. a tracheotomy is an operation for an experienced surgeon, in a hospital, under floodlights, and with keen, sterilized instruments and retractors for holding open the wound. It is not for a medical corpsman in the mud and under the murky skies of a blitzed battlefield. But though he had never even seen a tracheotomy performed, Duane remembered the description in one of his lectures. Here was the need: here, the man; never mind the other details.

“I don’t like to do this, Mac,” said Kinman to the strangling man, “but it’s the only way you’re going to live.” Crazed by his plight, the man fought wildly. A lieutenant, Edwin M. Eberling, came to the medic’s aid, and held down the patient, while with a swift motion Kinman slashed a one-and-a-half- inch cut in the man’s throat below the shrapnel wound; then, slipping his finger behind the trachea to protect the jugular vein, he opened the windpipe. Suddenly a gush of air swept into the man’s lungs, renewing his slender hold on life. Snatching a fountain pen from his pocket, the corpsman punctured the top of the cap, and inserted it in the cut.

“You can’t breathe through your nose or mouth,” he warned the wounded man, “but your lungs will work. Twiddle the pen around and keep the hole open. You’ll pull through all right.”

The man’s breathing improved. The color returned to his face. And in a few minutes Private Henry Roon was able to stand, and, supported by his two rescuers, to walk to a near-by tank, which moved toward the rear. Arrived at battalion aid the medic helped his patient into the station, where doctors and assistants stood open-mouthed at the astounding front line operation. They sent him on to the clearing station, where a tracheotomy tube replaced the fountain pen, and the man in time recovered. Through the phrase-making genius of newspaper correspondents, the case went winging over the wires and through the newspapers and on the radio networks as the amazing achievement of the “Foxhole Surgeon.”

Surgeon General Norman Kirk, Major General LeRoy Irwin of the Fifth Division, and several other Army authorities wrote their appreciation and commendation to the young corpsman. From overseas America the president of Western Reserve University offered a free medical course to the young man; and his alma mater, Walla Walla College, gave him a three-year premedical scholarship. Through the rest of the war went the young corpsman, thrice wounded, last at the Battle of the Bulge, where his pack was sliced from his back and a bullet laid him low. But he was saved through all the perilous service of his calling by the protecting hand of Him under whose wings he had come to trust. After the war he buckled into his courses, resolved, as ever, not to be just a “foxhole surgeon,” with a jackknife and a fountain pen, but a first- class surgeon/”

Sources cited:

Verona Montanye in Youth’s Instructor, March 19. 1946
Time, Dec. 11, 1944, p. 67
Newseek, Dec. 11, 1944, p. 80;
Reader’s Digest, February, 1945, p. 94.

Spalding, Arthur W. Origin and History of Seventh-day Adventists, Vol. IV, Christian Servicemen, page 292-296

War Heroes Meet at CME

Two Seventh-day Adventist World War II heroes met for the first time recently when the travels of one took him to the Loma Linda campus of the College of Medical Evangelists.

Desmond T. Doss, known for his valorous rescue of wounded men un der enemy fire, and Wayne Kinman, famous “foxhole surgeon” who per formed an emergency tracheotomy with a pen barrel and who is now a resident of San Bernardino, Calif., ex changed experiences when Brother Doss visited C.M.E. after appearing on the television show “This is Your Life.”

The pair attended a breakfast given in their honor, at which Chaplain Horace Walsh of the Loma Linda Sanitarium and Hospital compliment ed them on behalf of the College for their devotion to their country, their church, and medical service.

The wives of the two former U.S. Army Medical Corpsmen and several members of the C.M.E. family were also present for the breakfast. They were given a tour of the campus later that day, on which Brother Kinman was shown a model of the trachea, the part of the anatomy into which he placed his pen.

Lake Union Herald, May 26, 1959, page 5

Australasian Record, March 19, 1945, page 6

“Miracle” Operation ^


It happened last November 10. Major General George S. Patton’s Third Army on the western front was attacking the village of Louvigny in the Metz sector. As the battle raged a nineteen-year-old medi cal corpsman of the Fifth Infantry Di vision, Duane Kinman by name, was work ing under intense shellfire, giving first aid to the wounded, marking their location, and seeing that stretcher-hearers carried them to the clearing station in the rear. While he was bandaging a severe chest laceration for a fallen staff-sergeant, he saw one of his riflemen drop with a mortar shell wound in his throat. Hastily the young medic completed his task and rushed to the side of the stricken rifleman, who was thrashing about in great pain and gasping for breath through a wind pipe which had been crushed.

As Gene Currivan reports the incident by wireless to the New York “Times,” from the Third Army battle front, “Kinman examined the wound and found that in addition to the windpipe cut, the throat muscles had been torn. The wounded man’s face had already turned blue, and he appeared to be suffocating.”

The young man wearing the Red Cross emblem on his sleeve had been a truck driver and a high school student in civilian life; he had neither the technical training nor the instruments to relieve the situa tion. But a year before, during his basic training he had heard one of his lecturers describe the operation that he instinctively knew must be performed—a tracheotomy. Since a life was at stake he went to work with what he had at hand—a pocketknife and the cap of his patient’s fountain pen.

He had no anaesthetic, the light was dim, his table was the deep mud of a bloody battlefield, his assistant was a second lieutenant who also had seen the man fall, and had rushed, to his side through a rain of machine gun and mortar fire. He held the wounded man’s neck still and steady while Kinman «Wok out his knife, said to the rifleman, “I don’t like to dp this, Mac, but it’s the only way you’re going to live,” and proceeded with the operation that many surgeons would hesitate to perform under perfect conditions.

The slightest slip of the blade would have been fatal, for he was cutting close to the jugular vein. But his hand was steady as he felt for the windpipe through the longitudinal opening he had made at point of fracture, cut a one-and-a-half- inch incision and slipped the top end of the fountain pen cap into the trachea. Almost instantly the patient started to breathe regularly again, and the colour came back to his face.

“Now keep the fountain pen cap in your windpipe and you’ll be okay,” the “foxhole surgeon” told him. “You can’t breathe through your nose or mouth, but if you keep your windpipe open with the pen, you can breathe through the cut I just made.”

A few minutes later the rifleman was on Ms feet, walking with the aid of Kin man and the second lieutenant toward a tank which took him to a battalion aid station. The surgeon there marvelled at the surgery, as did his colleague at the clearing station who made the only possible improvement—removed the foun tain pen top and inserted a tracheotomy tube—and passed the “miracle patient” on to the 109th Evacuation Hospital for any additional treatment that might be necessary.

The aftermath? A letter of commenda tion written by Major Charles Bohrer, of the 30th Field Hospital, praising Kinman’s “early and expert performance of duty under the most perilous conditions”; a premedical scholarship from Walla Walla College (S.D.A.), his home school in his home town, College Place, Washington; and a scholarship covering a full postwar medical education at Western Eeserve University for this resourceful young man who made the best possible use of what he had in his hand.