Typed eight-stanza poem dated Xmas night, 1941 by John J. Moorhead Col. M.C. This letter was composed at Tripler General Hospita,l Honolulu, T.H. Inscribed in ink below the poem is "To D.M. Hunter, John Moorhead Col. M.C. A.U.S."
John J. Moorehead (1874-1957) was a surgeon in the American Expeditionary Force in WWI, attaining the rank of Lt. Colonel. He published a textbook on Trauma Surgery in 1921 based on his wartime experience. In the inter-war years he was a prominent surgeon in New York City. He retained his commission in the Army, serving in the NY State National Guard. At any rate, he found himself in Hawaii in December, 1941 giving a lecture series on Trauma Surgery to the Honolulu Medical Society, the first lecture being on December 5th. The second lecture on Sunday morning the 7th was interrupted by the Japanese attack, and all surgeons present were mobilized to the Army's Tripler General Hospital. Dr. Moorhead was restored to Active Duty with the rank of Colonel. He actively participated in the surgical care of the wounded at Tripler until the end of December, then was returned to civilian life.
He composed this "Surgeon's Prayer in Wartime" while still in Hawaii and sent mimeographed copies, dated Xmas night 1941, as his Christmas card signed as Col., M.C. A.U.S. He published an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association in February 1942, on the surgical treatment given to the wounded after the Japanese attack. His "Surgeon's Prayer" was picked up and printed by several newspapers in 1942.