Robert Owen Canada, Jr. – Rear Admiral, United States Navy

Born at Grottoes, Virginia, July 16, 1913, he graduated from the Augusta Military Academy, Fort Definace, Virginia, 1931, and received his M.D. degree from the Univeristy of Virginia, 1937. He served as an Intern at the University of Virginia Medical Center, 1937-38, and was then commissioned as a Lieutenant (jg) in the United States Navy in 1938, advancing through the grades to Rear Admiral in 1964.

He served as Medical Officer, USS Salinas, 1940-41; Senior Medical Officer, USS Pasadena, 1944-45; and at shore assignments at the Naval Hospitals at Charleston, South Carolina, Oakland, California, Sampson, New York, Fitzsimmons Hospital in Denver and was Commander of the Naval Hospital at Jacksonville, Florida, in 1961-62; commander of the Bethesda Naval Hospital, 1962-65; Deputy Surgeon General, US Navy, 1965-68; Commander, National Naval Medial Center, Bethesda, Maryland, 1968-69. He retired in 1969 and then served on the staff of the Greenbrier Clinic, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. He resided at Lewisburg, West Virginia, until his death on December 6, 1972. He is buried in Section 5 of Arlington National Cemetery.

Many will recall that he was commander of Bethesda Naval Hospital at the time that President John F. Kennedy‘s autopsy was conducted there and that he was involved in the controversy that surrounded that procedure.


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