Jim Rickett was a family doctor in 1940. He was called up in 1943 and was working in Italy in early 1944 when he received an urgent posting to join the commandos. They were working with the SOE (Special Operations Executive) on the island of Vis. Occupation of the island gave control of the Adriatic and Hitler's European supply lines. His job was to set up a hospital to deal with the wounded who would be brought back from raids on the nearby islands under enemy occupation. He had to get out there immediately and was told the supplies from Italy would be very difficult. There were no evacuation facilities. A German attack was imminent. The island was to be held at all costs. At the outset he had nothing. He had to set up a makeshift hospital from scratch. Initially he had to operate with a kerosene lamp for light. Later they managed to get wiring from a crashed Liberator plane and set up electricity using an old diesel generator.
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January 19, 2012
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