The Medical Department in the Virgin Islands

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  • Medical Corps, U. S. Navy
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When the Danish West Indies were transferred to the United States in 1916 the name “The Virgins” with which Columbus christened them over four hundred years ago was revived and they became “The Virgin Islands of the United States.” Only a portion of the Virgin Islands were involved in the transfer, the remainder being the property of Great Britain. The Virgin Islands of the United States comprising three principal islands and many small islands are located about 50 miles east of Porto Rico. The larger islands are St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix.

The Danish Government organized the Danish West Indies into two municipalities or states each governed by its own Colonial Council whose acts were valid when approved by the Danish Governor who acted for both municipalities.

The authority in medical matters was vested in the Danish Governor but this authority he detailed to two officers in each municipality who were known as the Chief Municipal Physician and the Chief Sanitation Officer.