Photo Of The Day

Photo: National Museum of Health and Medicine

Photo: National Museum of Health and Medicine

Forehead Grenade X-ray

?Grenade embedded in forehead. Vietnam war

?History behind of the photo…

This inauspicious soldier found himself in this predicament after he stepped on a landmine, which, by itself, is pretty darn disaster-prone. When the grenade he was carrying on his chest was blown inside of his own head by the other, unrelated explosion going off right beneath his feet, he officially entered wrathful god/gypsy curse territory. But even a furious and scorned deity knows when enough is enough, and the soldier finally caught a break: You can actually still see the pin and spoon in there, meaning the grenade was not armed … when it went inside of his skull.

This photo is from the Vietnam War; note the victim is incubated, so presumably this wasn’t a booby trap on a corpse, and was used in a medical book approx 20 odd years ago, and said in the caption that the soldier was walking behind a soldier who set of the mine, and it struck this unfortunate person.

I have been unable to find out any more information just this clipping from the Ellensburg paper below about another case, or maybe the same person?

Ellensburg Daily Record?-?Dec 2, 1969

A routine X-ray taken recently at the U.S. Air Force dispensary here disclosed that a Vietcong prisoner was a human bomb with a grenade imbedded in his head, a spokesman reported today.

A Physician and a demolition expert safely removed it.

The guerrilla soldier was bleeding from the head and having difficulty breathing.

Doctors at the 31st Air Force Dispensary ordered a tracheotomy, an incision in his throat so he could breathe, and prepared to fly him to Qui Nhon, 50 miles to the North, for surgery.

?I decided to ride on the aircraft with him to keep the tracheotomy open and insure he would arrive alive,? said Air Force Maj. Alfred Watson Jr., a doctor of Keystone Heights, Fla.

Technicians at the dispensary meanwhile developed the X-ray and found the grenade imbedded in his forehead and concealed by facial lacerations.

The exact size of the grenade was not revealed in the Army?s disclosure of the incident.

An emergency call was placed to Watson who was on the ground in Tuy Hoa picking up two more patients.? Watson decided to fly to Qui Nhon anyway because the needed medical facilities were not available at Tuy Hoa.,4476609&hl=en