Military Wiki
George W. Hunter III
Occupation Parasitologist
Notable work(s) Hunter's Tropical Medicine (textbook)

George W. Hunter III, PhD was a parasitologist and educator with the US Army Sanitary Corps and Army Medical School. He is best known for his work with Schistosoma control and with the Tropical Medicine Course at the Army Medical School (now the course is known as the Walter Reed Tropical Medicine Course). The textbook he helped create for the Tropical Medicine Course now is the leading reference text for Tropical Medicine and the title bears his name.

Work with the Tropical Medicine Course

George W. Hunter III, PhD, was commissioned as a captain in the Sanitary Corps in 1942 and joined the faculty of the Tropical and Military Medicine Course, which expanded from 23 to 200 students. The course prepared medical officers to combat the diseases to which soldiers were exposed in the Army's worldwide operations.[1]

Hunter suggested using the outline of the course as the basis for a textbook. It was published by the National Research Council in 1945 as the Manual of Tropical Medicine and became the standard reference in its field. Hunter's name was not listed first among the principal authors because the company believed that a physician's name would improve sales, but it was retitled Hunter's Tropical Medicine in later editions. With the printing of the sixth edition in 1984, Hunter, then a professor in the School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, was recognized as "the glue that has held this book together from the very first edition."[2]

Work with Schistosomiasis and Applied Parasitology

Col. George W. Hunter III, MSC, gained international recognition for his work with schistosomiasis. United States forces occupying Japan required food handlers to be free of parasites, and Hunter fielded a mobile laboratory outfitted in railroad cars that tested nearly nineteen thousand Japanese over a four-month period in 1949. The researchers found that 93.2 percent of those tested were infected with some form of intestinal parasite. Demand always creates a supply, and the team also found that there was a black market for parasite-free stools.

One of the parasitic diseases was schistosomiasis, a disabling and potentially fatal disease. Hunter concentrated his research effort on that endemic problem, and by 1951 his team had eliminated it in the Nagatoishi district of Kurume City, Japan, using a landmark program of molluscicides to control the snail host. Japan adopted Hunter's methods and by 1970 had virtually eliminated the disease. Hunter became a public figure in Japan, and in 1952 the townspeople of Kurume erected a bust of him as a permanent tribute to their "great benefactor."[3][4]


  • Hunter's Tropical Medicine: "Hunter’s Tropical Medicine grew out of a World War II Army Medical School tropical and military medicine course taught at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. The first edition, entitled a Manual of Tropical Medicine, was published in 1945 by three of the course instructors, Colonel Thomas T. Mackie, Major George W. Hunter III, and Captain C. Brooke Worth. A second edition was published by the same authors in 1954. Colonel Hunter was joined by co-authors from the Louisiana State University School of Medicine for the third, fourth, and fifth editions, published in 1960, 1966, and 1976, respectively. George Hunter’s contribution was acknowledged by adding his name to the book title in the sixth edition, edited in 1984."[5]

See also


  1. Army Medical School: Simmons, "The Division of Preventive Medicine," p. 61. Hunter: Rpt, Col George W. Hunter, MSC, sub: Reminiscences, 1971, DASG-MS; Notes of telephone interv, Hunter with Lt Col Richard V. N. Ginn, 1 Feb 86, DASG-MS; Lt Col Lyman P. Frick, draft section, sub: Parasitology, 1958 MSC History Project, hereafter cited as Frick, Parasitology. Hunter had resigned a reserve infantry commission in 1933 when he could not obtain an appointment in the Sanitary Corps Reserve in spite of a Ph.D. in parasitology and microbiology.
  2. Book idea: Hunter, Ginn telephone interv 1 Feb 86. Tropical Medicine: Thomas T. Mackie, George W. Hunter III, and C. Brooke Worth, Manual of Tropical Medicine (Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, 1945). Major Hunter, SnC, and Captains Mackie and Worth, MC, were all fellow instructors in the course. Another ten Sanitary Corps officers contributed to the book: Maj. Gordon E. Davis and Capts. Luther S. West and William N. Sullivan, Jr.: entomology; Maj. Kingston S. Wilcox and Capt. Russell W. H. Gillespie: bacterial diseases; Capt. Reginald D. Manwell: malaria; 1st Lt. Joel Warren: viruses; and Capts. Curtis Saunders, A.E.A. Hudson, and William G. Jahnes, Jr.: diagnostic methods. Quoted words: G. Thomas Strickland, in introduction to Hunter's Tropical Medicine, 6th ed. (Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, 1984), p. xvii.
  3. Hunter's team: Speech, Yamashita Kuranosuke, Chief, Construction Committee for Hunter Statue, sub: Congratulatory Address, Kurume City Hall, 15 Jul 52 (translation), DASG-MS; George W. Hunter III et al., "Control of the Snail Host of Schistosomiasis in Japan with Sodium Pentachlorophenate (Santobrite)," American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 1 (September 1952): 831-47; "Fruitful Result of Cooperation," Mainichi Shimbun (Daily News), Japan, 9 August 1968 (translation), DASG-MS; Hunter et al., "Control of Schistosomiasis Japonica in the Nagatoishi Area of Kurume, Japan," American Journal of Tropical Medicine 31 (1982): 760-70; Hunter and Muneo Yokogawa, "Control of Schistosomiasis Japonica in Japan: A Review, 1950-1978," Japanese Journal of Parasitology 33 (August 1984): 341-51; Notes of telephone interv, Col George W. Hunter III, MSC, Ret., with Ginn, 1 Feb 86, DASG-MS. Hunter headed the Medical Zoology Section of the 406th Medical Laboratory in Tokyo from 1947 to 1951. Schistosomiasis: The team eliminated 99 percent of the snail population over a two-year period beginning in 1949.
  4. "History of the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps. Ch. 8: Korea". Office of Medical History, U.S. Army. 
  5. STRICKLAND, G. Thomas, ed. - Hunter’s Tropical Medicine and emerging infectious diseases. 8.ed. Philadelphia, W.B. Saunders Company, 2000. 1192p. ilus. (ISBN 0-7216-6223-4)

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