Wisconsin dentist Ben Salomon had assumed the role of surgeon in the brutal World War II Battle of Saipan in June and July 1944. The 29-year-old captain’s make-shift medical post was a simple tent erected just 50 yards from the front line. And the enemy ranks of the Empire of Japan’s army were pressing hard upon the vulnerable postion. The American fighting force was being overwhelmed and Salomon’s tent was soon overflowing with casualties. Worse still, there was no sign of any let up from the ruthless Japanese who were fast approaching the tent. Consequently, the outlook for Salomon and his wounded charges was exceedingly bleak. But cometh the hour, cometh the man… and the dentist-turned-surgeon turned war hero.
Benjamin Lewis Salomon was born in 1914 in Milwaukee, WI, to a Jewish family. He attended the city’s Shorewood High School and from there enrolled at the downtown Marquette University. Salomon then successfully transferred across the country to the University of Southern California. And he was all smiles when he graduated from that institution’s dental school in 1937.
Salomon now started a private practice in Beverly Hills, CA, and enjoyed a degree of success attending to the dental needs of various Hollywood hopefuls. But then normal life in America came to an abrupt halt in December 1941 with Japan’s shock attack on Pearl Harbor. The U.S. entered World War II in response to the atrocity.