US Passport 1947 Colonel Edward Dehne

He was on the D-Day beaches at Normandy and fought across Europe to Berlin, personally participating in the rescue of numerous concentration camps… with amazing details of what he saw and had to do as a doctor…

Chief Medical Director

Immediately after the end of the war, Dr. Dehne was appointed the Chief Medical Director for the rehabilitation of war-devastated Berlin, Germany, with the corresponding rank of 2-Star General.  He participated directly in the creation and masterminding of the Marshall Plan… working in concert with Generals Clay, Patton, Eisenhower, and others.

He retired from the Army in 1966 after 30 years and had to make a decision to become the Medical Director of the US Space Program… or Nevada State Health Officer… choosing the latter.

After leaving the (Nevada) State Health Officer job, he joined his doctor friend (who was by then President of UCLA) to spend 6 months (as civilians) reporting on medical aspects of the Vietnam War.  Living in ritzy hotels… as well as groveling with the grunts in the field during the Tet offensive.

Boxing Ring Doctor

He was THE ring doctor for virtually all boxing matches in Northern Nevada from 1970 to 1985. He was instrumental in saving boxing as a National sport during the ’70s (when the American Medical Association was trying to ban these events)… lecturing incessantly to protect the boxers.

His face was as familiar as Mills Lane at thousands of matches he officiated… matches that included Sugar Ray Leonard, Evander Hollyfield, Larry Holmes, numerous Cuban National boxing teams… and a veritable Whose Who of other famous pugilists and boxing teams.

During this period, he was nominated for the United Nations Population award and was among 3 finalists… that included the winner, Indira Gandi.

Toward the end of the story, he received the Albert Schweitzer World Humanitarian Award… where he is honored in the same book with people such as Winston Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower.

Obituary

Colonel Edward James “Doc” Dehne, Husband, Father, Teacher, Humanitarian, Physician, Soldier, Author, Diplomat passed away very peacefully on 25 June 2000… after more than 60 years of dedicated service to the Medical community of the World. Doc first arrived in Nevada in 1967 when he became the Nevada State Health Officer. With one of his top priorities being the relatively politically incorrect at the time preservation of Lake Tahoe.

This was before it was the priority it became several years later. Needless to say, his stance did not enhance his political career. Before that he had served more than a quarter-century in the U. S. Army Medical Corps, with duties ranging from Chief Public Health Director (with the civilian rank of general) for the post War rehabilitation of Berlin… to Commander of the U. S. Army Hygiene Agency 1954 – 1959… to Consultant to the U. S. Army Surgeon General 1959 – 1966.

Among his numerous Honors and Awards are the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, five Campaign Battle Stars, Commendation Medal, and the Purple Heart. Doc Dehne also received France’s L’Order Sante Publique, Belgium’s Order of Leopold, and Brazil’s Pro Mundi Beneficio. He is inscribed in over ten “Who’s Who” Directories Worldwide. These are remarkable feats for a person, who, as a youngster, grew up in North Dakota and attended a one room school house for the first several years of his education.

His aspirations and tenacity overcame this apparent obstacle, and he found his way West and graduated from Oregon University Medical School, and later he earned his MPH and Dr PH at Johns Hopkins University. The Societies to which he has belonged are too numerous to itemize here. He routinely served in some official capacity in each of them; from president… to executive council member… to communication advisor.

Doc Dehne learned to box as a freshman in college and had over 50 fights. Many of his opponents later became world professional champions; while he chose to go to medical school. It was only natural then, that in the late 1960s when boxing in Nevada was in its embryo stage, he was asked to serve as the Ring Physician for both amateur and professional fights in northern Nevada. He was the Ring Doctor for more fights than can be counted – at least 3,000!

From the most unskilled amateurs through to Leonard, Holmes, and Holyfield. Doc Dehne’s membership in Professional Medical Societies caused him to travel to such assorted places as the Soviet Union (several times), Brazil, West Germany, France, Vietnam, Switzerland… to name just a few. He was usually one of the keynote speakers at each of these events. But with all of this traveling, he was still content when he returned to Nevada…

Even after leaving his official full-time capacity with the State of Nevada, he carried on his quest to serve needy people to the best of his ability. He received the Albert Schweitzer World Humanitarian Award… where he is honored in the same book with people such as Winston Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower. His dedication toward a Global Health Policy continues in eternal memorization.

The Passport

US passport with 48 pages issued at the American Consulate General in Berlin on 12 May 1947. His occupation was simply stated as “Government employee”. In his position and under the given circumstances in post-war Berlin, he should have gotten a Special passport type, actually.

But maybe because of the circumstances, they issued him just an ordinary passport with the number 1041. The document was valid till 12 May 1948. Visas are from France including revenues, Switzerland (issued by the delegation for the repatriation of Swiss citizens, which was the official body of Switzerland then), Belgium incl. revenue issued by the Belgian mission in Berlin, Service visa from the Netherlands, a stamp from a British passport officer, a Czech visa and as last stamp on page 18 a stamp *”US ZONE CONSTAB” from 10 Oct 1947.

*The United States Constabulary was a United States Army military Constabulary force. From 1946 to 1952, in the aftermath of World War II, it acted as an occupation and security force in the U.S. Occupation Zone of West Germany and Austria.

FAQ Passport History
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1. What are the earliest known examples of passports, and how have they evolved?

The word "passport" came up only in the mid 15th Century. Before that, such documents were safe conducts, recommendations or protection letters. On a practical aspect, the earliest passport I have seen was from the mid 16th Century. Read more...

2. Are there any notable historical figures or personalities whose passports are highly sought after by collectors?

Every collector is doing well to define his collection focus, and yes, there are collectors looking for Celebrity passports and travel documents of historical figures like Winston Churchill, Brothers Grimm, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Read more...

3. How did passport designs and security features change throughout different periods in history, and what impact did these changes have on forgery prevention?

"Passports" before the 18th Century had a pure functional character. Security features were, in the best case, a watermark and a wax seal. Forgery, back then, was not an issue like it is nowadays. Only from the 1980s on, security features became a thing. A state-of-the-art passport nowadays has dozens of security features - visible and invisible. Some are known only by the security document printer itself. Read more...

4. What are some of the rarest and most valuable historical passports that have ever been sold or auctioned?

Lou Gehrig, Victor Tsoi, Marilyn Monroe, James Joyce, and Albert Einstein when it comes to the most expensive ones. Read more...

5. How do diplomatic passports differ from regular passports, and what makes them significant to collectors?

Such documents were often held by officials in high ranks, like ambassadors, consuls or special envoys. Furthermore, these travel documents are often frequently traveled. Hence, they hold a tapestry of stamps or visas. Partly from unusual places.

6. Can you provide insights into the stories behind specific historical passports that offer unique insights into past travel and migration trends?

A passport tells the story of its bearer and these stories can be everything - surprising, sad, vivid. Isabella Bird and her travels (1831-1904) or Mary Kingsley, a fearless Lady explorer.

7. What role did passports play during significant historical events, such as wartime travel restrictions or international treaties?

During war, a passport could have been a matter of life or death. Especially, when we are looking into WWII and the Holocaust. And yes, during that time, passports and similar documents were often forged to escape and save lives. Example...

8. How has the emergence of digital passports and biometric identification impacted the world of passport collecting?

Current modern passports having now often a sparkling, flashy design. This has mainly two reasons. 1. Improved security and 2. Displaying a countries' heritage, icons, and important figures or achievements. I can fully understand that those modern documents are wanted, especially by younger collectors.

9. Are there any specialized collections of passports, such as those from a specific country, era, or distinguished individuals?

Yes, the University of Western Sidney Library has e.g. a passport collection of the former prime minister Hon Edward Gough Whitlam and his wife Margaret. They are all diplomatic passports and I had the pleasure to apprise them. I hold e.g. a collection of almost all types of the German Empire passports (only 2 types are still missing). Also, my East German passport collection is quite extensive with pretty rare passport types.

10. Where can passport collectors find reliable resources and reputable sellers to expand their collection and learn more about passport history?

A good start is eBay, Delcampe, flea markets, garage or estate sales. The more significant travel documents you probably find at the classic auction houses. Sometimes I also offer documents from my archive/collection. See offers... As you are already here, you surely found a great source on the topic 😉

Other great sources are: Scottish Passports, The Nansen passport, The secret lives of diplomatic couriers

11. Is vintage passport collecting legal? What are the regulations and considerations collectors should know when acquiring historical passports?

First, it's important to stress that each country has its own laws when it comes to passports. Collecting old vintage passports for historical or educational reasons is safe and legal, or at least tolerated. More details on the legal aspects are here...

Does this article spark your curiosity about passport collecting and the history of passports? With this valuable information, you have a good basis to start your own passport collection.

Question? Contact me...