Type of entity
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Able, Luke William
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Dates of existence
Luke William Able was born August 2, 1912 in Port Arthur, Texas, and his family moved to Houston when he was six. He earned his Bachelor’s from the University of Texas in 1933 and his MD from UTMB in 1940. He enlisted in 1942 while he was an intern at Hermann Hospital. Able survived a kamikaze attack on the USS Aulick in Leyte Gulf in the Pacific Theater on November 19, 1944. He suffered a shattered leg and other injuries but directed the treatment of wounded until he passed out from his own injuries. He was awarded a Silver Star and a Purple Heart and spent two years in the hospital recovering.
After the war, he trained at Children’s Hospital in Boston. He was head of the surgery department of Texas Children’s Hospital from 1954 to 1987. In 1964, he participated in one of the early separations of conjoined twins in Texas.
Dr. Able retired in 1988 due to complications from his World War II wounds. He died March 16, 2006 in Franklin, North Carolina.