A biography of and interview with Kenneth I. Gumaer, Sr.
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Smith, Donald F.
Shortly after receiving his Cornell DVM in 1943, Kenneth Gumaer was charged with the care of 267 mules bound for the China-Burma-India campaign on a warship that departed from New Orleans. Though the ship was damaged by a torpedo from a German U-boat and had to be repaired before a very stormy Atlantic crossing, Gumaer and his mules eventually arrived safely in Calcutta. They became part of the long range penetration special forces unit known as Merrill's Marauders that traversed the dense Burmese jungle and the Kuman Mountain range behind Japanese lines. Remaining in China following the campaign, Gumaer contracted cutaneous anthrax after a post mortem examination of an officer's mule that had died acutely. Though critically ill, he was successfully treated with the then-experimental aqueous form of penicillin. Following the war, Gumaer established a large animal practice in Rhinebeck, New York. Later in his career, he worked as a research pathologist for Sterling Winthrop Research Institute in Rensselaer, New York. Dr. Gumaer and his wife, Catherine, were named Foremost Benefactors of Cornell University in 1998. They have three children, one of whom, Kenneth I. Gumaer, Jr., is a veterinarian.
Person interviewed: Kenneth I. Gumaer, Sr. Other participants: Drumm, Richard, DVM. Interviewer: Smith, Donald F. Interview date: October 15, 2007. Interview location: Stuyvesant Falls, New York. Date biography was written: November 2009.
Kenneth I. Gumaer, Sr.; Cornell DVM 1943; Anthrax; Merrill's Marauders; World War II veteran; Galahad code; China-Burma-India Campaign; Family Veterinary Legacy; Foremost Benefactor; History of Veterinary Medicine; Large Animal Practice; Pathology; Bronze Star; Peter Olafson; Veterinarian; Cornell University