Albert R. Behnke Collection

Amphibious aircraftThe Archives recently began processing the Albert R. Behnke Collection. Captain Albert R. Behnke was a physician with the US Navy from 1929-1959. He is best known for developing the US Naval Medical Research Institute and for his research and work with compressed air to treat decompression sickness. He continued his work and research after retiring from the Navy as a professor of preventive medicine at the University of California and Director of the Institute of Applied Biology, Presbyterian Medical Center, San Francisco, California. Behnke is also one of the cofounders of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS). This collection is closely related to the C.J. Lambertsen Papers and is also part of the UHMS materials here at the Archives. Items in this collection include professional correspondence, research notes, articles, lantern slides and photographs.

While we won’t know the full extent of what is in this collection until processing is completed, we want to highlight a few treasures discovered along the way. The first is a group of photographs from World War II. These images were taken by the War Department between 1942 and 1944. The bulk are Navy images and most include a description. The picture on the right is from this group and shows an amphibious aircraft taking off from the ocean.

Behnke notebooksAlso included are four notebooks of Behnke’s (pictured on the right) containing research notes. These notebooks are hard-bound and date from 1940-1970.

A finding aid for these materials will be posted to our website upon completion of the project. If you have any questions about Albert R. Behnke or these materials, please contact the Archives at or (919) 383-2653.


Looking for a photograph of Albert R Behnke to use in a Hyperbaric medicine lecture, in History of diving medicine section.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.