Paul Albert Stagg, Colonel USAF MC, (95) passed away peacefully on Thursday, February 17, 2022. Paul was born on October 5, 1926, in Pineville, Louisiana to Albert Manly Stagg and Pauline Amelia Barron Stagg. He was a 1943 graduate of Bolton High School. Upon graduation, Paul attended Louisiana College until he was eligible for the military draft. Unable to volunteer for the U.S. Navy, Paul joined the U.S. Merchant Marine. Paul trained and served as a ship’s Purser and a Pharmacist Mate. He was a crew member aboard the SS Ben Holladay, a Liberty Cargo Ship from San Francisco harbor. Paul later transferred to New Orleans. As a crew member of the SS Thomas Hartley, he traveled through the Panama Canal, across the Pacific Ocean, past the Philippine Islands, to Yokohama, Japan, then finally to Seattle, Washington.
Paul returned to Louisiana College where he became a member and president of Alpha Chi Honor Society. Paul became a member of “Who's Who Among American Universities and Colleges”, before graduating in 1948, with a Bachelor of Science Degree.
He attended Louisiana State University School of Medicine in 1949, where he graduated in 1953 as a Doctor of Medicine. An internship at Porter Hospital in Denver, Colorado prepared him for four years of training in General Surgery in Nashville, Tennessee, and Louisville, Kentucky. He received his Board of Surgery Certification in 1959.
In 1954, Paul joined the U.S. Air Force (USAF), and after training in surgery, he was assigned as a Hospital Surgeon at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. In 1962, he attended the USAF Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, Alabama. In 1963, Paul became Commander of the USAF 38th Tactical Hospital near Sembach and Kaiserslautern, Germany. Paul's primary mission was health care for base personnel and families. His secondary mission was to deploy to a site away from the base and establish a field hospital to care for casualties of enemy attacks. He was honored to represent the USAF European Command by official visits to Peshawar AB, Pakistan, and Rabat, Morocco.
In 1966, he became Hospital Commander and one of two surgeons of the 3500th Hospital at Reese AFB, near Lubbock, Texas. The base mission was to train Air Force pilots, flying the T-37 and T-38 jet training airplanes. As a flight surgeon, he was required to fly 100 hours a year. While at Sembach AB, Paul had developed an air-transportable treatment/surgery table, which was accepted by the Air Force and he received a patent on the table design.
1969, during the Vietnam War, Paul was sent to the 432nd USAF Tactical Hospital at Udorn RTAFB in Northeastern Thailand. The base F-4 jet fighter mission was to help defend U.S. and South Vietnamese troops in the northern area. A small group of AC-47 “Spooky” gunships helped defend friendly camps at night. As a flight surgeon, he flew at least once with all 16 flying organizations on base for a total of 25 flights during the year, of which he flew “Spooky” on eight missions. While living in Lubbock, he was a Rotary Club member and was able to visit Rotary Clubs in Bangkok, Tokyo, and Hong Kong.
After a year in Thailand and Vietnam, he returned and was in the Headquarters of USAF Systems Command and the Research and Development Command. Paul visited all ten bases to oversee the medical and public health coverage. He became aware that only flying personnel wore badges that identified their skills. Paul developed a group of six badges that identified medical professionals, such as physicians, nurses, dentists, and support skills. He recently discovered that identity badges have spread throughout the specialties of the Air Force.
On June 30, 1974, Paul retired from the Air Force and began a general surgeon partnership with Dr. Louis Burdette at the Cambridge, Maryland Hospital. In 1979, he decided to adopt less demanding work and joined the Eastern Shore Hospital Center, caring for patients with senile mental problems. There, he provided patient care and participated in regular meetings of Med Chi, the Maryland State Medical Society, and became Secretary and Chair of the Personnel Committee. On April 1, 2002, Paul retired from Eastern Shore Hospital Center.
Paul’s hobbies included spending time with the family dog “Minnie”. He enjoyed many years of sailing with his family on their Sabre 28, and his time being a crew member of the skipjack “Nathan”. He was a member of the Cambridge Rotary Club, where he was president from July 2007 - June 2008, He was also a member of the Cambridge Yacht Club and recently completed his autobiography, “A Life Well Lived”, by Paul A. Stagg Colonel USAF, MC.
Paul is survived by his wife of 34-years, Charlene Wroten Stagg, his four daughters, and Charlene’s children: Peggy Harris (Texas), Janet and husband, Mark Bolton (Texas), Carol and husband, Frank Christian (Virginia), Linda and husband, Steve Bloodsworth, (Florida), Dennis Hurley and wife, Michelle (Cambridge), Kevin Hurley and wife, Robin, (Delaware), Christine Wright-Gadow and husband, Mark Gadow, (Hurlock), grandchildren: Dr.James McComas and wife Mary Elizabeth, Jennifer Hurley Heckler and husband, Ryan, Andy Bloodsworth and wife, Nancy, Luke Gadow, Coraline Hurley, great-grandchildren: Kendall and Kathryn McComas, Mazie and Axel Heckler, sisters: Patricia Cockerham, Texas, Virginia Colvin and husband David, (Florida), Mary Gadberry and husband Robert, (Louisiana).
Paul was preceded in death by his parents, ex-wife, Patricia Stagg, sister, Ruth Craigo, brother, Robert Stagg, and son-in-law, John Harris.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 pm on Sunday, February 27, at Thomas Funeral Home, officiated by pastors, Steve Bloodsworth and Chris Pettit. The family will be receiving friends an hour before the service. A private burial, with full military honors, will be held at the Maryland Veterans Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Veteran-supported organizations: Tunnels to Towers or Wounded Warriors, or local animal rescues: Snip and Tuck P.O. Box 505 Secretary, MD or Kitty City Rescue P.O. Box 1259 Cambridge, MD.