By Philip Montgomery
Head of McGovern Historical Center
Today, Dena Houchin, RN, dropped off several of Dr. Denton Cooley’s old military uniforms, including pants, shirts and an Eisenhower jacket, along with his Johns Hopkins University academic regalia robe, hood and hat. The Johns Hopkins regalia is pretty snazzy, but it was the Eisenhower jacket that caught my attention today.
Ms. Houchin is the former administrative director of cardiovascular surgery for the Texas Heart Institute where she worked for more than 30 years with Dr. Cooley. She is a close friend of the Cooley family, who gave her the garments to donate to the McGovern Historical Center.
Dr. Cooley probably wore the Eisenhower jacket when he served in the U.S. Army in Linz, Austria with the 124th Station Hospital between 1946 and 1948.
The Eisenhower jacket is a waist-length jacket with pleated back, adjustable waist band, fly-front buttons, bellows chest pockets, slash side pockets and shoulder straps. The jacket is made of 18-ounce wool serge, and it is heavy. This jacket still looks sharp and is in excellent condition for a 69-year-old article of military clothing.
Soon I will tell you about the academic regalia. You will need eclipse-type sunglasses to look at the Johns Hopkins University robes.