Pat Scannon is one among the few who have earned a Ph.D. and then, separately, an M.D. His passion for both chemistry and medicine goes back to his childhood roots. His father was a US Army Colonel and his Romanian-born mother went to medical school in Leipzig during World War II. Pat spent memorable years growing up in post-war Europe.
Years later, he earned his BS in Chemistry from the University of Georgia. He was in R.O.T.C and received a commission as a 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Army upon graduation. Then he earned a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.
A few months before his graduation, Pat realized the potential of using his chemistry training in medicine during an era pre-biotech and decided to apply to medical school. He returned to his home state and spent the second half of the 1970’s earning his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia. Pat is a board-certified physician in Internal Medicine. He completed his residency and fulfilled his military duty as a major at the Letterman Army Medical Center and the Letterman Army Institute of Research on the Presidio of San Francisco.
Pat founded Project Recover, formerly BentProp, after a trip to Palau in 1993. He and his wife, Susan, a dive instructor, were invited there to help locate the Japanese trawler George H.W. Bush sunk in 1944. They found the trawler more quickly than expected and documented it had been an armed vessel.
After the rest of the dive team left, Pat hired a guide to show them other artifacts from World War II. It was then that Pat first saw the 65-foot wing of an American B-24 bomber lying in shallow water along a coral island in Palau. Other than leading him to it, the guide could give Pat no information about the wing. For Pat, the wing was more than a hunk of metal. It represented a forgotten battle and brave men who had fought and died there. It represented stories lost to the chaos of war, the annals of time, and the secret stillness of a watery grave. All were stories unknown to the airmen’s families. This moment marks the inception of The BentProp Project which is now known as Project Recover.
Project Recover is a collaborative effort to enlist 21st-century science and technology in a quest to find and repatriate Americans missing in action since World War II, in order to provide recognition and closure for families and the Nation.