Clarence J. Berne, emeritus professor of surgery at the USC School of Medicine and the physician who headed a Los Angeles County Hospital surgical unit in the heart of the Burmese jungle during World War II, died Tuesday in Los Angeles.
The former chairman of the department of surgery at USC and the county hospital was 83 and specialized in operations of the abdomen and gastrointestinal tract.
Berne, who came to USC in 1932, was named acting chairman of the surgery department at the university and the hospital in 1938 and served until 1969 when he retired.
Berne, who was on staff at the Hospital of the Good Samaritan, was part of a team of specialists stationed at a U.S. base near the border of India and Burma in the early years of the war. Even their nurses were recruited from the Los Angeles area and trained here before being shipped as a unit overseas. Berne received the Bronze Star for his wartime services.