The concept of a Duke hospital army unit was born in October 1940, the idea of Dr. Wilburt C. Davison, then Dean of the School of Medicine. Activated in July 1942, the Army reserve unit's original crew consisted of male and female health professionals who all had some connection to Duke University, creating a mix of faculty, alumni, and current or former house staff.

From 1944 to 1945, the 65th General Hospital was stationed at Redgrave Park in Suffolk, England. There staff handled a constant stream of front-line casualties from heavy bomber crews, acute diseases and emergency cases, and acted as a specialty center for neurosurgery, thoracic and plastic surgery, burns, and hand injuries. The unit treated more than 17,000 patients during its time abroad.

Duke University Medical Center Archives
Box 3702, Durham, NC 27710

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