Holiday Greetings from the 46th General Hospital


December 3, 2013

In 1940, the U.S. had not yet entered in World War II, but was assisting Allied forces and preparing for war. Major James C. Magee, Surgeon General of the U.S. Army, began to plan wartime health services for American soldiers. That year, he requested that the University of Oregon Medical School (Pre-cursor to OHSU) activate the 46th General Hospital, the reserve unit that had been affiliated with the school since World War I. Dean Richard B. Dillehunt appointed J. Guy Strohm, MD as Medical Reserve Unit Director. Over two years, Colonel Strohm appointed and trained medical school faculty – as well as nurses and technicians – to serve in the unit. The unit was ordered to Fort Riley, Kansas in 1942.

On December 15, 1942, the hospital's commissioned officers gathered for this group portrait. The group seems unperturbed by the snow and cold of what must have been a typically harsh Kansas winter. The photograph, taken by a local studio, was perhaps meant to send home to colleagues and loved ones at the holidays. The officers would be ordered to Oran in 1943, and then to Besancon in Southern France in 1944.

While all the individuals shown in the photograph are likely to be medical school faculty, they are not identified by name. If you recognize a friend, relative, or colleague in this photo, please let us know! 

Contributed by Maija Anderson, Archivist, OHSU Historical Collections & Archives