300th General Hospital Unit Collection
Collection Number 1

Summary Information

300th General Hospital Unit
Repository
EBL Manuscripts Collection
Title
300th General Hospital Unit Collection
Date [inclusive]
1915 - 2008
Extent
2.0 Cubic feet
Abstract
Photographs, scrapbooks, unpublished reports, awards, and reunion material relating to the 300th General Hospital Unit, Vanderbilt's Medical Unit in World War II that served in Italy and North Africa. The collection also includes personal items such as scrapbooks from a few members of the unit. In addition, a few items found in the collection, primarily souvenirs, have no direct relation to the unit, but have some connection to Vanderbilt.

Preferred Citation

300th General Hospital Unit Collection. Eskind Biomedical Library Special Collections, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN.

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Historical or Biographical Note

The 300th General Hospital Unit, Vanderbilt's Medical Unit in World War II, formed in 1940 as a reserve unit under the leadership of Hugh J. Morgan. Commanded by Col. George Reyer (VUSM 1917) and Lt. Col. Alice Christensen, it consisted primarily of doctors and nurses from Vanderbilt University and the Nashville, Tennessee community. The unit was activated on July 15, 1942 at Camp Forrest, Tullahoma, TN. The 300th General Hospital Unit was stationed briefly in Tunisia and then assigned to Naples, Italy in mid-November 1943. It served troops involved in Italian campaign including the Anzio landing, the battle for Monte Casino, and the liberation of Rome. At its peak in the Winter and Spring of 1944, the hospital census was over 3000 patients. The 300th General Hospital Unit was re-designated as the 392nd Station Hospital in November 1945.

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Collection Scope and Content Summary

Photographs, scrapbooks, unpublished reports, awards, and reunion material relating to the 300th General Hospital Unit, Vanderbilt's Medical Unit in World War II that served in Italy and North Africa. The collection also includes personal items such as scrapbooks from a few members of the unit. In addition, a few items found in the collection, primarily souvenirs, have no direct relation to the unit, but have some connection to Vanderbilt. Most of the information (correspondence, rosters, reports, newspaper clippings, and historical accounts) in this collection documents the 300th General Hospital Unit from 1940 until 1946. Some of the materials are original while others are photocopies of information obtained from the National Archives. There are also reunion materials from 1965, 1976, and 1984.

The photographs in this collection are primarily black and white from 1942-1945. Most of the photographs were taken at Vanderbilt, Italy, or North Africa. Pictures include personal photographs, official photographs, and a few pictures from reunions after the war. Also the collection has pictures of George W. Reyer from the Vanderbilt Commodore yearbooks 1915-16. Several wartime souvenirs (a German dog tag, an army fork, medals, and menus) are also included in the collection from time spent both abroad and in Tennessee. Scrapbooks include those donated by members of the unit and also a scrapbook created by the EBL Special Collections.

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Administrative Information

Notes about Access to this Collection

All collections are subject to applicable VUMC privacy and confidentiality policies. Collection specific restrictions: No restrictions

Reproduction Rights

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

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Subject Headings

Other Keywords - Digital Library Subjects

  • Military Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Surgery
  • VUMC History

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Collection Inventory

Series 1: Unit Archives  

Box Folder

Correspondence, rosters and official reports of the 300th General Hospital Unit 1942-46

1a 1

Special Order of the Day from Field-Marshal H.R. Alexander, Supreme Allied Commander of the Mediterranean Theatre, to all personnel in the theatre announcing the surrender of the German army in Italy May 2, 1945

1a 2

Detachment reports from January 1945 copied from the National Archives

1a 5

"At Ease" The Story of the 300th General Hospital as told by members of the Staff Printed in Italy August, 1945 (2 copies)

1b 23

Speech on behalf of Surgeon General James Magee by Hugh Morgan presented at the farewell banquet for the 300th General Hospital July 15, 1942

1b 24

photocopy of memo to the faculty of the School of Medicine from Dean W.S. Leathers July 9, 1940 announcing the creation of the 300th General Hospital

1b 25

photocopy of Roster of Officer Delegates who attended Medical Surgical Clinical Conference at the 300th General Hospital January 1945 and other documents (photocopies) pertaining to the 300th General Hospital and obtained from the National Archives

1b 33

Information and Education section of the 300th General Hospital report and other statistical data obtained from the National Archives

1b 34

copy of Annual Report 300th General Hospital Calendar Year 1942 (obtained from the National Archives)

1b 35

copy of report from Detachment Headquarters, 300th General Hospital January 2, 1943 (obtained from the National Archives)

1b 36

Information regarding 300th General Hospital Unit: Official history of the unit July 15, 1942 to May 1, 1944 and an Annual Report for 1944 (both obtained from the National Archives); photocopies of items from Benton Neil's scrapbooks (mostly newspaper cl

Scope and Contents note

Information regarding 300th General Hospital Unit: Official history of the unit July 15, 1942 to May 1, 1944 and an Annual Report for 1944 (both obtained from the National Archives); photocopies of items from Benton Neil's scrapbooks (mostly newspaper clippings)

3 1

Report of the activities of the 300th General Hospital, 1945 obtained from the National Archives

3 2

Service Award of Merit Plaque Awarded to the 300th General Hospital (Vanderbilt Unit) by Peninsular Base Section Mediterranean Theater of Operations

3 4

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Series 2: Photographs and Images  

Scope and Contents note

This series contains photographs and other images related to Vanderbilt alumni and World War II. Most of the items are directly related to Vanderbilt's medical unit - the 300th General Hospital, but two items document training drills on campus during the war. The bulk dates for the series are 1942-45.

Unless noted, most items are black and white prints. One item is a color print and two are digital-only images (Bartel). Two folders contain photo copies of images from yearbooks and newspapers. Selected images have been digitally scanned and are also available on the server.

Box Folder

Male Officers of the 300th General Hospital July 1942

Scope and Contents note

b&w print: group portrait of male officers of the 300th General Hospital July 1942 with identification and corresponding newsclipping

1a 3

four prints: Nashville cohort - Officer's club - Ospidali Sanitoria - Louis Rosenfeld and Bob Beech

Scope and Contents note

four b&w prints:

a. Most of the Nashville male cohort outside hospital in Naples: George Reyer, Charles Trabue, Henry Carney, John Ransmeier, Fowler Hollabaugh, James Kirtley, Robert Finks, Louis Rosenfeld, and Benton Neil

b. The bar at the officer's club in the penthouse of the hospital in Naples

c. The Ospidali Sanitoria Principe de Piedmonte, home of the 300th General Hospital in Naples, Italy

d. Louis Rosenfeld and Bob Beech after completion of the infiltration course on July 15, 1943 at Camp Forrest in Tullahoma, TN

digital copies are available

1a 4

Hut 1 2 3 - drilling doctors at Vanderbilt 1943

Scope and Contents note

b&w print - June 24, 1943

Not Members of the 300th General Hospital

1a 8

At Ease - miilitary doctors conversing on the Vanderbilt campus 1943

Scope and Contents note

b&w print: At Ease - military doctors conversing on the campus at Vanderbilt June 24, 1943

Not Members of the 300th General Hospital

1a 9

George W. Reyer - Vanderbilt Commodore yearbooks 1915-16

Scope and Contents note

Images of George W. Reyer from the Vanderbilt Commodore yearbooks 1915-16 (photocopies used in an exhibit c.1976)

1a 13

1942 farewell banquet for the 300th General Hospital

Scope and Contents note

photocopied images from 1942 newspaper of the farewell banquet for the 300th General Hospital

1a 14

Benton Neil in North Africa 1943

Scope and Contents note

b&w print: Benton Neil pouring cool vino from terra cotta jug in North Africa

a digital copy is available

1a 15

Col. George W. Reyer

Scope and Contents note

b&w print - formal portrait - circa 1942

a digital copy is available

1a 16

James A. Kirtley

Scope and Contents note

b&w print - candid photograph - circa 1942-45

a digital copy is available

1a 20

300th General Hospital Reunion #3 1984

Scope and Contents note

color print: 300th General Hospital Reunion #3 June 8-10, 1984 Clarksville, IN (subjects identified on back)

a digital copy is available

1b 40

Boxing ring at the 300th General Hospital in Naples

Scope and Contents note

b&w print: boxing ring at the 300th General Hospital in Naples, Italy circa 1944-45

a digital copy is available

1b 41

Nurses of the Vanderbilt Unit at Camp Forrest 1942

Scope and Contents note

b&w print: Nurses of the Vanderbilt Unit Camp Forrest, TN September 2, 1942 (subjects identified)

a digital copy is available

1b 42

Col. Reyer with unidentified officer

Scope and Contents note

b&w print - circa 1942-45

a digital copy is available

1b 43

Alice Christensen with members of the Nursing Staff at Vanderbilt

Scope and Contents note

b&w print: 1st Lt. Alice Christensen with Members of the Nursing Staff at Vanderbilt circa 1942

a digital copy is available

1b 44

Autographed portrait of 1st Lt. Alice Christensen 1942

Scope and Contents note

b&w print - formal portrait with her autograph

a digital copy is available

1b 45

Eruption of Mount Vesuvius in March 1944

Scope and Contents note

b&w print: Eruption of Mount Vesuvius in March of 1944, twenty miles from the 300th General Hospital

a digital copy is available

1b 46

Col. Reyer at portrait dedication

Scope and Contents note

b&w print: candid photograph of Col. Reyer standing in front of his portrait with two unidentified men (alumni of the 300th?) circa 1965

a digital copy is available

1b 48

Male officers of the 300th General Hospital July 1942 (matted)

Scope and Contents note

b&w print: group portrait of male officers of the 300th General Hospital July 1942 (matted with identification)

a digital copy is available

3 5

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Series 3: Reunion Archives  

Box Folder

blue book from the third Reunion of the 300th General Hospital June 8-10, 1984 (Clarksville, Indiana)

1a 6

List of former members of the 300th General Hospital with addresses (Nashville area residents)

1a 18

Invitation to and Program from the hanging of Col. George Reyer's Portrait in the Medical Library December 17, 1976

1b 31

article from Vanderbilt Alumnus Sept-Oct. 1965 "Hospital Unit Reunion" (includes photograph)

1b 38

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Series 4: Publicity  

Box Folder

newspaper clipping: "Nashville has contributed 120 doctors for service" Christmas Edition 1942

1a 7

Newspaper Clippings:

Scope and Contents note

"Newer, Bigger Vanderbilt Hospital Unit Off to War" 1942; ". . . To Honor Nurses of Vanderbilt Unit" January 17; Stars and Stripes Mediterranean April 22, 1945 (newsprint - very fragile)"

1a 12

Vanderbilt Alumnus featuring the 300th General Hospital, 1942

Scope and Contents note

Includes several photographs of members of the 300th General Hospital

1b 21

Vanderbilt Alumnus October 1942 (includes photograph of members of the 300th General Hospital at Vanderbilt football game and list of Vanderbilt alum in the service)

1b 29

Miscellaneous Newspaper Clippings (newsprint - very fragile)

1b 32

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Series 5: Historical Accounts  

Box Folder

Vanderbilt Alumnus featuring the article "The Fighting 300th" May/June 1963

Scope and Contents note

Vanderbilt Alumnus featuring the article "The Fighting 300th" May/June 1963 (also an article from Contemporary Surgery "Vanderbilt: Surgery's Big Sound in Nashville" September 1975)

1a 10

History of the 300th General Hospital (author and date unknown)

1a 17

300th MASH

Scope and Contents note

folder includes copy of military news bulletin annnouncing victory in Europe May 8, 1945;

floorplan of the first floor of the 300th General Hospital in 1943;

article on the 300th General Hospital in the Military Surgeon September 1945;

a one paragraph summary of the 300th General Hospital's service c.1963;

photocopies of 1963 Vanderbilt Alumnus article;

(photocopied article "Bill requires draft registration of medical workers" Army Times March 17, 1986)

1a 19

Notes on the History of the 300th General Hospital March 13, 1947 by Col. George W. Reyer

1b 27

The Fighting 300th: A History of the Vanderbilt University Medical Unit during World War II - Louis Rosenfeld, M.D.

Scope and Contents note

The Fighting 300th: A History of the Vanderbilt University Medical Unit during World War II - Louis Rosenfeld, M.D. Published by Vanderbilt University Medical Center 1985

1b 37

First Floor Hospital Plan c.1943 300th General Hospital Naples, Italy

1b 47

Italy 1945 - The Final Push

Scope and Contents note

The story of the 300th General Hospital 15th Evac Surgical Teams April 1945 in Italy's Apeninne Mountains in support of the 5th Army, 10th Mountain Division as described in the letters of Maj. Ben H. Marshall and Lt. Margaret Buchanan compiled by Ben H. Marshall, Jr. August 14, 2008

1b 50

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Series 6: Souvenirs  

Box Folder

Souvenirs of War: German dog tag, Army fork, Medals, Shell fragments, Bullets, Shoulder patches (donated by Col. Harry S. Shelley)

1a 11

Camp Forrest Officers' Club Menu (autographed) October 7, 1942

1b 22

300th General Hospital Camp Forrest, TN Thanksgiving 1942 Menu and Unit Roster

1b 26

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Series 7: Correspondence  

Box Folder

Applications: Graduate Students 1971-72

1 3

Clippings

18a 06.50.03

Correspondence to Dr. L. Rosenfeld from Robert N. Waggoner August 13, 1982 re: History of the 300th General Hospital

1b 28

The Vanderbilt Unit in North Africa - George W. Matthews

1b 30

correspondence to Dr. and Mrs. Rosenfeld from Robert "Buckie" Buchanan July 12, 1983

1b 39

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Series 8: Vanderbilt University  

Box Folder

Certificate presented to Vanderbilt University School of Medicine for Proficiency in the training of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps Unit for the year ending June 1948

1b 49

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Series 9: Scrapbooks  

Box Folder

Scrapbook created by Special Collections

Scope and Contents note

Scrapbook created by Special Collections includes: roster of 300th General Hospital, photos of commanding officers, newspaper clippings, and group photos

2 1

Benton Neil's Scrapbook Book 1 of 3

Scope and Contents note

Benton Neil's Scrapbook Book 1 of 3: handwritten preface; various documents regarding Dr. Neil's appointment/commission in the Army; Correspondence from W.S. Leathers, Hugh J. Morgan, Prentice Cooper, Dr. Shull, and Dr. Kirtley regarding preparations for the 300th General Hospital; Newsclippings about the war, Dr. Neil, and the 300th General Hospital; b&w photographs of physical training, individual and group images of members of the unit, Camp Forrest, leisure time, preparations to leave, and Tunisia; Christmas 1942 holiday menu and roster; Correspondence from Dr. Neil to his family; and maps.

2 2

Scrap Book pages and loose photographs

3 3

Benton Neil's Scrapbook Book 2 of 3

Scope and Contents note

Benton Neil's Scrapbook Book 2 of 3: photographs of boat trip to Italy from Tunisia, the hospital, Naples, Mt. Vesuvius in action, Sorrento, Capri, Cassino, Rome, and Mussilini's balcony; a language guide (Italian); German and Italian currency, insignia, and newspaper, and propaganda; newspaper clipping announcing Dr. Neil's promotion to Major; post exchange ration card; Stars and Stripes newspaper ("Red Army in Berlin").

3 6

Benton Neil's Scrapbook Book 3 of 3

Scope and Contents note

Benton Neil's Scrapbook Book 3 of 3: photographs of Florence, Dental Meeting at 8th Evacuation Hospital, Bologna, Mantova, 15th Evacuation Hospital, Venice, Balzano, Brenner Pass (Austria), and Bagnoli; Dr. Neil's letters home; Officers' Club card; and travel orders.

3 7

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