As Thanksgiving approaches we take time to look back on past celebrations and the history of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
Medical schools throughout the country formed reserve units in preparation for the United States entering WWII. Under the leadership of Hugh J. Morgan, the 300th General Hospital Unit formed as a reserve unit in 1940, commanded by Col. George Reyer (VUSM 1917) and Lt. Col. Alice Christensen. Consisting primarily of doctors and nurses from Vanderbilt University and the Nashville, Tennessee community, the unit became active on July 15, 1942 at Camp Forrest, Tullahoma, TN. The unit was briefly stationed in Tunisia before being assigned to Naples, Italy in mid-November 1943. During the winter and spring of 1944 the hospital saw over 3,000 patients. Troops involved in the Italian campaigns including the Anzio landing, the battle for Monte Casino, and the liberation of Rome were served by the hospital. In November 1945, the 300th General Hospital Unit was re-designated as the 392nd Station Hospital.
The following is a menu for a meal that was served Thanksgiving, 1942 by the 300th General Hospital while still stationed at Camp Forrest, Tennessee.