This week’s #MarkerMonday celebrates Veterans Day by looking at the Finney General Hospital historical marker. One of sixty hospitals built in the United States during World War II, Finney General Hospital treated 23,055 WWII veterans before its closure on December 15, 1945. Finney General Hospital received its first patient on June 5, 1943 and was built to house a maximum of 1,994 patients at a time.
In order to accommodate the large number of sick and wounded military personnel during the war, the United States Army used about twice as many hospital beds in World War II than World War I. Originally the War Department worked to convert existing homefront bases such as Fort Benning into temporary hospitals, but they quickly ran out of beds and faced the additional work and expense of converting facilities back to pre-war use. The solution was to build cantonment-type hospitals such as Finney General Hospital consisting of one-story wards, a clinical building, and a mess hall. The hospital campus would also consist of staff living quarters for nurses and officers stationed there. Each new hospital specialized in treatments: Finney General Hospital specialized in general medicine, CNS syphilis, general and orthopedic surgery, and psychiatry. Other specializations included amputations, tuberculosis, deep x-ray therapy, and many more.
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