65th General Hospital Memorial, Duke Hospital, Durham
The memorial features four life-size figures -- an injured soldier, a physician, a nurse and a
corpsman. The soldier appears to be trying to rise from the stretcher he is lying on while
attended by the nurse. The doctor, dressed in surgical garb, is trying to hold the soldier down
with his proper right hand while he beckons with his left hand towards the corpsman sculpture
which is positioned 15 to 20 feet away. The corpsman is running towards the doctor, nurse and
soldier. The sculptures are resting on a base of shale paving stones. A bronze plaque near the
corpsman contains the inscription.
Images: Far-off view of the memorial | Plaque | Close-up view | Sculpture of a doctor, nurse and a wounded soldier | View of the memorial and 65th General Hospital
IN WORLD WAR II, DOCTORS AND NURSES OF THE DUKE / SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AFFILIATED 65th GENERAL / HOSPITAL, AND ITS ENLISTED PERSONNEL, PIONEERED / TREATMENTS FOR COMPLICATED WAR WOUNDS AND / WERE HIGHLY COMMENDED FOR EXCELLENT CARE OF / THOUSANDS OF SERVICEMEN IN THE EUROPEAN / THEATER OF OPERATIONS. TO HONOR THE 65th , AND / ALL OTHER MEN AND WOMEN OF DUKE UNIVERSITY / MEDICAL CENTER WHO HAVE SERVED OUR COUNTRY / IN THE ARMED FORCES, WE OFFER THIS REMEMBRANCE. / OCTOBER 26, 2002
Duke University Medical System
October 26, 2002
36.005700 , -78.935040 View in Geobrowse
“Duke Pays Tribute To Members Of World War II Hospital Unit,” Duke Medicine, http://corporate.dukemedicine.org, (accessed May 19, 2016) Link
“Duke University Medical Center Honors the 65th General Hospital World War II,” Duke University Library, (accessed May 19, 2016) Link
“Redgrave Park,” American Air Museum In Britain, http://www.americanairmuseum.com, (accessed May 19, 2016) Link
“Remembering the 65th : Duke’s General Hospital Unit,” Duke University Medical Center Archives, http://digitaldukemed.mc.duke.edu, (accessed May 19, 2016) Link
“Stebbings, Fan Of WWII 65 th Hospital, Receives Duke Award,” Duke Medicine, http://corporate.dukemedicine.org/index, (accessed May 19, 2016) Link
“Stephen H. Smith, Sculptor,” StephenSmith.com, (accessed December 1, 2016) Link
Commissioned by the Duke Endowment. Funding for the corpsman provided by The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation
The dedication ceremony featured recollections of the 65 th General Hospital by its historian, retired Duke Professor of Surgery, Ivan W. Brown, Jr., MD and a keynote address by Brigadier General Eric B. Schoomaker, MD, commanding general of the Southeast Regional Medical Command. The sculpture was presented by R. Sanders Williams, MD, Dean of the Duke University School of Medicine. Music throughout the ceremony was provided by the 82nd Airborne Division Band from Ft. Bragg. The dedication also marked the 55th and final reunion of veterans of the 65th General Hospital.
In February 1944 the 65th General Hospital was ordered to Botesdale, Suffolk in England. This
hospital was located in the heart of a number of air bases serving the American 8th Airforce. In
nearly daily raids over Europe as many as 10,000 men and 1,000 planes were involved.
Casualties caused by anti-aircraft fire, cannon fire and bullets from German planes, crashes and
accidents were numerous. The 65th acted as an evacuation hospital receiving freshly wounded
causalities directly from the aircraft and as a General Hospital serving troops stationed in the
area. After the D-Day Invasion it received trains with up to 600 casualties each, transferred
from evacuation and field hospitals on the continent. During the 22 months it was in service the
hospital served 17,250 bed patients. In 1992 a memorial to the unit was placed at the hospital
site in England. The memorial was sponsored
by George L. Stebbings of Suffolk who as a boy of 14 had befriended the doctors and nurses in
the unit. In 2002 he was named an honorary alumnus of the Duke University School of
The sculptor Stephen H. Smith, a graduate of the University of North Carolina, also created the statue of Benjamin N. Duke that stands on a pedestal on Duke University's East Campus, First Flight Centennial Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, Martin Luther King, Jr. statue in Fayetteville and the James K. Polk statue in the rotunda of the Morehead Planetarium on the University of North Carolina campus.
The sculpture stands on a lot adjacent to Duke Clinic in Durham, NC, at 40 Duke Medical Circle. Behind it is the Duke LifeFlight Helicopter pad, where critically ill and injured patients are airlifted to Duke from across the region.
The memorial stands on a lawn, surrounded by trees.