Monday, December 17, 2012

Military Monday - Dr. Leroy P. Kuhn, A.E.F. surgeon

Dr. Leroy Philip Kuhn, my 2nd great grand uncle, was a surgeon during World War I. I only stumbled across this information when I Googled his name during my research on a history I am writing for his parents. I found a biography for Dr. Kuhn in the The Alumni Record of the University of Illinois (Chicago Departments) 1921 which stated his service:
It says "Capt., M.C., U.S.A., Ag 4-D4, 1918." M.C. historically stands for medical corps, which makes sense given his occupation. I'm not sure what the Ag 4-D 4 is referencing. Now I was interested to see if Leroy Kuhn had served overseas.

Given this information from his biography I searched for Leroy Kuhn and found that he had a membership in the Military Surgeon Association:
At a meeting of the Military Surgeons Association held August 1 and 3, 1918 443 medical officers gained membership into the Association, to include Dr. Kuhn. Membership was restricted to commissioned officers in any of the military services. Here is proof of his commissioning, but no indication of his service.

Yet another Google search yielded this gem from the History of Medicine and Surgery and Physicians and Surgeons of Chicago, 1922.
This reference mentions his unit: Surgical Group No. 7. I searched long and hard for this term, but found nothing. So I reached out the historians at the Army Medical Command (AMEDD). I had asked why I could find nothing on the term "Surgical Group." They explained that the peacetime Army medical structure (which was used upon our initial entry into WWI) was heavy on hospitals did not have the capability to push forward to be closer to the front. Thus the birth of Surgical Groups or Teams. The reason I couldn't find any information on Surgical Group No. 7 is that these groups typically were called "Teams."

However, numerous searches for Surgical Team No. 7 have yielded nothing. Presumably, Surgical Team No. 7 would have been attached to Hospital No. 7. I have found information on this hospital, but nothing about Dr. Kuhn. So it appears it is time to order his military service record. Records prior to 1950 are archival and are open to the public for a copying fee. They can be ordered here at the National Archives eServices website.


Grant Davis said...

It's amazing the surprising things you find when you are googling. I was up very late last night writing a blog prompt on here today as well-- "Amanuensis Monday". I received "An Early Christmas Gift" from google and had to share it with everybody. I know they won't be as excited as I was, but that gift will help provide a lot of background information for the letters I'm posting on my gg granfather. This is a great community of bloggers. Thanks for sharing.


Heather Kuhn Roelker said...

Thanks, Grant!

zelsersk said...

Google names off my family tree every once in a a while. It is amazing what I have found too!

Anonymous said...

I'm also often amazed at how often I find really useful information about long deceased ancestors when I google their names.

Heather Kuhn Roelker said...

I concur. Not only a google search on their name, but I have had great luck with google searches for schools, organizations or military units, too.