William P Keim


"One of the reasons I became a Charter Member of the American Air Museum in Britain was that I had the honor to serve as a medic in the 65th General Hospital from 1943 until the end of the war in Europe. Located in the centre of many East Anglia airbases, near the tiny village of Botesdale the 65th – a Duke Medical School Unit – took care of thousands of wounded airmen with over a 99 per cent recovery rate. In fact, skilled surgical doctors, nurses and technicians performed some amazing surgery, including successful operations on living, beating hearts."

"When possible we watched the hundreds of bombers form in the early morning sky, followed later by escorting Mustangs, Thunderbolts and Lightnings as protectors over Germany. Late in the day, these planes came back, shooting various flares, including the red ones that indicated wounded airmen were on board."

"The phones too often rang, indicating extra ambulances and personnel were needed at various bases to help bring in the wounded as quickly as possible. Into the night we worked to save lives while the deep roar of British heavy bombers headed for Nazi Germany. The mission of our brave airmen was to destroy Germany’s war-making potential; ours was to save the lives of those who did the fighting. Both were performed well and with honor."


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