Nebraska Answers the Call to War
Although World War I started in 1914, the United States did not join their allies on the battlefields until Congress declared war on Germany in April 1917. However, as early as January 1917, Irving S. Cutter, MD, and August F. Jonas, MD, were preparing UNMC for active military duty. Drs. Cutter and Jonas attended a conference in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 1917 about the types of training medical schools could provide to prepare students for service. The U.S. War Department estimated a need for 20,000 physicians overseas, a need that Nebraska physicians and nurses prepared to fulfill. Upon declaring war on April 4, 1917, the U.S. rallied to military service and support. In one month, Nebraska had 34 American Red Cross chapters providing supplies, training for first aid, and had raised financial support for the creation of Base Hospital No. 49. Meanwhile, physicians and nurses enlisted, preparing for service overseas.