Washington University School of Medicine Oral History Project

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Col. John F. Patton receiving Legion of Merit, St. Louis, 1945
Major General Paul R. Hawley decorating Col. John F. Patton of the 21st General Hospital with the Legion of Merit. The ceremony was part of a party honoring the 21st General Hospital held on December 11, 1945 at the Hotel Jefferson, St. Louis, Missouri. Behind Hawley and Patton are three members of the unit who received Bronze Star Medals that evening. From left to right: Chaplain Cornelius H. Hook, Capt. Russell J. Crider, and Capt. F. Richard Crouch. Personnel of the 21st General Hospital probably received more decorations than any other general hospital unit in World War II. Among the decorations were 21 Legions of Merit, two Silver Stars, 70 Bronze Stars, 13 citations, eight Medals of Freedom, and one Croix de Guerre with Palm.