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William McConahey, Jr., in uniform, posing beside a litter jeep [ca. 1944]

Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: World War, 1939-1945
  • Branch of Service: Army
  • Unit of Service: 2nd Battalion, 357th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division; 344th Field Artillery Battalion
  • Location of Service: France; Germany; Czechoslovakia; European Theater
  • Highest Rank: Captain
  • Collection Number: AFC/2001/001/1026

View full service history

"They call you a battalion surgeon. I didn't know surgery; really, I was simply trying to save lives." (Audio Interview, 9:58)

In the summer of 1945, William McConahey, a physician working with the Occupation forces in Germany, decided to write a memoir of his experiences in the European Theater. He had landed in France on D-Day Plus Two and had seen the casualties of fighting from Normandy through the Battle of the Bulge and beyond. He had also visited a liberated concentration camp at Flossenberg, expressing frustration at not being able to save so many dying prisoners. McConahey's memoir, Battalion Surgeon, wasn't published until 1966, when he was already on the staff of the prestigious Mayo Clinic.

William M. McConahey Collection
Interview / Recording

Transcript

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More Resources

William M. McConahey Collection
Interview / Recording

Transcript

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[ Memoir Battalion Surgeon by William M. McConahey MD. ]

About this Item

Title

  • William M. McConahey Collection

Names

  • McConahey, William M.
  • Mayo Clinic

Home State

  • Minnesota

Headings

  • -  McConahey, William M.
  • -  World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Army.

Repository

  • Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Gender

  • Male

Status

  • veteran

Service History

  • World War, 1939-1945

    • Branch of Service: Army
    • Unit of Service: 2nd Battalion, 357th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division; 344th Field Artillery Battalion
    • Location of Service: France; Germany; Czechoslovakia; European Theater
    • Highest Rank: Captain
    • Dates of Service: 1943-1945
    • Entrance into Service: Drafted
    • Military Status: veteran
    • Service History Note: After the war, veteran joined the Army Reserve and became a Colonel. He was a battalion surgeon in charge of an aid station close behind the front line in Normandy. The doctor joined the staff of the Mayo Clinic after his war-time service.

Materials

  • Manuscript: Clippings [1 item] -- Typewritten document (collected 2004-04-23)
  • Manuscript: Transcript [1 item] -- Transcription of audio recording (collected 2003-02-05)
  • Manuscript: Memoirs [2 items] -- Typewritten document (collected 2002)
  • Photograph: Digital print [7 items] -- Photograph (collected 1945)
  • Audio: Audio Cassette [1 item] -- Oral history interview (collected 2003-02-05)

Collection Number

  • AFC/2001/001/1026

Cite as

  • William M. McConahey Collection (AFC/2001/001/1026), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Online Format

  • audio
  • image
  • online text

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

Using VHP Material in Publication or Exhibition

The Veterans History Project (VHP) at the Library of Congress collects, preserves and makes accessible the firsthand recollections of U.S. military veterans who served from World War I through more recent conflicts and peacekeeping missions, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand what they saw, did and felt during their service. The Veterans History Project Collection includes oral histories along with documentary materials such as original letters, diaries, photographs, and memoirs.

Veterans and interviewers contribute these materials to the Library for scholarly and educational purposes, retaining any copyright they may hold. Therefore, permission must be obtained before using the interview or other materials in exhibition or publication. Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these materials should contact the Veterans History Project for assistance.

As a publicly supported institution, the Library generally does not own rights to material in its collections. Therefore, it does not charge permission fees for use of such material and cannot give or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in its collections. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item from the Library’s collections and for securing any necessary permissions rests with persons desiring to use the item.

Please contact us with questions.

Obtaining Copies of VHP Materials

In order for VHP materials to be duplicated, we must receive written permission from the interviewee for you to obtain a copy of the recording unless the proposed use is limited to personal use, research, or other uses permissible by copyright law. If the interviewee is deceased, their next-of-kin may grant written permission.

Please contact VHP for assistance if you need to contact a veteran for permission to use their materials in exhibition or publication, or if you have received permission from the veteran and need access to high-resolution copies of VHP collection materials.

Citing VHP Materials

Please use the following formats when citing Veterans History Project materials (substituting the appropriate name and collection ID number).

Materials as a whole:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Manuscript material:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Memoirs (MS02), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Transcript (MS04), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Correspondence (MS01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Recording:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Audio recording (SR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Video recording (MV01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Photograph:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Photographs (PH01), photographer unknown, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Photographs (PH03-PH14), Ralph Williams photographer, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Computer file:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Computer file (CF01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Artifact:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Artifact (AR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Mcconahey, William M, and Mayo Clinic. William M. McConahey Collection. 1943. Personal Narrative. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.01026/.

APA citation style:

McConahey, W. M. & Mayo Clinic. (1943) William M. McConahey Collection. [Personal Narrative] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.01026/.

MLA citation style:

Mcconahey, William M, and Mayo Clinic. William M. McConahey Collection. 1943. Personal Narrative. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.01026/>.