Bearing the Torch – the American Hospital of Paris during WWI

Since its inception, the American Hospital of Paris has played a unique role in French-American relations.

World War I was no exception to the rule.

On August 3, 1914, immediately after France entered the war, the Board of Governors of the American Hospital of Paris offered the hospital’s facilities to the French authorities, and in turn was asked to open a very large state of-the-art military hospital in the buildings of the future Lycée Pasteur:

« The Ambulance of the American Hospital of Paris, Wounded Section.»

Until April 6, 1917, when the United States officially entered the war, the American Ambulance Hospital, which was entirely financed by the generosity of American donors, became the epicenter of the efforts of thousands of volunteers.

American Hospital of ParisFor three years, the teams of doctors, nurses and ambulance drivers at the American Ambulance Hospital operated, cared for and transported hundreds of thousands of injured victims.

The American Ambulance Field Service, which later became the American Field Service still in robust operation today, carried some 400,000 wounded soldiers to hospital care during the war. More than 2,500 volunteer drivers came from 48 American universities, led by Harvard and Yale, to offer their help.

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Real the full story or watch the dcoumentary film below which tells the story of the founding of the hospital and the hospital’s role in WWI, the medical advances, the ambulance drivers and the Lafayette Escadrille.