Dr. Gros' fame has grown from his close association with the American volunteer pilots of WWI ---the Escadrille Lafayette and the Lafayette Flying Corps---to the point that, retrospectively, he is credited with having founded both the American Hospital of Paris and its extension, the Ambulance--- thus stealing the thunder of a much more unassuming man, Dr. A.J. Mangin. Likewise, Dr. Gros is identified as director of the Ambulance's Field Service--- of which in fact he was an early promoter and then medical advisor. Over the course of 1915, his rôle as surgeon at the American Ambulance had been eclipsed by both his colleague, Dr. Charles Winchester Du Bouchet, and by the medical units sent by various American medical schools.The Field Service---for which Dr. Gros remained the consulting physician---specialized in transportation, not medicine, and was run efficiently by A. Piatt Andrew. Thus it was that Dr. Gros took on another project: recruiting American volunteers to pilot combat aircraft for the French.
Edmund Louis Gros was the son of the "queen" of San Francisco's French Colony(1). Born in 1869, he studied medicine first at the Cooper Medical College in San Francisco (M.D. in 1891), and then at the Ecole de Médecine in Paris(2).
On June 7, 1901, he married Honora L. Patton in Curwensville, Pa. His wife was daughter of the late John Patton, founder of the local bank and twice a U.S. Congressman. The Pattons were an influential family in the area,---bankers and businessmen---and two of Honora's brothers followed their father's footsteps, serving in Congress (3)
Dr. Gros pursued his medical career in Paris where he established an international practice described as "the largest in Europe". In 1910, he joined the Medical Board of the newly-opened American Hospital of Paris, conceived of four years earlier by Dr. Mangin and Harry Van Bergen, and brought into being by influential members of the American Colony.(4) His name can be found among the incorporators of the hospital as a legal entity in 1912 in Washington DC. (5) At the outbreak of war in August 1914, Dr. Gros was on the staff at the 24-bed AHP. When the American Ambulance was established, as a large extension of the AHP, he served as a surgeon ---responsibilities which included overseeing the medical dimension of ambulance evacuation.(6)
In the wake of the Battle of the Marne, in the early morning of September 8, 1914, the Ambulance surgeons, Dr. Gros and Dr. Dubouchet, accompanied chief hospital administrator, Robert Bacon, and a fleet of ambulances to Meaux, where they prepared a number of wounded for evacuation(7).
In 1916, Dr. Gros was instrumental in helping Norman Prince establish a unit of American pilots serving the French, first called the "Escadrille américaine", but later , at his suggestion, renamed the "Escadrille Lafayette."(8)
In the summer of 1916, when the Field Service left their cramped quarters at the Lycée Pasteur in Neuilly to the Hottinguer property at 21, rue Raynouard in Paris, Dr. Gros continued to serve as chief physician, now using the clinic at the Swiss Chalet. Here, not only did he conduct physical examinations, but screened potential recruits for French aviation. In fact, just as he had once facilitated incorporation of American citizens into French aviation through the intermediary of the Foreign Legion, he now used the Field Service as a means to his end. Henceforth, it was not unusual for a volunteer to come to France as an ambulance driver and then transfer almost immediately to aviation service. As well, volunteers reaching the end of their six-month enlistment term as Field Service drivers, were encouraged to "go into aviation."(9)
Soon, American volunteers were flying for a number of French aviation units of which No. 124, the "Escadrille Lafayette" was but one. Dr. Gros therefore organized all American volunteers into a hypothetical "Lafayette Flying Corps", facilitating their relationship with French authorities.(10)
After the US entered the war, Dr. Gros was appointed Lt. Col and assigned to liaison work between the French and US army aviation authorities. He helped American pilots, flying for the French, transfer over to US units.(11)
After the War, Dr. Gros was one of the founders of the Memorial to the Lafayette Escadrille, located in Marnes-la-Coquette(12). He was also a patron of the American Library Association in Paris.(13)
Between the wars, Dr. Gros continued his extensive private medical practice as well as his duties as chief surgeon at the American Hospital of Paris. After the German Army occupied Paris in the summer of 1940, he became disheartened(14). Suffering a stroke, he moved back to his wife's Pennsylvania, where he died on October 16, 1942.(1)
1. San Francisco: The French Colony and Bohemia
There were two other clans in San Francisco---dating from the seventies--- so exclusive in their way as the society that still spelled itself with seven capitals.
The dean of the French Colony was Raphael Weill, owner of a fashionable department store, a bon vivant, and a public-spirited citizen. The queen was Madame Gros, the most beautiful and perfectly gowned woman in San Francisco. Her son, Dr. Edmund Gros, finally move to Paris and during World War I founded the American Hospital. Many of those cultivated men and women would have been welcomed in High Society as the enlightening years drifted by, but preferred their own. Several were among the founders of the famous Bohemian Club. (Gertrude Franklin Hom Atherton, Golden Gate Country, p. 214:)
Raphael Weill, the senior member of the firm, came to San Francisco in 1853, and since that time has been thoroughly identified with California and its interests. He is a prominent member of the Bohemian Club, and also of other French clubs in this city. He lends his earnest support to any movement intended to promote the welfare of San Francisco, the city of his choice. (Raphael Weill & Co.)
The French were on the ground early in California. The first real immigrant recorded is Jean Louis Vignes, who came from Bordeaux and started a vineyard near Los Angeles in 1831. J. J. Vioget came to San Francisco in 1839. When the capital of California was still at Monterey, France was represented by a consul. The French pioneers of San Francisco, 36 in number, arrived on the sailing ship La Maose, in 1849. As early as the Spring of 1850 the French were operating stores, restaurants and hotels on Clay street, in the old business section. In July of the same year, Mr. Dillon arrived as the first French consul in San Francisco. In November, 1850, 131 additional French settlers arrived. There are today French societies in San Francisco which date back almost 75 years. There was a French newspaper, "L'Echo du Pacifique," as early as 1852. (San Francisco's Foreign Colonies)
2. MEMORIAL: EDMUND LOUIS GROS, M.D. By GUY HINSDALE, M.D.
Dr. Gros, one of our very distinguished corresponding members---elected in 1910---died in Westchester, Pennsylvania, on October 16, 1942, after a remarkable career ending at the age of 73.
He was better known in France than in his own country. For nearly forty years he had practiced medicine in Paris, where he rendered distinguished service to Americans and Frenchmen alike.
Dr. Gros was graduated in 1891 from Cooper Medical College, San Francisco, and soon went to France to study at the Ecole de Médecine. His work in France was notable. It is said that in 1915, Dr. Gros conducted the largest medical practice in Europe.
During the first World War, Dr. Gros was a great supporter of the Lafayette Escadrille--- the famous organizations of American Volunteers which was soon made part of the French Air Corps. When the Americans arrived in 1919, he was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army, serving in the Liaison section of the Air Force, A.E.F.
With other physicians practicing in Paris, Dr. Gros established the American Ambulance Hospital at Neuilly and he became the first Chief of Staff. Other members of the Staff at that time included Drs. Mangin, Turner, Jarvis, duBouchet and later Drs. Bove, Borsch, Jackson, Collinson, Bayon and Converse. That this hospital was a godsend to stricken Americans, civilian as well as military, is known to all.
For his services to France, Dr. Gros was made Officier de la Légion d'Honneur and later he was decorated with the Croix de Guerre. In 1929 he was made Commander of the Royal Order of Saint Saya by the late King Alexander of Yugoslavia.
In 1940 the Germans occupied Paris. At first the hospital was turned over to the French Red Cross, but soon the staff was scattered. Dr. Gros suffered a hemiplegia and returned to America.
The Hospital was Dr. Gros' life work. It will stand long as a monument to him.
The Association sends to Mrs. Gros its deepest sympathy in the tragic loss of her devoted husband.
3. Marriage and In-Laws
NY medical journal, 1901
Married.... GROS-PATTON.--- In Curwensville, Pennsylvania, on Friday, June 7th: Dr. Edmund L. Gros, of Paris, France, and Miss Honora P. Patton.
DAR Lineage Book:
Mrs. Honora Louise Patton Gros. #13704
Father: John Patton (18231897)
was a U.S. Representative from the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. He was the father of Charles Emory Patton, also a U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania (1911-1914), and John Patton Jr., a U.S. Senator from Michigan (1893-1894), and the uncle of William Irvin Swoope, also a U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania (1923-1926).
John Patton has been twice married. He married, June 17, 1847, Catharine M. Ennis, daughter of Alexander Ennis of Hollidaysburg. Four children were born of that marriage, three sons and one daughter. Catherine (Ennis) Patton died November 28, 1855. On the 18 day of June 1858, John Patton married Honora Jane, daughter of William C. Foley. Of this marriage, eight children have been born, five sons and three daughter of whom five are still living.
4. The American Hospital.
...on doit à un médecin de la colonie américaine de Paris, le docteur Magnin, et à un de ses amis américains, Harry Antony Van Bergen, les premières démarches en vue de réaliser un hôpital américain à Paris. Le docteur Magnin naquit à Genève, en 1858. Par son père, il descendait d'une famille protestante française originaire de Franche-Comté qui s'était exilée en Suisse au moment de la révocation de l'édit de Nantes. Il était américain par sa mère. Après avoir fait des études médicales à New York, Magnin vint les compléter en Europe (Berlin, Vienne et Paris). Il fut reçu, en 1886, docteur en médecine de la faculté de Paris et ouvrit un cabinet dans la capitale. Il garda sa nationalité américaine et épousa une Française.(Nicole Fouché)
Un "conseil médical" --- prévu par les statuts (Medical Board) --- composé de six médecins assure, sous la direction du conseil d'administration, la responsabilité médicale de l'Hôpital. Pour réussir l'Hôpital américain, il fallait certes de bons gestionnaires, d'habiles organisateurs, de généreux bienfaiteurs, mais il fallait aussi et surtout une équipe de médecins fiables, solides, de qualité, qui puissent ancrer la réputation médicale et scientifique de l'Hôpital. Le docteur Magnin, premier président du conseil médical et membre du conseil d'administration, sut regrouper une telle équipe. Il fut rapidement rejoint, pour ne citer qu'eux, par des spécialistes de nationalité américaine : le docteur Crosby Whitman et, surtout, les docteurs Edmund Gros et George Winchester DuBouchet qui marquèrent la période de tout le poids de leur forte personnalité. (Nicole Fouché)
5. CHAPTER 81 - AMERICAN HOSPITAL OF PARIS TEXT Sec. 4901. Corporation created
John H. Harjes, John J. Hoff, H. H. Harjes, Henry Cachard, S. F. B. Biddle, W. S. Dalliba, Doctor Edmund L. Gros, Leopold Huffer, Doctor A. J. Magnin, Frank H. Mason, J. Pierpont Morgan, F. W. Sharon, H. A. van Bergen, Doctor Crosby Whitman, and such persons as shall or may hereafter associate with them and in such manner and upon such terms as shall be specified in the by-laws of this corporation, are hereby ordained, constituted, and declared a body corporate in fact and in name in the District of Columbia, by the name and style of the American Hospital of Paris
6. The Organization of the American Ambulance--- under the authority of the Ambulance Committee of the Board of Governors of the American Hospital of Paris.
Beginning: Myron T. Herrick
"In the first days of the war, when we were forming a committee to take care of the Americans in Europe, Dr. Magnin, our family physician, came one day to the embassy and suggested that we prepare his hospital as a war 'ambulance' of small dimensions. He said the governors were anxious to do this and he spoke with their authority. He thought we could put some tents in the big garden and prepare to receive and care for a few of the wounded soldiers. I did not really think it of much importance but I approved of the idea as a step in the right direction.
First meeting, August 3d at the residence of Dr. A.J. Mangin.
Medical Board members defined on August 15th.
The Medical Board of the American Hospital consists of Doctor Robert Turner, chairman; Doctor Magnier, who is well known as the founder of the hospital; Doctor DuBouchet, Doctor Gros, Doctor Koenig and Doctor Whitman. (Paris War Days)
"list of governors of the American Hospital in Paris:
Robert Bacon, President
C. S. Phillips, Second Vice-President
John B. Carter, Treasurer
Shaun Kelly, Secretary.
Full list of Governors and date of expiration of their term:
Wm S. Dalliba, American Express Paris 1918
Dr. A. J. Magnin, 121, Bd. Haussmann
Cornelius Tiers, 9, East 80th Street New York
Shaun Kelly, 82 Bd. Haussmann 1919
Robert Bacon, 72 rue de Varenne, Paris 1920
L Huffer, 105, avenue Henri Martin
C. S. Phillips, 35 avenue du Bois de Boulogne
Mrs W. K. Vanderbilt
Mrs H. B. Whitney, 871, Fifth Avenue, NY
Dr J P Hutchinson, American Red Cross, Military Hospital No 1, Neuilly, till the annual meeting 1918
John R. Carter, c/o Morgan Harjes Paris
Dr. E. L. Gros, 23 Av. du Bois de Boulogne
Major James Perkins, American Red Cross, 4, place de la Concorde
Major Alexander Lambert, American Red Cross, 4, place de la Concorde.":
October 27, 1914:
Both the hospital and its Ambulance Corps are under the immediate direction of a committee of prominent Americans, the executive head of which is Dr. Winchester Dubouchet, who bears the title of Surgeon-in-chief. He is a man possessing the rare combination of tact and efficiency. He is thoroughly conversant with the technique of his profession and has in previous wars had large experience with field ambulance service. His ability and skill have proved as important in the organization and running of these institutions as were those of Mr. Herrick in their conception.
Under the wise leadership of Dr. Dubouchet, three other men, Mr. Laurence Benét, Dr. Edmond Gros, and Mr. A. Wellesley Kipling, have been powerful in promoting the phenomenal growth of the Ambulance Corps. Their titles are, respectively, Chairman of the Transportation Committee, Chief Ambulance Surgeon, and Captain of Ambulances. These gentlemen have worked together unselfishly and indefatigably, and the rapidity with which the manifold difficulties incidental to the construction and organization of automobile ambulance trains have been overcome is due to their untiring efforts. (ch7, notes of an Attaché)
Article in N.Y. Times, April 28, 1915:
OUR SURGEONS AT TRENCHES. France Extends Field of American Ambulance Work.
PARIS, April 27.-- The American flag, carried on American ambulances, will soon be seen close up to the fighting front at various parts of the western battle line. Commandant Girard, director of the automobile ambulances of the French Army, has arranged with Dr. Edmund Gros, Chief Surgeon of the American Ambulance Corps in France, to send these ambulances to the vicinity of the trenches.
Article in N.Y. Times, May 13, 1915:
PARIS AMERICANS PROTEST
Cable President Wilson That Lusitania Sinking Was Savagery
PARIS, May 12--- More than 100 Americans in Paris have signed the following cablegram, which was forwarded to President Wilson:
"We, the undersigned, having observed strict neutrality though living amid the horrors of war, now feel that in justice to our conditions and in order to preserve our self-respect we must voice an indignant and energetic protest against the sinking of the Lusitania, an act pre-eminent in its savagery, and which places the responsible Government outside civilized humanity."
Among the signers were Dr. Edmund L. Gros, chief surgeon of the American Ambulance Corps in France; A. Piatt Andrew, formerly Assistant Secretary of the United States Treasury; Norman Hutchinson, American Consul General to Rumania and Serbia; Lawrence V Benet, former President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Paris; Captain Arthur W. Kipling of the American Ambulance Corps P. Lorillard Ronalds, George Blumenthal, WIlliam E. Iselin, and Dr. Winchester Dubouchet.
Annual report, 1915
CAPT. FRANK H. MASON, Chairman.
Mr. Robert Bacon.
Mr. F. W. Monahan.
Mr. Laurence V. Benet.
Mr. L. V. Twyeffort.
Dr. C. Winchester Du Bouchet.
Mrs. W. K. Vanderbilt.
Mrs. Harry Payne Whitney.
WILFRED YARDLEY, Secretary to the Committee.
Surgeon in Chief. C. WINCHESTER Du BOUCHET, M.D.
The Medical Board.
J. A. BLAKE, M.D., Chairman.
A. J. MAGNIN, M.D., Vice-Chairman.
C. J. KOENIG, M.D., Secretary.
N. Allison, M.D.
J. P. Hutchinson, M.D.
L. Chauveau, M.D.
D. J. McCarthy, M.D.
C. B. Craig, M.D.
R. Mignot, M.D.
E. L. Gros, M.D.
F. Soulier, M.D.
G. B. Hayes, D.D.S.
Kenneth Taylor, M.D.
R. H. Turner, M.D.
7. James Brown Scott. Robert Bacon, Life and Letters. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1923.
At this period, we formed the first of the Motor Ambulance Convoys and here came a great opportunity to help of which Bacon took full advantage. He and Doctor Gros organized a highly efficient detachment of American Red Cross cars and drivers which was officially attached to the regular ambulance convoys and worked with them in the most complete harmony, remaining at this arduous and dangerous duty for many months during the most trying part of the war.
The complete exhaustion of these men was vividly shown in what Dr. Gros told me. He, with others, went to the Marne battlefield in the only ambulance that was left in Paris. They arrived at Meaux at midnight and found the town in utter darkness. Not a sound in the streets---not a light. The only living things were hundreds of cats. The men called, they shouted, in vain they tried to arouse someone. At last they succeeded in awakening the mayor of whom they asked where they could find the wounded.
"My village is filled with them," he replied. "I will show you."
By the aid of a lamp they felt their way through the streets to a dilapidated schoolhouse. There was not a light, or. a sound. There was the stillness of death. They rapped. There was no response. They rapped louder. Hearing nothing, cautiously they pushed open the door. The building was packed with wounded; over five hundred, with all kinds of wounds. Some were dying, some were dead, but everyone was in deep sleep. Bleeding---yet asleep; limbs shattered---yet asleep; abdomen and chest torn wide open---asleep! They were lying on the hard floor and on bits of straw. Not a groan, not a motion, not a complaint---only sleep!
Surgical aid, the prospect of being taken to a good hospital, the prospect of food and drink and of being removed from the range of the enemy's guns awakened no interest. There was a sleepy indifference to everything. They had reached a stage of unconditional exhaustion and desired only to be left alone.
Dr. Gros and his ambulance corps brought back first the severely wounded with shattered legs and arms and penetrating wounds of the abdomen and chest. They made little or no complaint on being picked up, placed in the ambulances and transported. The only sound they uttered was when the torn flesh which adhered to the floor by dried blood was pulled loose.
When these men goaded by shot and shell for nine days without adequate sleep or food, in constant fear of capture and finally wounded, reached the hospital they slept while their wounds were being dressed. After deep sleep for two or three days during, which they wanted neither food nor drink, they began to be conscious of their surroundings. They asked questions, they had pain, they had discomforts and wants. They had returned from the abysmal oblivion of sleep.
Charles Carroll's eyewitness description:
You have asked me to write you a page of the history of the agonizing days that we spent in Paris in this memorable month of September. I can do nothing more interesting than to tell you of the visit of our American Ambulance to Meaux on the night of September 8th ...
J. Paulding Brown:
Late in the evening of 7 September, orders came for the ambulances to bring in some wounded Senegalese left behind at Meaux after the fighting that morning. We arrived at midnight and found our wounded sprawled on the floor in a little school, tended by a single priest. Dr. Gros and Dr. DuBouchet set about patching them up for the journey. Finally we had 20 loaded on our 10 cars, the first of many thousands of wounded soldiers to be carried by the American Ambulance and the American Field Service.
Charles Bove with Dana Thomas. A Paris Surgeon's Story. New York, 1956.:
My first impression of the hospital was somewhat disappointing. But behind the small, rather unimpressive brick building was one of the most magnificent gardens I had ever seen. I waited in the reception room to meet some of the staff members, and I was presented to Dr. Edmund Gros, the director. Crile, Cushing and Blake had departed for the States after the signing of the Armistice, and Gros and Du Bouchet (an American of French parentage) were the only major American figures connected with the hospital. During the war, Gros had driven out to the Marne in the last cab available in Paris during the three day battle, and he had superintended the transportation of casualties under fire. Gros had been born in San Francisco. In his late forties, he was a strapping man, well over six feet, with whimsical brown eyes and a small black mustache. Realizing how busy he was I had thought to make my visit brief, but he asked me if I would like to be conducted through the hospital.
See: Edmund L. Gros. The Transportation of the Wounded. Boston, 1915.
* * * * *
8. Anne Cipriano Venzon, Paul L. Miles. The United States in the First World War., 1999:
Norman Prince, a pioneer in American civil aviation, promoted the idea of a volunteer squadron assigned to the French Air Squadron as early as January 1915. The War Ministry failed to act on his proposal, and it took the involvement of Dr. Edmund Gros, a leader of the American ambulance service in France, to realize Prince's dream. Gros worked through Jarousse de Sillac, a senior official in the Department of Foreign Affairs who saw the propaganda value of a combat squadron manned by American volunteers. Sillac subsequently arranged a meeting between Gros and General Hirschauer, chief of French military aeronautics. Like his countrymen, Hirschauer hoped that the example of American volunteers selflessly helping France would erode neutralist sentiments in the United States. Therefore he authorized the creation of the Lafayette Americaine (N-124), which began frontline service on April 20, 1916. The German ambassador to the United States, Count Johann von Bernstorff, complained about the unit's name, and the French, at Gros' behest, rechristened it the Lafayette Escadrille (Spa-124) in December 1916.
9.Nancy Nichols, ed. Letters Home From the Lafayette Flying Corps. San Francisco: J.D. Huff, 1993.:
I have been talking with Doctor Gros, who has full charge of taking men for the Franco-American Aviation. He says things are very open now. They want men. They have a hundred at the school at Avord now. New ones are pouring in. Pay is 200 francs a month, uniform and outfit furnished. He is confident of our being taken over by the United States Army. Release from the ambulance can be had at any time. I'm going to take the entrance test today, and if I pass I shall decide then.
Caroline Ticknor. New England Aviators, 1914-1918. Their Portraits and Their Records, Volume I. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1919.
Arthur Lawrence Cunningham---"On May 26, 1917, he went overseas with the Harvard Ambulance Unit, and after a month in Paris with that organization, enlisted July, 1917, in the Foreign Legion, Lafayette Escadrille."
Philip Washburn Davis--- "In May, 1917, he sailed overseas determined to do his part in the Ambulance Service; he reached Paris, June , 1917, and three days later wrote: 'I have enlisted in the Aviation Squadron, the Lafayette Escadrille. I decided that it was the only right thing to do. You cannot imagine at home---of course, I could nt--- what this war really is. How everybody has got to do his share to save the world from the Boches ... they need aviators badly and they are very important in the conduct of the war. Now that the U.S. is in the war I think our men should be at the front. Once I had determined to get into the Army, I wanted to get into something where individuality counts and it does in Aviation more than anywhere else. Even if the danger is greater the value of the service is greater too'."
Dinsmore Ely---"He completed his junior year in high standing and volunteered in May, 1917, for service in the Tech Unit of the American Ambulance Field Service, sailing for France on June 25, with the avowed purpose of getting into the Aviation Service as quickly as possible. Arriving in Paris July 4, he secured his release the following day from the Ambulance Service, volunteered, and was accepted as a member of the Lafayette Flying Corps."
William Fitch Loomis, Ralph Lane Loomis---"He sailed for France as member of the American Ambulance Service, May 19, 1917; he enlisted in the French Aviation Service"
Russell Falconer Stearns---"On Jan. 8, 1917, he enlisted in the American Ambulance Corps for two months. He then transferred through the Foreign Legion to the Aviation Service of the French Army"
10. Lt.-Col. Philippe D Rogers, USMC. L'Escadrille Lafayette : Unité Volontaire de Combat Oubliée de l'Amérique
There has been a great deal of confusion over the years attributed to the two names the Lafayette Escadrille and the Lafayette Flying Corps. The Lafayette Escadrille is the unit itself, originally established on April 16, 1916, and disestablished on February 18, 1918. Its members are made up solely of the 38 Americans and the 4 French who flew with the Escadrille during this period. The Escadrille was disbanded and reestablished as the U. S. 103rd Aero Pursuit Squadron.
The Lafayette Flying Corps (also known as the Franco-American Flying Corps) was never a unit per se, instead it is a name used to describe all of the American pilots, to include the Lafayette Escadrille pilots, who flew for the French during World War I. The exact number of actual pilots who flew for the French is open to question and many different numbers exist depending on who is counting. The numbers range from as low as 180 to over 300. The generally accepted, most oft-quoted number of men who were recognized as having successfully completed French flight training or received their "brevets," is 209. Of this 209, 180 would actually serve at the Front in combat. With this number in mind then, 180 American pilots flew in 66 French pursuit escadrilles and 27 bomber/observer escadrilles.
11. Article, NY Times, August 24, 1917
Dr. Edmond Gros of Paris, who was instrumental in organizing the successful Lafayette Flying Corps with American volunteers, ahs been appointed a Major of the American Army in the Aviation Signal Corps. He will give up his practice for the duration of the war.
Nancy Nichols, ed. Letters Home From the Lafayette Flying Corps. San Francisco: J.D. Huff, 1993.
We are still waiting for dope on being taken over by the United State forces, and rumors run rampant. Doctor Gros has been made a major in the United States Army, as a camp organizer, not as a surgeon. Since the Franco-American Corps is his creation, practically, he will probably see that we get a square deal.
12. Lafayette Flying Corps Memorial Foundation
13.Mary Niles Maack, "Between Two Worlds: The American Library in Paris during the War, Occupation, and Liberation (1939-1945), Library Trends, Vol 55, No. 3, Winter 2007
The president of the board at the beginning of the war was Dr. Edmond Gros, who headed the American Hospital in Neuilly. He provided guidance and direction to the library until he was forced to leave France because of ill health.
14. Charles Bove with Dana Thomas. A Paris Surgeon's Story. New York, 1956.:
During this period I attended a few bed cases remaining in the American Hospital. Even though the rooms and wards were for the most part empty, this place was home to me. I loved every brick and stone of it. We of the staff realized that perhaps very soon the hospital would fall into German hands. Dr. Gros seemed to age before our eyes. Dr. Thierry de Martel, our fellow surgeon, was in so deep a melancholy that nothing could arouse him
As I made my way to the American Hospital, several times I took the wrong turns, blundered off my course. It was as if this were a city I had entered for the first time ---one completely remote from the spectrum of my experience; as if I were an archaeologist groping through a reconstructed experience of somebody else's past. Arriving on the hospital grounds, I parked my car. There was only one other auto in sight, Dr. Gros's. A stillness like the quiet of a human being who has stopped breathing permeated the grounds. I entered the reception room. The cork-tiled floor deadened my footsteps as always; but for once the silence was disquieting. The reception room, despite its familiar leather couches and chairs, conveyed the impression of a place that, while not exactly empty, was on the point of becoming deserted.
I hurried to Dr. Gros's office. The door was ajar. Gros was standing with his back to me, staring out of a window that overlooked the garden with its spacious trees.
"Hello, Bove," he said without turning. "I saw you come through the gate." Then he swung around and faced me. His face was old, tired. "You look sick. You've lost a lot of weight. Had a bad time of it down in Biarritz, didn't you?"
"Pretty bad. I lost forty pounds. But what's wrong here? Everything looks dead."
"Everything is dead. The Nazis have confiscated our equipment. They have forbidden us to take in wounded soldiers. We must get rid of the few who remain."
For several minutes neither of us spoke. Then Gros put his hand on my arm impulsively.
"I'm going home to America. I advise you to get out too. These are fantastic times, old fellow. Let's pray that God will stand by us so that someday we can meet again and do a postmortem on this crazy world and find out what was wrong with it."
MY RETURN to the United States terminated my association with the American Hospital. Dr. Edmund L. Gros left for America shortly after I did and he died of a stroke within a year