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World War II lasted 6 years and involved over 25 countries. It has been noted that it "spread death and devastation throughout most of the world to an extent never before experienced." Indeed by one estimate, the war cost the lives of over 19 million people.
However, the consequences of World War II can not be fully grasped by looking at statistics. It is only in the details of the lives of those who lived it, that we can truly grapple with the effects of a global war.
Presented here are the experiences of individuals whose lives were changed forever by service or circumstance. Included are the lives of young men just starting out as well as the stories of ophthalmologists in combat. All eventually became involved with the American Academy of Ophthalmology and thus their stories are preserved by the Academy Archives.
You are encouraged to explore their stories in order to experience the war literally through the eyes of those who were there.
Col. Forrest Hull, MD: an Eye M.D. who earned the Bronze Star
Col. Thomas J. Tredici, MD: an Army pilot inspired to become a surgeon
Charles Schepens, MD: an Eye M.D. who aided the Belgian resistance
George Kambara, MD: an Eye M.D. who finished his training in an internment camp
Rudolf Bock, MD: an Eye M.D. who struggled to obtain training in exile
Sir Harold Ridley, MD: an Eye M.D. whose observations with the Royal Air Force led to the IOL