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W. Bruce Fye Center For the History of Medicine: United States Army Commendations and Awards

Introduction

Dr. Will and Dr. Charlie, along with other Mayo Clinic staff, served in the United States Armed Forces. In 1921, Dr. Will and Dr. Charlie were both commissioned brigadier generals in the Medical Reserve Corps of the U.S. Army.  In March 1926, the Mayo brothers were honored for their wartime efforts with the Distinguished Service medal of the United States.

Brigadier Generals Charles H. Mayo and William J. Mayo, c.1921
 

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Dr. William J. Mayo

Medical Veterans of the World War
July 1, 1923
After the end of the Great War in November, members of the medical profession on active service in Washington recognized the need for an organization to maintain the principles and fellowships developed during the war. Certificate of membership given to Dr. Will.|
South wall, row 1 no. 8

Veterans of the Foreign Wars, United States, Whitlock-Sonnenberg Post No. 1215
February 26, 1932
The VFW traces its roots back to 1899 when veterans of the Spanish-American War (1898) and the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902) founded local organizations to secure rights and benefits for their service. Dr. Will was an honorary member of Whitlock-Sonnenberg Post No. 1215.
South wall, row 2 no. 2

Major in the Medical Section, Officers' Reserve Corps of the Army of the United States
April 9, 1917
Dr. Will's promotion to Major in the Medical Section in the Reserve Corps.
South wall, row 2 no. 4

Military Order of the World War
October 6, 1933
Letter from Adj. General Edwin S. Bettelheim announcing the unanimous election of Brigadier General William J. Mayo as Surgeon General of the Order.
South wall, row 2 no. 7

Brigadier General, Auxiliary, The Army of the United States
December 23, 1926
Dr. Will's promotion to Brigadier General , Auxiliary in the U.S. Army.
South wall, row 3. no. 5

Colonel, Medical Section, Officers' Reserve Corps of the Army of the United States
April 12, 1919
Dr. Will's promotion to Colonel.
South wall, row 3 no. 6

Letter of Commendation upon leaving military service
February 20, 1919
From the Surgeon General of the U.S. Army, M. W. Ireland, thanking Colonel William James Mayo for "patriotic devotion to duty and...self-sacrificing spirit" during his military service.
South wall, row 3 no. 7

First Lieutenant in the Medical Reserve Corps of the Army of the United States
November 21, 1912
Dr. Will's promotion to First Lieutenant.
South wall, row 4 no. 2

Army of the United States of America
February 20, 1919
Certificate of Honorable Discharge awarded to William James Mayo, Colonel, Medical Corps, U.S. Army.
South wall, row 4 no. 5

Colonel, Medical Corps, National Army in the service of the United States
June 15, 1918
Dr. Will's promotion to Colonel in the Medical Corps.
South wall, row 5 no. 1

Brigadier General, Medical, Officers' Reserve Corps of the Army of the United States
December 23, 1921
Dr. Will's appointment to the rank of Brigadier General in the Medical Corps of the U.S. Army.
South wall, row 5 no. 4

Medal in Recognition of Loyal Support of the National Defense Program
October 14, 1938
Presented by the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States.
South wall, row 5 no. 5

Brigadier General, Inactive, the Army of the United States
December 23, 1936
Dr. Will's appointment as Brigadier General, Inactive, in the U.S. Army.
South wall, row 5 no. 6

Resolution by the National Executive Committee of the American Legion that a "suitable citation" be prepared to honor the service of the Mayo brothers
May 4, 1934
The citation, a bronze plaque, honored Drs. Will and Charlie "for distinguished service to our sick and disabled comrades and ot humanity in general." It was presented by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 8, 1934, when he also dedicated Soldier's Field in Rochester. The original bronze plaque can be seen on the north wall of the entry stairs to the Plummer Building (floor 2).
South wall, row 6 no. 4

Insignia of Service in the Medical Corps of the Army of the United States
Various dates
These pins represent ranks held by Dr. Will in the Medical Corps of the United States Army.
South wall, row 6 no. 5

The United States Council of National Defense
June 28, 1919
Certificate acknowledging Dr. Will's service to the council, "and, through it, to the country in the course of the Great War."
South wall, row 6 no. 6

Brigadier General, Auxiliary, The Army of the United States
December 23, 1931
Dr. Will's appointment as Brigadier General to the Auxiliary of the United States Army.
South wall, row 7 no. 3

Distinguished Service Medal awarded by the War Department, United States
June 13, 1920
This medal was awarded to Dr. Will for his exceptional service to the country during World War I.
South wall, row 7 no. 5

United States of America, Distinguished Service Medal of the United States Army
March 26, 1926
Awarded for service as Colonel in the Medical Corps.
South wall, row 7 no. 6

Guide/ Contents

These links serve as your quick guide through our exhibit.  Click on a link that interests you to find more information.  To return to the first page click the top tab titled "Mayo Family Travels" or look for the Back to Start link in the Introduction on every page.

Travels
United States | 
Argentina |  Australia and New Zealand |  Austria |  Belgium |  Brazil |  Canada |  Czekoslovakia [Czech Republic] |  Cuba |  Denmark |  Ecuador |  England |  Finland |  France |  Ireland |  Italy |  Mexico |  Peru |  Scotland |  Serbia |  Spain |  Sweden

Diplomas, Memberships, and Awards
Original Medical Diplomas |   United States Army Commendations and Awards |  Awards and Memberships from United States |  Awards and Memberships from International Organizations

Images courtesy of the W. Bruce Fye Center for the History of Medicine. For use permission, please contact Center staff.

Dr. Charlie Mayo

Veterans of the Foreign Wars, United States, Whitlock-Sonnenberg Post No. 1215
February 26, 1932
The VFW traces its roots back to 1899 when veterans of the Spanish-American War (1898) and the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902) founded local organizations to secure rights and benefits for their service. Dr. Charlie was an honorary member of Whitlock-Sonnenberg Post No. 1215.
South wall, row 1 no. 4

Brigadier General, Medical, Officers' Reserve Corps of the Army of the United States
November 4, 1921
Certificate appointing Dr. Charlie to the rank of Brigadier General, Medical, in the Officers' Reserve Corps.
South wall, row 1 no. 5

Medical Veterans of the World War
January 1, 1923
After the end of the Great War in November, 1918, members of the medical profession on active service in Washington recognized the need for an organization to maintain the principles and fellowships developed during the war. Certificate of membership given to Dr. Charlie.
South wall, row 1 no. 6

National Security League, Inc.
August 11, 1917
The National Security League was organized in 1914 as part of the "Preparedness Movement" that sought to increase U.S. military capabilities and to help Americans both physically and psychologically for possible entry into World War I. Congress declared war on April 6, 1917. Dr. Charlie's certificate was issued five days later.
South wall, row 1 no. 9

The Association of Military Surgeons of the United States
January 1, 1915
The association was organized in 1891 and chartered by Congress in 1903 to advance the knowledge of healthcare within Federal agencies and to increase the effectiveness of its members. Certificate of Active Membership given to Dr. Charlie.
South wall, row 1 no. 10

Brigadier General, Medical, the Army of the United States
November 4, 1926
Dr. Charlie's promotion to the rank of Brigadier General in the Medical Corps of the U.S. Army.|
South wall, row 2 no. 3

Major in the Medical Section, Officers' Reserve Corps of the Army of the United States
April 9, 1917
Dr. Charlie's promotion to Major in the Medical Section in the Reserve Corps.
South wall, row 2 no. 5

Colonel in the Medical Corps, National Army in the service of the United States
June 15, 1918
Dr. Charlie's promotion to Colonel.
South wall, row 2 no. 6

Army of the United States of America
February 28, 1919
Cerificate of Honorable Discharge awarded to Charles Horace Mayo, Colonel, Medical Corps, U.S. Army.
South wall, row 4 no. 1

First Lieutenant in the Medical Reserve Corps of the Army of the United States
January 16, 1913
Dr. Charlie's promotion to First Lieutenant.
South wall, row 4 no. 3

Letter of commendation upon leaving military service
February 20, 1919
From the Surgeon General of the U.S. Army, M. W. Ireland, thanking Colonel Charles H. Mayo for "patriotic devotion to duty and...self-sacrificing spirit" during his military service.
South wall, row 4 no. 4

Medal in Recognition of Loyal Support of the National Defense Program
October 14, 1938
Presented by the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States.
South wall, row 5 no. 2

Brigadier General, Inactive, The Army of the United States
November 4, 1936
Dr. Charlie's appointment as Brigadier General, Inactive, in the U.S. Army.
South wall, row 5 no. 3

War Department Correspondence
Letter, Surgeon General, November 14, 1918
Letter, Secretary of War, April 1, 1919
-Letter of Appointment as Chief Consultant for Surgical Services in the Office of the Surgeon General.
-Letter of Appreciation from Secretary of War, Newton D. Baker, for service on the General Medical Board of the Council of National Defense during World War I.
South wall, row 6 no. 1

The United States of America Distinguished Service Medal of the United States Army
March 26, 1926
Awarded for service as Colonel in the Medical Corps during Wold War I.
South wall, row 6 no. 2

Insignia of Service in the Medical Corps of the Army of the United States
Various dates
These pins represent ranks held by Dr. Charlie in the Medical Corps of the United States Army.
South wall, row 6 no. 3

Resolution by the National Executive Committee of the American Legion that a "suitable citation" be prepared to honor the service of the Mayo brothers
May 4, 1934
The citation, a bronze plaque, honored Drs. Will and Charlie "for distinguished service to our sick and disabled comrades and ot humanity in general." It was presented by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 8, 1934, when he also dedicated Soldier's Field in Rochester. The original bronze plaque can be seen on the north wall of the entry stairs to the Plummer Building (floor 2).
South wall, row 6 no. 4

The United States Council of National Defense
June 28, 1919
Certificate acknowledging Dr. Charlie's service to the council, "and, through it, to the country in the course of the Great War."
South wall, row 7 no. 1

Distinguished Service Medal, United States War Department
May 3, 1920
This medal was awarded to Dr. Charlie for "exceptionally meritorious and conspicuous service" during World War I.
South wall, row 7 no. 2

Brigadier General, Auxiliary, The Army of the United States
November 4, 1931
Dr. Charlie's appointment as Brigadier General to the Auxiliary of the United States Army.
South wall, row 7 no. 4