Lieutenant William T. Fitzsimons, MD: Good and Faithful Servant
Alex Welborn, MLIS
Assistant Librarian and Archivist
Department of History and Philosophy of Medicine
University of Kansas School of Medicine
Lieutenant William T. Fitzsimons (1889–1917), an American officer in the Medical Reserve Corps, was the first United States Army officer to die in World War I. Fitzsimons, a University of Kansas alumnus and faculty member, died from wounds suffered during a German air raid on September 4, 1917, when bombs fell on Base Hospital No. 5 near Dannes-Camiers in Pas-de-Calais, France. Following his death, memorials to Fitzsimons were dedicated in Kansas City and across the country, including the renaming of Army Hospital #21 in Aurora, Colorado, to Fitzsimons Army Hospital in 1920. Through his sacrifice, William Fitzsimons wholly embodied the image of the selfless doctor and helped galvanize the nation against the atrocities of war.
The above is the opening paragraph of an essay about Lt. Fitzsimons. Follow the link below to read the rest of the essay on the Kansas University Medical Center website:
Lt. Fitzsimons has two monuments in the Kansas City area dedicated to his memory.
One is the William T. Fitzsimons Memorial Fountain at 12th Street and The Paseo.
The other is the Fitzsimons-Battenfeld Monument at Volker Boulevard and The Paseo.