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Michigan Volunteer Units of the Great War

Base Hospital Number 17

U. S. Army Base Hospital Number 17 Dijon France Base Commanding Officer Lt. Col

Base Hospital Number 17 Commander (Left) Lt. Col. Angus McLean with staff and Nurses having Tea at Dijon, France

Base Hospital No. 17 was organized in September, 1916, at the Harper Hospital, Detroit, Mich., and was mobilized there on June 28, 1917. On July 3, 1917, the organization was transferred to Allentown, Pa., leaving there July 11, for New York, where it embarked on the Mongolia and sailed July 13, 1917. It arrived at Southampton, England, July 24, by way of Plymouth, England, and at Le Havre, France, July 25, 1917. It remained at Le Havre until July 28, when it proceeded by rail to its final destination, Dijon, Department Cote D'or, in the advance section, arriving there July 29, 1917.

Base Hospital No. 17 was the first American organization to arrive at that station, where it functioned as an independent hospital, until January 8, 1919. At Dijon the unit was assigned the Hospital St. Ignace (French Auxilliary Hospital No. 77), then operated by the French Army. The French had about 230 patients in the hospital when the unit arrived, the evacuation of which was not completed until August 18, 1917. It began receiving American patients on August 21, 1917, but the hospital was not officially turned over to the commanding officer until September 2, 1917. 

In June 1918, when the capacity of the hospital proved inadequate, a French seminary was taken over at Plombiers, about 3½ miles from the main hospital, and was operated as an annex. The seminary was a large stone building, of 800-bed capacity, and was used largely for convalescent and minor surgical cases.

Base Hospital No. 17 ceased to function January 8, 1919; the unit sailed from St. Nazaire April 14, 1919, on the Princess Matoika, arriving at Newport News, Va., April 27, 1919, and was demobilized at Camp Custer, Mich., May 9, 1919.

"History, Base Hospital No. 17, A. E. F.," by the commanding officer of that hospital. The history is on file in the Historical Division, S. G. O., Washington, D.C.