June 27, 1945


Kenneth Cline writes home that he has completed an antibiotic regime. This regime began after the closure of the base hospital at Wendling and his transfer to another hospital. Over the past 19 days he has received 150 injections: 1 cc of penicillin every three hours.

Kenneth has been hospitalized now for 39 days. It was only after nearly three weeks of hospital confinement that he began to be treated with the wonder drug of its day.1

Notes & Commentary

1 During the war, the armed forces received 85 percent of the nation’s penicillin production, which amounted to 231 billion units in 1943. With the implementation of successful mass-production techniques, 1,633 billion units were produced in 1944 and 7,952 billion units in 1945. Penicillin became the war’s “wonder drug,” and its remarkable medical effects on infectious disease made World War II different from any previous war.

John S. Mailer, Jr., and Barbara Mason. “Penicillin: Medicine’s Wartime Wonder Drug and Its Production at Peoria, Illinois,” Illinois Periodicals Online. (http://www.lib.niu.edu/2001/iht810139.html : accessed 3 June 2015).

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2 Responses to June 27, 1945

  1. A great post, Allen, showcasing the importance of what we all take for granted today. Eegads. 150 injections in 19 days. Ouch. Can’t wait for him to be discharged and hope there is no long-term problems from his infection.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Mustang.Koji says:

    Penicillin was the greatest weapon against a painful death… but the injections… Let us remember the syringes and needles of that day weren’t much smaller than the caulking guns of today. 🙂


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