World War II Army doctor Jerome Hilger, M.D., father of Peter Hilger, M.D., later became a University of Minnesota School of Medicine faculty member. One of the only WWII maxillofacial surgeons, Jerome Hilger preformed surgeries to repair injured soldiers' faces.Both Drs. Jerome and Peter Hilger served as directors or the American Board of Otolaryngology. They also became the first father-son pair to serve as presidents of the Academy of Facial Plastic Reconstructive Surgery.
After training in Oklahoma and traveling to England with the Army, Jerome Hilger was stationed with the 26th General Hospital near Constantine, Algeria. Photo circa 1942.
A tent in the desert—Hilger, left, with Army buddies.
Hilger (center) out working in the field.
Hilger traveled from North Africa to Italy as part of his WWII tour. Here he is (center) performing surgery in Italy.
A patient undergoing treatment for facial trauma.
The patient after receiving treatment.
Hilger posing with Nazi plane wreckage. He would sometimes use scrap metal from battle wreckage to make his own medical instruments when other tools were not available. He was awarded the Army’s Bronze Star for his work.
Hilger (front) working in an Italian hospital occupied by the U.S. Army.
Hilger (far right) with fellow soldiers on their voyage home.
After WWII, Jerome Hilger went on to organize the University’s head and neck cancer program, which included reconstructive surgery. "He built his practice into the biggest head-neck cancer group in this part of the country," said his son, Peter Hilger, M.D. "He led a remarkable life."—Facts and quotes from Peter Hilger, M.D. Peter Hilger, who followed in his father's footsteps and is now a facial plastic surgeon. Like his father, Peter also works at the University of Minnesota and serves as president-elect of the American Board of Otolaryngology.