The 42nd

Both Lennon and Wilks served in the 42nd during the War for Independence. The role of the 42nd was to provide a mobile surgical hospital close to the frontlines to provide immediate treatment to critically wounded before transferring them to larger combat support hospitals.

It was divided into 2 divisions - an infantry (which acted as an escort to the hospital) and the Forward Surgical Medical Facility itself. The 42nd field hospital was very mobile, fitting onto just six trucks and able to function within an hour of arrival on site. In order to move around quickly they were picked up and dropped off by rocket shuttle. Captain Sata was the Independent Navy pilot assigned to the 42nd.

Because of its very specific function and its position in relation to the frontline, the FMFH was staffed with only 4 or 5 doctors at a time and about 10-12 medical support staff (nurses and technicians). Patients rarely stayed at the facility for more than a few days before evacuation to a larger and more permanent hospital.

Lennon was the 42nd's longest surviving surgeon having served in the unit for nearly six years. Throughout his tenure he regularly assumed the role of acting Chief Medical Officer until a new superior officer came to fill the role. By the end of the war, Lennon had earned a permanent promotion to Chief Medical Officer and Wilks was a sergeant in the infantry.