Dr. Lee D. Cady began writing The Fighting Twenty-First in the 1950s to serve as his personal memoir for his experiences with 21st General Hospital during World War II. Even after decades of numerous revisions, the manuscript was never fully completed. In 1981, Dr. Cady gave several versions of his manuscript to the Becker Library, including the revised two-volume edition that is available below.
Dr. Cady was the commanding officer of the US Army medical reserve unit which became the 21st General Hospital. Prior to his involvement in the war effort, Dr. Cady was a 1922 graduate of the Washington University School of Medicine and served on the Washington University staff from 1925-1942. Under his command, the 21st cared for over 65,000 patients in the European theater of the war. For his medical service and assistance in the liberation of France, Dr. Cady received the French Croix de Guerre in 1945.
When he returned from the war, Dr. Cady was appointed the director of medical services for the Veterans Administration in Dallas in 1946, presiding over the regional branches in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Dr. Cady served in that position for thirteen years before he was appointed as the director of the Veterans Hospital in Houston. He passed away in 1987, and was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.