First deployed to a combat zone during WWII, the 52nd Medical Battalion took part in seven campaigns, with three in Italy, two in France, and one each in Germany and Central Europe. During the invasion of Southern France it was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division. The Battalion was assigned to operate an evacuation holding hospital at Istres, which grew to a 1,000-bed facility with a turnover of some 600 patients per day.
Well worn black crackle Zippo with an applied distinctive unit insignia of the 52nd Medical Battalion along with a Swastika HJ emblem as a trophy of the U.S. G.I., who owned this lighter and fought against the Nazis, on one side and a 1914 German iron cross medal along with three crossed swords from ribbon bar on the other side.