Although the hospital was primarily intended for treating wounded and sick partisans, it did not refuse medical help to civilians. Nearly 900 patients of different nationalities were treated in its wards, most of them in the central B Ward located in the Pasice gorge. From there, many were sent for further treatment to external wards, which normally admitted the sick and those with minor injuries. Just over 6% of the patients were women. According to the data collected so far, 83 people died in the hospital.
Lieutenant Harold C. Adams was an American military pilot. On 25 February 1944, he flew in a squadron of 36 bombers (the so-called “liberators”) from southern Italy towards their targets in Germany. Above Rijeka in Croatia they were intercepted and came under fire by German hunter planes. These shot down two of the bombers, but some pilots saved their lives by parachuting. Among them was Adams who landed on the Šentviška planota plateau breaking his leg. After several minutes he was found by partisans, who stabilised his leg with struts. On the same night they transported him using a team of oxen to the Partisan Hospital where they arrived after an exhausting fourteen-hour journey across the hills. According to the records and testimonies, Adams was admitted to the Franja Hospital on 25 February 1944. He remained there until the 24 April attack, when the hospital was evacuated. This is his recollection of the evacuation: “For several hours I was piggybacked by a partisan male nurse; we had to cross a torrent twice; the nurse slipped and we both fell in the water. We finally reached the road where carts were waiting for us.”
His relatives were notified of his rescue a few weeks after he was shot down. On 10 March 1944 he wrote a letter to his wife, which she received in June.
Adams was treated at the Franja Hospital wards in Davča until the beginning of August 1944, when he was evacuated to Notranjska, along with other wounded from Gorenjska and Primorska. On 30 August he flew from the partisan airport at Nadlesk to Bari and from there back home to America.
Harold Adams was one of more than three hundred allied pilots rescued by Slovenian partisans. After the war he kept in contact with his rescuers; through correspondence and with his son he maintained friendship with Danilo Šuligoj from Bovec, the former nurse at Franja. Harold’s story, which had been published in several magazines and books, attracted additional interest after his son’s visit to Slovenia during which he met his future wife.