Mayo Clinic doctor restores WWII jeeps to honor Allied forces - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Mayo Clinic doctor restores WWII jeeps to honor Allied forces

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -

During the day, he's a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic. But in his spare time, he enjoys bringing history back to life.

Dr. Guri Sandhu directs Mayo Clinic's catheterization lab in Rochester. When he gets home though, he has another specialty --  restoring World War II jeeps.

Sandhu has already restored a 1945 Willys MB that had been sitting in someone's barn for four decades.

"Once I got it home, I had to take the whole thing apart. For six months, there was no jeep. It was all in little Ziploc bags with carefully labeled parts. And it took about 18 months to slowly restore all the parts, find old parts, and then rebuilt it up from the ground up," Sandhu recalled.

Sandhu restored that jeep to honor the 11th Sikh Regiment of the British Indian Army, which fought bravely during World War II. The jeep features "11 Sikh" marked on its bumper.

"There were millions of Americans and about two-and-a-half million Indians who fought in the same battles -- whether it was North Africa or Europe or Burma, Southeast Asia," Sandhu explained.

Sandhu is now working on restoring another jeep -- a 1942 Willys MB.

"So this was apparently used in one of the parades when the World War II memorial was opened in Washington, D.C. in 2004," said Sandhu.

Sandhu said driving his jeeps is a joy.

"I think my favorite part is just the fact that it actually runs after so many years, and also the reactions from people," Sandhu said.  "Anytime you go to a crowded place, people absolutely love it -- lots of waving, honking, smiles."

But he said the goal is to pay tribute to those who served during the war.

"To think about the contributions of the young men and women who fought for freedom, not just in one country but in multiple countries -- an entire group of people across the commonwealth," said Sandhu.

Sandhu's family connection to Mayo Clinic can be traced all the way back to around 1930, when his grandfather was a visiting physician who observed Drs. William Mayo, Charles Mayo and Henry Plummer.

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