Gorgas was made Surgeon General of the Army in 1914. In this capacity, he was able to capitalize on the momentous work of another Army doctor, Major Walter Reed, who had himself capitalized on insights of a Cuban doctor, Carlos Finlay, to prove the mosquito transmission of yellow fever. As such, Gorgas won international fame battling the illness—then the scourge of tropical and sub-tropical climates—first in Florida, later in Havana, Cuba and finally at the Panama Canal.
As chief sanitary officer on the canal project, Gorgas implemented far-reaching sanitary programs including the draining of ponds and swamps, fumigation, mosquito netting, and public water systems. These measures were instrumental in permitting the construction of the Panama Canal, as they significantly prevented illness due to yellow fever and malaria (which had also been shown to be transmitted by mosquitoes in 1898) among the thousands of workers involved in the building project.
Gorgas Hospital was a U.S. Army hospital in Panama, previously known as Ancon Hospital and named for Dr. Gorgas in 1928. Now in Panamanian hands, it is home to the Instituto Oncologico Nacional, Panama's Ministry of Health and its Supreme Court.
William Crawford Gorgas Electric Generating Plant, located along the Black Warrior River near Parrish. Total nameplate generating capacity - 1,221,250 kW: Generating units - 5
There is a Gorgas Hall at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, although it was named after his father and 2nd Vice Chancellor of The University of the South, Josiah Gorgas. It was originally a student residence hall at the Sewanee Military Academy.
^"Famous Surgeon is Dead". Associated Press. Retrieved 2010-11-13. "Maj. Gen. William C. Gorgas, former Surgeon-General of the United States Army, died at an early hour this morning. Gen. Gorgas's death was very peaceful. He was unconscious most of the time for the last few day"
Endorsements, Resolutions and other Data in Behalf of the Nomination of Dr. William Crawford Gorgas for Election to the New York Hall of Fame for Great Americans, 2 vols., Birmingham: Gorgas Hall of Fame Committee, 1950.