U.S. Army Medical Department, Office of Medical History
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HISTORY OF THE OFFICE OF MEDICAL HISTORY

AMEDD BIOGRAPHIES

AMEDD CORPS HISTORY

BOOKS AND DOCUMENTS

HISTORICAL ART WORK & IMAGES

MEDICAL MEMOIRS

AMEDD MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS External Link, Opens in New Window

ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORIES

THE SURGEONS GENERAL

ANNUAL REPORTS OF THE SURGEON GENERAL

AMEDD UNIT PATCHES AND LINEAGE

THE AMEDD HISTORIAN NEWSLETTER

Bibliographical Note

The United States Army Medical Service Corps

Archival Collections

The author researched thousands of documents, and as much as possible the account was drawn from those primary sources. Documents cited in the notes are originals or accurate copies.

The following is a listing of the primary source holdings and their acronyms as used in the notes. These are also spelled out the first time they are used in the book.

AHA

American Hospital Association Library, Chicago, Illinois

DASG-MS

Office of the Chief, Medical Service Corps, Office of the Surgeon General, Washington, D.C. (The office relocated to the Army Medical Department Center and School, Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas, in 1994.)

DTIC 

Defense Technical Information Center, Springfield, Virginia

JML    

Joint Medical Library of the Army and Air Force Surgeons General, Washington, D.C.

NARA-NA     

National Archives, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.

NARA-WNRC           

Washington National Records Center, National Archives and Records Administration, Suitland, Maryland

PL       

Pentagon Library, The Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

SL       

Stimson Library, Academy of Health Sciences, U.S. Army, Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas

USACMH      

U.S. Army Center of Military History, Washington, D.C.

USAMHI      

U.S. Army Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania

USUHS         

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Library, Bethesda, Maryland

WRAIR  

Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, D.C., now a unit of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command

The most valuable collections were in three locations in the Washington, D.C., area.

A. U.S. Army Center of Military History (USACMH). The author relied heavily on USACMH holdings. A principal source was eighteen file boxes of documents accumulated during the various earlier attempts at writing the history; they are identified as MSC-USACMH in the notes. These files were especially valuable for the World War I and World War II periods. USACMH has prepared them for accession by the National Archives and Records Administration


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(NARA). They were loaned to the author and will be returned to USACMH for accession by NARA when this volume is published. Storage will be in Record Group 112, The Surgeon General. USACMH prepared the files for accession after most of the research for the book was completed. Records reviewed after that preparation occurred are further identified with a box number.

    1. The USACMH collection of Medical Department interviews is a must.

            a. Korea. The premier portion of this collection is 139 interviews by USACMH historian Samuel Milner, conducted principally from 1966 to 1967. They are professional interviews by a trained historian and are invaluable for insight into the Medical Department's Korean War experience. Most are handwritten; none were taped. They were very useful to the author for the post-World War II period.

            b. Vietnam. The Vietnam period is illuminated in interviews conducted by the 27th Military History Detachment in Vietnam. Interviews of Dustoff crews conducted by Capt. Peter Dorland, MSC, were useful in documenting the aeromedical evacuation story. Maj. Louis Drogi, MSC, conducted eighty-six interviews for a proposed monograph on the role of Special Forces in Vietnam; they are of limited value. The USACMH collection also includes a series of Lessons Learned interviews conducted in the Surgeon General's Office during the Vietnam period.

    2. A particularly valuable USACMH holding is a bound collection of forty-one volumes of notes of the surgeon general's daily staff meetings from 1947 to 1969. Arlyne Fransway, the surgeon general's secretary, prepared typed summaries of those morning meetings for twenty years until her retirement in 1967. The minutes, often with relevant documents attached, were circulated daily among the surgeon general, the deputy surgeon general, and the executive officer. Entitled Surgeon General Early Morning Conference Notes, they are cited in this volume as SG Conference plus the date. Circulation of the minutes was confined to a small group for most of the period covered. The discussions were candid and confidential and, as General Armstrong cautioned, "many subjects should go no further."1 Fransway's notes picked up the tenor of the meetings, as when she wrote on 9 September 1955: "Mr. Cogan threw in a bomb shell by saying that he always felt all the hospitals should be under the command of Army areas." She left a rich lode for the historian.

    3. The USACMH library is also a good source. It has a variety of useful holdings, including some documentary items such as unit yearbooks. A tip to the researcher is to look at the collection of Department of Defense telephone books for an idea of the changes to military offices over the years. As a supplement to that, a collection of OTSG telephone directories was maintained from the period July 1963 through 1986 within the Directorate of Personnel, OTSG. Those directories provide greater detail than the DOD phone books, but their current location is unknown.

B. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The Washington National Records Center of NARA was a good source for documents retired by the Surgeon General's Office since World War II, and those accession and box numbers are given in the notes. Some use was made of holdings by the National


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Archives (NARA) for the period prior to 1945, and those are also cited in the notes.

C. Office of The Surgeon General (OTSG). The files of the Office of the Chief, Medical Service Corps, were also a valuable source. Those files will be processed for accession in Record Group 112 of NARA following publication of this book. They will be labeled Medical Service Corps History files, as part of the working files of the volume. The documents principally cover the period between Korea and Vietnam. The files include the typed transcripts of thirty interviews conducted by the author and transcripts of two panel meetings of retired chiefs of the corps conducted in 1983 and 1985.

There are several other sources which deserve special mention.

The Joint Medical Library of the Army and Air Force Surgeons General (JML). This library is collocated with OTSG. It served the author well during the research phase as a means to gain access to the various collections in the Washington, D.C., area, especially the National Library of Medicine. In addition, the library has some valuable holdings for research into the Medical Department.

Medical Bulletin/AMEDD Journal. One of the holdings of the Joint Medical Library of the Army and Air Force Surgeons General is a journal/newsletter of the Medical Department published from 1919 to 1974 and resumed in 1987. Because of the multiplicity of titles it has held over the years it is referred to throughout the notes as Medical Bulletin until 1987 and AMEDD Journal from 1987 until the present. TSG initially published it as the Medico-Military Review from 1919 to 1921. It was retitled the Army Medical Bulletin from 1922 to 1943, and in 1943 the journal became the Bulletin of the U.S. Army Medical Department. In 1950 it was absorbed into the United States Armed Forces Medical Journal (AFMJ), which unified the Army and Navy bulletins until the demise of AFMJ in 1960. The functions performed by the AFMJ were assumed by Military Medicine, the privately printed journal of the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States.

Despite "unification" of the journals, TSG resumed distribution of an Army newsletter with Surgeon General's Office Notes, 1953-54; SGO Memos, 1955-57; Medical Bulletin, 1958-59; and U.S. Army Technical Bulletins 8-1 through 8-24, entitled The Surgeon General: Professional and Administrative Guidance Material, 1960-69. This was followed by Newsletter of the U.S. Army Medical Department, 1970-73, followed by the AMEDD Spectrum in 1974, when publication of a departmental journal or newsletter ceased. In 1987 the surgeon general designated the Medical Bulletin of the U.S. Army, Europe, published by the 7th Medical Command in Heidelberg, Germany, as the new house organ. It was initially entitled the Medical Bulletin of the U.S. Army Medical Department. That was quickly changed to the Journal of the U.S. Army Medical Department. In July 1994 its editorial office was relocated to the newly formed U.S. Army Medical Command at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas, as a result of the drawdown of U.S. forces in Europe. This also marked the end of a 25-year affiliation for its editor, Ms. Ingeborg Sosa, who began as the assistant editor in July 1969 and was promoted to editor in July 1974.

Annual Report. Another valuable source was the Surgeon General's Annual Report. Surgeon General Joseph Lovell inaugurated annual reports beginning


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with his appointment as the first head of a permanent Medical Department in 1818. It was a regularly published document during the years 1818 to 1941, 1953 to 1954, and 1954 to 1975, when it ceased as a routine publication (a final report for 1976-80 was published in 1988). Printing of the report by the Government Printing Office began during the Civil War, making it more accessible to a wider audience. The Joint Medical Library has copies of the pre-Civil War reports. Both JML and the Pentagon Library have copies of the printed reports.

During the post-Vietnam period the surgeon general terminated any department-wide bulletin, ceased publishing an annual report, and lost the department's history section. Those actions weakened the communication links essential for cohesion and made the department increasingly unable to either know or tell its history. Resumption of the Medical Bulletin in 1987 was a healthy sign. Its relocation to San Antonio in 1994 was another good sign since European reductions would surely have spelled its eventual demise if it had not been given a more solid footing than an overseas command in the post-Cold War era.

The Pentagon Library (PL). Located in The Pentagon, Washington, D.C., the Pentagon Library (formerly the Army Library) is an excellent general reference source. Its collection of general orders, publications, and regulations dating from 1809 to the present are especially helpful.

The American Hospital Association (AHA) Library. Located in the AHA headquarters, Chicago, Illinois, this library houses the Lewis E. Weeks Series of the Hospital Administration Oral History Collection. This is a collection of interviews with prominent figures in health care administration beginning in 1978. While of limited value to this project, it would be useful for research into the development of that specialty.

Official Histories

The Surgeon General published major historical accounts of Medical Department activities following the Civil War, World War I, and World War II. They are invaluable to the researcher and are highlighted here.

The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion owes its being to the foresight of Brig. Gen. William A. Hammond, the surgeon general from April 1862 to May 1864. It was published in two volumes by the Surgeon General's Office as a landmark medical history.

The operations of the Medical Department in World War I were recorded by the Surgeon General's Office in The Medical Department in the World War, published in fifteen volumes from 1921 to 1929. This was another landmark medical history and an important contribution to the world literature. No volume is devoted to the Sanitary Corps or other predecessor organizations of the Medical Service Corps. References to those groups and their members are scattered throughout. The following volumes were referenced in this book: Administration, American Expeditionary Forces, Communicable and Other Diseases, Field Operations, Finance and Supply, Sanitation, Surgery, and Training.

World War II medical operations were documented in the massive Medical Department of the United States Army in World War II, published in forty-two


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volumes, the bulk of which were under the general editorship of Col. John B. Coates, MC. The history was divided into two parts, an administrative series (six volumes) and a clinical series (thirty-two volumes), the latter in five categories: internal medicine, neuropsychiatry, preventive medicine, surgery, and miscellaneous. This was also a major contribution by the Medical Department to the world literature. No volume is devoted to predecessor organizations of the Medical Service Corps. References to those groups and their members are scattered throughout. The following volumes were referenced in this book: Blood Program in World War II, Communicable Diseases: Arthropodborne Diseases Other than Malaria, Communicable Diseases: Malaria, Medical Supply in World War II, Medical Training in World War II, Organization and Administration in World War II, Orthopedic Surgery in the Zone of Interior, Personnel in World War II, and Special Fields.

Bibliographies and Finding Aids

Several bibliographies and finding aids were an assistance. They are listed along with their locations. Copies are also in the working files of this book.

Louise A. Arnold, Gettysburg National Military Park, report, subject, Selected Bibliography: Medicine of the Civil War, 1979, 19 pages, typewritten. Gettysburg National Park, National Park Service. Copy in DASG-MS.

Charles W. Ellsworth, Archivist, USACMH, report, subject, Preliminary Guide to the Records of the U.S. Army Medical Department on File in The Historical Unit, U.S. AMEDD, 1960-1969, May 1975, 112 pages, typewritten. This is an example of checklists and finding aids in the Medical Department files of the Center of Military History. USACMH.

OTSG, DA Forms 2172, Records Shipment Lists 135, Records Transmittal and Receipt. These are transmittal documents for Surgeon General records retired to the Washington National Records Center, NARA, for the period since World War II. NARA-WNRC.

Esther E. Rohlader, Research and Archives Branch, The Historical Unit, OTSG, report, subject, Bibliography, undated (1957), 9 pages, typewritten. This is a bibliography of Medical Service Corps articles published from 1945 to 1957 and archival sources for the same period plus World War I and the interwar period. USACMH.

George A. Scheirer, Managing Editor, Bulletin of the U.S. Army Medical Department, OTSG, report, subject, Army Medical Department Chronology, 1775-1947, 1 October 1947, 84 pages, typewritten. While not a listing of sources, this document is a useful aid for the researcher. USACMH.

John J. Slonaker, Research Historian, USAMHI, report, subject, The American Field Service, 7 May 1982. This lists published histories and accounts of the American Field Service (AFS) in World War I. The AFS was a private voluntary ambulance service organized in 1914 that was a predecessor organization of the U.S. Army Ambulance Service, formed in 1917. USAMHI.

John J. Slonaker, report, subject, The U.S. Army and Sanitation Service (Including Service with the Food Division), 5 September 1974. This is a listing of


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U.S. Army Military History Institute holdings on the Sanitary Corps and the Food Division of the Surgeon General's Office in World War I. USAMHI.

Richard J. Sommers, Chief, Archives Branch, USAMHI, report, subject, Manuscript Holdings of the U.S. Army Military History Research Collection, Volume I, 1972; Volume II, 1975. USAMHI.

Patricia Taylor, National Archives, NARA, report, subject, Preliminary Inventory of the Textual Records of the Surgeon General (Army), (Record Group 112), 1964, 51 pages, typewritten. This is a description of Record Group 112, a collection of about 4,200 cubic feet of files accumulated since the permanent establishment of the Medical Department in 1818 through 1946. NARA-NA.

USACMH, Standard Form 135, Records Transmittal and Receipt, subject, Documents Used in Preparation of the History of the Medical Service Corps, January 1986. This is a listing of the contents of each of the eighteen boxes of documents accumulated in the attempts to write the history of the Medical Service Corps prior to 1983. The forms were prepared for accession of the files by the NARA and will be retired upon publication of this volume. They are supplemented by a report, subject, Records Locator, a detailed listing prepared by Col. Robert D. Linder, MSC, USAR, 20 October 1983. USACMH.

Secondary Sources

The author consulted over three hundred books and more than four hundred and fifty periodical articles. Those sources are documented in the notes as they are cited.

1SG Conference, 23 February 1951.