U.S. Army Medical Department, Office of Medical History
Skip Navigation, go to content

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

HEADQUARTERS 7TH INFANTRY DIVISION

Korean War Unit Histories

HEADQUARTERS 7TH INFANTRY DIVISION

Office of the Surgeon

APO 7, c/o Postmaster

San Francisco, California

20 January 1951

MED 41

                                                                                                         

ANNUAL REPORT OF MEDICAL ACTIVITIES

1950

PRINCIPAL MEDICAL ACTIVITIES

During the first seven months of 1950 units of the 7th Infantry Division were responsible for occupational duty on the Island of Hokkaido and the prefectures of Aomori, Irate, Yamagata, Akita, Niigata, Miyagi, and Fukushima on Northern Honshu in Japan. The primary medical activities of the command consisted of providing first echelon medical and dental services for the troops, Department of the Army civilian employees and dependents of military and civilian personnel of the division. Similar services were also available throughout the division area of responsibility for small detachments of Civil Affairs Teams, CIC Teams and Aircraft Warning Stations.

The 7th Medical Battalion continued to operate in a training status during the first half of the year, but staffed and maintained various dispensaries within the division. A division supply point was maintained by the battalion at Sendai with a sub-depot at Camp Crawford to support medical units on the Island of Hokkaido. Second echelon medica1 support was provided units engaged in field exercises or other military operations.

Veterinary Services for this period were provided by the 99th Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment attached to the division for operation on Hokkaido and the 104th Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment attached to the 172nd Station Hospital in Sendai for operation in the northern Honshu area.

During the second week in August all units were assembled at Camps Fuji, McNair, Drew, Zama, and Atsugi. In addition to providing normal division level medical services in the field, intensive field training [was] conducted, providing unit and combined troop utilization. Immunizations of all personnel in conformity with current directives was performed. During the movement from Yokohama to Inchon, medical services were provided for troop units aboard ship.

Following assault landings at Inchon, the division was progressively committed to combat in the Inchon, Seoul, Suwon, Ichon


2

sector during the period 18 September to 10 October. The divisional medical services were operative over an unusually extended field, including evacuation to beachhead prior to opening of supporting hospital units. Care of an unprecedented number of civilian casualties in medical installations required extraordinary demands on personnel and medical supplies.

March medical services were provided for an overland march to the port of Pusan, where normal divisional medical services were utilized during the assembly period. Augmentation of U.S. Navy medical facilities was performed while undergoing transportation to Iwon.

A second assault landing was made at Iwon on 31 October, following which the unit was progressively deployed to the Manchurian border. This period of operation was characterized by unprecedented cold weather resulting in numerous cold weather injuries to personnel; operations over mountainous terrain and in unusual extension so that ambulance hauls as high as 230 miles in length were routinely accomplished. The attachment of the 1st Medical [Mobile] Army Surgical Hospital and the 1st Platoon, 560th Ambulance Company (Separate) materially assisted in the accomplishment of the medical mission. Improvised hospital train evacuation from Pukchong to Hamhung provided five trips between 25 November and 5 December 1950. Divisional medical units were completely operational during this phase, it being impossible to maintain reserve units due to geographic factors.

The division performed a retrograde movement and reassembled in the Hungnam-Hamhung sector to provide defense of the phased port perimeter, completing its withdrawal as the next to the last troop unit remaining on 19 December 1950.

The division completed debarkation at Pusan, following its transportation on shipboard from Hungnam on 24 December 1950 and travelled by motor march to the vicinity of Yongchon for reassembly and field training, where it remained during the final week of 1950.

ORGANIZATION & EQUIPMENT

The Medical Section was organized and worked under column 13, T/O&E 7-1 N, 7 July 1948 per General Order #26,Headquarters Eighth Army dated 7 March 1948, as amended, and General Order 45, Headquarters 7th Infantry Division, dated 6 October 1949, as amended, which provides for four (4) officers and five (5) enlisted men:


3

The officers' positions are:

Division Surgeon, (3000)

Division Medical Inspector (3005)

Division Neuropsychiatrist (3130)

Medical Assistant (3506)

Units were organized and equipped under appropriate T/O&Es (N-Series). During, the seven months of operation in Japan on occupation duty some augmentation of equipment was necessary to meet the peculiar demands created by climate, road limitations and unusually wide dispersal of troops. Upon moving to assembly areas and preparing for movement to Korea, units were brought up to about eighty (80) percent of strength in men and full allowances of equipment. With the approach of time to move into the zone of operation only minor deficiencies were present and during the combat operations there were no shortages which impaired the fulfillment of assigned missions.

PHYSCIAL AND MENTAL HEALTH OF THE COMMAND

The physical health of the command, considering the theater of operations, climatic conditions and the prevalence of disease, remained excellent throughout the year. Sick call for other than wounds received in action, varied inversely with the commitment of the units. The division sick rate (rate per thousand per annum) during combat phases varied from a low of 3.06 during September to a high of 27.57 during December. Including cold weather injuries the rate reached a high of 50.36 during December. These figures are not considered excessive in view of the combat operational status in Korea during extreme cold weather.

Psychiatric admissions were negligible during the first seven months of the year while performing occupational duties. A psychiatrist was assigned in September and prepared a division level plan for the treatment of neuropsychiatric casualties. As combat progressed it became apparent that the incidence of neuropsychiatric casualties would not be sufficient to warrant implementing this plan and prophylactic psychiatry was practiced by interviews down to and including battalion level. The psychiatric service was brought to fall strength by the assignment of a second psychiatrist on 27 November 1950. Psychiatric casualties evacuated out of division level averaged seven per month during September, October and November with no appreciable increase until December when twenty-three cases were transferred.


4

Venereal Disease Control by the utilization of oral penicillin prophylaxis in two battalions was inaugurated in January and continued through August. The use of this technique materially reduced the incidence of gonorrhea within the test units with the result that the overall division VD rate reached an all time low the first week in June. The division rate has continued to remain low during the Korean Campaign due to combat operations and lack of contacts, averaging sixty eight (68) per thousand per annum with a minimum of twenty two (22) during December.

Housing and living conditions for troops were excellent while in occupations status and varied according to location and troop unit during Korean combat operations. Branch Post Exchange facilities were replaced in Korea by automatic gratuitous issue of comfort items.

SANITATION

Water presented  no problem in the division area of responsibility from January to September, 1950, inclusive, in that all units were furnished adequate quantities of potable water for drinking purposes through carefully supervised preparation and distribution systems. From October to the close of the year in the Korean zone of operations, potable drinking water was supplied division units through water points operated by division engineers. Chlorine residual of 1.0 parts per million was maintained during the warm months and increased to a minimum of 2.0 during cold weather operations. Weekly inspections of water points were conducted, and very few corrections had to be made. Samples of water were sent to higher echelon for analysis, and no reports of non-potability were received. From January to September ample supplies of hot water were available for bathing and cleaning purposes from central heating plants or individual boilers. In the zone of operations the Division Quartermaster established three portable field shower units, the tactical situation permitting, but due to lack of parts necessary to repair them, operating units were eventually reduced to one. When shower and laundry facilities were not available to the troops the use of helmet bathing and indigenous hand laundries helped maintain a comparatively high state of cleanliness throughout the division.

During the month of August at Camps Fuji, McNair and Drew, 8600 Republic of Korea soldiers were integrated into the division. Immediately upon arrival they were bathed, deloused, inoculated, medically examined, and completely equipped with clothing and field equipment by medical and quartermaster teams.


5

January to September, 1950, showed marked improvement in sanitary situation over the previous year in that continuing efforts were made toward rehabilitation of existing facilities and new construction. Such improved procedures added immeasurably to the control of the heath of the command. During the zone of operations phase, sanitation was on a field basis, and initially there were many problems due to the many ride paddies with fecal fertilization, water seepage, use of Korean latrines, and lack of normal sanitary facilities. These difficulties were quickly eliminated by standardizing field sanitary procedures, frequent inspections, and issue of specific directives which resulted in the high standards of sanitation now practiced within the division.

Venereal disease rates took a decided drop during the "ship" and operational phases of the year but made increases whenever units were in a static status. The yearly rate reflects a general decline.

There have been no instances of disease resulting from nutritional inadequacy. Field rations have been satisfactory and cold meals confined to periods of movement or operation which precluded preparation of hot foods. The overall health of the command remained excellent throughout the year.  Although the division has made many moves and experienced a diversity of climatic conditions in the months, there have been no epidemiological outbreaks. There have been no louse borne, insect borne, or water borne diseases during the year.

INCIDENCE & CONTROL OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES

Common respiratory diseases were more prevalent during the last two months of 1950 largely because of adverse environmental conditions. Maximal rate of 85.68 per thousand per annum was recorded during December 1950.

Specific diseases spread by the respiratory route were well controlled and all cases well scattered.

In June a mosquito control team from Eighth Army made a divisional survey of maneuver, housing and environmental areas with a view to eliminating insect breeding places. The survey revealed no positive findings but preventive measures were routinely employed. There was no incidence of mosquito or mite borne diseases during this period.

Antimalarial suppressive therapy in the dose of 0.5 grams of chloroquine weekly was instituted on 3 September 1950 and continued until 12 October 1950 when the dosage was reduced to 0.5 grams bimonthly until discontinued on 2 November 1950. Twenty (20) new


6

cases of malaria were recorded during the last four months of the year with an average rate of 3.32 per thousand per annum. Mass chloroquine suppression of malaria appears to have been satisfactory.

8,600 Republic of Korean integrated troops were given a prophylactic dusting with DDT powder upon their joining the division in September. The individual use of louse powder has been utilized throughout the Korean campaign and has been satisfactory inasmuch as no cases of louse borne diseases haves been recorded. Three battalions who had participate in the Chosen reservoir actions were found to have a rather widespread louse and scabies infestation. Personnel were treated by roster throughout these units to include bathing, DDT dusting of personnel and equipment, treatment with antiscabetic emulsion, and clothing resupply. There was no incidence of louse borne disease or further occurrence of scabies.

DDT dusting of occupied indigenous buildings was routinely practiced.

PERSONNEL

The following were the key personnel of the Medical Section during the year:

Division Surgeon:

 

Major Wayne S. Hume, MC

1 Jan - 11 Jul 1950

Major Oren C. Atchley, MSC (Acting)

11 Jul - 16 Aug 1950

Lt Col Samuel J. Newsom, MC

16 Aug - 31 Dec 1950

Division Medical Inspector:

 

1st Lt. Raymond N. Halstead MSC

1 Jan - 30 Aug 1950

1st Lt Albert E. Fick, MSC

31 Aug - 15 Nov 1950

Capt Albert E. Fick, MSC     

15 Nov - 31 Dec 1950

Division Neuropsychiatrist:

 

Capt Joel H. Richert, MC

5 Sep - 29 Nov 1950

Capt Wilmer C. Betts, MC

30 Nov - 31 Dec 1950

Medical Assistant:

 

1st Lt Raymond N. Halstead, MSC

30 Aug - 31 Dec 1950


7

7th Medical Battalion - Battalion Commanders:

 

Major M. J. Kowalsky, MSC

1 Jan - 12 Jul 1950

Major Oren C. Atchley, MSC

13 Jul - 27 Nov 1950

Major John E. Pleasants, DC (Acting)

28 Nov - 7 Dec 1950

Major Robert S. Budge, MC 

8 Dec - 31 Dec 1950

At the beginning of the year, the division had eleven (11) Medical Corps Officers assigned. Through normal attrition and reassignment to units going early into combat the assigned Medical Corps Officer strength hit a low of two (2) in July but was augmented by three (3) Officers on TDY from residencies in the United States. A general expansion of the division took place in August and with it the Medical Officer strength was built up to twenty (20) increasing to twenty-eight (28) in September and continuing to improve until the end of the year when thirty-eight (38) of an authorized forty-three (43) were present for duty. Total combat casualties have been three (3).

In January there were seven (7) Dental Corps officers assigned including two (2) attached from the Department of the Air Force. There was virtually no change in the composition of the Dental Corps until August when the number increased to fourteen (14) and year's end found the division with sixteen (16) of an authorized twenty (20). Only one combat casualty has been reported. One (1) Dental Corps officer remains attached from the Department of the Air Force.

The Medical Service Corps started the year with twenty-four (24) assigned, officers of an authorized thirty-three (33) and increased, with various intermediate gains and losses, to a total of thirty-seven (37) of an authorized forty (40) in the month of December. Total combat casualties have been three (3).

During the critical shortage of Medical Corps Officers, members of the Nurse Corps were assigned to the division, the first arriving in April followed by three (3) in May and fourteen (14) in June for a total of eighteen (18). Female personnel with division units was a new experience in Army history but proved most successful while in a static occupational status. With the advent of war in Korea and the removal of the division to training areas in July, all female personnel were transferred to service units in Japan or hospital units designated for Korean duty.

Medical Department Enlisted personnel increased from seven hundred twenty-one (721) in January to a high of eleven hundred forty-one (1141) in October, dropping back to nine hundred twenty-one (921) at the close of the year. Part of this fluctuation is due to the attachment and detachment of small supporting units during the various missions of the division. Combat casualties among enlisted personnel have been relatively high for the Medical Department.


8

TRAINING

During the first seven months while the division was in Japan, training of enlisted personnel of the Medical Department consisted of basic military subjects, as prescribed, unit training under simulated combat conditions and applicatory training in unit dispensaries. In addition, men were trained in Medical Department Technician Schools at Osaka General Hospital in specialist courses provided within quotas made available to the division. In June all courses were cancelled until further notice and men then in attendance were given a letter of "partial completion" and returned to their units.

In July the division was concentrated in assembly areas, and units were able to function together for the first time since moving to Japan. Training was accelerated with particular attention and stress being given field practices of supply, evacuation, hospitalization, first aid and sanitation on a battalion, regimental, and division level. By the time the division reached the zone of operation all units were able to work efficiently and harmoniously as a team. Since September training has been confined solely to "on the job" performance of duty.

SUPPLY

At the beginning of the year, the Division Medical Supply was located at Camp Schimmelpfennig, Sendai, on the Island of Honshu, with an auxiliary supply point at Camp Crawford to service medical units stationed on the Island of Hokkaido. The Hokkaido supply point was authorized and maintained a thirty (30) day supply level. With the movement of the division to assembly areas and throughout the various field operations in Korea, the medical supply point has been with the Headquarters of the 7th Medical Battalion with a forward supply point provided where indicated.

Medical supplies were requisitioned direct from the 5th Medical Depot in Yokohama while the division was in Japan. The one exception being biologicals which required special handling and storage and were furnished through the 161st and 172nd Station Hospital channels while on occupation duty and through the 406th Medical General Laboratory while in Japanese assembly areas. Since arrival in Korea requisitions have been drawn on the 6th Medical Depot or its closest supply platoon. During the year there were no major shortages of medical supplies, or equipment; most essential items being available at all times in quantities required. Captured medical supplies have been in such small quantities and of such a nature that no use could be made of this source.


9

VETERINARY SERVICE

Veterinary service was provided the division by two Veterinary Service Detachments during that portion of the year the division was doing occupation duty in Japan. One detachment serviced the Island of Hokkaido and one the northern half of the Island of Honshu. Since leaving Japan for Korea the division has been without veterinary support.

The primary mission of the Veterinarian was the inspection of all food, food establishments and conveyances wherever located in the division zone of responsibility. Daily tests and inspections were made of water plants, milk recombining plants and ice cream manufactories with the result that no diseases were traceable to these sources.

A limited number of establishments were approved, under provisions of SCAP and Eighth Army Circulars, for sale of indigenous foods to occupation personnel. No processing plants were approved. Places approved were generally limited to those selling fresh seafoods, fruits and vegetables. One restaurant was put "on limits" in Sendai which was a decided boost to the morale of troops in that area. All approved places were routinely inspected by the veterinarian and/or the Division Medical Inspector.

There were no public animals assigned in the division area. Veterinary service was provided pets of occupation personnel and a small animal hospital was maintained at Sendai. An active campaign for the vaccination of all pets against rabies and the elimination of stray dogs was carried out.

DENTAL SERVICE

At the beginning of 1950 the 7th Division was located on Northern Honshu and Hokkaido, Japan. There were nine dental officers on duty with the division and five small dental clinics were in operation. The flow of equipment and supplies, the greatest obstacle during 1949, was greatly improved and lack of sufficient personnel became the greatest problem. The following clinics were in operation at that time:

1. Camp Crawford, Sapporro, Hokkaido, Japan

4 chairs, 4 units, 5 cabinets, 4 lamps, 1 x-ray, 1 small prosthetic laboratory. Three dental officers.

2. Camp Schimmelpfennig, Sendai, Honshu, Japan

4 chairs, 2 units, 2 cabinets, 4 lamps, 1 x-ray, prosthetic laboratory. Two dental officers.


10

3. Camp Haugen, Hachinohe, Honshu, Japan

3 chairs, 2 units, 3 cabinets, 3 lamps, no prosthetic laboratory. Two dental officers.

4. Camp Younghans, Jinmachi, Honshu, Japan

2 chairs, 1 unit, 1 lamp, no prosthetic laboratory. One dental officer.

5. Camp Chitose, Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan 

1 chair, 1 fountain cuspidor, 1 cabinet, l lamp, no prosthetic laboratory. One dental officer.

In August the division was moved to training area for regrouping, resupplying and training in preparation for the move to Korea. This was the first time the 7th Medical Battalion had operated as a battalion in Japan. During the month seven new dental officers were assigned and one reassigned to a new station, leaving a total of fifteen. All dental officers remained assigned to the Medical Battalion but were placed on detached service in the following manner: three with each regiment; two with Division Artillery, and four with the Battalion, i.e., one per dental laboratory truck, and one per each clearing platoon. At this time an attempt was made to survey the division and try to eliminate all Class I cases prior to departure for Korea.

After the division entered combat in Korea it was discovered that the placement of dental officers with various units had to be shuffled to meet changing conditions. We found during combat, an infantry regiment required only one dental officer, and in a rest area at least three were required per regiment. It was also discovered that dentistry during combat was limited to emergency treatment and dental officers were utilized to augment medical staff officers in bandaging and treating wounds in the regimental collecting stations and medical battalion clearing stations. It was found to be advantageous to have at least one dental officer with the replacement company at all times and as many as three at other times to eliminate Class I cases prior to joining their unit. Consequently there has been a constant change of dental officers to units within the division.

The casualty rate of dental personnel has been very low in combat. One dental officer and two dental technicians are missing inaction, none wounded and none killed.

At the present time there are thirteen dental officers assigned to the division and three attached. Field equipment is satisfactory.

ADMISSIONS AND SITTINGS:

Military

Others

Admissions, routine

4,927

426

Admissions, emergency

2,999

216

Sittings given

19,394

1,237


11

Classification of military personnel at the beginning and the close of year. (Figures are percentage of command strength)

 

CLASS I

II

III

IV

January

5.7

52.6

6.3

35.4

December

4.3

35.5

5.8

54.4

RESTORATIONS AND EXTRACTIONS:

Military

Others

Restorations

10,667

730

Extractions

4,785

286

Miscellaneous

9,223

1,170

PROTHESIS:

Military

Others

Dentures, Full

106

0

Dentures, Partial

585

7

Total Prosthetic Operations

1,474

38

Total Days of Duty (Dental Officers) 4,222

[signed]

S J NEWSOM

Lt Col, MC

Division Surgeon

SOURCE: National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 112, Records of US Army Surgeon General, 7th Infantry Division, Annual Reports, 1950-1953, Box 221.