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HEADQUARTERS 7TH INFANTRY DIVISION

Korean War Unit Histories

HEADQUARTERS 7TH INFANTRY DIVISION

Office of the Division Surgeon

APO 7

% Postmaster, San Francisco, Calif.

12 January 1951

SSG-HC-4

SUBJECT:  Health of the Command. Period 11 December 1950 to 10 January 1951.

TO:

Commanding General
7th Infantry Division
APO 7
ATTN: G-1

I.  GENERAL:  The of health of the command continues to be excellent during the report period 11 December 1950 to 10 January 1951 despite operations under cold weather conditions, retrograde movement, withdrawal, and subsequent re-commitment of the unit.

II. OPERATIONAL PHASE: 11 December 1950 to 14 December 1950.

1. Personal Hygiene:

The status of personal hygiene varied considerably in accordance with the physical location of the troops. Practically no attention was paid to personal hygiene in the Chosen Reservoir Area, and special efforts were made to provide these men with bathing facilities upon their closure in the Hamhung-Hungnam sector. A Quartermaster portable shower unit was not operative in the Hungnam area, but Korean bathhouses were utilized to some extent. The majority of troops were again dependent upon their individual efforts. Inspections of personnel at all levels have revealed considerable lack of personal hygiene due to the operational situation, but louse infestation has not been


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disclosed, and no louse borne disease has been discovered. Adequate amounts of louse control supplies have been available, but utilization and issue have not been at expected levels.

The Quartermaster portable laundry units were non-operative during this period. Laundry services were performed by individual efforts and by indigenous laundry facilities.

2. COLD WEATHER CLOTHING:

During this period there was no incidence of casualties due to cold. The previous issues of cold weather clothing were found adequate for the more temperate climate in the Hungnam area. The 7th Division personnel who were evacuated from the Chosen Reservoir Area reported that stocks of air-dropped cold weather clothing were more than adequate for their needs. Some destruction of this clothing was necessary when the units evacuated the area to prevent this excess clothing from falling into the hands of the enemy. Interrogation of the personnel returning from this area revealed that there were fairly widespread paresthesias of the feet but no cases of sufficient intensity to demand hospitalization or evacuation. A large number of casualties were evacuated by air directly from the reservoir and were not processed through 7th Division, 1st Marine Division, X Corps, or Navy units in the Hamhung-Hungnam area. These observations exclude those patients who were evacuated directly and were not available for interrogation. A cap, field pile, was issued to all troops during this period.


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3. Mess Hygiene:

Unit kitchens served "B" rations throughout this period with the exception of the troops in the Chosen Reservoir Area, who utilized some "5 in 1" and "C" rations. Standards of mess hygiene have continued to be fairly satisfactory. Sporadic cases of diarrhea have been noted, but no epidemics of food poisoning or undue enteritis. Mess gear sanitation and disposal of kitchen waste and liquids was satisfactory.

4. Foot Hygiene.

Foot casualties have continued to be minimal. Foot powder was available in adequate amounts.

5. Water Discipline:

Water supply, chlorination, and discipline have been satisfactory throughout. There is no reported incident of diseases of the water borne type.

6.  Latrine Hygiene:

Pit latrines of adequate construction were universally used for fecal disposal. Korean type latrines were not utilized. No soiling of the ground was observed. Tents were utilized to protect latrines, some of which were heated. Latrine sanitation was satisfactory, and closing and marking was accomplished.

7. Food Service Supervision:

Food service activities inspected by the Division Medical Inspector continue to indicate the need for a more active supervision by unit surgeons and mess personnel. The Division Food


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service supervisor performed no duties at troop unit level during this period.

8. Mental Hygiene:

No psychiatric casualties were reported during this period. A minimal of hypermotor activity was observed in some of the personnel evacuated from the Chosen Reservoir Area. None required definitive treatment. One officer who recently joined the division as a replacement exhibited considerable anxiety. His case is being observed further on a daily status.

9. Medical Services:

The character of professional services rendered during the report period continued to be of superior type.  The 1st Platoon, Clearing Company, was operational with the 1st Platoon, Ambulance Company. The remainder of the Medical Battalion departed the Hungnam area by embarking on 14 December 1950, on which date the 1st Platoon, Clearing Company, and the 1st Platoon, Ambulance Company, reverted to inactive status in support of the Medical Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division. These units were embarked on 19 December 1950 without having been placed in an operational status.

10. Whole Blood:

The quantity and quality of whole blood available to divisional and medical units is satisfactory throughout. It was available in amounts greater than the current demand. No transfusion reactions were noted.


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11. Medical Department Personnel:

The following U.S. Nay Medical Department personnel were joined and were assigned to the following units is attached status:

GRIFFIN, Thomas N., Lt (jg), USNR

7th Med. Bn. - 12 Dec 50

GRYSKA, Paul F., Lt (jg), USNR

7th Med. Bn. - 12 Dec 50

SHULTIS, Lester D., Lt (jg), USNR

Med. Co., 31st Inf. Regt. - 12 Dec 50

LEIFER, Paul, Lt (jg), USNR

Med. Co., 17th Inf. Regt. - 12 Dec 50

The following officers are missing in action:

ATHCHLEY, Oren C., Lt Colonel, MSC

7th Med. Bn. -  24 Nov 50

[Ed.-On 31 December 1953 Lt. Col. Atchley was officially declared Missing in Action, Presumed Dead (hostile action), as of 24 November 1950.]

BAIDO, James, Capt., DC

7th Med. Bn., attached to 31st Inf. Regt. - 12 Dec 50

[Ed.-Later promoted to Major, Capt. Baido was declared Killed in Action on 27 November 1950.]

WAMBLE, Henry L., Capt., MSC

Med. Co., 31st Inf. Regt. - 12 Dec 50

[Ed.-Capt. Wamble was later declared Killed in Action on 1 December 1950.]

SEBASTIAN, Brown, Capt., MSC

Med. Co., 31st Inf. Regt. - 12 Dec 50

[Ed.-On 31 December 1953 Capt. Wamble was officially declared Missing in Action, Presumed Dead (hostile action), as of 1 December 1950.]

The following officer personnel were wounded in action and evacuated out of divisional medical facilities:

GALLOWAY, Harvey J. Jr., Capt. MC

Med. Co., 31st Inf. Regt.

[Ed.-Capt. Galloway recovered from his wounds and returned to due in the U.S. on 2 February 1951.]

MORGAN, Sterling W., Capt., MC

Med. Co., 31st Inf. Regt.

[Ed.-No additional information has been found on Capt. Morgan's status.]

NAVARRE, Vincent, Capt., MC

Med. Co., 32nd Inf. Regt.

[Ed.-Capt. Navarre was so seriously wounded that he was retired for disability for wounds received in the line of duty in November 1951.]


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Cumulative enlisted losses to 14 December 1950 among medical department personnel amount to 137.   

12. Civil Affairs:

No further activity in medical support of the Civil Affairs Office was performed during this period. The medical intelligence and supply support plan inaugurated in the Pukching-Kapsan-Hyesanjin area was suspended upon evacuation of this area

III. TRANSPORTATION PHASE: 15 December 1950 to 19 December 1950.

1. Personal Hygiene:

There was a considerable improvement in the state of personal hygiene which varied somewhat according to the facilities available aboard ship. Most of the AP facilities were able to provide shower facilities for personnel but were greatly overcrowded. The majority of troops were able to obtain showers but were forced to replace clothing worn aboard. No laundry facilities were available

2. Mess Hygiene:

"A" rations were provided by ship's facilities enroute. This provided a welcome change in the diet. Army personnel did not participate in sanitary inspection, but the level appeared to be satisfactory throughout the voyage.

3. Water Discipline:

Ample fresh water was available throughout the voyage.

4. Latrine Hygiene:

Water closets were available for troop use.


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5.  Medical Services:

Professional medical services were rendered by U.S. Navy personnel manning ship's hospital facilities. U.S. Army Medical Department personnel did not participate in the care or treatment of patients with following exceptions: In certain troop ships, inoculation of Army personnel with typhus vaccine and vaccination for smallpox was performed prior to debarkation, in accordance with 8th Army instructions that all division personnel who had not received such immunization prior to 1 November 1950 be re-vaccinated and given a stimulating dose of typhoid vaccine prior to 15 January 1951.

Casualties accumulated in transit were transferred to the 3rd Station Hospital upon arrival.

20 personnel were poisoned by drinking denatured alcohol, Grade 3, intended for use as anti-freeze in vehicle fuel lines. This poisoning resulted in the deaths of 3 personnel, blindness in one case, hospitalization with physical condition unknown in 6 personnel, and transient illness with return to duty status is 10 persnnel.

IV. ASSEMBLY AND TRAINING PERIOD: 20 December 1950 to 4 January 1951.

1. Personal Hygiene:

The status of personnel hygiene has varied considerably in accordance with the physical location of the troop units. The original plan of providing regiments with a Quartermaster shower unit, moved from location to location to service these troops, was not possible to implement due to maintenance difficulties and all


8

efforts to provide more than a single shower unit were fruitless. One unit was placed in operation in the most central location, near Division Headquarters, on 26 December and was utilized maximally. A temporary shortage of gasoline interfered with plans of the regiments to transport personnel to this point for shower purposes. Physical inspection at the personnel of the 2nd and 3rd Battalions, 31st Infantry Regiment, revealed a rather widespread louse and scabies infestation. This was considered to be due to the fact that these personnel had lost their baggage and clothing in the Chosen Reservoir action; had not been re-supplied with clothing, had occupied Korean buildings without DDT treatment, and had not had an opportunity for bathing in nearly four weeks. Louse powder and dusters were available for treatment purposes in adequate quantities. It was necessary to request airlift of Benzyl Benzoate to allow mass treatment of the scabetic infestation. Personnel were transported to the shower point, bathed, deloused, treated with anti-scabetic emulsion, and returned to their units. All personnel gear was DDT dusted at unit during their absence. Clothing re-supply was effected upon completion of the anti-scabetic treatment. Personnel were treated by roster throughout these units. There was no incidence of louse borne disease as a result of this rather widespread infestation.

The Quartermaster portable laundry unit operated from 26 December 1950 to 7 January 1951 with its principal mission of providing laundry for divisional medical units and in supplementary units of the laundry unit program.


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2.  Cold Weather Injuries:

During this period there was no incident or casualties due to cold although another marked further progression of cold weather injuries suffered in the Chosen Reservoir Area continued to be reported. The majority of the troops were issued Coat, field with liner.

3.  Mess Hygiene:

"B" rations were served throughout this period with the exception of the holiday meals. Standards of mess hygiene showed a definite improvement. There was no incidence of food poisoning or neuritis. Mess gear sanitation and disposal of kitchen waste and liquids was excellent throughout.

4. Foot Hygiene:

Foot casualties, with the exception of cold weather injuries, continued to be minimal. Foot powder was available in adequate amounts.

5. Water Discipline:

Water supply, chlorination, and discipline have been excellent throughout. No diseases of the water borne type were noted.

6. Latrine Hygiene:

Adequately constructed pit latrines were used throughout this period. Korean type latrines were not utilized. Latrines were protected by tents some of which were heated. Latrine sanitation was satisfactory throughout. Inspection revealed adequate closing and working.


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7. Food Service Supervision:

Food service activities inspected by the Division Medical Inspector showed the highest standards of hygiene noted to date. This indicates a definite improvement in the amount of supervision performed by unit surgeons and mess personnel and indicates that these personnel are becoming mess conscious.

8. Mental Hygiene:

A definite increase of the incidence of psychiatric casualties was noted during this period. This increase was manifest in a development of a considerable number of anxiety tension states. Slightly more than half of these cases developed in personnel who had been in the Chosen Reservoir Area, and thus had considerable combat operation stress as a precipitating factor for the development of tension. The remainder of the cases, however, appeared among replacements who had not been subjected to combat. Interrogation revealed that these anxieties have some basis in a rapid transition from civilian to combat status of the personnel affected, but probably are more indicative of the rather widespread lack of a "will to fight." Some of these anxieties disappeared shortly after personnel were finally assigned to their definitive units, but others had developed to a point rendering them useless to the units and requiring medical evacuation. The Division Neuropsychiatrist visited troop units on a scheduled rotation basis in an attempt to interview such personnel and practice preventive psychiatry.  No implementation of the Division Neuropsychiatrist SOP was found necessary during this


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phase, although plans were implemented to phase it in operation if the load became increased.

That officer mentioned in Section 2, Paragraph 8, above, was subsequently evacuated.

9. Medical Services:

The character of professional services continued to be superior. Adequate ambulance service was impossible to maintain with the residual 12 ambulances available. Twelve losses had been sustained during operations and retrograde movement, and six were in unit and ordnance maintenance deadline status. Upon request, X Corps attached 2nd Platoon, 560th Ambulance Company. The 1st Platoon, Clearing Company, sand the 1st Platoon, Ambulance Company, were attached to the 17th RCT initially. Upon the closure of the Medical Battalion, those units were withdrawn to support the 17th and 32nd RCT and augmented the 2nd Platoon, Clearing Company, and the 2nd Platoon, Ambulance Company, was similarly augmented by personnel of the 3rd Platoon, which remain non-operative due to equipment losses.

Smallpox vaccination and typhus inoculation were continued during this period. No difficulty will be experienced in completing all immunizations prior to 15 January 1951.

The diagnoses of 19 cases of influenza reported during the week ending 29 December has been made on a clinical basis and is not confirmed by laboratory tests as required. A large percentage of the command had during this period developed symptoms of upper respiratory infection with fever, malaise, myalgia and asthenia,  but did not require more than symptomatic treatment on  a duty basis for recovery.


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10. Whole Blood:

No whole blood was utilized during this period.

11. Medical Department Personnel:

There have been no changes in the status of Medical Department personnel during this period.

12. Civil Affairs:

No activities and medical support of Civil Affairs Office was performed during this period.

V. OPERATIONAL PHASE: 5 January 1951 to 10 January 1951.

1. Personal Hygiene:

Personnel hygiene remained a matter of individual concern during this time with the standards somewhat lower than desired. No further incident of louse or scabies infestation was noted, and the follow-ups revealed that the treated troops of the 2nd and 3rd Battalions, 31st Infantry Regiment, were satisfactorily managed.

2. Cold Weather Injuries:

A continuing residium of old frostbite was reported during this phase. No new cases have developed.

3. Mess Hygiene:

Approximately two-thirds of the meals served have had "A" ration meat components during this period, with a marked increase in the palatability and acceptability of the food. Standards of mess hygiene have been high.

4. Foot Hygiene:

Foot casualties have been practically non-existent. Foot powder is available in adequate amounts.


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5. Water Discipline:

Water supply and discipline have been satisfactory throughout. Residual chlorine tests have been adequate.  No water borne diseases have been reported.

6. Latrine Hygiene:

Pit latrines of excellent construction have been used in rear elements, and straddle trenches or foxholes for combat units. Latrine sanitation has been excellent, and chlorinated lime has been available in adequate amonts. Some latrines were covered by tentage, heated and lighted.

7. Food Service Supervision:

Food service activities inspected by the Division Medical Inspector continued to show a high standard of compliance with directives.

8. Mental Hygiene:

The noted incidence of psychiatric casualties continued to remain high but still remain insufficient to set up a separate psychiatric retraining center. The Division Psychiatrist, however, arranged segregation of psychiatric patients in Division Clearing Stations and separate handling of these patients on a semi-military status. The character and type of psychiatric services rendered is considered to be excellent.

9. Medical Services:

A superior type of professtoas1 services continues to be rendered. Twelve reconditioned ambulances, cross-country, 4x4, were issued on 7 January 1951 which fully replaced losses.


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Evacuation of patients by Division and attached ambulances to the 4th Field Hospital, a distance of 114 miles, was utilized until 9 January when the 1st Mobile Army Surgical Hospital was placed in support, reducing the ambulances' haul to 31 miles. Seven patients required aoir evacuation.

10. Whole Blood:

Whole blood was available in adequate quantity. No transfusion reactions were noted.

11. Medical Department Personnel:

No change in Medical Department personnel during the report period.

VI. DIRECTIVES:

Directives issued under the report period include a revision of the Medical Annex to the Administrative Order: letter, "Health of the Command," period 11 November to 10 December 1950, dated 12 December 1950; continued the  issue of periodic and cumulative battle and non-battle casualty reports and continued the graphic charts reflecting medical department activities. Daily cold weather injury reports and interviews were discontinued 12 December 1950. There has been no necessity of resuming daily engineer water point location reports and daily medical department unit location reports.

VII. STANDARD OPERATING POLICY FOR OFFICE OF THE SURGEON:

No changes in the SOP have been made during the report period.

VIII. CONTACTS WITH HIGHER AUTHORITY:

10 December to 14 December 1950: Daily personal and telephonic contacts with Office of the Surgeon, I Corps, and subordinate units.


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11 December 1950: Liaison visit Surgeon, 3rd Division, to arrange mutual support and coordinated plan for medical support for elements evacuating the Hungnam Beachhead.

20 December 1950:  Visit by Colonel Ramsey, Dental Surgeon, 8th Army; Colonel Hamrick, Personnel Officer, Office of the Surgeon, 8th Army, made an initial liaison visit and inspected Division medical installations.

22 December 1950: Colonel Ramsey and Colonel Gordon, Preventive Medicine, Office of the Surgeon, 8th Army, visited Division Headquarters.

26 December 1950: Lt Colonel Whitley, Sanitary Engineer, Office of the Surgeon, 8th Army, and Major Hayes, Statistical Surgeon, Office of the Surgeon, 8th Army, made a liaison visit to Division Headquarters; Colonel Dovell, Surgeon, 8th Army, visited 7th Medical Battalion.

28 December 1950: Inspection, 7th Medical Battalion, by Colonel Dovell, Surgeon, 8th Army.

29 December 1950: Inspection 7th Medical Battalion by Colonel Heath, Chief of staff, 7th Division.

30 December 1950: Division Surgeon made liaison visit reference medical support it C.O., 4th Field Hospital.

3 January 1951: Division Surgeon visited X Corps Headquarters.

4 January 1951: Division Surgeon made liaison visit to Surgeon, 8th Army, and C.O., 4th Field Hospital.


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9 January 1951:  Captain Cooke, Asst Operations Officer, Office of the Surgeon, X Corps, made a liaison visit.

IX. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS:

1. General:

The plan of analyzing submitted reports of units into weekly battle and non-battle casualty reports, reflecting gross numbers and percentage of casualties by type and troop units, has been continued. Delay in submission of reports was less than previously noted, although time-sapce factors caused some delay.

2. Disease Statistics:

Statistical analysis of reported diseases indicate the following rates per thousand per annum for the five week period beginning 25 November1950 and ending 29 December 1950, as taken from Division Consolidated Statistical Health Reports.

Line

Diseases

Cases

Rates

45

Common Respiratory Disease

115

85.68

47

*Influenza

19

14.33

48

Measles

3

2.23

49

Measles, German

5

3.72

51

Mumps

1

0.75

52

Pneumonia, primary

83

61.84

53

Pneumonia, primary, atypical

2

1.49

57

Tuberculosis, all forms

7

5.21

60

Common Diarrheas

51

37.95

61

Bacillary Dysentery

1

0.75


17

63

Dysentery, unclassified

12

8.94

69

Malaria, acquired outside USA

1

0.75

73

Hepatitis, infectious

20

14.9

74

Encephalitis, infectious

1

0.75

78

Scabies

14

10.4

80

Fever of undetermined origin

7

5.21

82

**/***Trench Foot

47

35.0

83

Gonorrhea

17

12.65

84

Syphilis

3

2.23

85

Other Venereal

8

6.95

86

**Frostbite

213

158.69

87

**Immersion Foot

46

34.27

NOTE: *(Diagnoses are based on clinical symptoms only, and are not confirmed by

**    (Late development of cold weather injuries from troops serving in the ChosenReservoir Area).

***   (These probably represent major degree of frostbite rather than trench foot. A Criteria for a diagnosis of trench foot is not well standardized, and the undersigned feels personally that no cases of trench foot have developed within the Division. Inasmuch as the diagnoses were recorded and reported as such, no change was made. My impression is that the incident of frostbite amounts to 260 cases, with the rate 193.69 per thousand per annum instead of the above figure.)

The overall disease rate for the Division, exclusive of cold weather injuries, was 27.57 per thousand per annum. The overall disease rate for the Division inclusive of cold weather injuries was 50.36 per thousand per annum.

                                                                                                                       

G-1 7X (Dupl) 

[signed]

Historian 7X (Dupl)

J NEWSOM

SGO

Lt Col  MC

Surg 8th Army

Surgeon

Surg X Corps

 

File

 

SOURCE: National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 407, Records of the US Army Adjutant General, 7th Infantry Division, Health of Command Reports, Box 3176.