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Appendix

Contents

APPENDIX

810

GAS AND FLAME SERVICE, OFFENSIVE AND DEFENSIVE (STATEMENT OF ACTION TAKEN) a

HEADQUARTERS, AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES,
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF STAFF,
OPERATIONS SECTION,
Paris, France, July 30, 1917.

Memorandum for the Chief of Staff:
Subject: Gas and flame service, offensive and defensive.

I. Statement of action taken to date.- (a) Board of officers convened on June 18, 1917, at these headquarters to investigate questions relating to this subject and to recommend a gas organization.

This board's recommendations were:
1. Assignment of a competent officer to create and handle our gas organization.
2. Pending arrival of such officer (if to come from the United States) the detail of an officer to arrange for supply from the Allies of material, information, and training for out first troops.
3. Provision of ample assistants, funds, and authority to go ahead with this work.
The board made no recommendations as to organization.
(b) On June 25, 1917, the commander in chief cabled The Adjutant General of the Army (cable sent, No. 16, par. 6) requesting authority to retain Dr. G. A. Hulett for gas work and also that either Lieut. Col. James A. Woodruff or Col. Henry Jervey, Engineer Corps, be sent to France to organize gas service under the chief engineer officer.
(c) In General Orders, No. 8, c. s., July 5, 1917, these headquarters, the gas and liquid fire service is placed in the hands of the chief Engineer officer, these headquarters, and the defense gas service is placed in the hands of the chief surgeon, in consultation with the director of gas service.
(d) In the project for the organization of an army, prepared by this section, approved by the commander in chief and forwarded to the War Department, a gas and flame service is provided for in the army troops and one regiment of Engineers is designated for the service.
(e) In the War Department cablegram No. 31, dated July 13, 1917, decision is rendered on the following points:
1. Ordnance Department will provide gas shell.
2. Medical Department charged with defensive measures against gas and to supply gas masks.
3. Gas laboratory established in United States.
4. Nineteen thousand, nine hundred and sixty gas masks shipped July 13, 1917, to France; others to follow.
5. Sanitary section of Medical Department to be established for chemists.
6. Specially selected chemists to be sent to France soon.
7. Gas schools to be established in United States.
8. Reserve mask of French type being manufactured in United States.
9. Masks to be sent with troops.
10. A medical officer, expeditionary headquarters staff, should be designated to keep chief of staff informed of the needs of the gas service, etc.
(f) On July 26, 1917, Maj. J. R. Church, Medical Corps, submitted a study on the organization of a
gas service.

The salient points of this study are:
1. Establishment of two gas services; i. e., one in France and one in the United States. The latter to be subordinate in questions of policy, equipment, etc., to the service in France.
2. The gas service to be independent of any existing arm or staff department in our Army.
3. The service in France to be complete in its independence down to include the officers on division staffs, there be detailed in regiments, battalions, and companies, certain officers and noncommissioned officers with gas service duties, etc.

a Appendix No. 2, History of Chemical Warfare Service, American Expeditionary Forces, Vol.1, 81<


811

4. A gas service brigade under the direct control of the chief of gas service, who is to be a brigadier general.
5. The chief of the service to have a staff, laboratories, and meteorological service, and the gas service staff officer on all staffs to be a member of the operations section.
6. Statement made that study, etc., is based on English and French system.
7. A blue print attached to study graphically explains the system.
(g) As far as can be learned from the chief surgeon and chief quartermaster officers the masks sent from the United States have not arrived in France.
(h) The commander, 1st Division, has made urgent requests for masks, claiming the need therefor, but none has been supplied.
(i) Gas schools have been prescribed for the 1st Division.
(j) Cable sent to Adjutant General of the Army, July 29, 1917, requesting officer be designated to commander Engineer regiment designated for gas service and be sent here at once. Colonels Woodruff or Jervey suggested.

II. Action taken.- As far as can be learned, the only definite action producing results that has been taken is that indicated in the War Department cablegram. This relates to the United States, except for shipment of masks to France.
It is evident that only a partial solution to this problem has been effected; i. e., adoption of a gas mask and the establishment of schools in the United States and France. Nothing seems to have been actually accomplished on the lines of creating an organization in France.

III. Requirements.- Steps should be taken at once as follows:
(a) War Department to establish at home a complete flame as well as gas, offensive and defensive, service.
(b) Decision should be made at once as to whether the material for the gas and flame service is to be supplied from the United States or secured in France.
(c) Steps taken at once to inaugurate a gas and flame service in France in accordance with existing orders and policies of these headquarters. Defensive gas service is our immediate need-it should be developed at once. The fact that the officer to have permanent charge of the whole service is not available should not be a bar to the establishment of the branches of the service. These are needed, especially the defensive branch.
(d) Masks should be furnished the 1st Division without delay by the Medical Department for training purposes, if not for protection.

IV. Discussion.- A study has been made of the British, French, and German systems and also that submitted by Major Church, M. C. Consultation has been had with Doctor Hulett, Major Church, and Captain Boothby. These agree with the organization plan submitted. The recommendations and conclusions included herein are the result of the foregoing. It is not deemed advisable to copy or adopt in toto any of the allied systems, but to utilize what appears best for our organization and characteristics.
A chemical service independent and absolutely separate from our established arms and staff departments is not considered necessary nor desirable. Whereas the service should be complete within its organization, it is believed best to make it up from personnel of the Engineer and Medical Corps, which by War Department orders are to furnish the material, etc.
The details of the service and organization for the United States are not considered herein.
The scheme of organization recommended contemplates the use of the Engineer regiment provided for in our army organization project for the offensive service and Medical Corps personnel for the defensive service. At the same time these two services are coordinated by placing the whole service tinder the commander of the Engineer regiment.

V. Recommendations.- (a) Adoption of the organization indicated in and publication of the general order attached.
(b) Upon adoption of the organization indicated the chief surgeon be called upon to designate a medical officer of his corps to take charge of the defensive service. This officer should secure without delay the material and personnel for his branch of the service. He should prepare and publish instructions for all troops and also prescribe the course for all divisional, etc., schools.
(c) While waiting for the commander of the Engineer Gas and flame Service regiment to arrive in France the chief Engineer officer should detail an officer of his corps to start the chemical organization and advance it as much as possible. This work should be done in conjunction with the medical officer in charge of the defensive branch.
(d) If foregoing recommendations are approved, necessary instructions will he prepared.

(Signed)
J. McA. PALMER,
Lieutenant Colonel, General Staff, Chief of Section.