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Chapter XXXVI

Field Operations, Table of Contents

CHAPTER XXXVI

 MEUSE-ARGONNE (CHAMPAGNE) OPERATION (2D AND 36TH DIVISIONS)

YPRES-LYS (FLANDERS) OPERATION (37TH AND 91ST DIVISIONS)

MEUSE-ARGONNE (CHAMPAGNE) OPERATIONa

It should be kept in mind that our attack in the Meuse-Argonne was a part of the general offensive which extended along almost the entire front of the allied armies, from the English Channel to the Vosges Mountains; the field orders of the First Army habitually gave information of the progress made in Flanders, as a part of the general situation, just as they mentioned the advances on their own front. The British and the Belgians were on the move eastward; the French, between them and the Americans, were advancing along the line of the Aisne. The French Fourth Army was working in intimate cooperation with the American First Army; to indicate this relationship, American troops which served in that French Army are given credit for participation in the operation, under the title "Meuse-Argonne (Champagne)."

When the Germans were thrown back at the first battle of the Marne, the line stabilized in Champagne between Souain and Somme-Py. It was here that the French Twenty-first Corps, of the French Fourth Army, was to attack. The French asked for American assistance in this region, and on September 23 orders were issued at American General Headquarters, placing our 2d and 36th Divisions at their disposal. The 2d Division was near Toul, having just reached there after participating in the St. Mihiel operation. It was fully equipped and prepared for any duty. The 36th Division was in the Bar-sur-Aube training area, never having been in line; it was about 20 per cent short in strength and lacked much of its equipment, notably transportation. Its artillery was not with it. These divisions were used in a local operation known to us by the name of the principal feature of the ground, an elevation called Blanc Mont.

The country hereabouts, after four years of trench warfare on stationary lines, was a desolate waste. The German front-line trenches had run along the Navarin Farm ridge, which crossed the Souain—Somme-Py road, at right angles, halfway between the two places. The Navarin ridge lay 4 km. (2.4 miles) north, and rose some 60 meters (65 yards) above the valley to the south. It was wooded, but not densely. At its eastern end was Orfeuil, at its center Medeah Ferme, and at its west end Blanc Mont. North of it the ground fell

aAbstracted from Major Operations of the American Expeditionary Forces in France, 1917-1918, prepared in the Historical Section, the Army War College.


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away to a whole country, north and south; its natural advantages had been enhanced by observation towers, constructed by the Germans.

Between September 26 and October 1, the French Fourth Army had advanced 4 or 5 km. (2.4 or 3.1 miles) west of the Argonne, and at the point now in question were attacking the German trenches north of Somme-Py, the rearmost of the main line. The Germans were holding strongly, for a surrender of this line meant a retirement of 3 km. (1.8 miles) to the next prepared position on Blanc Mont Ridge. The French were nearing the end of their resources, and called upon the American divisions assigned to them.

THE 2D DIVISION

On October 1, 1918, the 2d Division was assigned to the French Twenty-first Corps in the Fourth Army, and on the night of October 1-2, the 4th Brigade took over the line from Boyau de Custrien on the right to Boyau de Bromberg on the left, theretofore occupied by the French 61st Division and the right battalion of the French 21st Division in the French Eleventh Corps, which was to the left of the 2d Division. On October 2, the 2d Division cleared so much of the Tranchee d’Essen in its sector as was still occupied by the Germans west of the Boyau de la Pirna.

At 5.50 a. m., October 3, as the left flank of the French Twenty-first Corps, the 2d Division attacked behind a creeping barrage, in conjunction with the two other divisions in the line of that corps, and with the French 21st Division of the French Eleventh Corps on its left. The divisional operation was a converging attack by the 3d and 4th Brigades upon the massif of Blanc Mont Ridge, the final objective being Medeah Ferme (exclusive)—Schwaben—Konig—Blanc Mont (inclusive). The enemy had strongly fortified the position by coordinated machine-gun emplacements, barbed wire, and trench systems. The attack was successful despite heavy artillery fire and stubborn resistance by the enemy, and the objective was reached according to schedule. On the right the French 67th Division brought its lines up to Medeah Ferme, where contact was established, but on the left the attack of the French Eleventh Corps failed, and our 4th Brigade suffered severely because of machine-gun fire on its left.1

During the afternoon of October 3, the 2d Division pushed its advance about 1.5 km. (0.9 mile) down the ridge in the direction of the St. Etienne—Orfeuil road—despite fire on both flanks and on its right and left rear, the divisions on its flanks failing to keep contact. The next day, after repulsing powerful counterattacks, the division advanced about 0.5 km. (0.3 mile) but was held up by machine-gun fire on the front and flanks, particularly from a strong point on the western end of Blanc Mont. This point it reduced on the 5th. The next day, the left of the division again advanced.1

The relief of the 2d Division was begun by the 36th Division on the night of October 6-7, but this was not completed until the 10th, the 2d Division troops that were not relieved continuing to operate with the 36th until withdrawn. The Artillery and Engineers remained with the 36th Division, and until withdrawn the 2d Division remained in close support.1


PLATE LI


865

MEDICAL DEPARTMENT ACTIVITIES

All units of the sanitary train had reached Suippes by the 1st of October and were located at the Ferme de Suippes, 2 km. (1.2 miles) south of the town, in the following capacities: Field Hospital No. 1, triage; Field Hospitals No. 15 and No. 23, consolidated hospital for nontransportable wounded; Field Hospital No. 16, for gassed and sick. With the field hospitals was Ambulance Company No. 1, while the other ambulance companies were at Camp Montpellier, 4 km. (2.4 miles) north of Somme-Suippes, on the Perthes-les-Hurlus road.2

On October 2 all the ambulance companies established a forward triage in an excellent shell-proof dugout at Souain, which was also used by the French to serve the sectors to the right and left of the 2d Division. Here were gathered the 27 G. M. C. ambulances belonging to the sanitary train and United States Army Ambulance Service Sections No. 556 and No. 606, which were assigned to the division. Transportation was further augmented by two French char a bancs (six-seat trucks, of the sight-seeing type) with a seating capacity of 24, which, with 22 ambulances of Evacuation Ambulance Companies No. 5 and No. 7 and the trucks of the sanitary train, were held in readiness near the field hospitals. Arrangements were made that, when requested, trucks of the supply train and of other divisional units also would assist in removing wounded.2

Before the attack, the divisional litter-bearer officer made a reconnaissance, located the battalion stations at the jump-off, and at them posted the ambulance company litter-bearer officers, with their detachments. The system of evacuation was as follows: Enlisted men of the Medical Department followed the attack and dressed the wounded, who were then carried back to battalion aid stations by litter bearers detailed from the line, in the proportion of 12 from each company. The battalion surgeons, relieved of all responsibility for evacuation from their stations, devoted all their attention to the work forward of these. As the battalion stations advanced, the old ones were taken over and cleared by the bearers from the ambulance companies, under their litter-bearer officers, who maintained contact with stations as they advanced.3 The terrain offered little protection, but at times dugouts were found and used. Many aspirating wounds of the chest were closed by sutures or safety pins, with good results so far as transportability of such cases was concerned, fractures were immobilized in Thomas splints, and antitetanic serum was given very early in nearly all cases. Wounded were rapidly removed and congestion rarely occurred.3 The two United States Army Ambulance Service Sections with Ford ambulances, assisted by G. M. C. ambulances, evacuated to the triage, and the other motor vehicles available evacuated from that point to the rear.3 Two-wheeled French litter carts (brouettes) were used to some extent in this sector.4

Profiting by their experience in the St. Mihiel operation, the ambulance companies kept their kitchens with them. Ambulance Company No. 16 had


866

its kitchen in concealment near its dressing station, but the other kitchens were consolidated at Somme-Py, and hot food was sent up, so that at least one hot meal and two cooked meals, often both hot, reached the litter bearers daily. This proved a great aid in maintaining their strength and morale under the trying conditions then experienced. Litter bearers from the Engineers materially aided the ambulance company litter bearers.4

On the afternoon of October 3 Ambulance Company No. 1 established a dressing station at Somme-Py, Ambulance Company No. 16 taking over its former station at Souain.3 On the 4th the ambulance head was advanced to Somme-Py and Ambulance Company No. 15 reinforced the station there, as the wounded were coming in very rapidly.3 In the meantime, Ambulance Company No. 16 advanced its station to a point 2 km. (1.2 miles) north of Somme-Py, and the triage, Field Hospital No. 1, moved up to Souain. On the 5th the station of Ambulance Company No. 23 "leapfrogged" to a position near Medeah Ferme and Field Hospital No. 1 moved to Somme-Py, where it was joined by the surgical unit (Field Hospitals No. 15 and No. 23).3

The field hospitals were set upon the roadbed of the railroad, on the right of the railroad station, in a position exposed to shell fire should the enemy choose to bombard the location. Many shells passed overhead and fell near the crossroads nightly. Early on the morning of the 8th the town (Somme-Py) was continuously shelled; one "dud" passed through one of the tents of the surgical unit, which was filled with wounded at the time. Operating was resumed at 10 a. m. and continued until 3 p. m., when continued shelling caused the hospital to be evacuated. The surgical personnel resumed operating in conjunction with Mobile Hospital No. 7, at Ferme de Suippes.3

On the 10th Field Hospital No. 1 returned to Ferme de Suippes and the ambulance dressing stations returned on the 11th, but the ambulances remained until the next day, assisting in evacuation of the wounded of the 36th Division, which, at that time, had no ambulances. By the 12th all the medical units of the 2d Division were back in rest billets in the rear areas.5

Abundant medical supplies were maintained at the front by returning ambulances and by a German ambulance, which had been captured at St. Mihiel, into which American and French litters did not fit, so that it could not be used conveniently for wounded. The medical supply unit located at Ferme de Suippes kept the ambulance head well supplied with everything needed.5 On October 6 it advanced to Somme-Py, where it located beside the field hospitals, which facilitated issues.4

The roads were very good, except in No Man’s Land, where there were mine craters, around which the Engineers soon built roads of plank, stone, and earth. The distances from Somme-Py to the evacuation hospitals were as follows: To Evacuation Hospital No. 3 at Mont Frenet, 24 km. (14.9 miles); to Evacuation Hospital No. 5 at La Veuve, 45 km. (27.9 miles); and to Field Hospitals No. 15 and No. 23 and Mobile Hospital No. 7, which operated here only a few days, at Ferme de Suippes, 15 km. (9.3 miles).4


867

For a short attack, the medical personnel suffered rather severely. Two battalion aid stations received direct hits, causing several fatalities and many casualties.4

THE 36TH DIVISIONb

On the night of October 6-7 the 71st Infantry Brigade of the American 36th Division relieved the front-line troops of the 2d Division, which left some of its own elements in the line and furnished the support. The division line ran more or less along the Orfeuil—St. Etienne road. There was no fighting of importance on the 7th, and on the 8th the advance was only slight. The other Infantry brigade of the 36th Division now came up and relieved the Infantry of the 2d Division in support. The 36th Division took over the command, the Artillery and certain other elements of the 2d remaining attached to the 36th.

On the 10th the enemy was found to be withdrawing. The French divisions on the flanks made progress and the 36th Division was ordered to advance in connection with them. The 72d Brigade relieved the 71st in the front line, and during the next few days advanced steadily to the line Attigny—Givry. The other brigade came up abreast of it, and the line became stationary until the end of the month, when the division was relieved.

Relief began on the night of October 26-27, but the 71st Brigade was left in line to complete a minor operation planned for the 27th. This, called the Forest Farm operation, was intended to expel the Germans from a position across a loop in the Aisne River, west of Senuy, which they still held on the south bank.

Orders were issued on the 24th for the capture of this position by the 36th Division. This was accomplished, the losses being very slight on account of the powerful artillery support. This operation ended the service of the American troops in this region.

MEDICAL DEPARTMENT ACTIVITIES

Casualties at first were evacuated to the triage of the 2d Division, at Somme-Py, which continued to function until the evening of October 9, receiving 626 casualties belonging to the 36th Division. Ambulance companies commenced operating on October 7 and were reinforced by United States Army Ambulance Service Section No. 586.6 The 24 G. M. C. ambulances belonging to the division went forward on the morning of October 8, and evacuated approximately 1,000 wounded during the ensuing 24 hours, but by noon of the following day all evacuations from the battalion aid stations were being made by United States Army Ambulance Service Section No. 586, so that the ambulances of the 2d Division which had been operating in front of the triage were relieved. That evening military activities had quieted somewhat, but there was a steady stream of wounded passing through the triage.7 Through-

bFor map of activities of this division for this period, see Plate LI.


868

out the day (October 9) the ambulance company directors of the 2d and 36th Divisions worked in conjunction through the regulating station of the 2d Division, which was located at the triage of that division at Somme-Py. This formation was subjected to heavy fire, and it was believed that it was too near the front. Meanwhile, by 7 p. m. of October 9, Field Hospital No. 143 had established the divisional triage (36th Division) behind a small hill about 1.5 km. (0.9 mile) to the south of Somme-Py on the Suippes—Somme-Py road, and Field Hospital No. 141 was receiving the normal sick at Aulnaysur-Marne. The ambulance section of the sanitary train was moved to the vicinity of the triage during the night, but United States Army Ambulance Service Section No. 586 remained at Somme-Py to evacuate the battalion aid stations. As the personnel of the bearer sections was at this time inactive, it was moved the following morning (October 10) to a still safer location at Souain, where the regulating station for the ambulance service of the 36th Division was now established.8

On the morning of the 10th Field Hospital No. 144 was established near the triage to receive nontransportable wounded, and Field Hospital No. 142, at Ferme de Suippes, 1 km. (0.6 mile) south of Suippes, began to receive the gassed. The triage retained no patients, but evacuated them to either the appropriate field hospital or to Evacuation Hospitals No. 3 or No. 5.9 Field Hospital No. 16 of the 2d Division, about 6 km. (3.7 miles) from Suippes, also cooperated for a short time in the service of the 36th Division. As each loaded ambulance passed the regulating station, about 5 km. (3.1 miles) in rear of the triage, an empty ambulance moved up to the triage, where six ambulances were constantly kept posted.9

On the night of the 12th the triage, still being operated by Field Hospital No. 143, moved to a point 1 km. (0.6 mile) north of Machault, where it was located in the shelter of a railway embankment on the Machault—Leffincourt road. Here it was joined the next day by Field Hospital No. 144 and by Field Hospital No. 142, which was held in reserve.9 Meanwhile, on the 13th a new regulating station with a detachment of ambulances had been established in the suburbs of Machault, on the road to St. Etienne; a few ambulances had been established in the suburbs of Machault, on the road to St. Etienne; a few ambulances had been left at Souain to carry on the regulating station there until the new one was established; and the remainder, except United States Army Ambulance Service Section No. 586, which moved to Dricourt, were parked near the triage.8 The ambulance section was again advanced on the 14th, moving to a point on the Leffincourt—Mont St. Remy road near the fork leading to Dricourt and about 1 km. (0.6 mile) south of this town. Casualties now became so few that the regulating station was discontinued. Until the United States Army Ambulance Service section was withdrawn, October 29, five G. M. C. ambulances were posted at Dricourt, and a few others near the triage, while the others were held in reserve.9

Field Hospital No. 142, now designated to operate the triage, moved to a point 1 km. (0.6 mile) south of Dricourt, on October 13, where it was joined


869

by Field Hospital No. 144, still caring for nontransportables, while Field Hospital No. 143 went into reserve north of Machault. Field Hospital No. 141, having evacuated its patients, moved the next day from Aulnay to a point 2 km. (1.2 miles) north of Machault, where it again received the sick from the division. This disposition continued until the division withdrew on October 29.9

EVACUATIONS IN REAR OF THE 36TH DIVISION

Evacuation Hospital No. 5, at midnight of October 2, received orders to load equipment at daylight and move from Ville-sur-Cousances to La Veuve, where it arrived October 3. It remained here until October 22, when it moved to Staden, in Belgium. During this period it received 236 gassed cases, 299 medical, 1,602 surgical—a total of 2,137, of whom 56 died. While here the enlisted strength was brought up to 340 men.10 This hospital had developed and here utilized the system of "set up" described in Chapter XXXIV, p. 818.

Evacuation Hospital No. 3 arrived at Mont Frenet on October 2, and its most important parts were erected under tentage on the same date. The kitchen, which utilized a paulin stretched over framework made of boughs, was soon serving 1,500 people a day. It was supplemented by a diet kitchen. Officers and nurses occupied British marquee tents and the enlisted personnel shelter tents. The site was level, crossed by a narrow-gauge railway and by a ditch which promoted drainage, though later constant rains made the camp very muddy. An abundant supply of good water was available and a rectangular roadway had already been constructed to afford passage to ambulances. The first 10 days, wounded arrived in large numbers, but were easily cared for, evacuations by hospital trains being provided almost daily. During the third week only a small number of patients were admitted, most of these because of illness, and during the last two weeks of the hospital’s operation here even professional work was practically nil. Total admissions were 5,802, of which 1,402 were received on October 5 and 4,037 in the first 10 days. Total operations were 718, and total deaths 133.11

On October 11, Evacuation Hospital No. 18 arrived at Mont Frenet, when its personnel was split into three groups and assigned for duty with Evacuation Hospital No. 3, Mobile Hospital No. 7, at Ferme de Suippes, and Evacuation Hospital No. 5, at La Veuve. Evacuation Hospital No. 18 did not function as a unit at this station, as its equipment did not begin to arrive until October 23. On November 2 the organization left for St. Mihiel, where it served the 33d Division.12

Mobile Hospital No. 7, in the service of the 2d and 36th Divisions, was located at La Veuve from October 3 to 7, at Ferme de Suippes from the 7th until the 14th, and at Somme-Py from October 15 to November 7.13 A liaison officer for our Medical Department was attached to the French regulating station at Connantre to facilitate the operation of hospital trains and liaison with the medical subsection of the 4th section of the American general staff at Chaumont.14


870

YPRES-LYS (FLANDERS) OPERATION

In October while we were so heavily engaged in the Meuse-Argonne, the commander in chief received a call from Marshal Foch for two American divisions to help the French Sixth Army and the Belgians who were attacking to the extreme north. In answer to this call the 37th and 91st Divisions (the 91st being accompanied by the Artillery of the 28th Division) were sent. On October 30 these divisions entered the line and methodically overcame the enemy’s resistance until they were relieved on November 4. On November 10 they again entered the line and were there when the armistice was signed.15

THE 37TH DIVISION

On October 17 entrainment of the 37th Division was commenced for participation in the Ypres-Lys operation.16 On October 22 division headquarters were established at Hooglede, Belgium, and the division was attached to the French Sixth Army, forming a part of the army group of the King of the Belgians. From Hooglede, successive moves were made to Lichtervelde, Meulebeke, and to Denterwhem. On the night of October 29-30, about 3 km. (1.8 miles) of the front were taken over along the Coutrai—Ghent railroad, just across the Lys River, with Olsene in front.17

On October 31 an attack was launched. The enemy was forced back, and that night the line rested on the crest of Cruyshautem heights. On November 1 the division advanced and established its line on the west bank of the Scheldt River, and on November 2 and 3 the river was crossed and a line established on the east bank, in the face of stubborn opposition.17

The division was relieved on the night of November 4-5, and it retired to the Thielt area. On November 9 it moved up again. Another crossing of the river, this time between the villages of Asper and Heuvel, about 15 km. (9.3 miles) from Ghent, was the task assigned the 37th; the crossing was effected on the 10th, and on the 11th the eastern bank was securely held. The advance continued until 11 a. m., at which time troops had reached Dickele, Zwartenbroek, Bouchaute Farm, and the crossroads about 800 meters (872 yards) southwest of Keerkem.17

MEDICAL DEPARTMENT ACTIVITIES

During the attack of October 31, Ambulance Companies No. 145 and No. 147 were combined and opened a dressing station 1 km. (0.6 mile) east of the Lys, covering the southern half of the divisional sector, while Ambulance Company No. 148 rendered a similar service for the northern half. The next day a station was opened in Olsene by Ambulance Company No. 146 and the station of the Ambulance Companies No. 145 and No. 147 was advanced 10 km. (6.2 miles) to Warande. During the night, contact with the advance element was lost, and the day was spent in clearing the large area covered by the advance. This was no small task, for each farmhouse sheltered some wounded, including allies, civilians, and Germans. The next day this station again


PLATE LII


871

advanced to Ruybroek, 1.5 km. (0.9 mile) from the Escaut, but as this position was found to be too exposed it was replaced by a small advanced station, while the main station returned to the Marollebeek, a small creek paralleling the Escaut, 3 km. (1.8 miles) from the firing line.18 From this time then two stations served the southern half of the sector, sending their litter bearers forward in advance of the regimental detachments, and bringing in wounded from beyond the river. The main station in this sector remained open until after the division was relieved. Meanwhile Ambulance Company No. 148 had opened a sorting and distributing station on the line of the axis of liaison at Wannegem-Lede. All these stations were frequently under fire, for the terrain was very flat and no shelter was obtainable.19

Field Hospital No. 145, operating the triage, was located at Denterghem, 3 km. (1.8 miles) from the line, Field Hospital No. 47 receiving surgical cases at Meulebeke and Field Hospital No. 146 at Thielt. Each of these latter was about 10 km. (6.2 miles) to the rear, and served in effect as way stations on the line of evacuation to Evacuation Hospital No. 5, at Staden, 40 km. (24.8 miles) from the front. Field Hospital No. 148, at first held in reserve at Denterghem, was advanced, October 31, to Cruyshautem, near the second objective of the attack. The coordination and rapidity of evacuation was such that within 24 hours after receipt of wounded, casualties other than nontransportables were either on a hospital train or awaiting its arrival.19

In the second phase of the division’s activities, the triage was established at Thielt and the relatively few casualties which occurred during this operation were removed to that formation by the morning of November 11.18

THE 91ST DIVISIONc

On October 16 the 91st Division entrained for Belgium, and upon its arrival, on the 18th, was placed at the disposal of the army group of the King of the Belgians; it was assigned to the French Seventh Army Corps, French Sixth Army, on October 28. The division relieved the French 164th Division in line, on October 30, and participated in the Ypres-Lys operation October 30-November 11. During this operation, it took and held Spitaals—Bosschen, a strongly fortified wood, captured the town of Audenarde, and drove the enemy east of the Scheldt River. Commencing on the night of November 3-4, it was relieved by elements of the French 41st Division, and withdrew to the vicinity of Oostroosebeke, with headquarters at that place. On November 8 it passed from the French Seventh Army Corps to the French Thirtieth Army Corps, and entered the front line again on November 10, preparatory to the resumption of the attack and the crossing of the Scheldt.20

MEDICAL DEPARTMENT ACTIVITIES

Until the division had crossed No Man’s Land, Field Hospital No. 362, which had gone forward on October 15, was established at Boesinghe, near Ypres, evacuating to British Casualty Clearing Station No. 36, 3 km. (1.8

cFor map of activities of this division for this period, see Plate LII.


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miles) northwest of Ypres, on the Ypres—Elverdinghe road. As the division moved eastward the other hospitals passed on to Roulers, one being established in Oostniewkerke for a few days.21

During the night of October 30-31, 41 G. M. C. ambulances arrived, having been brought by a detail of the 316th Sanitary Train from Marseille, and the next day, United States Army Ambulance Service Section No. 640, with its 20 Ford ambulances, was relieved from duty with the division. Evacuation from the field hospitals to Evacuation Hospital No. 5, at Staden, was effected by 15 ambulances belonging to the division, supplemented during the last 24 hours in this sector by 5 ambulances from an evacuation ambulance company. During the entire advance evacuation was performed expeditiously, for roads were numerous, not so much congested, nor in such bad condition as in the Meuse-Argonne area, and ambulances habitually brought wounded from the battalion aid stations. All these vehicles were operated from an ambulance head located in the vicinity of the division post control. Bearers from the ambulance companies worked in advance of the regimental stations, bringing wounded to these points.22 On October 31 a detachment of Ambulance Company No. 361 crossed the Lys and established a dressing station on the Sprite—Waereghem road, near a railway crossing. The same date Ambulance Company No. 364 was held in reserve at Oyghem, and the ambulance park was established at Desselghem. Evacuations were made to Field Hospital No. 363, located north of Oyghem, which was supplied with triage and degassing equipment.23 Field Hospital No. 362, for surgical cases, was also located here, while Field Hospital No. 361 was operating in a convent at Roulers. Because of the distance to the evacuation hospitals, it was necessary to perform much more surgical work in divisional units than had been the practice heretofore.24

On November 1, Ambulance Company No. 361 established a station at Waereghem, which moved a few hours later to Leeuwken. Ambulance Companies No. 362 and No. 364 advanced their stations to Wortegem, the ambulance park was established at the crossroads near Chateau Stuivenberghe and Ambulance Company No. 363 was held in reserve at Oyghem. The following day the dressing station of Ambulance Company No. 364 moved to a point near Vondelken and that of Ambulance Company No. 361 to Oycke, the latter sending forward that night to Audenarde personnel for an advance station which was withdrawn November 4. Ambulance Company No. 363, as yet in reserve, moved to Waereghem, where the field hospitals were established, then 6 km. (3.7 miles) from the front line, early on the afternoon of the 2d. On the 3d, Ambulance Company No. 364 established a temporary advanced station staffed by 1 noncommissioned officer and 4 privates, in the neighborhood of Chateau de Mooregem, but in the afternoon the three companies (Nos. 361, 362, and 364) operating stations withdrew all their personnel, except 1 noncommissioned officer and 15 other enlisted men from each company, to Waereghem. These detachments continued to operate the dressing stations until the next day, when the ambulance company section was withdrawn to Oostroosebeke.25


873

Before the division reentered the lines a bathing and disinfesting plant in Oostroosebeke constructed by the Germans was put in repair and as many men as possible were passed through it. November 9 the ambulance section and Field Hospital No. 363 moved to Waereghem. On the 10th, Ambulance Company No. 362 established its station at Chateau Mooregem, Ambulance Company No. 363 at Ruybroek, and advanced during the day across the Scheldt River, Ambulance Company No. 364 at Hemelryk. All of those stations, accompanied by ambulances, were advanced during the day across the Scheldt River, Ambulance Company No. 362 to Audenarde, Ambulance Company No. 363 to Eename, and Ambulance Company No. 364 to a location midway between the former two. Patients from east of the Scheldt were evacuated to the station of Ambulance Company No. 362, and thence carried by litter across a footbridge to a station operated by Ambulance Company No. 361. Here they were again placed in ambulances and sent to Field Hospital No. 363, at Waereghem. The next day these sanitary formations occupied the same sites as formerly, but evacuations from dressing stations were made directly by motor ambulance over the bridge at Audenarde to Field Hospital No. 364 which had been located at that point.62

MEDICAL DEPARTMENT SERVICE INREAR OF THE 37TH AND 91ST DIVISIONS

On the morning of October 24 Evacuation Hospital No. 5 reached Staden, Belgium, where it set up its plant in the vicinity of a French hospital close to the railroad on the outskirts of what remained of the town. Establishment was completed before casualties began to arrive, and assistance was rendered neighboring field units of the Medical Department in erecting their formations. Most of the evacuations, too, were made by divisional ambulances, at times over a distance of 45 km. (27.9 miles). The unit here admitted from the 37th and 91st Divisions and Artillery of the 28th Division, 62 gassed patients, 2,161 medical, 1,695 surgical; total of 3,918, among whom occurred 103 deaths. At one time, because of interruption in hospital train service, the hospital was accommodating 1,420 patients, but was able to evacuate 1,020 the following day. The unit remained at this station until December 9, when it moved to Dunkirk, in the service of the 37th Division.10

REFERENCES

(1) Operations report, September 15, October 9, 2d Division, undated.

(2) Report of Medical Department activities, 2d Division, A. E. F., prepared under the direction of the division surgeon, undated, Part I, 41. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(3) Ibid., Part I, 42.

(4) Ibid., Part I, 44.

(5) Ibid., Part I, 43.

(6) Report of Medical Department activities, 36th Division, A. E. F., prepared under the direction of the division surgeon, undated, Part II, 3. On file, Historical Division. S. G. O.

(7) Ibid., Part I, 3.

(8) Ibid., Part I, 4.

(9) Ibid., Part I, 5.


874

(10) Report of Medical Department activities, Evacuation Hospital No. 5, A. E. F., by Maj. T. J. Leary, M. C., commanding officer, undated. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(11) Report of Medical Department activities, Evacuation Hospital No. 3, A. E. F., prepared under the direction of Lieut. Col. C. M. De Forest, M. C., commanding officer, undated. On file, Historical Division, S. G.  O.

(12) Report of Medical Department activities, Evacuation Hospital No. 18, A. E. F., prepared under the direction of Maj. Junius McHenry, M. C., commanding officer, undated. On file, Historical Division, S. G.  O.

(13) Report of Medical Department activities, Mobile Hospital No. 7, A. E. F., prepared under the direction of Maj. C. G. Heyd, M. C., commanding officer, undated. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(14) Report on activities of G-4-B medical group, fourth section, general staff, G. H. Q., A. E. F., by Col. S. H. Wadhams, M. C., chief of section, December 31, 1918. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(15) Report of the assistant chief of staff, third section, general staff, G. H. Q., A. E. F., undated, 91. Copy on file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(16) F. O. No. 32, 37th Division, October 17, 1918.

(17) Outlines of Histories of Divisions, U. S. Army, 1917-1919, prepared in the Historical Section, the Army War College. On file, the Army War College (1700, 37th Division).

(18) Report of Medical Department activities, 37th Division, A. E. F., prepared under the direction of the division surgeon, undated, Part I, 16. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(19) Ibid., Part I, 17.

(20) Outlines of Histories of Divisions, U. S. Army, 1917-1919, prepared in the Historical Section, the Army War College. On file, the Army War College (1700, 91st Division).

(21) Report of Medical Department activities, 91st Division, A. E. F., prepared under the direction of the division surgeon, undated, 7. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(22) Ibid., 8.

(23) Ibid., 17.

(24) Ibid., 21.

(25) Ibid., 18.

(26) Ibid., 22.