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Headquarters, 134th Medical Group

Contents

HEADQUARTERS, 134TH MEDICAL GROUP

1 JANUARY 1945


ANNUAL REPORT TO THE SURGEON
[1944]

I - RESUME OF PREVIOUS ACTIVITY AND EARLY HISTORY
II - PREPARATION FOR OVERSEAS MOVEMENT
III - EMBARKATION, VOYAGE AND DEBARKATION
IV - ACTIVITIES IN ENGLAND
V - FUNCTIONING IN THE COMBAT ZONE
VI - SITUATION AT CLOSE OF YEAR
VII - SUGGESTION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

EXHIBITS
ANNEXES

I - RESUME OF PREVIOUS ACTIVITY AND EARLY HISTORY

The 134th Medical Regiment was formed as a National Guard Unit in September 1940 by a cadre of personnel from the 102d Medical Regiment. During the period from September 1940 to 27 January 1941, personnel were 5elected from numerous applicants to bring the Regiment up to peace time strength. At the time of Federalization, 27 January 1941, the Regiment consisted of the following companies:

Headquarters and Service Company at Albany, New York
lst Battalion Headquarters at Corning, New York
2d Battalion Headquarters at Syracuse, New York
Company A (Collecting) at Corning, New York
Company D (Ambulance) at Syracuse, New York
Company E (Ambulance) at Syracuse, New York
Company F (Ambulance) at Ticonderoga, New York
Company G (Clearing) at Albany, New York
Company H (Clearing) at Corning, New York

The Regiment was kept on the alert at the various locations in New York until 11 February 1941 when the companies moved to Fort Bragg, North Carolina. On 1 May 1941 the Regiment was increased to war time strength receiving 433 enlisted men from the induction center, Camp Upton, New York and activating three new companies, namely, Company B (Collecting), Company C (Collecting) and Company I (Clearing).

In May 1942 the Regiment was reorganized on authority from the War Department designating the following units:

Headquarters and Service Company
1st Battalion
Company A (Collecting)
Company B (Collecting)
Company C (Collecting)
Company D (Clearing)
2d Battalion
Company E (Collecting)
Company F (Collecting)
Company G (Collecting)
Company H (Clearing)

The Regiment was kept below authorized strength for months. Three cadres were provided and many filler replacements were sent to other Medical units. Cadres were formed to activate the 30th Medical Regiment at Camp Barkley, Texas, the 69th Medical Regiment at Camp Maxey, Texas and the Medical Detachment of an Ordnance Battalion at Camp Sutton, North Carolina.

During October and November of 1942 the Regiment received approximately 1100 recruits from reception centers. This marked the beginning of the various phases of training which was hoped would lead to an eventual overseas assignment.


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The Regiment participated in the North and South Carolina maneuvers 0f the First United States Army in 1941, the Second Army maneuvers in 1942 and again in 1943.

It was during the 1943 maneuvers that the Regiment was reorganized into a Medical Group. Reorganization was effective 15 September 1943 and the following units were activated on that dates:

Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment 134th Medical Group
Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment 179th Medical Battalion
Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment 180th Medical Battalion
461st Medical Collecting Company
462d Medical Collecting Company
463d Medical Collecting Company
464th Medical Collecting Company
465th Medical Collecting Company
466th Medical Collecting Company
621st Medical Clearing Company
622d Medical Clearing Company
664th Medical Clearing Company

On 19 November 1943 the Group Headquarters and attached units less 461st Medical Collecting Company and 466th Medical Collecting Company were alerted to move to Camp Tyson, Tennessee. Units arrived at Camp Tyson (Staging Area) on 1 December 1943.

II - PREPARATION FOR OVERSEAS MOVEMENT

At the start of the year the 134th Medical Group was located at Camp Tyson, Tennessee preparing for movement overseas. Units attached to the Group at that tine were:

Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment 179th Medical Battalion
Headquarters and Headquarter8 Detachment 190th Medical Battalion
462d Medical Collecting Company
463d Medical Collecting Company
464th Medical Collecting Company
465th Medical Collecting Company
621st Medical Clearing Company
622d Medical Clearing Company
664th Medical Clearing Company

All units were under the jurisdiction of 16th Detachment, Special Troops, Second Army and all preparations for overseas movement was under their supervision. Administrative details consumed a large share of the time spent in the staging area. Personnel records had to be checked, allotments prepared, and insurance applications processed. Personnel unqualified for extended overseas service were transferred into the POM pool at Camp Tyson, and suitable replacements were requisitioned.

In the early stages of preparation at Camp Tyson all activity in Supply was directed toward bringing units to 100% of Table of Equipment


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and having all equipment fully combat serviceable. When word was received from the War Department that all units would travel under the provisions of paragraph 4k of POM immediate steps were taken to turn in all but minimum housekeeping equipment. While all units had received training in movement with full equipment and in fact were ready to depart in such a manner, this change in movement orders helped in a large measure to relieve much of the work at the staging area, making more time available in equipping individuals properly and greater attention placed on administrative details as a result of the lessened supply problem. The benefits of traveling to an overseas destination with only minimum essential equipment is heartily endorsed by all concerned.

In addition to the hard work of getting all unite in administrative order, a regular schedule of classes was conducted, and. a rigorous physical hardening program was carried out. All men not yet subjected to the overhead firing course were made to complete the course before departure. Classes were conducted covering POM (Preparation for Overseas Movement) and IOI (Identification of Impedimentia) for all officers and key enlisted men.

While at Camp Tyson all personnel were housed in comfortable, well heated buildings. Recreation facilities on the post were excellent. No problems were encountered in venereal disease control, sewage and waste disposal or insect control.

During the end of the stay at Camp Tyson routine inspections were held by representatives from the War Department, Headquarters Second Army and 16th Detachment, Special Troops. The 134th Medical Group was highly complimented by all inspectors for its state of training, administrative standards and for its housekeeping while at Camp Tyson.

On 16 December 1943 an advance party consisting of 6 officers and 6 enlisted men left Camp Tyson, Tennessee. This advance detachment left the New York port of Embarkation on 2 January 1944 and arrived at Henley-on-Thames, England, 11 January 1944. The mission of this detail was to prepare for the arrival of the main body of troops by securing billets, drawing rations and essential equipment.

On 10 January 1944 the 621st Medical Clearing Company, 622d Medical Clearing Company and the 664th Medical Clearing Company departed Camp Tyson, Tennessee for Camp Shanks, New York. On 14 January 1944 Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment 134th Medical Group and the following units departed by train for Camp Kilmer, New Jersey:

Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment 179th Medical Battalion
Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment 180th Medical Battalion
463d Medical Collecting Company
464th Medical Collecting Company
466th Medical Collecting Company

The train trip was well planned and proved to be a comfortable journey. Pullman accommodations were available for all personnel and excellent food was prepared in the baggage car provided for this purpose.


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The train arrived at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey at 0310 on 16 January 1944 and personnel were immediately billetted an allowed to rest, billets at Camp Khmer were well heated and comfortable, though crowded. Final physical inspections were held and processing of all personnel was completed of the second day. Twelve hour passes were issued to 50% of the command at all times during the remainder of the stay at Camp Khmer. All of the personnel took advantage of and enjoyed the recreation facilities thus afforded. Upon arrival at Camp Kilmer it was found that, not only were the three departed clearing companies no longer considered a part of the Group, but all units which had arrived with the headquarters were in the same category. This situation was never clarified, because orders were never received relieving the units from attachment to Group Headquarters. Thus upon arrival at the Port of Embarkation and until reaching base camp in the United Kingdom the 134th Medical Group Headquarters was without attached units. This method of separate units proceeding overseas by themselves proved to be a very simple and efficient procedure, for what otherwise would have been a cumbersome and complicated task.

On 7 February 1944 an advance party boarded the large British passenger ship “Andes”, and on 8 February 1944 the remainder of the detachment went aboard.

III - EMBARKATION, VOYAGE AND DEBARKATION

The British passenger liner “Andes” sailed out of New York harbor on 9 February 1944 with Headquarters 134th Medical Group, Headquarters 179th Medical Battalion and many other troops aboard, amounting to a total of over 5000 passengers. The ship was severely overcrowded and large number of enlisted men were “double loaded”. Food served during the voyage was cooked in British style and only two meals a day were served. The ships canteen was open during most of the voyage and did much to afford, extra comforts. Daily boat drill was held and all men were soon well versed in emergency muster. The voyage was without incident and except for three days of rough seas everything went along very well.

The ship arrived in Liverpool harbor on 17 February 1944 and disembarkation took place the next day. The Headquarters traveled by special train to Reading and were met there by members of the advance party and then transported by truck to the new station at Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England.

IV - ACTIVITIES IN ENGLAND

Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment 134th Medical Group arrived at Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England on 19 February 1944. Headquarters was established in the village armory. The 134th Medical Group was assigned to First United States Army, and the units attached to the Group at this time were as follows:

Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment 179th Medical Battalion
Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment 180th Medical Battalion


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621st Medical Clearing Company
622d Medical Clearing Company
633d Medical Clearing Company
463d Medical Collecting Company
464th Medical Collecting Company
465th Medical Collecting Company
501st Medical Collecting Company
502d Medical Collecting Company

All personnel were billeted in various buildings throughout the town. Headquarters were comfortable and adequate. Orientation lectures were given to all personnel and rules of censorship were stressed.

Immediately upon arrival Colonel WILHITE, Commanding Officer, 134th Medical Group, reported to the Surgeon, First United States Army and was given the general plan of operation and contemplated training for Medical Units of First United States Army.

Soon after arrival arrangements were made with Southern Base Section, European Theater of Operations, United States army, for the release of organizational equipment. The drawing of equipment, and outfitting of each unit presented a big problem, and required the continual effort of all concerned until the actual time for departure to the continent. Some of the problems encountered in Supply in the United Kingdom were the great distances between depots and between units and depots, time wasted at depots due to great volume of supplies being issued, shortages of major essential items of equipment, and shortages of certain minor items, especially cleaning and preserving materials. Due to the fact that many major items of equipment were not released until shortly before departure for the continent, a tremendous amount of work bad to be done in a very short time. The problem of supply was of primary concern to all commanders and finally after many weeks of hard work by supply personnel, all units were able to depart for combat with 100% of major items of equipment.

On 7 March 1944 in accordance with Army Surgeons plan to establish “Special Purpose” Medical Groups for operations on the. Continent the 134th Medical Group was reformed into a “Clearing Company” Group. The following units were attached to conform to the new policy:

Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment 177th Medical Battalion
Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment 180th Medical Battalion
617th Medical Clearing Company
618th Medical Clearing Company
621st Medical Clearing Company
622d Medical Clearing Company
633d Medical clearing Company
662d Medical Clearing Company

At this time Group Headquarters moved to Castlemans, a fine, old country mansion owned by Sir John Dill, and located on the London Road, about six miles southwest of Maidenhead. The headquarters building was


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found to be in shabby and run down condition. Much effort was spent in cleaning the house and grounds, and eventually the area became neat and respectable. A great many commendations were received from the British Area Engineers for the change in appearance of what had been an eyesore to them, and for the manner in which the area was kept up from then on. It was the experience of this Group that the British officials were very cooperative, anxious to be of assistance, and friendly at all times.

During its four month stay in England, although every day presented flew problems and there was much to be completed, each and every person of the command will speak with enthusiasm that their sojurn [sojourn] in the United Kingdom was enjoyable and a great experience. English hospitality was unstinting, and very soon after arrival most men were acquainted with private families.

Passes were allowed on a liberal scale and all personnel took full advantage of this privilege. Passes to London were issued on a limited scale due to the lack of sufficient billets, however, nearly all the men managed to visit the city during the course of our stay. Organized parties visited such places of interest as Windsor Castle and Stratford-on-Avon. Dances held in nearby villages, a wide range of movie entertainment in local cinemas and Special Service sponsored movies, and opportunities for relaxation and sports along the Thames, provided in full measure all the recreation and entertainment necessary for the morale of the men.

The training program instituted immediately after arrival in the United Kingdom by Group Headquarters was based primarily on individual specialist training. All the attached units had undergone extensive periods of tactical training in. the United States and so it was planned to stress the treatment of the sick and wounded in the training of the individual soldier.

In April the 622d Medical Clearing Company was designated a provisional Exhaustion Center. Plans were made to expand and equip it to operate two platoons at 250 bed capacity each. A special training course was organized for personnel of the 622d Medical Clearing Company and for personnel of the neuropsychiatric sections of Evacuation Hospitals who were to augment the 622d Medical Clearing Company. The course lasted two weeks and was conducted by Major HARRY G. RAINEY and Major PHILLIP WAGNER, psychiatrists attached from the 128th and 45th Evacuation Hospitals respectively.

Quotas for officers to attend special courses in Neuropsychiatry, Plaster Technic, Bomb Disposal and Waterproofing of vehicles were utilized, and techniques learned were relayed to other members of the command in scheduled classes.

Two hours weekly were devoted to officer’s classes in which a wide variety of training was promoted. There were nearly 100 medical officers in the command during that time, and frequent clinical Pathological Conferences were conducted for their benefit.


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In the latter part of May great emphasis was placed on training in waterproofing of vehicles and in loading of vehicles for overseas movement. It was found that the loading of organizational equipment and as many personnel as possible on organizational transportation involved a considerable overload of vehicles. However the short period of overloading and. distance to be traveled to the marshalling area resulted in no damage to the vehicles.

During the latter part of May Colonel WILHITE was summoned to First Army Headquarters for final briefing. Final preparations were rushed to completion and all units were ready to go when movement orders were finally received.

On 14 rune 1944 the 621st Medical Clearing Company and the 622d. Medical Clearing Company left for the marshalling area. Colonel WIJ2ITE accompanied these units so as to be able to coordinate their operation immediately upon arrival on the beach with Army Headquarters and to plan for the arrival of later units. Headquarters Detachment, 134th Medical Group left on 18 June 1944 for the marshalling area.

The trip to the marshalling area was uneventful, and after a stay of only one day the unit embarked on an LCT. Due to the storms in the channel the ship remained in harbor for three days, but then on 22 June 1944 the LCT pulled out into the channel as part of a large convoy and sailed for the coast of France. The channel crossing was made without serious mishaps and the convoy arrived off the Normandy beach 23 June 1944.

V - FUNCTIONING IN THE COMBAT ZONE

Group Headquarters landed on 23 June 1944 on Utah beach, and was met there by Colonel WILHITE. After dewaterproofing at the designated area, the unit proceeded in convoy to a bivouac area at Ste. Mere Eglise, Normandy, France.

The report of operations of the 134th Medical Group on the Continent is divided into three phases:

PHASE I - The period from 23 June 1944 to 20 September 1944. The mission of the Group during this period was supervision and control of all First Army Clearing Stations, including two Exhaustion Centers.

PHASE II - The period from 10 September 1944 to 17 December 1944. The mission of the group during this period was the responsibility for all evacuation within, a specific vertical sector, operation of Field Hospitals Supporting Division Clearing Stations and operation of an
Army Clearing Company.

PHASE III - The period from 17 December 1944 to 31 December 1944 - the period of the German counter-offensive against the First United States.


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The first units of the Group to land were the 621st and 622d Medical Clearing Companies which disembarked in Normandy on 17 June 1944. The remainder of the companies arrived separately during the next few days.

Immediately upon arrival in Normandy the 622d Medical Clearing Company proceeded to open two stations, one in Bernesq at Omaha Beach and one at Ste. Mere Eglise at Utah beach. The Evacuation Hospitals which had been established earlier had kept on hand a large backlog of Exhaustion Cases which they immediately transferred into the 622d Medical Clearing Company. With noteworthy diligence and ingenuity the company met the situation and solved the problem satisfactorily. The exhaustion casualty rate far exceeded all advance estimates and it was soon obvious that it would be necessary to have at least two clearing companies performing this work and so the 618th Medical Clearing Company took over the station operating in Bernesq. During the extensive and bitter fighting prior to the St. Lo breakthrough, and especially immediately after the commitment of untried divisions, the exhaustion rate reached extreme heights. At one time one . station alone bad over 1200 patients. It was necessary at such times to augment the stations with platoons from other clearing companies. It had been planned to maintain as far as possible an Exhaustion Center on each flank of the Army. However, after the St Lo break-through, due to the long distances involved, and rapid movement, and the problem of moving the bulky equipment of the expanded clearing companies, it was necessary to follow a general policy of leapfrogging the stations. After the closing of the Falaise-Argentan gap, the exhaustion casualty rate dropped to a negligible figure, and it was only after the line stabilized near the German-Belgium border that an increase in patient census reoccurred.

On the 18th of June the 621st Medical Clearing Company was ordered to establish an air holding station just east of Ste. Mere Eglise. For several days following, due to the storm in the channel, sea evacuation could not be effected and all evacuation from the continent was made by air through this holding strip. The number of patients going through the station was so large that it sorely taxed the ability of the unit to keep proper records. Personnel were sent from Group Headquarters to aid in this respect. This station was closed on 2 July 1944, and after that such stations were operated by unite of Advance Section Communication Zone.

The companies other than the two Exhaustion Hospitals largely performed augmentation duties. The most frequent assignment during the first month was the augmentation of overloaded Evacuation and Field Hospitals.

The 664th Medical Clearing Company, which had originally been formed from the 134th Medical Regiment, was attached from Third Army for the month of July, and was detailed to augment the 83d Division Clearing Company. This was at the time of the 83d Division's drive through the swamps south of Carentan and. the casualty rate was terrific. The 664th Medical Clearing Company performed its missions in a highly commendable manner and it was gratifying to have them back in the Group even for such a short period.


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During the long trek across France after the break-through at St. Lo, several Clearing Company platoons were committed to hold non-transportable patients remaining in Evacuation. Hospitals and Field Hospitals when they were ready to move forward. This created a condition in which units of the command were spread over far too wide an area for effective control and support from Group Headquarters.

On 15 August 1944, Headquarters 177th Medical Battalion was transferred out of the Group leaving only one Battalion Headquarters in the command. Because of the fact that there was only one battalion headquarters in the command and in order to simplify control over units over such a wide area, a policy was established putting units of the Group within specific “control area”. This was promulgated in Memorandum #32, dated 2 September 1944, copy attached as Exhibit “A”. This proved to be a highly satisfactory solution, and though later rescinded because of the reorganized set-up established in September, it would be appropriate for use under similar situations in the future.

On 14 September 1944 the 618th Medical Clearing Company in addition to receiving exhaustion patients, was designated a transfer point to which patients were sent from hospitals for evacuation by Advance Section Communication Zone. This was at the high point of the difficulty in. moving Evacuation Hospitals forward as a result of the tremendous distances involved and inadequate transportation. All available hospitals had to be used as such, and the rate of casualties far exceeded the handling capacity of the 618th Medical Clearing Company. This condition lasted but a few days and the 618th Medical Clearing Company subsequently resumed its mission as an Exhaustion Center.

On 7 September 1944 the 662d Medical Clearing Company was alerted for an undisclosed mission and on 17 September 1944 moved to Louvain, Belgium under orders to report to the Commanding General of the British Headquarters for “temporary duty of approximately three weeks”. Its mission proved to be in support of the task force operating in conjunction with the airborne landings in Holland a few days later. This company never returned to Group control.

This following is a chronological list of stations of Group Headquarters during the “First Phase”, 23 June to 21 September 1944:

23 June 1944 - Ste. Mere Eglise, France
1 Aug 1944 - St. Giles, France
11 Aug 1944 - Fontenermont, France
24 Aug 1944 - Senonches, France
4 Sep 1944 - La Capelle, France
13 Sep 1944 - Ouffet, Belgium
15 Sep 1944 - Eupen, Belgium

In September, because of the confusion existing at the time as to the actual extent of the progress of our troops, a series of situation summaries, with appropriate maps, was published for the guidance of all concerned. A copy of the one published for 8 September 1944 is attached as Exhibit “B”.


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Since the first landing on the Normandy beach the morning BBC Newscast has been transcribed, reproduced and regularly distributed to all units of the command. A copy of one is attached as “Exhibit “C”.

SUPPLY AND MOTOR TRANSPORTATION

The initial policy set up on supply was as follows:

Class I and III Supplies were drawn separately by each company.

Class II and IV Supplies were consolidated by Battalion Supply Officers.

Requirements for all controlled items were submitted through and by the Group Supply Officer.

Our companies were scattered at wide intervals over both beaches so that consolidated drawing of rations, gasoline and oil was not feasible. Dumps of these items operated by Army were quite numerous and were easily accessible to all units.

The greatest problem in Supply concerned the equipping and maintenance of the two Exhaustion Centers. The tremendous overload each Exhaustion Center was forced to carry caused many supply problems. In this case and as proven throughout the entire campaign, the cooperation of higher headquarters was 100% and they managed in the end to alleviate the deficiency in supply and allow the units to function without any further handicap.

During the rapid advance through France the problems arising from rapidly changing locations of Supply Depots, and great distances involved in drawing supplies presented a real challenge to the supply sections of all units. However, the only real serious problem that arose was an acute shortage of gasoline, which nevertheless was eliminated in time to prevent any loss of mobility.

Direct responsibility for drawing supplies and maintaining supply discipline in subordinate units was delegated to each Battalion and only matters of other than routine nature were handled by the Group S-4.

Because the vehicles authorized by Tables of Equipment were not 8uffioient to move the expanded units shuttling and pooling of vehicles in the Group were the only means at hand to move forward.

PHASE II:

CORPS MEDICAL SERVICE

On about 19 September 1944 the Army Surgeon determined that the most practical allocation of responsibilities was to charge each Group Headquarters with all evacuation within vertical sectors, divided normally


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along Corps boundaries. The 134th Medical Group lost all Clearing Companies except the 617th Medical Clearing Company, and in addition to retaining Headquarters 180th Medical Battalion, had attached to it the following units:

Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment 179th Medical Battalion
450th Medical Collecting Company
452d Medical Collecting Company
464th Medical Collecting Company
479th Medical Ambulance Company
583d Medical ambulance Company
546th Medical Ambulance Company
575th Medical Ambulance Company
42d Field Hospital
47th Field Hospital

In addition the headquarters was given tactical control of the 44th and 67th Evacuation Hospitals as sector installations. This tactical control included authority to utilize the 20 2 ½-ton trucks with trailers assigned to each Evacuation Hospital. This pool of vehicles proved to be a valuable aid in moving specific units. The Evacuation Hospitals moved only infrequently so that all available vehicles were able to be utilized to move Field Hospitals and other installations. It has been proven that the Tables of Organization transportation of a Field Hospital amounting to only one vehicle per Hospital Unit is a serious hindrance and in our experience could only be alleviated by a truck pool such as was maintained. Number of 2 ½-ton trucks with trailers to move one Hospital Unit varied from 12 to 15.

The mission of the Group in this revised procedure can be briefly 5ummarized as “Medical Service in Rear of V Corps”. Memorandum from the Surgeon’s Office was published explaining in. detail the resultant changes in policy, copy attached as Exhibit “D”. The mission given to Battalion Headquarters within the Group was similarly along vertical lines. Initially, for example, they were as follows:

179th Medical Battalion - Support 5th Armored and 28th Infantry Divisions, augment 67th Evacuation. Hospital.

180th Medical Battalion - Support 4th Infantry Division and V Corps Clearing Station; evacuate sector Evacuation Hospitals; augment 44th Evacuation Hospital.

To each Battalion was attached a Collecting Company, two Ambulance Companies and a Field Hospital.

One Collecting Company and the Clearing Company were attached to Group Headquarters and direct supervision. was maintained over them. This method of attachment remained in effect throughout the period.

Initially upon taking over the new sector, Group Headquarters moved


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to Wincrange, Luxembourg, a few miles East of Bastogne, Belgium. At the end of September the V Corps sector shifted to the North and Group Headquarters moved on 1 October 1944 to Malmedy, Belgium. This was the first time buildings were utilized for headquarters and billets for personnel. From that time until the middle of September the Group supported all Divisions attached to V Corps, namely the 9th, 99th, 8th, 78th and 2d Infantry Divisions and 9th Armored CCB. The greatest number of divisions supported during this period at one time was four infantry divisions and four armored combat commands. The method of sector control of evacuation by Medical Groups worked excellently, presenting no major problems, whether the situation was holding or offensive.

The normal detail of ambulances on routine missions was one platoon (10) ambulances per Division Clearing Station or Armored Treatment Point. This amount was sometimes reduced during inactive periods and augmented during more active periods. During periods of rapid movement, the ten ambulances detailed to the treatment of a combat command is necessary not so much because of heavy casualties, but for maintaining contact when locations change frequently and suddenly.

While in operation Evacuation Hospitals invariably required augmentation by litter bearers. Normally this was accomplished by attaching part or all of a litter platoon from a Collecting Company. On 7 December however, in order to make 1itter bearers in Collecting Companies available for augmentation of divisions, this support of Evacuation Hospitals was provided by attaching to it litter bearers from inactive Communication Zone hospitals. This was an adequate solution to the problem, although some personnel difficulties arose from this attachment.

At the start of the period, evacuation of the Evacuation Hospitals was effected by Group ambulances, but on 23 October this was taken over by a Medical Battalion of Advance Section Communication Zone and was continued by this means from then on.

When the Group first took over V Corps sector, the 45th Field Hospital was operating at Bastogne, Belgium in a semi-Evacuation Hospital capacity in accordance with the Army policy which bad been followed for the preceding month. When Group took over the 42d and 45th Field Hospitals this was changed to the policy of using Hospital Units only for support of Division Clearing Stations. If it was indicated, and feasible, a Field Hospital platoon was stationed or in close proximity to each Division Clearing Station, particularly when an offensive action was imminent. After the end of September it became advisable to locate in buildings due to increasing bad weather. The problem of finding suitable buildings to house hospital units proved to be difficult and the situation was not improved when the full cooperation of supported divisions could not always be obtained. For an extended period the action was purely defensive, and therefore a Hospital Unit located in Waimes, Belgium was used in support of two Division Clearing Stations which were several miles forward. About the 21st of October the 42d Field


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Hospital was transferred to the 64th Medical Group to support VIII Corps and the 47th Field Hospital was attached to the 134th Medical Group in its place. Activity on the front was generally quiet and rarely were there more than two Field Hospital platoons in operation at one time.

On 13 December 1944, V Corps commenced an offensive to secure the dams on the Roer River South of Duren. To support the attack, a Field Hospital platoon was located at Don Butgenbach, Belgium and another Field Hospital platoon was established at Roetgen, Germany, each in support of two divisions, and the Hospital Unit at Waimes, Belgium remained in operation.

The 617th Medical Clearing Company opened an Army Clearing Station in Malmedy, Belgium, 25 October 1944. In addition to normal function as such this station was used to absorb overflow of short term patients from Corps and Division Clearing Stations.

The two sector Evacuation Hospitals were located shortly after October 1st in Malmedy, Belgium. The casualty rate however, was so low until the end of the phase that during most of the time each Hospital was open only on alternate days and their patient census ran normally around 100. After the start of the offensive on 13 December 1944, however, the surgical backlog in both hospitals was so high that ambulances were by-passed to Evacuation Hospitals in Eupen.

When the offensive began and both evacuation Hospitals were in operation it became necessary to operate an ambulance control point to direct the flow of ambulances and patients. At this time it was round practical to dispatch 50 patients at a time to each Hospital, their facilities being equal. On an earlier occasion when a control point was operated for the three hospitals in Eupen, it was found necessary to adjust the patient flow in accordance with each hospital’s facilities for surgery, admission space and bed capacity. The method of sending fifty patients at a time is suitable normally as it gives each hospital a period of activity and then a space of time in which to organize its records and its operating schedule and a short breathing period.

SUPPLY AND MOTOR TRANSPORTATION

The supply situation for this period was a relatively simple matter, with supply depots static and in close proximity to most units. There were no serious deficiencies encountered, except for the acute shortage of tires and tubes.

Motor transportation problems were solved by the Group truck pool. It became increasingly hard to obtain spare parts for vehicles, and Ordnance Maintenance Companies were generally so overburdened with repair jobs that repair of vehicles by ordnance units became a slow process.

PHASE III

CORPS MEDICAL SERVICE

The V Corps offensive to capture the Roer River dams had been in


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progress for three days when, in the early morning hours of 16 December, the American held road centers of St. Vith, Malmedy, and Eupen were heavily shelled by long range 170 mm guns. Army G-2 had for several days preceding commented on an unusual degree of enemy activity opposite the VIII Corps front, and on the 16th of December a counterattack against the 99th Division which constituted the right flank of our offensive, was reported. The attack was also launched against the VIII Corps on our right.

Group Headquarters was located in Malmedy together with several units of the Group. Just about 0100 of the 17th the Army Surgeon’s Office called and asked that an immediate investigation be made of reports of “an unusual situation on our right”. An officer immediately went forward and contacted the Division Surgeons of the 2d and 99th Divisions which were in the threatened area, but they reported the situation well under control, though one reported a rumor that a document captured during the previous day indicated it to be “D-Day” of a great German offensive.

Much air activity, artillery and continuous sounds of tracked vehicles moving were heard the remainder of the night. Just before daylight word was received that the road from Malmedy to Eupen had been cut by paratroopers.

Authority was obtained to withdraw the Field Hospital platoon which had been installed at Dom Butgenbach, and sufficient trucks therefore, were dispatched from the 44th Evacuation Hospital. Before their arrival, however, it was found that all personnel and patients but no equipment had been evacuated a short time before because of the approach of the Germans. Authority was then obtained to withdraw the Field Hospital at Waimes and the trucks again departed just before noon. Only the Battalion Headquarters personnel and surgical teams got out of Waimes before the road to Malmedy was cut from the South. That platoon and the Battalion Commander and S-3 remained in Waimes until the following day when an AA unit entered and outposted the town to permit its evacuation Northward. In the meantime two Germans had entered and were preparing to move the trucks and personnel out as prisoners when they were driven, out by the approaching Americans. All of the personnel and much of the equipment were saved.

Shortly after 1300 small arms and 88 mm fire could be beard on the outskirts of Malmedy. The Army Surgeon, by telephone, ordered Group Headquarters to evacuate. This was done about 1530 in the afternoon, and the new CP opened in Spa a short time later.

Communication Zone ambulances on duty at the two Evacuation Hospitals departed in the middle of the afternoon and the remaining evacuation of patients was done by Group ambulances and ty [sic] trucks. Transportation to move the two evacuation Hospitals and the Clearing Company was inadequate. With the help of empty trucks, commandeered after being turned around at our road block in the Southern exit from Malmedy, all personnel and patients were evacuated during that and the


15

following day, together with most of the equipment of the Clearing Company.

The Germans were stopped at Malmedy and never entered the town but moved West and on the 18th stormed Stavelot which is only a few miles south of Spa. All installations in Spa began to withdraw, and Group Headquarters and all the units of the Group then located at Spa moved out in the afternoon and stopped for a few hours at Beaufaye. Shortly after midnight they moved on and established in Huy in the early morning of 19 December.

Throughout the entire period the 179th Medical Battalion, which was supporting the divisions on the left flank of the Corps, continued normal operations, the only change being the movement of Battalion Headquarters from Malmedy to Verviers. The 180th Medical Battalion continued to support the divisions on the right flank, but communications and contact were poor or non-existent. Fortunately the 2d Division had been strongly augmented with ambulances for their offensive, but even this was not entirely sufficient during the critical period.

On the 19th the two divisions on our left flank, 8th and 78th, were transferred to VII Corps by moving the Corps boundary to the right flank of the 78th Division. This relieved the 179th Medical Battalion of evacuation of these two divisions, and they took over support of the 2d and 99th Divisions from the l80th Medical Battalion, and picked up the 1st and 9th Divisions which moved into that area during the 19th and 20th. The 180th Medical Battalion picked up the 30th Division and the 82d Airborne Division which had moved in to contain the Northwestern part of the salient, and on the 20th it picked up the 3d Armored Division which had moved down from the North to the sector.

The 180th Medical Battalion had been supporting the 9th Armored CCB when they were expecting to attack in the Elsenborn area. When this combat command moved South early on the 17th to join the 106th Division the sector supported by the 64th Medical Group, only five ambulances were sent with it. It went into action in the St. Vith area almost immediately and within a short time all of the ambulances had been dispatched with patients. Before any of them could return and maintain contact the German thrust had cut the road and contact was not reestablished with this treatment point for several days until the 64th Medical Group eventually found them.

On 21 December the XVIII Corps became operational, and the 180th Medical Battalion was placed in support. The 179th Medical Battalion. took over support of V Corps which had a reduced sector. V Corps now included the 84th Division. The Group was augmented by the attachment of additional companies to make a total of six Collecting Companies and six Ambulance Companies. The largest part of this augmentation was attached to the 180th Medical Battalion because of the larger number of units supported. The remnants of the 106th Infantry Division all of the 7th Armored Division joined XVIII Corps on 23 and 24 December.


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The situation appeared to be stabilizing on 21 December and Group Headquarters moved forward again to Verviers.

Stavelot was quickly recaptured by the 30th Division so on 20 December a Field Hospital platoon was reopened at Spa to support it. To support the 106th Division and 82d Airborne a Field Hospital platoon was opened on 24December at Werbomont. The German offensive, however, was still gaining ground and that same night the Clearing Stations and our Field Hospital platoon had to withdraw Northwest and establish in the vicinity of Hornay.

On the same day VII Corps which had been the left flank of First Army was relieved from its sector by Ninth Army and moved in on the right of XVIII Corps with 84th and 75th Infantry and 2d Armored Division.

On 25 December First Army initiated the policy of withdrawal of bulky and reserve units to the West bank of the Meuse River. In accordance with this the Clearing Company all uncommitted portions of Field Hospitals and other Companies were moved to an area generally about 15 to 20 miles west of Liege.

5th Armored Division again entered the V Corps sector and the support was taken over by the 179th Medical Battalion.

On 27 December the 68th Medical Group which supported VII Corps throughout relieved the 134th Medical Group of evacuation of all of XVIII Corps except the 30th Division. The relief took place over a period of several days and during the transition, 179th Medical Battalion continued full support of V corps. On 30 December then, the 180th Medical Battalion relieved the 179th Medical Battalion of support of the 1st Division which was on V Corps right flank, and contained [continued] to support the 30th Division.

To support the troops on the Northwestern end of the front the 102d Evacuation Hospital was opened on 21 December. Within a few days two of the three Evacuation Hospitals in Eupen were moved back to bivouac in the concentration area west of Liege. From 17 December when the 44th and 67th Evacuation Hospitals closed in Malmedy, until 25 December when the 128th evacuation Hospital opened in Verviers, the lack of Army hospitals in the area between Eupen and Huy made it necessary for a large number of patients to be evacuated direct to the 77th Evacuation Hospital in Verviers, a Communications Zone transfer point. Hospital trains and Communications Zone ambulance evacuation succeeded in providing uninterrupted evacuation of patients to the Communications Zone. This, despite the fact that a total evacuation policy was in effect. The situation was further relieved when the 97th Evacuation Hospital opened in Verviers 28 December.

This phase covered the period of greatest activity in the 134th Medical Group during the entire campaign on the continent. The sudden success of the offensive and the calculated activities of the German agents in American uniforms produced considerable confusion throughout the area of the offensive. And yet with very few exceptions and then only for very short periods full medical support to all divisions was continuous throughout. Decentralized direct responsibility for evacuation was the only means


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by which this degree of success could have been achieved. It is the only situation of its nature known to this headquarters, which provided a crucial test of First Army's policy of utilization of Medical Groups. This policy now appears to be amply justified.

Many incidents accompanied this phase. Two companies of the Group had personnel killed in the notorious massacre south of Malmedy on 17 December. Three or four ambulances which this personnel operated were burned at the same place.

On the 18th 617th Medical Clearing Company suffered heavy casualties in killed and wounded in an air attack while in convoy moving out of Spa.

VI - SITUATION AT CLOSE OF YEAR

At the close of the year Headquarters 134th Medical Group was located in Verviers, Belgium, with the following attached units:

Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment 179th Medical Battalion
45th Field Hospital
422d Medical Collecting Company
452d Medical Collecting Company
457th Medical Collecting Company
546th Ambulance Company
583d Ambulance Company
Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment 180th Medical Battalion.
464th Medical Collecting Company
482d Medical Collecting Company
575th Ambulance Company
47th Field Hospital
617th Medical Clearing Company

Throughout the year in addition to the specific missions assigned to the headquarters there were many other services performed by the Group. Among these was the operation of messenger and courier service to Army for all medical units being supported down to an including division periodic Reports were submitted by telephone twice daily for all operating Medical installations of the sector.

A daily Unit Report was inaugurated on the 25th of September which was enthusiastically received by higher headquarters and all subordinate units, copy attached as “Exhibit E”. The purpose of this Unit Report was to present in concise form an up to the minute picture of the tactical situation, disposition of units and contemplated changes, Intelligence, Supply and personnel matters. Distribution was strictly supervised and made to Army Headquarters, Corps Headquarters, Medical Groups in other Corps, Headquarters of other services in the sector, and subordinate units. In this way close coordination was maintained with all echelons of command. This headquarters received many compliments for instigating a Unit Report by Medical Groups, and commendations continue to be received because of its informative value to other units.


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Of great value in the preparation of the Unit Report, and also in enabling this headquarters to keep abreast of the tactical situation has been the close liaison maintained with Corps Headquarters and adjacent Group Headquarters.

About the 1st of September Colonel WILHITE began daily meetings of staff officers and Battalion Commanders, for the purpose of coordination or activities and formulating plans for future operations. These Staff Conferences were held daily, except when the tactical situation prevented, throughout the remainder of the year.

During the operations on the continent there were no specific problems in sanitation, or disease control. Water has been easily available at all times through Army water points, and in cases where municipal water sources were used necessary precautions were taken to insure it potability before use. The health of the command has been excellent at all times.

Much has been accomplished in the past year, and all members of the Group point with pride to their accomplishments. The number of patients handled by the Group is a direct indication as of the magnitude of the task completed. During the period 23 June 1944 to 19 September 1944 when this headquarters was in charge of the two Army Exhaustion Centers a total of fourteen thousand and forty seven (14,047) patients were admitted and treated, while the total number of patients treated in stations of this unit for the same period (including Exhaustion Centers)was eighteen thousand three hundred and forty five (18,345). For the period 20 September 1944 to 31 December 1944 a total of ten thousand eight hundred and thirty three (10,833) patients ware admitted to Army Medical installations in this Group’s sector of responsibility. This amounts to a grand total of for the period 23 June 1944 to 31 December 1944 of twenty nine thousand one hundred and seventy eight (29,178) patients processed through medical installations under control of this Group.

Casualties sustained during the campaign by units of the Group were quite high, amounting to sixteen killed, five missing in action, and twenty three wounded.

VII - SUGGESTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

1. That either -

a. Field Hospital T/E transportation be increased to permit the movement of at least two Hospital Units with the organic transportation or

b. present mission be changed. Close division support is not wise unless the unit is completely mobile and can withdraw on a moments notice. This should never be used in stationary warfare, but only when definitely on the offensive.


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2. Vertical Group Operation be universally adopted, as -

a. Group Commanding Officer has complete picture of his sector and can coordinate his plans with instructions from Army Surgeon and proposed plans of Corps and Divisions Surgeons.

b. Give Group a motor pool by combining all transportation to facilitate movement of bulky and only partially mobile units.

c. Facilitate liaison work and makes it rather easy to obtain tactical information which can be reported to the Army Surgeon.

3. Divisions are constantly searching for additional litter bearers. Either the Division Medical Service should have the number of litter bearers increased, or a litter bearer pool should be available in the Army area, on call. Currently, the shortage of litter bearers often necessitates the attaching of an entire collecting company to a Group, whereas the litter bearer platoon is really the only element needed.

4. Incorporation into the Group Headquarters Table of Organization and Equipment kitchen personnel and equipment. It is often impractical, and particularly in inclement weather when. buildings are used, to establish Command Posts near a unit provided with a kitchen.

5. Augmentation of Group Headquarters tentage by two (2) Squad tents — one (1) for Headquarters, Administration and Operations section, and one (1) for excess supply, Special Service equipment.

6. Add to Group Headquarters Tables of Organization one (1) 1 ½-ton personnel carrier needed to draw supplies, and to help move units when changing station.



LEE R. WILHITE
Colonel, MC
Commanding

8 Incls:

1 - Annex A - Chaplains' Activities.
2 - Annex B - Special Service Activities.
3 - Annex C - Army Educational Program.
4 - Exhibit A - Group Memorandum #32 (Control Areas).
5 - Exhibit B - Group Situation summary.
6 - Exhibit C - Group Daily News Bulletin.
7 - Exhibit D - Memorandum, Surgeon, First United States Army, (Revision of Mission of Medical Groups).
8 - Exhibit E - Group Unit Report.




ANNEXES

A - Chaplains Activities.

B - Special Service Activities.

C - Army Educational Program.


Annex “A”

CHAPLAINS’ ACTIVITIES 134Th MEDICAL GROUP

When the various units were making preparations for their overseas movement at Camp Tyson, Tennessee, there were four Chaplains attached to the units of the command. Protestant and Catholic religious services were held in the Post Chapels on Sundays and other days as prescribed by the individual rites. [The] men of the Hebrew faith were furnished transportation to attend services conducted at the USO Center in Paris, Tennessee, under the auspices of the Jewish Welfare Board. One marriage ceremony took place while at Camp Tyson.

Upon arrival at Camp Kilmer, the Group Chaplain reported to the Senior Chaplain of that station and received instructions for the overseas movement and requisitioned the supplies necessary for the journey. Religious services were conducted regularly for the various faiths at this station and were very well attended by the personnel of this command.

Aboard the “ANDES”, Captain Miller of the Transportation Corps called a meeting of the three Chaplains making the voyage. Because of lack of space it was decided that every other day during the voyage religious services would be conducted. The main dining hail of the ship served as a chapel. Protestant services were held and a Communion service for those of the protestant faith. Mass was celebrated twice daily by the Catholic Chaplains and Confessions heard before and during the Masses. Each of the Chaplains made daily visits to the sick-bay.

In England Catholic Services were held regularly in the Sacred Heart Church at Henley on the Thames and also in Wargrave. During Lent additional devotions were conducted by the Catholic Chaplains and at Easter special religions programs were arranged. The men of the Protestant faith had a week of special “Religious Emphasis” conducted by the Protestant Chaplains. The Jewish men were transported to the City of Reading each week to attend the Jewish Sabbath services conducted in the Temple. All of the Chaplains in this command did excellent work in contacting other units that did not have Chaplains assigned and conducted services for them regularly.

During the month of April, the Group Chaplain conducted a school for the Chaplains' Assistants. Seven clerks attended six sessions of two hours each. The subjects concerned Graves Registration, Chaplains’ duties, the duties of the Assistant and a lecture on the History of the Chaplains Corps.

On Decoration Day religious memorial services were conducted by the Chaplains of the various denominations and were well attended. Toward the end of this month the Chaplains had been issued most of their equipment. Their jeeps were particularly a great aid to them in their work of caring for the units that did not have a Chaplain permanently assigned.


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On D-Day a special religious program was prepared so the men of the various beliefs could give honor to God and beseech His blessings upon their fellow-soldiers and the success of our armies against the enemy.

After we embarked for the invasion coast, Mass was celebrated on the LCT while crossing the Channel. At this service many of the crew aboard the craft also attended the service.

Having landed and bivouaced near one of our exhaustion centers in the vicinity of Ste. Mere Eglise, all Chaplains found a wonderful opportunity to work. They gave assistance to the regularly assigned Chaplains of the Evacuation Hospital in the vicinity. Services conducted in these hospitals were a great consolation to the men returning from combat and the work performed by them in the various hospitals cannot be measured sufficiently in material value, particularly was this true in the exhaustion centers where the Chaplain was constantly in demand by the men for spiritual guidance and consolation.

A deep sense of religious responsibility was manifest all through the combat area and the Chaplains performed excellent work. Services were always conducted in the open fields or under canvas during inclement weather.

Upon arrival in Belgium civilian churches were used because of cold weather. Jewish services were conducted by the men of that faith and both Catholic and Protestant Chaplains would alternate in assisting to conduct those services, bearing out the purpose of the Chaplains’ Corps and the respect each man had for the belief of the other.

On 13 November 1944 in the Cathedral of Malmedy, the Most Rev. Bishop of Liege administered the Sacrament of Confirmation to sixty American Soldiers. This service had been arranged by the Chaplains of the Group and was attended by fifteen other Catholic Chaplains.

Special religious services were conducted on Armistice Day and again on Thanksgiving Day. When the German counter-offensive occurred it was difficult to obtain services for men of the protestant faith, but the Catholic Chaplains conducted fitting General services for the men of all faiths on Christmas Day.

The work of the Chaplains attached to the units in this command have been well performed, and the service rendered to the men by them throughout the year is attested to by the wonderful attendance of the men at the various religious services they have conducted.



Annex “B”

SPECIAL SERVICES ACTIVITIES 134TH MEDICAL GROUP

Special Service Activities for the year 1944 did not actually begin until the unit arrived in United Kingdom at which time an attachment of units by First United States Army was made. Prior to that time the Group Headquarters was in the process of being staged for movement overseas. At camp Tyson, Tennessee, the men had access to the Service Clubs as well as the Post Theatre and Exchange. The same was true at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey where in addition to the aforementioned recreational facilities, the men were granted passes on the basis of 50% of the command on any one day. Many of the men were thus able to visit New York City or Philadelphia, the two most popular places of choice. This in itself was easily the greatest morale factor up to that time.

Finally we received orders to embark from New York City. At this point recreational facilities were necessarily at a minimum, though books and magazines were provided for the trip, as well as a ship operated post exchange which stocked most of the usual canteen supplies.

After arrival in the United Kingdom, it was noted that some of the units then assigned to the Group did not possess all of the recreational equipment they were entitled to. At this point the Special Service Officer contacted Army Headquarters and prepared the necessary requisitions, which when filled provided adequate means of entertainment. A short time later, the unit was fortunate enough to share a movie projector with an Engineer unit which was billeted in the same vicinity, and in that way movies were provided in camp on an average of three times weekly in addition to those shown at the Theatres in the local cities and towns. At this time too, a post exchange was established and supplies were plentiful. U.S.O. shows were arranged for and though the men enjoyed then, it was noted that at this time they were not near as popular as they proved to be later on the continent. Passes were given out liberally and organized trips to points of historical interest were made at least once a week, under the supervision of an officer.

Upon arrival on the continent some small problems were encountered in trying to provide some form of diversion from routine duties, since the majority of the personnel were busy most of the time. However, U.S.O. shows were arranged for and occasional movies scheduled, which at this time were fully appreciated by all personnel and particularly by the patients in the adjacent Medical Clearing Company. The gratuitous weekly issue of cigarettes and miscellaneous articles was ample when supplemented by the weekly purchased rations.

Later on, in Belgium, the unit was fortunate in being able to secure a movie projector of its own, this enabling the Special Service Officer to show films to all attached units on an average of twice weekly. Red Cross club- mobiles visited the hospital areas regularly and of course this too helped build morale.


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The principal morale factor amongst the men in the combat zone, in my opinion, is undoubtedly the availability of moving pictures. The attendance at these shows is always 100% of the available troops and even the poorest of pictures are looked forward to and fully appreciated. Unfortunately, the projectors (French type) are very difficult to keep in operation since some of the parts needed from tine to time are not readily available, which in turn cuts down on the number of showings we are able to provide. After discussing this point with other units, it would appear that this is a universal complaint.


Annex “C”

ARMY EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM 134TH MEDICAL GROUP

During the year active preparations were commenced to carry out the plans of the Army Educational Program. This phase of activity of the l34th Medical Group was under the supervision of the Assistant S-3, Information and Education Officer, a position created by the provisions of War Department Circular #360, dated 5 September 1944.

To commence preparations of the Army Education Program, a conference of all unit commanders in the Group was held at Malmedy, Belgium 30 October 1944. The appropriate Educational opportunities for troops available during the Army Educational Program Phase I were discussed. The use of the courses offered by the United States Armed Forces Institute was reemphasized and the Information and Education Officers of each unit was designated to supervise the conduct of this phase of the program and to arrange for the use by Military Personnel of selected college and university extension courses. He was to plan end supervise procedures for orientation of personnel in causes, current phase of the war, current events relating thereto and for the eventual return to civilian life. The use of pamphlets, fact sheets, books, maps, and other visual aids were suggested. Plans were made for the conducting of a weekly orientation period in each of the respective units.

The opportunities which would be made available through the Army Educational Program Phase II were also discussed. Commanding officers of the units attending the conference expressed great enthusiasm in the possibilities of the program. It was decided that weekly meeting of Battalion Information and Education Officers, the Group Information and Education Officer and the Group S-3 be held. Contact is maintained with the Army Information and Education Officer so that knowledge of the latest developments of the Educational Program would be available.

Following the outline received from higher headquarters in regard to the army Educational Program, the discussion at these meetings concerned itself with developing of a plan to carry out the activities of the program. Plans are being made so that educational advice will be provided to military personnel. An advertisement campaign was started consisting of a series of posters introducing and describing the opportunities offered by United States Armed Forces Institute (USAFI), which are displayed by the units.

The activities of this program will be carried out in the unit school to be established on a battalion level which will provide training in general. Including literacy training and vocational (including on the job training education).

A tentative plan for the organization of the unit school for each of the battalions has been basically set up as follows:


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Plan of Organization of the Unit School

Information and Education

Education Advisory Officer - Instruction Officer - Literacy Training Officer

On The Job Training Officer - NCO Librarian - NCO Education Records Clerk

A library has been started in each of the Battalion and Group Headquarters with sets of books supplied by United States Armed Forces Institute, Supply Agencies of Army Educational Program and pamphlets provided by the Special Service Division. This material is loaned to Military Personnel of the Group.

An officer from this Group has attended the Army Information and Education Staff School. The course taken consisted principally of outlining methods of forming the unit curriculum to be used in the Battalion schools.

In addition to the Information and Education and the Educational Advisory courses an officer from this headquarters attended the Staff School taking the course offered to Instruction Officers.

This course streamlined to 10 hours was given to key personnel of each Battalion, the two Field Hospitals and the Evacuation Hospital in our sector at the time. They in turn will give the instruction to personnel who will teach the courses.

Being able to attend the Army Staff School has done a great deal in installing enthusiasm end whole hearted cooperation In the program at the cessation of hostilities. The educational program will be most influential in maintaining discipline and morale within respective units prior to demobilization and will prepare many to resume their position in civilian life with a greater knowledge of the means to bring them success in some particular field of activity.




EXHIBITS

A - Group Memorandum #32 (Control Area).

B - Group Situation Summary.
C - Group Daily News Bulletin.

D - Memorandum, Surgeon, First United States Army, (Revision of Mission of Medical Groups).

E - Group Unit Report.


Exhibit “A”

HEADQUARTERS 134TH MEDICAL GROUP

APO 230
2 September 1944
MEMORANDUM

NUMBER 32
CONTROL AREAS

I - GENERAL
II - OPERATIONS
III - MESSAGE CENTERS
IV - ADMINISTRATION
V - SUPPLY
VI - MOTOR MAINTENANCE

I - GENERAL.

1. In anticipation of further operations or the group similar to that just completed, the policies outlined herein are established.

2. With stations separated over a large area a geographical division of control is necessary. At such times the companies will be divided between Group Headquarters and Battalion Headquarters on a geographical basis. The companies in the forward positions will be relieved from attached to Battalion Headquarters and will be directly dependent on Group Headquarters for all services as outlined herein. Those remaining behind will remain attached to Battalion Headquarters and will depend similarly upon Battalion Headquarters for all services. These geographical divisions will be known respectively as “FORWARD CONTROL AREA” and “REAR CONTROL AREA”. Battalion Headquarters will remain in the “REAR CONTROL AREA” until their number of companies attached no longer warrants separate areas.

II - OPERATIONS.

1. Battalion Headquarters will report to Group Headquarters daily by the last courier departing thereto for the day, the operational status of all companies:

a. Closed stations.

b. Anticipated duration of operation of each station.

c. Availability for commitment or move.

d. Transportation needed which can not be made available from within the Battalion.

e. Pertinent data concerning operational instructions transmitted to attached companies.


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2. Movement orders to their attached companies will be published by Battalion Headquarters as directed by Group Headquarters.

3. Group Headquarters will:

a. Directly control all operations in the “FORWARD CONTROL AREA”.

b. Make appropriate preparations for movement of companies into the “FORWARD CONTROL AREA”.

c. Direct Battalion Headquarters to issue orders effecting such moves.

III - MESSAGE CENTERS - GROUP AND BATTALION HEADQUARTERS

1. Provide courier service to all companies in respective Control Areas.

2. Assure prompt submission of various reports by utilization of all available Messenger Center facilities (i.e., if 31st or 68th Medical Group CP is in vicinity, coordinate with them).

3. Within Single Control Area, courier service to companies will be provided by Battalion Headquarters; delivery of messages and reports to headquarters outside the Group will be accomplished by Group Headquarters.

4. a. Rear Control Area - full message center service by Battalion Headquarters.

b. Forward Control area - full message center service by Group Headquarters.

c. Between the two headquarters, couriers will be provided normally by Group Headquarters. When circumstances indicate, a meeting point for couriers between the two headquarters may be arranged.

IV - ADMINISTRATION

1. Court-Martial jurisdiction will be exercised as follows:

a. Summary Court:

(1) Single and Rear Control Area by Battalion Headquarters.

(2) Forward Control Area by Group Headquarters.

b. Special by Group Headquarters unless circumstances render impractical.

2. Correspondence - will be routed through Battalion Headquarters to its attached companies when command decisions or action is involved. When-


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ever an indorsement or instruction goes to a company that in any way establishes precedent or announces policy, an information copy thereof or a memo to the same effect will be sent to Battalion Headquarters even if the company is not then attached to Battalion. Indorsement (check or otherwise) will not be required of Battalion Headquarters on correspondence which is purely routine in character.

3. Morning Reports - Battalion Headquarters will not under “Station and Record of Events” on its Headquarters Morning Report, each attachment and relief from attachment of companies. Otherwise no continuous record of strength or personnel changes within attached companies need be maintained by Battalion Headquarters. No compiled report will be required by Group Headquarters or Battalion Headquarters and yellow copies of reports will be simply noted for accuracy and forwarded to Group head4uarters, Provisions of Memo #30, this headquarters, cs, in conflict with above are suspended.

4. Other Reports - Current instructions apply. Information copies will be provided Battalion Headquarters only while company is attached thereto.

V- SUPPLY.

1. Personnel Supply Officers of Group and Battalion Headquarters with such enlisted personnel as may be required. Duties of each S-4:

a. Coordinate procurement of Class I Supplies for companies in his Control Area to effect most economical use practicable of transportation therefore.

b. Route, edit and draw all requisitions for companies in Control Area for II and IV Supplies. Consolidate same for Medical Supplies and any others which are so required or may be feasibly consolidated.

c. Supervise activities of Motor Officer.

d. Obtain and disseminate to all stations locations of the nearest Water Depots.

e. Coordinate requests for services from the Engineer.

2. Rear Control Area and Single Control Area.

a. Battalion S-4 directly responsible for all supply matters in Rear Control Area.

b. He will collect, check, and forward to Group Headquarters each Saturday afternoon, data required for Class I and III Supplies for Weekly S-4 Report to Army. Add thereto any comments which should be included in other sections of same report.


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c. Forward to Group Headquarters all requisitions for Controlled items and issues above T/E.

d. Keep Group Supply Officer informed of status of supply in Rear Control Area.

3. Forward Control Area.

a. Group S-4 directly responsible for all supply matters in Forward Control Area.

b. Prepare and submit Weekly S-4 Report for entire Group.

c. Edit and. submit to appropriate controlling officer all requisitions for items controlled or above T/E.

VI - MOTOR MAINTENANCE

1. Single Control Area - All motor maintenance matters and Battalion Motor Section directly under Battalion Headquarters.

2. Rear Control Area - Battalion Motor Officer supervises motor maintenance in units in Rear Control Area.

3. Forward Control Area - Group Motor Officer directly supervises maintenance in units in Forward Control Area until Battalion Headquarters enters area.

4. Motor Officers - Group and Battalion Detachment Commanders in addition to other duties will function as Assistant S-4, Motor Officers. Each will:

a. Maintain data as to vehicles conditions and availability in each company within his Control Area.

b. Establish or reestablish, and maintain contact with Ordnance Maintenance Company to which companies in Control Area are assigned for maintenance.

c. Coordinate evacuation of vehicles and procurement of spare parts within Control Area.

d. Coordinate procurement of Class III Supplies to effect most economical use of vehicles therefore that conditions permit.

e. Direct activities of Motor Section while it is in his Control Area.

5. Motor Section - Performs under instructions of Battalion Motor Officer in Single Control Area, and in Rear Control Area until less than (3) three companies remain in that area, then moves to Forward Control Area and performs under instructions of Group Motor Officer. It will


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consist of Tec Sergeant (Motor), Technician 5th Grade (Mechanic), Echelon Sets, and 2 ½-ton truck with winch, from Battalion Headquarters. Personnel will be carried as “Present” at all times by Battalion Headquarters.

By order of Colonel WILHITE:

WILLARD E. MANRY, JR.
Major, MAC
Adjutant

OFFICIAL:

/s/ Willard E. Manry, Jr.
WILLARD E. MANRY, JR.
Major, MAC
Adjutant

DISTRIBUTION:
All Units This Command.
File.



Exhibit “B”

HEADQUARTERS 134TH MEDICAL GROUP

8 September 1944

SITUATION SUMMARY

The situation through 7 September shows a general slowing down on all fronts except possibly Third Army, due to two main factors: Stiffening resistance and continuing shortage of gasoline.

On the long move of XIX Corps scheduled yesterday, the shortage of gasoline stopped the troops about halfway short of their objective, MAASTRICH. The 2d Armored ran out of gas and moved into a virtual concentration area in the region north of NAMUR. The infantry of the 30th Division were moved by motor to the region west of the 2d Armored Division where they were dismounted and the trucks returned for the division artillery. Forward echelon XIX Corps Headquarters established temporarily at a point between the two divisions. Today the 30th moves forward on foot, the 2d Armored will move if it gets enough gas. They expect practically no resistance. There are German units in the-area, but G-2 reports say they are withdrawing and so they don’t even expect rear guard action. But for the shortage of gas they would have reached their objective yesterday.

XIX Corps G-2 expects that German armor will be concentrated on the north flank of the SIEGFRIED LINE because there is some type of gap through there.

VII Corps - 1st Division took about 9,000 prisoners in the area of MONS that they were mopping up. The 1st Division is now moving to NAMUR area, following the 3d Armored into LIEGE. The 3d Armored expects to take LIEGE — their objective for today is VERVIERS with the 1st Division following up behind them. Hasty defenses have been thrown up around LIEGE. These two divisions are attacking early today.

The 9th Division had great difficulty in crossing the MEUSE. The 3d Armored stopped long enough to cut off the pocket in this area and the 9th Division is corning in to sweep it out. The only marked increase in casualties has been in the 9th Division due to trying to establish a bridgehead over the MEUSE. The 3d Armored bridged at town of HUY. They arrived there sooner than expected and before the bridge could be blown up. There are still a large number of pockets in the area southeast of NAMUR. They say that there are two to three hundred at SEL. 4th Cavalry Reconnaissance have been reconnoitering along here, but we don’t know how they are doing. In the whole area they expect to find about 1200 Germans in this pocket. The VII Corps expects their units to cross the German border today.

The V Corps has had slow progress due not only to scattered resistance but also to bad terrain in this region, together with the gas shortage which has caused them to slow down. The 5th Armored had to hold and the 28th Division is now passing through the 5th Armored to attack on foot. They are finding more


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road blocks and booby traps and minefields in this area than they have heretofore. The delay in crossing the MEUSE gave the Germans more time to prepare these defenses. The resistance there is computed to be not even as much as an entire division. The 5th Armored took SEDAN on the 6th. The terrain is a much more important feature of the slowing down than the resistance.

They are expecting an increase in casualties now as they get further along.

On the British End — Polish Armored Divisions have moved from LILLE toward the coast. They are still fighting in CALAIS and DUNKIRK. The Germans there are strictly second and third rate soldiers, consisting largely of convalescents from the Russian front.

The Seventh Army has taken DIJON and LYON. Patrols of the Third and Seventh Armies have met in this region which is the only contact that has been made so far. In the Seventh army area, of the original force of 90,000 troops of the 19th German Army, 70,000 are now prisoners. They expect that a force of the Seventh Army will be sent over to BORDEAUX to assist the FFI in capturing 10,000 Germans in that vicinity.

As it stands now there isn’t much to report on the Third Army. They are meeting more resistance in the NANCY region than they have met so far. They have crossed the MOSELLE River between those two places and they are now faced with the same gas problem.

On air activity there were no flights yesterday due to the weather, but they expect to be in the air today.

No reserves as yet are reported to have come up to defend the SIEGFRIED LINE and what they have available without reserves is not enough to defend this line. The VII Corps is bearing the brunt of the thrust into Germany.

The Ninth Army has become operative somewhere in Central France as of yesterday.

The rate of German patients being admitted to our hospitals has fallen off a great deal and the largest proportion are now Americans.

The 97th Evacuation Hospital is still the only one open up here. The 5th and 45th are in bivouac here. The 26th is moving up to open in the vicinity of DINANT. The 97th Evac is being designated as an evacuation point and all patients from forward of here will be removed to this area to be evacuated to the Communications Zone by Communications Zone ambulances.

On our own operations the 622d activities still remain quite light. Total admissions yesterday were 16, giving the patient status of 25. The 617th first platoon departed this morning to take over about 60 non-transportable patients in the vicinity of LAON, just east of that point.


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The 618th is in process of moving up here today. The 617th second platoon took over 13 non-transportable patients from the first hospital unit of the 13th Field Hospital in the vicinity of ARNOUVILLE.

The 621st first platoon is south of PARIS, and the second platoon took over as a holding unit for a Field Hospital.

The 662d was alerted for a move (destination unknown). Our latest information is that it has been cancelled. However, that is not official as yet.



Exhibit “C”

HEADQUARTERS 134TH MEDICAL GROUP

APO 230
                                                                                                                                                                    16 November 1944

DAILY NEWS BULLETIN

0800 - BBC


General Dempsey’s troops have gained more ground in their new drive against the German pocket west of the Maas. General Patton’s troops met more opposition around Metz yesterday but have tightened their grip on the fortress. The American Seventh Army were yesterday pressing the enemy all along the Vosges front. The French First Army have advanced up to five miles in a drive towards the Belfort Gap.

The chief medical officer at SHAEF said last night that ninety-seven percent of wounded allied soldiers survived owing to prompt and modern surgical treatment.

General De Gualle is to visit Moscow shortly at the invitation of the Soviet Government.

The Russians have taken another road and rail center on the eastern approaches to Budapest.

The weather in Italy is bad again, but both Allied Armies have gained a little ground.

In Northwest Burma the Fifth Indian Division advancing from the west of Kalemyo have linked up with East African Forces attacking from the north.

On Leyte Island a double drive has taken the enemy defenses in the rear and threatens the road to Ormok.

British submarines in Far Eastern waters have sunk twenty-three more Japanese supply ships and an anti-submarine vessel.

RAF Mosquitos last night attacked Berlin with 4,000 pound bombs.

The House of Commons yesterday debated the government’s scheme for releasing men and women from the forces after the defeat of Germany. Mr. Bevin the Labor Minister promised that if humanly possible men would have leave at home before being sent to the Far East.


Exhibit “D”


HEADQUARTERS
FIRST UNITED STATES ARMY
Office of the Surgeon
APO 230

27 September 1944

MEMORANDUM:

TO : Commanding Officer, 31st Medical Group.
68th Medical Group.
134th Medical Group.

1. In order that position of the group commanders may be clarified, the following responsibilities and missions are set forth:

a. Missions:

(1) The Commanding Officer of the 31st Medical Group is charged with medical service in rear of the troops of the XIX Corps.

(2) The Commanding Officer of the 68th Medical Group is charged with medical service in rear of the troops of the VII Corps.

(3) The Commanding Officer of the 134th Medical Group is charged with medical service in rear of the troops of the V Corps.

b. Medical service as used in a (1) (2) (3) above, entails the following:

(1) Placing of a section of field hospital in the immediate vicinity of each operating infantry division clearing station.

(2) Evacuation of all division clearing stations and division treatment stations to evacuation hospitals.

(3) Evacuation of field hospitals to evacuation hospitals or to holding units.

(4) Evacuation of evacuation hospitals located in group sector to such places as the Army Surgeon may designate.

(5) Reenforcement of division medical service as required.

(6) Reenforcement and augmentation of evacuation hospitals operating in group sector.

c. Additional responsibilities of groups are:

(1) Make recommendations to the Army Surgeon regarding the
location of evacuation hospitals.


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(2) Provide transportation for movement of evacuation hospitals within group sector, utilizing group and evacuation hospital transportation.

(3) Deliver periodic reports from hospitals in group sector to army Surgeon’s Office twice daily.

(4) Deliver official correspondence from Army Surgeon’s Office to division and Army medical installations in group sector.

(5) Deliver NP cases ready for duty to division clearing stations. Delivery of such cases from hospitals to group headquarters will be an Army responsibility.

(6) Clear, with Corps concerned, sites for evacuation hospitals or other Army medical installations located in group sector.

For the Surgeon:


/s/ James L. Snyder
JAMES L. SNYDER
Colonel, Medical Corps
Executive.




Exhibit “E” HEADQUARTERS 134TH MEDICAL GROUP, UNIT REPORT NUMBER 96, 30 December 1944


Source: National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 112, Entry 54A, 134th Medical Group, 1945, Box 225