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Headquarters 326th Airborne Medical Company, APO 472

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HEADQUARTERS 326TH AIRBORNE MEDICAL COMPANY
APO 472
U.S. Army
11 December l944


SUBJECT: After Action Report.

TO: COMMANDING GENERAL, 101st Airborne Division, APO 472, U.S. Army.


The 326th Airborne Medical Company was committed on The Holland Mission in two waves. The first wave, consisting of six CG-4A glider loads transporting, two (2) trucks 1/4 ton, two (2) trailers, and fifty two (52) personnel, departed from Ramsbury Airport at 1030 and landed at Zon, Holland at l3145 17 September l944. The second wave consisting of fifty four (54) CG-4A glider loads, transporting thirty one (31) trucks 1/4 ton, twenty three (23) 1/4 ton trailers, and two hundred nineteen (219) personnel departed Welford Airdrome at 1125 and landed at Zon, Holland at 1440 18 September 1944.

The flight was made without incident on the part of both waves except for light to moderate “flack” encountered in route to the glider landing zone. No personnel were wounded while in the air, no loads were lost, and all equipment arrived in the glider landing zone in serviceable condition.

In the initial wave the two trailers were loaded with two ward tents and the necessary equipment to set up two operating tables, Electrical power, in the form of two field generators, were also transported in these two loads.

The gliders were unloaded immediately and no difficulty was incountered (encountered) in getting the equipment out of the gliders. The treatment of casualties was begun immediately by the officer personnel while the enlisted personnel were setting up a temporary station at the southern portion of the glider landing field. Casualties began arriving at the station at 1500. By 1700 the tents were in full operation, and the first surgical operations were being performed.

At 1800 the hospital at Zon, Holland was taken over by the company and the equipment and personnel was moved in by 1900. The treatment of casualties was carried on then under ideal conditions. By 2400 17 September l944, 107 casualties had been admitted to the station.

The second wave was met as it came in on the glider landing zone on 18 September l944, began the immediate treatment of landing casualties, was assembled, and arrived at the hospital at 1600.

The litter bearer and ambulance sections were sent to the respective regiments the night of 18 September l944.

By the morning of 19 September l944, contact had been established with the combat troops at Vechel, and the attached platoon of the 50th Field Hospital was sent to establish a station at Vechel. On the afternoon of 19 September l944 the 493rd Medical Collecting Company established contact with the company at 1500, and at 1610 sixty (60) walking wounded were evacuated to the 24th Evacuation Hospital. Due to the moving of traffic north, no further evacuation to the south was accomplished until 0615 20 September 1944 at which time evacuation to the rear from Zon was non-interrupted. During the 20th of September the unit had 30 ambulances and 14 2 ½  ton trucks were available fqr evacuation to the rear. Since that time this unit had 10 ambulances for evacuation.


2


On 21 September 1944 at 1500 one surgical team was sent to Vechel to assist the P1atoon of the 50th Field Hospital located there. This unit having previously been attached to and working with the 326th Airborne Medical Company.

On 25 September 1944 at approximately 1600 the road between St. Oedenrode and Vechel was cut by the enemy. Evacuation from Vechel south was impossible until approximately 2200 26 September 1944.

On the 3rd of October reconnaissance of the Nijmegen area was made prior to moving the company to this location. On 14 October the platoon of the 50th Field Hospital was moved to Nijmegen from Vechel, and the following day was sent across the Waal River to establish a station and to support the troops located on "The Island".

On 5 October the Medical Company was moved to Nijmegen by motor convoy to establish and operate a hospital. The first casualties were received at the New location at approximately 0600 6 October 1944.

On 22 October 1944 the company received the first of a series of a new type of casualty. This patient had a traumatic amputation of the left foot as a result of the explosion of a German Shu [Schu] Mine. During the period of 22 October 1944 to 29 October 1944, eighteen (18) such casualties were received at the station. Those casualties were in deeper shock than any other type of casualty received during the entire operation. Two of these casualties died as a result of shock before any definitive surgical procedure could be performed upon them. Practically all of the amputations occurred at the level of the middle of the leg. An unusual feature noticed was that practically all of them were left lower extremity injuries.

The company continued to operate a hospital in its initial location at Nijmegen until 1330 29 October 1944, at which time the station was bombed. Since the station had been struck by anti-personnel bombs at 1000 and by rockets at 1130, it was deemed advisable to move the station to a new location following the bombing which had rendered the building untenable due to the fact that all of the windows had been blown out.

The Company suffered three (3) killed and six wounded as a result of the bombing.  In addition, two (2) attached personnel were wounded.  The 493rd Medical Collecting Company, which was evacuating the 326th Airborne Medical Company, lost two (2) men killed and four (14) wounded. At the time of the bombing two trucks from the 397th Quartermaster Truck Company were in the station delivering rations. Three members of this unit were killed as a result of the bomb explosion.

The Company was moved to the area occupied by the 24th Evacuation Hospital where it spent the night of 19 October 1944. The following morning it was moved to the Division Rear OP where it continued to operate.

At 1800 14 November 1944 the Platoon of the 50th Field Hospital was relieved from duty on “The Island” and was brought to the Division Rear OP. The following day this unit was sent to Mourmelon, France. At the time of relief of the Platoon of the 50th Field, Hospital; personnel from the Company, consisting of two (2) Officers and twenty (20) men, established a station in the location formerly occupied by the Platoon of the 50th Field Hospital. This personnel was rotated every 48 hours.

This station was closed 27 November 1944, as the last combat troops of the Division were cleared, completing seventy-one (71) continuous days of combat Medical Service in Holland. At this time the entire unit was enroute to or closed in Camp Mourmelon, France, with the exception of one Officer and three enlisted men who remained at Nijmegen, Holland to furnish Medical Coverage for the Division Rear Detachment. This group closed in Camp Mourmelon 1 December 1944.


3

The Company treated and evacuated a total of Three thousand One Hundred Fifty Six (3156) casualties. United States Casualties Two Thousand Six Hundred Fifty Three (2653), Allied, Civilian and enemy, Five Hundred and Three (503), during the Operation.

The 326th Airborne Medical Company suffered the following casualties:


Killed in Action

Officers

 

2

 

Enlisted men

 

1

Missing in Action 


0


 

4

Seriously Wounded


0


 

2

Lightly Wounded


0


 

5

Absent Sick


0


 

4



   
[Signed]

WILLIAM E. BARFIELD,
Major, M. C.,
Commanding.

 

SOURCE:      National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, MD
                      Record Group 407, Records of the Army Adjutant General, World War II
                      326th Airborne Medical Company, 101st Airborne Division, After-Action Reports,
                      17 September-30 November 1944, Box 14447