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Company 'D' 331st Medical Battalion, APO #443

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COMPANY ‘D’ 331ST MEDICAL BATTALION
APO #443, U. S. Army
UNIT HISTORY
(10 Dec - 31 Dec 1944)

On the morning of 10 December 1944, at 0900 hours, Co. ‘D’ 331st Med Bn (Clearing Company for the 106th Inf Div) moved from its bivouac area in the vicinity of St. Vith, via motor convoy, into the town of St. Vith. At this time the actual strength of the Company was as follows: 10 MC Off, 2 DC Off, and 1 MAC; making a total of 13 Off, of which 9 were Captains (1 atchd unasgd) and 4 1st Lieutenants; the enlisted personnel was composed of 97 EM.  Captain Joseph W. Grosh, M. C. was Commanding Officer and John J. Buck was 1st Sgt.

The Company occupied the buildings, with the troops of the 2nd Division which were operating a Clearing Station there, at that time. For two days the Company afforded themselves the opportunity of observing the 2nd Div. Clr Sta in operation, learning a great deal from their combat experiences, and exchanging ideas with them. At 0001 hours, 12 December 1944 the 106th Clearing Station was opened to receive casualties in the same buildings, #5 Aachen Strasse, St. Vith, Belgium, now vacated by the 2nd Division. The tactical positions, and administrative and technical set-up of troops of the 106th Inf Div were practically identical with those formerly used by the 2nd Division.

During our first day of operation we treated 78 cases, transferred 13 cases and returned to duty 4 cases from all units served. There were four Battle Casualties admitted during this first day. The first of whom was Pvt Koukol, John L., ASN xxxxxxx, of Co 'B', 422 Inf Regt with the following diagnosis, BC WIA Shell Wound (High Explosive) Pert W, leg, left, middle third, S, Shell Fragment. Two of the four Battle Casualties were classified as seriously wounded, and two slightly wounded. The remainder of cases admitted on this date included, Cold and moisture, reaction to, feet, bilateral, S, Nasopharyngitis, Furuncles and Gastroenteritis.

On the 13 December 1944 we treated 110 cases, transferred 15 cases; and returned to duty 6 cases. Eleven of these were Battle Casualties and the remainder included cases diagnosed as Trench Foot, Nasopharyngitis, Gastro-enteritis, etc.

On the 14 December 1944 we treated 141 eases, transferred 16 cases, and returned 10 cases to duty. Six of the 141 cases were Battle Casualties and diagnoses of the remaining included, Pneumonia, Trench Foot, Gastritis, Sprains, Bronchitis, etc.

On the 15 December 1944 we treated 151 cases, transferred 33 cases and returned 22 cases to duty. Again there were a considerable number of cases of Trench Foot (Cold and moisture, reaction to, feet) admitted. A majority of these men were not wearing Galoshes and had been on duty outside, exposed to extreme cold and damp weather for long periods of time.

A survey of the cases of Trench Foot (Cold and moist, reaction to ,ft,) revealed that the major incidence occurred in the 422nd Regt. The men of this Regt were not issued galoshes until several days after moving into positions along the front lines. They had been required to stay in outpost positions for extended periods of time and facilities for keeping clean dry socks on their feet were inadequate.


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At about 0600 hours 16 December 1944 the 106th Inf Div was subjected to heavy enemy artillery fire which marked the beginning of a major enemy drive which had St. Vith as one of its main objectives. Units of our Division were bearing the brunt of the attack and as a result at about 0830 hours our station began to receive its first large group of battle casualties. Some of the first casualties brought in were Civilians from the vicinity of St. Vith. The majority of the wounds were inflicted by fragments of high explosive shells. The number of cases treated were 272, transferred 190 cases (most of which were Battle Casualties) and returned to duty 25 cases. No contact could be made with Collecting Company ‘B’ 331st Med Bn on this day and they have not been heard from even at this time and are now listed as Missing In Action. The majority of our casualties were from the 424th Inf Regt (70 BC and 16 NBC). We had 155 battle casualties of which 25 cases were considered serious. The type of wounds varied, chest and face the most serious and many of the legs and arms very severe. In all cases where necessary Penicillin and Plasma were liberally administered to prevent infection and shock. The use of which improved greatly the condition of most of the patients.

During the day the town of St.Vith was subjected to enemy artillery fire and a few of the shells landed 1000 to 2000 yards from the Clearing Station. Because of the rapid advance of the German Forces toward St. Vith a reconnaissance party was sent to the rear to find a new location for our Clearing station. A site was found at Vielsalm, Belgium.

A member of our organization Pvt William J. Berry, ASN xxxxxxxx, was evacuated 16 December 1944 to the 67th Evacuation Hospital with the following diagnosis Nasopharyngitis, acute, catarrhal, S,  LOD Yes. Our strength on this day was therefore 13 Officers and 96 enlisted personnel.

Our troops were forced back by the enemy and because of the unfavorable tactical situation on the morning of the 17 December 1944 it was decided to move the Clearing Station to Vielsalm, Belgium. The 2nd Clearing Platoon departed from St. Vith at 1130 hours 17 December 1944 and by infiltration via motor convoy arrived at Vielsalm, Belgium at 1345. The distance traveled was approximately 18 kms and the reason for the delay in arrival was that the 7th Armored Division was moving up to meet the German attack and had the road blocked at many places. The new Station opened at 1430 hours in a building which was being used as a Catholic boarding school. The 1st Platoon departed from St. Vith by motor convoy at 1630 hours 17 December 1944 and arrived at Vielsalm at 0615 hours 18 December 1944. The reason for the 14 hr trip was that the St. Vith - Vielsalm highway was jammed with 7th Armored vehicles moving up to St. Vith to engage the enemy.

At this time the general tactical situation was as follows: The 422nd and 423rd Inf Regts were reported to be cut-off in the vicinity of Schonberg [Schönberg], Belgium. The enemy's main effort was a twin pincers drive moving from Malmedy to Stavelot on the north and on the south from south of St. Vith to Bastogne. Both of these pincers were aimed at closing in on LaRoche and Houffalize. By 2400 hours 17 December 1944 the enemy's leading elements had reached Houffalize on the south and Stavelot on the north. A few patrols and paratroopers were reported east of Vielsalm attacking our rear lines of communication leading from Vielsalm to LaRoche, Belgium.

The number of cases treated this day 17 December 1944 was 130 cases, transferred 90 cases and returned to duty 27 cases. Of these cases 64 were battle casualties of which 10 were serious. The non-battle casualties were made up of feet cases, nasopharyngitis, cellulitis and exhaustion. The battle casualties were still varied with wounds of the legs and arms most prevalent, and a few of the face and buttocks.


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Due to the seriousness of the tactical situation and the proximity of the enemy it was necessary to make a reconnaissance to the rear to find a site for our Clearing Station in case movement was necessary. A place was found at LaRoche, Belgium and on 18th December 1944 the 1st Platoon departed from Vielsalm via motor convoy at 1200 hours. They arrived at LaRoche, Belgium (distance traveled 20 miles) at 1330 hours and established and opened a Clearing Station at 1400 hours. The 2nd Platoon remained at Vielsalm handling the more serious cases with the 1st Platoon acting as a holding station at LaRoche.

Casualties were very heavy in the vicinity of St. Vith and Vielsalm and the 2nd Platoon was exceptionally busy during their entire stay at Vielsalm. Enlisted men and Officers were so busy caring for patients that they forgot about the dangerous location they were in and were heedless of the artillery and small arms which was so very close. All personnel of the 2nd Platoon worked day and night. Collecting Company ‘A’, 331st Medical Battalion joined us at Vielsalm and the enlisted men rendered valuable service both as technicians and litter bearers. Officers of ‘A’ Company worked in admission and surgery assisting our Officers in handling the heavy load of patients. The majority of patients received had been injured 24 to 48 hours previous to being brought to the Clearing station and because of the delay in treatment and exposure to extreme cold, many of them were suffering from deep shock. A large number of the seriously wounded cases were suffering from perforating wounds of the chest end many others with compound fractures. Several cases from Armored outfits had their legs blown-off and were in very deep shock on admission. During this period many of our worst casualties were from the 7th and 9th Armored Divisions. We had lost contact with the 422nd and 423rd Inf. Regts and hence they were evacuating no casualties to us. However, we received many casualties from the 424th Inf. Regt. In many instances it was necessary to give at least four patients plasma at the same time. Many patients brought into the station were so deep in shock that no vein could be found for the administration of plasma. In these cases it became necessary to give plasma in the Femoral vein. This was the first time this procedure had been attempted by Medical Officers of this unit. No difficulty was encountered and patients responded to the treatment remarkably well. Two amputations were done in the station during this period of time.

As evacuation of patients being difficult and for a period of time stopped altogether (due to the tactical situation) it became necessary to give whole blood to some patients. As a whole, supplies were adequate but we were unable to obtain whole blood. A request for volunteer blood donors was made through-out the station. Within one hour 30 patients (cases of Trench Foot) had given their names as blood donors. The transfusions were successfully completed by the Medical Officers using makeshift equipment and good American ingenuity. One day ran into another with no one paying much attention to the time of day but each day seeming busier then the preceding one. Medical Officers from Division Headquarters and from the 42nd Field Hospital who were stranded with us, helped in the work through-out the station; giving a considerable amount of valuable aid to our own overburdened Medical Officers. Along with the Medical Officers, Chaplain Fleming worked both night and day, giving invaluable assistance to Officers and technicians in the surgical treatment room, accomplishing his own work as well as helping in surgery work when he could.

The 22nd December 1944 found the tactical situation very hazardous. There was no contact between the 2nd Platoon at Vielsalm and the 1st Platoon at LaRoche, the road having been cut by the Germans between LaRoche and Houffalize, Belgium.


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The roads on three sides of Vielsalm had been blocked, thus leaving only one escape route. This was the road leading to the northwest, to Werbomont, Belgium, now held open by the 82nd Airborne Division. The enlisted personnel knew little of the true situation around Vielsalm which was probably a sizeable factor in their being able to carry out a large amount of their work without mental alarm.

A resume of casualties treated each day in Vielsalm is as follows:

18 December 1944 we treated 247 cases, transferred 175 cases and returned to duty 2 cases. 2 Cases died in the Station. They were: Sgt John Jambrano, ASN xxxxxxxx, Hq 14th Cavalry with the following diagnosis: BC WIA GSW Chest & FC lt arm, GSW rt arm
& rt hand (Machine Gun), LOD Yes, death at 1600 hours and Sgt Daniel M. Bickel, ASN xxxxxxxx, Co K 424th Inf Regt with the following diagnosis: BC WIA Pen & sucking W rt chest, GSW rt Arm SV, LOD Yes death at 1530 hours.

19 December 1944 we treated 111 cases, transferred 92 cases and returned to duty 1 case.  2 Cases died in Station. They were: Pvt Valentino Pizzingrillo, ASN xxxxxxxx, MD 38th Inf Regt, with the following diagnosis: BC WIA Shell Wound Lac W FCC tibia & fibula LOD Yes and Pvt Edward F. Wallis, ASN xxxxxxxx, Co B 635 AAA, with the following diagnosis: BC WIA rt lag amputated, FC left leg, SV, Shell Fragment (High Explosive) LOD Yes.

20 December 1944 we treated 182 cases, transferred 88 cases and returned to duty 4 cases.

21 December 1944 we treated 295 cases, transferred 144 cases and returned to duty 22 cases.

22 December 1944 we treated 234 cases, transferred 96 cases and returned to duty 4 cases.

On the 22 December 1944 one section of the 2nd platoon departed from Vielsalm via motor convoy for Werbomont, Belgium at 1230 hours. They arrived at 1500 hours (distance of approximately 18 miles) and established and opened a Clearing Station to receive patients at 1600 hours. The remaining section of the 2nd Platoon continued to operate a Clearing Station at Vielsalm until 1900 hours, when it closed the station and proceeded with remaining personnel and essential equipment to Werbomont via motor convoy. They arrived at 2250 hours. Artillery fire was continuous throughout most of the night, and enemy planes dropped flares and bombs within a few miles of the station shortly after midnight.

On the 23 December 1944 the Platoon reformed the station tentage. Erecting the six Ward Tents and one pyramidal tent so as to form the pattern of a cross. In the area surrounding our station were located, the 45th Field Hospital, 1st Army Clearing Station some collecting stations end Company ‘A’ 331st Medical Battalion. The 1st platoon arrived at about 1700 hours after several hectic days of moving about, keeping just a little ahead of the German forces. This reunion was a happy occasion for all, concerned and the whole company was again intact with the exception of three men; one man killed in action another seriously wounded in action and one men evacuated with Nasopharyngitis.


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The following is a resume concerning the activities of the 1st Platoon at LaRoche, Belgium with a statement by Captain Grosh, M.C. and Captain Elmer Lewis, M. C. 1st Platoon Commander.

Statement of Captain Joseph W. Grosh, M.C. Commanding Officer, Co. D 331 Med BN:

On the afternoon of 18 December 1944 at about 1300 hours I received orders to move the 1st Clearing Platoon from Vielsalm to LaRoche. We proceeded at 1100 hours and arrived at LaRoche at 1500 hours. We set-up our Station in a Catholic school. The station opened at 1600 hours. About a half hour later we received our first casualties from the 2nd Platoon located at Vielsalm. These casualties were walking wounded, Cold and Moisture reaction to feet, etc., and Nasopharyngitis. They numbered approximately 40 cases. They were sent to us to relieve the overburdened 2nd Platoon which was receiving a large number of seriously injured casualties at Vielsalm. In addition to the above casualties we received battle casualties from other units in the vicinity of LaRoche.

I stayed with the first platoon until approximately 1400 hours 19 December l944 when we were contacted by Battalion Hq and I was requested to return to Vielsalm. I turned the Command of the station over to Captain Lewis, Platoon leader of the 1st Platoon and proceeded to Vielsalm where I arrived at 1530 hours.

The following is an account of the action of the 1st Platoon from the time of my departure until the return of the 1st Platoon to Werbomont 23 December l944.

STATEMENT of Captain Elmer W. Lewis, M. C. 1st Platoon Commander:

I assumed command of the 1st Platoon Clearing Station at LaRoche at 1500 hours when Captain Grosh left for Vielsalm.

At 1600 hours we received some casualties from the 45th Field Hospital at St. Vith. These were given hot drinks and one patient who had a tension Pneumo-Thorax. A Thoraco Centesis [thoracentesis] was performed with under water drainage and the patient was evacuated in an improved condition.

On the morning of the 20 December 1944 at approximately 0600 hours enemy shells began landing at irregular intervals in the vicinity of our Clearing Station.

At approximately 0900 hours an Officer was sent to the Hq of Colonel Adams, Tank Cmdr, of the 7th Armored Division to get information as to the tactical situation as we were out of contact with our own Hq and had no other source of information. We were told there was no immediate danger, advised to sit-tight and if the situation changed we would be notified. Col. Adams, also, told us that if it became necessary to evacuate he would send us three trucks from the 446th QM transport Troop of the 7th Armored Division. We had no vehicles with us with the exception of one 3/4 ton maintenance truck loaded with tools and equipment and gasoline. CWO John A. Eckwerth arrived at 0900 hours from Liege, Belgium with a 2 ½   ton truck completely loaded with medical supplies. We had no other transportation as all our trucks were with the 2nd Platoon at Vielsalm.

The shelling was less for an hour or so until about 1100 hours when after several near hits from High Explosive Shells (probably 88MM) it was decided to evacuate our patients. The 2 ½ ton truck from Liege, Belgium with medical supplies having been unloaded, 34 patients were evacuated in this truck. They were accompanied by 1st Lt. Monroe E. Neuman, M. C. He was to take them to an Evacuation Hospital at Libin, Belgium but when he arrived there the hospital was unable to accept them and so he went to the 130th General Hospital. He then started back (the following morning 21st December 1944) and rejoined us enroute to Dinant, Belgium at about 1100 hours 21 December 1944.

The last word we had from Battalion Hq was about 0900 hours when S/Sgt Kirk (Co. D) arrived from Vielsalm. He had no orders except a request for a report on patients which we planned to send. We later learned that 1st Lt. Wanderman, left Vielsalm about ½  to 1 hour after S/Sgt. Kirk but was unable to get through being fired upon and wounded enroute.


6

At 1130 hours Captain Lifchez and 1st Lt. Boris Krynski were sent in a weapons carrier to locate a new site for our station in the event it should be necessary to move which we did not intend to do at this time because of information received from the 7th Armored Division. Lt. Krynski and Captain Lifchez were under shell-fire in leaving LaRoche and after locating a site at Malreaux, Belgium about 5 miles distant. They were forced to return by another route due to enemy action and did not arrive back at our station until approximately 1545 hours at which time they reported that the road to Vielsalm was still closed.

At 1300 hours a request for an ambulance and aid for casualties was reported on the road between LaRoche and Vielsalm in the vicinity of Samree, Belgium. Capt George M. Osborne, M.C., and Tec 4 Leland A. Dubois, Tec 4 William C. Essary Jr., Tec 4 Paul M. Eaton, Pfc Edward E. Heimann, Pvt Domingo P. Perez were sent. They reported to Lt. Col. Karpinski where they were under shell-fire as active combat was going on here with small arms fire, Mortar fire and Armored vehicles. Casualties were given aid and evacuated by ambulance. Tec 4 Dubois volunteered to remain behind and assist Lt. Col. Karpinski when be requested a man be left with him. The rest returned to our station.

At about 1315 hours we received a direct hit just in front of our station which was probably an 88MM High Explosive shell. Fragments struck and instantly killed Tec 5 John I. Quinlan, ASN xxxxxx, Co. D 331 Med Bn. The diagnosis made on this man was: BC KIA SW (HE) Pen occipital region left SV SF, LOD Yes death at 1315 hours. Also killed instantly was Tec 5 Raymond Lawler Hq Co 106th Inf Div with wounds of rt chest and rt. arm. These men were in front of the building at the time working on our kitchen equipment which we were getting ready to load. About 1345 hours another shell burst just in front of our station. A fragment coming through the window wounded T/Sgt Theodore Buriak, Co. D 331 Med Bn. His right ilium was shattered and a laceration of the lower right quadrant of the abdominal wall was present. His leg was splinted, hemorrhage controlled, morphine given and two units of Plasma and he was immediately evacuated to the 130th General Hospital. His condition was good although we were not sure whether he had a perforation of the bowel or not. We also evacuated Sgt. Ralph H. Brown, ASN xxxxxxxx, with Nasopharyngitis, cat., ac., to the same hospital.

At about 1415 hours we received word from the 42nd Field Hospital that they were leaving and they took two other battle casualties that we had received from the 7th Armored Division. It was decided to evacuate as much of our material as we could and most of our personnel leaving behind a skeleton crew of one Officer and 8 EM to give aid to any casualties we might receive. We got 3  2 ½ ton trucks from the 443 QM Transport Troop and loaded as much material on them as we could, giving priority to Personnel, essential medical equipment and valuable medical equipment such as Plasma. A large quantity having been brought that morning in the 2 ½ ton truck from Liege by CWO Eckwerth (most of which was intended for the station at Vielsalm).  These were loaded and left with all personnel including 5 patients who were ready to return to duty, at about 1500 hours, leaving behind the skeleton crew mentioned above.

At about 1530 hours a liaison man was sent to Col. Adams Hq. and we were informed that casualties were being cared for at a Collecting Station about 3 miles out of LaRoche on the road to Malreaux and that we were serving no useful purpose in remaining and Col. Adams advised us to leave immediately. This we did and left LaRoche at about 1700 hours with Capt. Lifchez and 1st Lt. Krynski and our 8 EM and two Army ambulances that reported in just as we were ready to leave. We met two more shortly after and they joined us. When the trucks with the advance party was leaving they took a water trailer, one trailer containing an electric generator and other equipment but one trailer containing the Company Records and Safe was left behind. This was not noted in the excitement of the shelling and evacuating and we were not able to return for it when its absence was noted the following morning as by this time Malreaux, Belgium was being shelled.

We located at Malreaux, Belgium that night at about 1900 hours and contacted the advance Hq. of the Third Armored Division at Malreaux to see if they could give us any information on how we could get to Vielsalm. They told us that they did not think we could get through and advised us that we should not try it that night.


7

At about 2300 hours our guards reported lights in a nearby house flashing on and off at regular intervals, in the manner of signals. Capt. Osborne confirmed this and on knocking on the door with the intention of warning them or investigating the door was slammed shut and barred. He reported this to a Reconnaissance Car in town aid they came out, shots were exchanged between the house and the car and five prisoners were taken and turned over to the local police.

We had left a liaison agent at the Advance Headquarters of the 3rd Armored Division and he reported at 0615 that there was no change. While serving breakfast at 0730 shells began landing in our vicinity and small arms fire was heard. We had intended contacting Advance Hq of the 3rd Armored Division again and perhaps going to their Hq. at Werbomont, Belgium but this route now seemed cut-off and we left for Durbuy, Belgium which seemed to be the only road open. Being unable to get any information there we went on to Dinant, Belgium where we hoped to be able to contact our Division Hq. This not being possible at the time it was decided to remain there until we could get word to our own Hq. or learn their location. We contacted QM Hq. in Dinant and they quartered us in an empty hotel that night. They had no information as to the tactical situation but when I returned at 0800 hours 22 December 1944, they had moved to the other side of the river. As we could not get quarters there an Advance Agent was sent to Givet, Belgium where he contacted the CO, of the Repl Pool. He advised us to go to Namur, Belgium and try to contact the 1st Army there. We moved our convoy to Namur. Ten more ambulances having joined us after being unable to get to Vielsalm the day before the 21 December l944. At Namur our advance agent was able to contact G-3 of the 1st Army and after some delay received orders about 1800 to report to the 134th Medical Group at Verviers, Belgium. By the time our convoy was located it was 2100 hours and men were housed in a vacant house in the outskirts of Namur.

We left at 0730 on the 23 December 1944 for Verviers where we reported. We were told there by the CO, to report to our own Hq. in the vicinity of Werbomont, Belgium. We left Verviers at 1700 hours and reported to our Hq. at about 2000 hours on the 23 December 1944.

Equipment we left at LaRoche, Belgium consisted of Footlockers and Duffle bags of Officers and Duffle Bags of Enlisted Men. Medical Equipment consisting of: Litters, several blanket cases and 2 units of our kitchen, stove, etc.

On the 23 December 1944 when the company was again functioning as a whole the strength was still 13 Officers but the enlisted personnel was now reduced to 93 men. On that date we treated 114 cases, transferred 58 cases and returned 2 cases to duty from all units served.

On 24 December 1944, 130 cases were treated, 117 cases were transferred, and 13 were returned too duty.  Aside from routine treatment and function, the company was given a lift in spirits when thousands of heavy bombers (B-17 Fortresses) flew over head bound for Germany. A few of these plus a few of our protective fighter planes were downed by flak and enemy aircraft.

The Clearing Station at Werbomont was closed at 1700 hours 24 December 1944, and the Company was transported via motor convoy, a distance of 15 miles, to Banneux, Belgium arriving at l945 hours.

The 106th Division Clearing Station was opened to receive casualties at 1000 hours 25 December 1944. In this location the station was operating in a building used as an orphanage and school for small children, war victims, sponsored by the Catholic Church under the direct supervision of two priests and several nuns. Casualty admissions and dispositions for 25 December 1944 were as follows: 17 cases treated, 17 cases evacuated to the rear, and none returned to duty. One of our own units (424th Inf  Regt) was committed but we were giving no direct support to any other units, hence the reason for such a small number of cases received for treatment on this date.

Our Clearing Station treated few casualties at Banneux, Belgium with the exception of the 26 December l944. On that day the 424th Inf Regt was subjected to a heavy enemy artillery barrage which brought us many casualties. Our records show 128 cases treated, 121 cases transferred and 3 cases returned to duty. On approximately the 27 December 1944 the 424th Inf Regt was sent to a rest area.


8

Also on the 26 December 1944 Captain Jack B. Kamholz was reld fr atchd unasgd and assigned to Company “B” 331st Medical Battalion per Par. l, SO #116 Hq 331st Medical Battalion and Tec 4 Alexander W. Krupka, ASN 11044475, Company “B” was placed on DS with us per the same Special Order Par. 3. Our strength at this time was 12 Officers and 93 enlisted personnel, plus 1 EM on Detached Service with us.

While at Banneux the Company had an opportunity to check shortages and serviceability of equipment. Lists were compiled of both Company and personal equipment shortages were made and turned in on requisition for issue. Many men had lost equipment particularly, the 1st Platoon, who, due to their hasty departure from LaRoche, had little more than the clothing they were wearing.

On the 27 December 1944 we treated 55 cases, transferred 16 cases and returned 3 cases to duty.

On the 28 December 1944 we treated 70 cases, transferred 3 cases and returned 9 cases to duty.

Because we were quite a distance from other units of our Division which were in rest areas near Esneux, Belgium, we made plans to move our Clearing Station to Esneux on the 28 December 1944. At 1630 hours 28 December 1944 the 2nd Platoon left Banneux via motor convoy for Esneux, arriving there about 1730 hours. Distance traveled 12 miles. The 1st Platoon departed from Banneux at 1000 on 29 December 1944. They joined the 2nd Platoon at Esneux at 1130 hours.  The Clearing Station was located in a spacious Chateau which had very good accommodations for treatment and care of patients. On 29 December 1944 at 1630 hours a V-l bomb landed approximately 400 yards from our building and shattered nearly all the windows in the building. Sgt Kenneth Finlayson was cut by flying glass while on duty in the admission room. Four EM of Hq Det were also slightly cut by flying glass. During our stay at Esneux V-1 Bombs came over the building at frequent intervals and many landed near enough to shake the building. Because our Division was receiving reinforcements and in the process of re-equipping we had very few casualties while here. The year’s end found us still at Esneux.

On the 29 December 1944 we treated 67 cases, transferred 14 cases and returned to duty 22 cases from all units served.

On the 30 December 1944 we treated 50 cases, transferred 3 cases and returned to duty 13 cases. On this date 1st Sgt John J. Buck, ASN xxxxxxxx, was evacuated to the 128th Evacuation Hospital with the following diagnosis: NBC Cholangitis, ac., cat., S, cause undet., LOD Yes. Our strength was now 12 Officers and 92 enlisted personnel. S/Sgt Walter L. Hearn was appointed acting 1st Sgt.

On the 31 December 1944 we treated 62 cases, transferred 7 cases, and returned to duty 10 cases. On the last day of the month our strength remained the same as already shown for the 30 December 1944. Our Clearing Station was still at Esneux, Belgium and a Supplementary Report was this date turned in on Casualties handled by the 1st Platoon at LaRoche, Belgium on the 19 and 20 December 1944. Which were: 19 December 1944 we treated 49 cases, transferred 7 cases and returned 0 to duty; 20 December 1944 we treated 146 cases, transferred 146 cases and returned 0 to duty.