U.S. Army Medical Department, Office of Medical History
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Company "D" 331st Medical Battalion

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APO #443, U. S. Army

(1 Jan - 31 January 1945)

The first day of 1945 found our Clearing Station still operating in the Chateau near Esneux, Belgium K452158 and our census of  patients treated were 59 cases, transferred 8 cases, and returned to duty 9 cases from all units served. Our Company had 12 Officers of which 9 were MC, 2 DC, and 1 MAC (8 Captains and 4 1st Lieutenants) 92 EM and 1 EM on Detached Service with us from Company “B” 331 Medical Battalion (Tec 4 Alexander W. Krupka). Captain Joseph L. Grosh, M. C. was commanding officer and S/Sgt Walter L. Hearn was acting 1st Sgt.

December 1944 had been a very eventful month for our outfit and we had no idea of what the future might hold for us. The tactical situation was improving considerably in our favor and the enemy was being forced back toward St. Vith while suffering heavy casualties. The 424th Inf Regt was in a rest area. While the two other infantry Regiments of the 106th Infantry Division (422nd and 423rd) were still Missing In Action with the exception of a few hundred men who had infiltrated through the enemy lines.

During the first week of January most of the time was spent in reorganizing the various remaining units of our Division and as a result the majority of casualties treated at the 106th Division Clearing Station were non-battle casualties with a majority of these being trench foot and frostbite and likewise many cases of Nasopharyngitis. During this week icthyol ointment was used in some of the cases of frostbite of the feet. The results were not very satisfactory and it was decided to return to the original plan of treatment, namely, using rest and elevation of the feet.

In the period from the 1st January to the 10 January 1945 our Company was completely equipped as to individual personnel and organizational equipment and we were prepared to serve in a more forward echelon. Most of the enlisted personnel had needed almost complete re-equipping especially the 1st Platoon who had through necessity left most of their personal and organizational equipment at LaRoche, Belgium on 20 December 1944. After about a week of comparative inactivity treating mostly foot cases and upper respiratory cases (Nasopharyngitis) the majority of the Officers and enlisted personnel were anxious to get back to work and return to action again as we were at Vielsalm and Werbomont, Belgium in December l944.

Our 424th Inf Regt was to be sent back into the line again and therefore a reconnaissance was made to find a site for a Clearing Station. A site was located which was not very desirable at Niveze, Belgium near Spa, Belgium. The Clearing Station was located in a building which was not large enough but due to the concentration of troops in this area it was necessary to make use of it regardless.

Resume of Activities from 1st January to 30 January 1945:

1 January 1945 we treated 59 cases, transferred 8 cases, and returned to duty 9 cases.

2 January 1945 we treated 71 cases, transferred 11 cases, and returned to duty 3 cases. Captain Jack H. Kamholz was reassigned to our Company while 1st Lt. Monroe E. Neumann was transferred to Company “B” 331 Medical Battalion and Tec 5 Nicos George was transferred to Hq Detachment per Special Order #1 Hq 331 Medical Battalion dated 1 Jan 45. Also on this day Tec 4 Jack Reasor and Tec 5 Louis A. Schaum Jr. were reduced to the grade of private without prejudice while Tec 4 Shimko was promoted to the rank of S/Sgt Tec 4 Essary to Sgt and the following Tec 5's promoted to Tec 4, Richter, Whayne Jr, Bauguess, and Eaton, the following Pfc’s were promoted to Tec 5, Russell, Null, Yochum, Kroboth and Lawson. Our strength was now 12 officers of which 9 were Captains and 3 1st Lt and now 91 EM.


3 January 1945 we treated 86 cases, transferred 16 cases and returned to duty 14 cases.

14 January 1945 we treated 83 cases, transferred 8 cases and returned to duty 22 cases.

5 January 1945 we treated 57 cases, transferred 5 cases and returned to duty 214 cases.

6 January 1945 we treated 141 cases, transferred 0 cases and returned to duty 12 cases.

7 January 1945 we treated 44 eases, transferred 3 cases and returned to duty 6 cases.

8 January 1945 we treated 51 cases, transferred 1 case and returned to duty 9 cases. On this date Pvt Charles J. Zalutsky, ASN xxxxxxxx, was placed on Detached Service as a medical aid-man with the 424th Inf Regt.

9 January 1945 we treated 46 eases, transferred 2 cases and returned to duty 8 cases.

On the 10 January 1945 the 1st Platoon of our Company departed from Esneux, Belgium via motor convoy and arrived at Niveze, Belgium K705125 at 1530 hours. The distance traveled was 21 miles. The Clearing Station was set-up and opened at 1700 hours. This was mainly an administrative move and the casualties received here were light, consisting mainly of foot cases and respiratory diseases (Nasopharyngitis). On this day we treated 37 cases, transferred 3 cases and returned to duty 6 cases. The Clearing Station at Esneux, Belgium was closed at 1700 hours.

On the 11 January 1945 the 2nd Platoon departed from Esneux, Belgium at 0900 hours, via motor convoy and rejoined the 1st Platoon at Niveze at 1130 hours. The 2nd Platoon was kept in reserve and prepared to move at any time while the 1st Platoon operated the Station. The tactical situation had changed and we were preparing to attack. The 1st Platoon operated the station at Niveze from 1530 hours 10 January 1945 until 1600 hours 13 January 1945.

On the 13 January 1945 2nd Platoon departed at 1300 hours via motor convoy from Niveze and arrived at Cour [Coo], Belgium K665053 at 1400 hours. They established and opened a Clearing Station in the Provincial Sanatorium (Tuberculosis sanatorium for Belgian Civilians). This was quite a large building and was very suitable for a Clearing Station. The 1st Platoon closed the Clearing Station at 1600 hours 13 January 1916 and rejoined the 2nd Platoon at 1630. The distance traveled was six miles.

The 424th Inf Regt was sent into combat on the 11 January 1945 and were attacking and gaining much ground. Therefore during the night of 11 January we began to receive but very few casualties and these were still mostly non-battle casualties. The next day 12 January 1945 was still light and mostly non-battle casualties. However, on the 13 January 1945 in our new location at Cour, Belgium we were nearer the front and much better prepared to receive battle casualties. Our troops composed of the 424th Inf Regt, 81st Eng (C) Bn, and 517th Parachute Infantry were now attacking on the south and east of Stavelot, Belgium. Our casualties were mostly battle casualties and were quite heavy. Due to the efficient evacuation of patients by First Army Ambulances in spite of very icy roads we were able to clear these patients without creating a bottleneck. Several severe chest wounds were treated and evacuated. One of these was a sucking wound of the chest with probable spinal cord injury and also having a compound fracture of the femur.


The majority of the wounds seen were due to Artillery and Mortar fire. Also, many of our patients had been exposed to zero weather for several hours before receiving initial First-Aid Treatment but in spite of this few were in shock. Nine units of Plasma were used without any untoward reaction. No single case needed more than 2 Units. At about 1800 hours due to the hazardous and icy condition of the roads one of the 1st Army Ambulances turned over about 100 yards from the station with 5 of our patients whom we had just treated and evacuated. Fortunately none of these patients wounds were aggravated due to this accident.

Casualties were not as heavy on the 14 January 1945 as they had been on the previous day but we had many admissions because of frostbite, mostly feet cases, and some Nasopharyngitis. The battle casualties were due to Artillery, rifle, and mines. The German forces were steadily retreating but were leaving anti-personnel mines behind them causing much delay to our troops. For several days we continued to receive heavy casualties moat of them though were frostbitten feet, some exhaustion cases, and injuries due to mines.

Resume of Activities for the period from 11 January 1945 to 20 January 1945:

11 January 1945 we treated 39 cases, transferred 14 cases, and returned to duty 2 cases.

12 January 1945 we treated 62 cases, transferred 114 cases, and returned to duty 12 cases.

13 January 1945 we treated 186 cases, transferred 107 cases, and returned to duty 11 cases.

14 January 1945 we treated 180 cases, transferred 61 cases, and returned to duty 3 cases. On this date Sgt Ralph R. Brown, xxxxxxxx, and Pvt William J. Barry who had been transferred in December 1944 to Evacuation Hospitals due to Nasopharyngitis were reassigned. Our strength was now 12 Officers and 93 enlisted personnel.

15 January 1945 we treated 249 cases, transferred 814 cases and returned to duty 12 cases. On this date Pfc Oliver B. Winkler, xxxxxxxx, was placed on Detached Service with Division Headquarters (G-2). His job was to work in public relations office.

16 January 1945 we treated 268 cases, transferred 66 cases, and returned to duty 28 cases.

17 January 1945 we treated 289 cases, transferred 78 cases, and returned to duty 31 cases. On this day Sgt Vincent J. Mustacchio, xxxxxxxx, was transferred to the 128th Evacuation Hospital with the following diagnosis: NBC Urticaria, mod, SV, Generalized, type and cause undetermined, S, LOD Yes. Our personnel strength was therefore 12 Officers and 92 Enlisted Men of which two of these were on Detached Service.

18 January 1945 we treated 241 cases, transferred 49 cases, and returned to duty 30 cases. On the 17 January 1945 the Collecting Company “A” 331st Medical Battalion had become a holding company working in conjunction with the Clearing Station and was located at our former station in Niveze, Belgium. They were able to hold approximately 90 to 100 patients and treat them. We sent them mostly foot cases and enteritis and a few respiratory cases. By doing this we were able to hold patients until they could be returned to duty otherwise we would have been forced to evacuate them and they would have been lost to the 106th Division. During this procedure we had at Company “A” at one time as high as 90 patients.

18 January 1945 Tec 5 Cleveland W. Mitchell, xxxxxxxx, was transferred to the 96th Evacuation Hospital with the following diagnosis: NBC Bronchitis, cat, ac, cause undet., LOD Yes. Our enlisted Personnel was now 91 EM of which two were still on detached service.


19 January 1945 we treated 198 cases, transferred 8 cases, and returned to duty 12 cases. Captain Elmer W. Lewis was put on detached service with Hq Special Troops in the forward echelon. Captain Lewis was platoon leader of the 1st Platoon. In his absence Captain George M. Osborne was made platoon leader.

20 January 1945 we treated 210 cases, transferred 21 cases, and returned to duty 20 cases.

21 January 1945 we treated 218 cases, transferred 19 cases, and returned to duty 26 cases.

22 January 1945 we treated 215 cases, transferred 17 cases, and returned to duty 26 cases.

23 January 1945 we treated 195 cases, transferred 10 cases, and returned to duty 26 cases.

On the 24 January 1945 at 0930 hours the 1st Platoon departed via motor convoy for our former location at the Chateau, at Esneux, Belgium K6605. A previous reconnaissance had been made to the rear to see if this chateau was still available before the move was made. We had personal knowledge of this location as we had previously operated our Clearing station from 28 December 1944 until 10 January 1945 and found it very satisfactory. The move was made from the Provincial Sanatorium because the First Army had priority on the building for one of their medical installations and we were not supporting any front line troops at this time. Our 424th Inf Regt was on the line near Diedenberg, Belgium in the vicinity of St. Vith but they were being evacuated through the 7th Armored Division Clearing Station.

The 2nd Platoon remained at the Sanatorioum Provincial until 25 January 1945 at 1000 hours when they departed via motor convoy from Cour for Esneux, Belgium.  The patients had been transported to Esneux, on the 24 January by Ambulance convoy. Traveling conditions were very hazardous due to icy roads but all, vehicles reached their destination without accident. The distance traveled was 26 miles.

The only patients we were receiving while at Esneux, Belgium were those from the rear echelon and most were non-battle casualties. The majority of our cases during the next week were suffering from either frostbite and nasopharyngitis.

Shortly after midnight on 26 January 1945 a near calamity hit our company. Members of the 1st Platoon were awakened by smoke filling the room in which they were sleeping. They discovered that due to an overheated stove a fire had developed in the floor and was spreading rapidly between the rafters. Members of the 1st Platoon quickly got the fire under control by chopping holes in the floor and dealing with the fire directly. Pvt Bowers and Tec 4 Swift showed unusual skill in fighting the fire. Their were no casualties and none of the patients were in any great danger.

The following is a resume of the Activities of the Company from 24 Jan - 31 Jan 1945:

24 January 1945 we treated 167 cases, transferred 3 cases and returned to duty 24 cases.

25 January 1945 we treated 167 cases, transferred 21 cases, and returned to duty 42 cases.

26 January 1945 we treated 84 cases, transferred 6 cases, and returned to duty 30 cases. On this date Pvt Domingo P. Perez, xxxxxxxx, was evacuated to the 45th Evac. Hosp. with the following diagnosis: NBC Bronchitis, ac, cat, LOD Yes. This loss brought our enlisted personnel to 90 EM.


27 January 1945 we treated 56 cases, transferred 2 cases, and returned to duty 1 case. Lt. Krynski went to LaRoche, Belgium on this day to try to locate some of the equipment left there on the 20 December l944 when it was necessary to make a hasty withdrawal due to the advance of the German Forces. However, it was a fruitless search. And the disposition of all medical equipment, Company records and personal equipment can not be determined whether it was captured by the Germans or whether the 7th Armored Division who occupied this city after our withdrawal managed to collect it.

28 January 1945 we treated 54 cases, transferred 1 case, and returned to duty 9 cases. Tec 4 Whayne was transferred to the 5th Evacuation Hospital in grade per Par 5 SO #6 Hq 1st U. S. Army dated 6 January 1945. Our enlisted personnel was now as low as 89 EM. Also Pvt Charles J. Zalutsky, xxxxxxxx, on DS 424th Infantry Regt was hospitalized in the 7th Armd Div Clr Sta with the following diagnosis: LIA BC Frostbite both ft, S, LOD Yes. General Perrin visited the Clearing Station this date, and conferred honors on Officers and EM from Hq & Hq Det and Company “C” 331 Med Bn.

29 January 1945 we treated 68 cases, transferred 14 cases and returned to duty 11 cases.

30 January 1945 we treated 72 cases, transferred 9 cases and returned to duty 16 cases. Pvt Joseph R. DeLizio, xxxxxxxx, was assigned to our company from the 424th Infantry Regt per Par 1, SO #9 Hq 331 Med Bn this raised our enlisted personnel to 90 EM. Tec 5 Michael M. Padjen, xxxxxxxx, was promoted to the grade of Tec 4 and Pvt Wiles, xxxxxxxx, was promoted to the grade of Tec 5.

31 January we treated 66 cases, transferred 5 cases, and returned to duty 14 cases from all units served. Pvt Charles J. Zalutsky, xxxxxxxx, was relieved of DS and returned to duty. Pvt William J. Barry, xxxxxxx, was transferred to Company “B” 331 Medical Battalion and Tec 4 Alexander W. Krupka, xxxxxxxx, was relieved of DS with us and returned to Company “B” per SO #11 Hq 331 Medical Battalion. On the last day of the month our Officer Personnel was Captain Joseph W. Grosh, MC, Commanding and consisted of 9 Captains (7 MC and 2 DC) and 3 1st Lieutenants, of which one was MAC (1st Lt. Hunt, Ass’t Co. Cmdr). Our enlisted personnel was 89 EM with S/Sgt Walter L. Hearn acting 1st Sgt.

CENSUS:  3,835 Treatments, 1,145 Admissions, 499 Duty, 546 Transferred, 584 BC, 561 Non-Battle Casualties, remaining in the station on this date (31 Jan 1945) 147 cases.