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Medical Detachment, 393rd Infantry, First Battalion Section, APO 449, U.S. Army, 23 January 1945

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First Battalion Section

  APO 449, U S ARMY
  23 January 1945

SUBJECT: History: Report After Action,

TO:  S-3, First Battalion, 393d Infantry Regiment.

    1.   In compliance with verbal request of 2 January l945 the following History of the First Battalion Medical Section after action is submitted:

12 DECEMBER 1944:  The Aid station, located in the Krinkelt Forest, near of Krinkelt, Belgium performed normal duties during the day and at night arranged for the Medical Support of Units of the First Battalion engaged in digging in positions forward of the existing line. All company CP’s were visited by Medical Officer during the day. As a result of the work that night two (2) patients, wounded, severe were evacuated.

13 DECEMBER 1944:  In anticipation of  “demonstration” this date, a modified system of evacuation was set up to facilitate the abnormal heavy flow of casualties from the patrol action. Set up included a double allocation of litter bearer squads in areas where trouble was expected and utilization of all Medical Transportation. Casualties entered the station between 1030 and 1130 and the last was evacuated to the rear before 1200. Average treatment time was 20 minutes. Four (4) casualties, wounded, slight, returned to duty. Seven (7) wounded, serious, evacuated, eleven (11), slight, wounded, evacuated.. One (1) disease, slight, evacuated. One (1), KIA examined. Total twenty-four (24).

14 DECEMBER 1944:  Normal duties; Medical Officer visited each UP, attended critique on “demonstration”. One (1) casualty wounded slight evacuated.

15 DECEMBER 1944:  Normal medical duties including visit of Medical Officer to CP’s. One (1) casualty wounded slight. Returned to duty; One (1) disease slight and one NBI slight evacuated .

16 DECEMBER 1944:  The Aid Station Section was awakened by the sound of a sweeping barrage of enemy artillery, heavy and light. An enemy Robot Bomb exploded in the Aid Station area causing no damage. One (l) detachment Dug-Out was struck by a heavy projectile which failed to explode, and another was struck by an 88 mm. projectile, wounding all four (4) occupants, three (3) seriously. Using Regimental Aid Station, Chaplains and Motor  Pool vehicles it was possible to maintain an efficient system of evacuation although frequently vehicles were delayed enroute or actually fired upon by the enemy who had penetrated our lines. One (1) Aid-Man was twice wounded and evacuated, but a member of his platoon carried on the Medical  Duties in his place. A small relief squad of technicians and Medical Officers from the Regimental Aid Station rendered assistance in the late evening, and litter-bearers recruited from a line company plus those from Company A, 324th Medical Bn. assisted during the afternoon. It was impossible to keep complete records of all casualties but the following are on record. Disease; slight Five (5) evacuated, NBI, slight, One (1) evacuated, Wounded, Eight (8) to duty, Forty (40) slight and Eight (8) serious evacuated. Of the above all but one were from this Unit. During the night communications were poor.  


17 DECEMBER 1944:  One company of the Second Div. passed through the Aid Station area toward the front to dig in a reserve line. Casualties and patients from this unit were treated in the Station together with those of the First Battalion. Up to 1600 one casualty, wounded was returned to duty and Five slightly wounded, Two seriously wounded, One slight NBI and One slight disease were evacuated. Five from units other than our own. The sound of small arms fire seemed to approach nearer during the morning, and at 1100 Battalion Exec. Officer alerted the Detachment to move to a more forward position. On request, it was agreed the new site would be selected and announced by S-1. Nothing further was heard on this matter and at 1130 telephone communication ceased and a runner was kept at the supply area to await orders. At approximately 1545 enemy machine gun bullets were entering the area, enemy tracers were seen along the main road between Krinkelt and the lines, and Burp-gun” fire covered an adjacent fire-lane. As Station Personnel withdrew to the rear thru the woods, all Medical Transportation plus a number discovered abandoned as presumably bogged down a fire-break and turned into a hitherto  unused lane breaking, in the process, a barrier marked “Achtung Minen”, by so doing screening from direct observation and drawing fire away from the Second Division Infantrymen and members of the Detachment as they crossed an open field. Two Three-Quarter ton trucks, Four Jeeps, with Two trailers and the Chaplain’s Jeep with trailer executed the maneuver under continuous tracer fire but only one vehicle was actually hit and managed to continue. At a protecting bend in the road members of the detachment boarded the vehicles which then continued and reported to the Regimental Surgeon and Regimental S-3. During the day Medical vehicles returning to the front carried water and rations to the troops. Three jeeps were knocked out during the day while engaged in this manner. Two non-commissioned officers volunteered and returned to the former aid station site later in the afternoon and there met two other “Medics” who had managed to bring back a jeep-load of casualties from the former line after having been cut off for the better part of the day. With the successful evacuation of these casualties under fire the detachment was obliged to discontinue Medical Service there.

18 DECEMBER 1944:  Under control of the Regimental Surgeon, the Medical Detachment withdrew from Krinkelt in convoy and reassembled at Camp Elsenborn, returning to the village of Elsenborn to spend the night in the re—located Regimental Aid Station. No casualty records exist.
19 DECEMBER 1944:  The Aid Station complement was divided in half and with the Assistant Battalion Surgeon one advance section joined with the third battalion 393d Infantry to render Medical Support in lieu of Third Battalion Medical Section, missing in action, in toto. With this unit the Medical Section dug in along the Krinkelt-Berg road and moved in the late afternoon to a hill-top position at Roderhoh, one mile southeast of Elsenborn, where, since a peripheral defense was mapped it was necessary to so locate the unit as to service both the third battalion, on line, and the First Battalion, in reserve. During the day Two disease, slight, and Ten NBI slight were evacuated, all but one from the 393d Infantry.

20 DECEMBER:  The Aid Station permanent site was selected at a less exposed and better defiladed area and dug in. The remainder of the first battalion Medical Section personnel arrived to assist in this operation, but upon heavy artillery barrage and the approach of enemy tanks it was determined to use the position as a forward collecting point for the first and third battalion and to establish the aid station three quarters of a mile to the rear in a convenient farm building. During the day NBI, slight. Twenty-four, and wounded, slight, Two evacuated. Eight being from  units other than the first battalion.


21 DECEMBER 1944:  The new aid station site was improved and evacuation procedure established for the efficient evacuation of first and third battalion casualties from the forward collecting point. Telephone communication at this forward point was installed with both CP’s.  The aid station was obliged to service battalions for a period of three weeks from this date with personnel ordinarily inadequate for one battalion section, but due to the depletion of line company troops was able to do so.  Three disease slight, Thirteen NBI slight. Two wounded slight and one wounded serious were evacuated. Six being from units other than the first battalion.

22 DECEMBER 1944:  A temporary drying room arrangement was established by the aid station for the salvage of slight foot and URI Cases to avoid mass evacuations. During the day Three NBI serious were evacuated.

23 DECEMBER 1944:  Normal Medical Duties. An attempt was made to catch up on all records of slight wounds sustained during the previous week but not seen by a Medical Officer. During the day Fourteen slight wounds were carded to duty, Three disease slight, One disease serious and five NBI slight were evacuated. Eight being from other units.

24 DECEMBER 1944:  Normal Medical Duties. Three slight wounded returned to duty, Four NBI serious, One wounded slight and three wounded serious were evacuated. Seven being from other units.

25 DECEMBER 1944: Normal Medical Duties. Two disease slight, One NBI serious, One wounded serious evacuated. Two from other units.

26 DECEMBER 1944:  Three wounded slight returned to duty. One wound slight, One wounded serious, One NBI serious evacuated.  One from other units.

27 DECEMBER 1944:  Four wounded slight returned to duty. The Two wounded serious, One disease slight evacuated. Two being from other units and, the unit of a third being undetermined.  All above duty cases were carded for Purple Heart record only, wounds having been sustained at sometime in the past. The same applies to most duty figures during this period.

28 DECEMBER 1944: Five wounded slight returned to duty. Eight wounded serious, One disease serious were evacuated. Six of the above were from other units, including one enemy casualty.

29 DECEMBER 1944:  Five wounded slight returned to duty. Three wounded serious evacuated and one KIA examined. Five being from other units.

lst Lt., MAC
Ass’t Bn Surg.

Source:  National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 407, 393d Infantry Regiment, 1st Battalion, Medical Section After Action Report, December 1944, Box 14194.