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Foreword

Contents

FOREWORD

At the outset I wish to say that the Army Medical Department owes a special debt of gratitude to Professor James H. Stone for his unique and distinctive account of military medical service activities in India and Burma during World War II.

When this volume first came to my attention in manuscript form, it appeared that Professor Stone's presentation of the entire picture of medical support required in an Asian theater of operations, albeit in World War II, had considerable applicability to the problems being encountered in Southeast Asia today.

Professor Stone, presently with the Department of Humanities, San Francisco State College, San Francisco, Calif., is a former Medical Service Corps officer who served with distinction as a military historian during World War II. Instead of filling his usual role of author, in this volume he is an editor-compiler, bringing together into one unit, five separate reports from this theater. We are indeed fortunate that, as a patriotic gesture, he made an outright gift of his manuscript to the Army Medical Department. This valuable information--particularly the lessons learned concerning jungle operations, line versus medical command responsibility, and medical planning--will now be available to all members of the Army Medical Department, and to other students of medicomilitary history.

This volume, in part, expresses forthrightly and candidly the experiences of many dedicated medical personnel who labored and in the main, succeeded under great hardship and against many odds; it may well become a primer for medical plans and operations in Asian environments.

This work is, in truth, in many ways a passionate account of a nonending battle to save lives and preserve the fighting strength in a theater of operations which, at least for those who were there, was the end of the line. It makes for fascinating reading despite, or perhaps because of, the fact that it is a true and unvarnished report of a way of life which our medical troops endured in a far-off land under most trying circumstances.

I recommend this volume most highly and urge all members of the Army Medical Department to read it, and to profit from its pages.

LEONARD D. HEATON,
Lieutenant General,
The Surgeon General.