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103D Medical Battalion, 28th Infantry Division, Unit Report No. 4

The Fight for the Hürtgen Forest

103D MEDICAL BATTALION, 28TH INFANTRY DIVISION

UNIT REPORT
NO. 4
From  - 010001A Oct '44
To - 312400A Oct '44

103rd Medica1 Battalion, APO 28
1 November 1944
Location - Vic. Raeren, Belgium
(859323, Sh. S-1, Bonn)

Maps:

    GSGS - Central Europe 1:100,000, Sh. S-1

1. OWN SITUATION:

a. Location of troops, command post and boundaries.

(1) At the close of the period, the three collecting companies of this battalion were in operation, each supporting its respective combat team. Their locations, as shown on the attached overlay, were at the following points:

Company A - Vic. Zweifall, Germany (957364, Sh. S-1)

Company B - 2 Mi E of Rotgen, Germany (952302, Sh. S-1)

Company C - Vic, Zweifall, Germany (954364, Sh. S-1) In proximity to Company A due to the tactical situation at the time.

The Battalion CP, Clearing Company, Division Medical Supply dump, and 2nd Echelon Motor Maintenance section, were located in the vicinity of Raeren, Belgium. (859321, Sh. S-1)

b. Location of adjacent medical units and supporting elements.

(1) At the close of the period the following medical units were adjacent:

Left flank - Co. B, 9th Medical Battalion, 9th Infantry Division.

Right flank - Medical Detachment, 4th Cavalry Group.

(2) Auxiliary litter bearer teams of the 382nd Collecting Company, 53rd Medical Battalion were attached to the collecting companies of this battalion in anticipation of evacuation over exceptionally difficult terrain.

(3) Supporting the evacuation of the division clearing station were the following units:

(a) Ambulances of the 452nd Collecting Company, 179th Medical Battalion, 134th Medical Group.

(b) Casualties were being evacuated to the 2nd Evacuation Hospital and 45th Field Hospital and 622nd Clr. Co. at the close of the period. During the month the following medical units also serviced this battalion: The 44th, 45th, 67th and 107th Evacuation Hospitals.

c. Operations during the period covered by this report.

The medical battalion continued to carry out its normal function of supporting the 28th Infantry Division by evacuating, treating and disposing of the casualties suffered by the division. Operations during the period differed from those of the preceding months in that the units of this battalion changed position a relatively few number of times. The clearing station changed position twice during the month and in both instances it as established in available buildings supplemented by T/E squad tents when required. Once during the month, a provisional platoon of B Company was detached with a battalion of its CT on a special mission, and established a collecting station on the outskirts of Aachen, Germany. Evacuation was made to the 1st Medical Battalion, the nearest Clearing Station.


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In a relatively stable period, a limited training program was instituted in the battalion for the purpose of correcting deficiencies noted and maintaining a high state of physical efficiency. Station platoon officers of the clearing company visited the collecting companies and presented lectures on various medical subjects pertinent to the medical and surgical technicians. MAC officers likewise held refresher discussions on to tactical subjects.

d. Estimate of Combat Efficiency of Command.

With the continued use of available buildings for patients, the medical personnel of this command were able to care for these casualties in a most efficient manner evidenced by a well-ordered routine being established and maintained during the month. By instituting a training program to correct deficiencies noted, a marked improvement was noted in the care and handling of the casualties. At times when the clearing station and other units were subjected to enemy artillery shell-fire, the manner in which the personnel conducted themselves in insuring the safety of their patients before their own, reflected the high degree of military discipline and training of the unit. During the month the efficiency of 10 members of this battalion was recognized by the award of the Bronze Star Medal for heroic achievement or meritorious conduct.

e. Results of operations.

During the period the following numbers of patients were treated by the companies indicated:

Company A - 480 patients

Company B - 519 patients

Company C - 221 patients

Company D - 1377 patients (Including 20 enemy and 4 civilians)

2. ADMINISTRATIVE

a. Status of strength of command:

At the close of the period the battalion was and understrength two officers, Medical

Corps.

b. Casualties.

        Battle - 0

        Non - Battle:

Evacuated (Sick) - 3

Non -evacuated - 6

c. No prisoners captured by members of this organization.

d. Normal evacuation status.

e. The division and battalion medical supply dump was located in proximity to the clearing station, and at the close of the period was located in the vicinity of Raeren, Belgium. (859323, Sh. S-1)

f. Status of supply.

    Rations - 2 day reserve

    Ammunition - None

    Gasoline - 3 day supply

    Oil - 7 day supply

g. Conditions of roads and circulation in area of unit:

During this period the road net encountered was not so highly developed as has been the case up to this time. On one occasion it was found necessary to re-route our ambulances when the most direct route from collecting stations to clearing station became impassable. On other occasions, one-way traffic on various roads was the rule due to their limited width and poor condition. In spite of these handicaps, the road


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net was satisfactory enough to allow for the use of ambulances forward to the battalion aid stations at all times.

[signed]

HAROLD K. HOGG
Lt. Colonel, MC,
Commanding

2 Incls  [Inclosures not attached to this AAR]
    1- Unit Journal
    1- Overlay

SOURCE: National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 112, Records of the US Army Surgeon General, World War II Records, Entry 1044D, Box 3, Records of the 103d Medical Battalion, 28th Infantry Division.


[103D MEDICAL BATTALION, 28TH INFANTRY DIVISION] UNIT REPORT
No. 5
From:  010001A Nov '44
To:       302400A Nov '44

103rd Medical Battalion, APO 28
1 December 1944
Location Vic Wiltz, Luxembourg
(P706534, Sh No. 17)

 Maps:

    GSGS 4416, Sheets S-1, T-1, 13, 17. 1:100,000\

1.         OWN SITUATION:  

a. Location of troops, command posts, and boundaries.

(1) At the close of the period, the three collecting companies of the battalion were in operation, each supporting its respective combat team. Their locations, as shown on the attached overlay, were at the fol­lowing points:

    Company A - Vic. Ettelbruck, Luxembourg    (P821399, Sh T-1)

    Company B - Vic.. Kautenbach, Luxembourg  (P765520, Sh T-1)

    Company C - Vic. Weiswampach, Luxembourg (P817717, Sh T-1)

 (2) The clearing company had three stations in operation simultaneously, at the following points:

1st Platoon, Clearing Co. - Vic Wiltz, Luxembourg (P706534, Sh #17)

One section, 2nd Platoon, Clr. Co.  - Vic Clervaux Luxembourg (P779630, Sh No. 17)

One section, 2nd Platoon, Clr. Co. -  Vic Ettelbruck, Luxembourg (P825399, Sh No. 17)

(3) The Battalion CP, Division Medical Supply dump, and Battalion 2nd Echelon Motor Maintenance section were located in proximity to the 1st Platoon of Clr Co (Vic Wiltz, Luxembourg P706534, Sh 17).

b. Location of adjacent medical units and supporting elements.

(1) At the close of the period the following medical units were adjacent:

Left flank - 2nd Medical Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division.

Right flank - 308th Medical Battalion, 83rd Infantry Division.

(2) During the period auxiliary litter bearers of the following units were attached to collecting companies of the battalion:

382nd Collecting Co. , 53rd Medical Battalion

452nd Collecting Co. , 179th Medical Battalion

(3) Supporting the evacuation of the Division Clearing station were the following units:

(a) Ambulances of the 580th Ambulance Co., 240th Medical Battalion. (CP at Trois Verges, Luxembourg P753704)

(b) Casualties were being evacuated to the 102nd Evacuation Hospital at Ettelbruck (P826400, Sh T-1), the 1st HU, 42nd Field Hospital (Vic Wiltz, Luxembourg (P708535) and the 635th Clearing Station vic Trois Verges (P763689) at the close of the period. During the month the following medical units serviced this battalion. The 2d, 44th, 67th, 107th and  128th Evacuation Hospitals ; the 51st Field Hospital; the 684th, 618th and 622nd Clearing Stations.

c. Operations during the period covered by this report.

The medical battalion continued to carry out it normal function of supporting the 28th Infantry by evacuating, treating, and disposing of the casualties suffered by the division. During the first half of the period covered by this report, the division was engaged in the most difficult and costly operations so far encountered.  


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In the battalion, one (1) collecting company commander and four (4) enlisted men lost their lives by enemy action. The action took place mainly in hilly, dense forests. The lack of adequate roads, intense cold, rain, sleet, snow, and ever-present mud made medical service to the division most difficult.  Because of the adverse conditions which prohibited the usual use of ambulances and jeeps, long litter hauls were necessary. In one sector, it was necessary to carry patients approximately four miles through the tangles of a pine forest which was shattered by artillery fire. During the night, evacuation through this area was accomplished only by following a telephone wire strung as a guide for the litter teams. Two infantry battalion aid stations were cut off and isolated by the enemy for a three day period. A mass evacuation was affected during a four (4) hour truce arranged for and supervised by 1st Lt Loyd C. Johnson of Company C. Additional litter bearers were obtained from Corps medical units during this month to aid in the evacuation of large numbers of casualties, and at one time it was found necessary to use all available personnel of one of the collecting companies, including cooks and station technicians, to relieve the exhausted litter bearers, and arrangements were made to evacuate to another nearby collecting station (Company B, 9th Medical Battalion). Our collecting stations were regularly subjected to enemy artillery shell fire, and one man was killed and another seriously wounded by art­illery fragments while entering one of the stations.

This battalion moved once during the month, to a new location in a relatively quiet sector supporting the Division in a defensive operation. The width of the front and concurrent wide separation of our medical units necessitated a split of the clearing company with sections so placed as to best support the collecting stations. Three separate clearing stations were established, each receiving the casualties of one collecting station. Amb­ulances attached to each clearing station evacuated casualties directly to the evacuation hospital. This resulted in an economy of time and supplies, as otherwise had one central clearing station been used, it would have been ­necessary to transport casualties a minimum of 15-20 miles from the outlying collecting stations to any such centrally located unit.

During the latter half of the month, the division casualty rate greatly subsided, and with free time available, a training and re‑equipping program was instituted to correct any deficiencies noted during the busy period, and to instruct the new replacements in their assigned jobs. The entire battalion was billeted in available buildings, and the recreational problem was minimized under the existing advantages of nearby facilities.

d. Estimate of Combat Efficiency of Command.

The general conduct is of the men of the command were beyond reproach. In a period of very inclement weather, the  efficient handling of casualties, which were greater than during any previous period,  evidenced a sincere sense of duty and high state of discipline and morale. Seventeen Bronze Star Medals for heroic achievement were awarded to personnel of the collecting companies, and six Purple Heart Awards also made during this period.

e. Results of Operations.

The following numbers of patients were treated during this month by the companies indicated:

    Company A - 1874 patients

    Company B - 1463 patients

    Company C - 1390 patients

    Clearing Company - 5199 patients (including 117 enemy and 2 civilians)

2. ADMINISTRATIVE

a.  Status of strength of command.

At the close of the period the battalion was over strength one (1) officer (MC) and under strength one (1) enlisted man.

b.  Casualties.

            6 Battle - 6 Evacuated

            1 Non-Battle - Not evacuated

c.  No prisoners captured by members of this organization.

d.  Normal evacuation status.

e.  The division and battalion medical supply dump was located proximity to the clearing station (Vic. Wiltz , Luxembourg (P706534, Sh. No 17))

f.  Status of supply.

            Rations - 2 day reserve

            Ammunition - None

            Gasoline - 3 day supply

            Oil - 7 day supply

g. Conditions of roads and circulation in area of unit:

During the first part of the month, the area in which the Battalion operated, had a very poor road net. There were no paved roads forward of the collecting stations and the existing dirt roads were narrow and in bad repair, necessitating a traffic plan for one-way traffic on most of the roads. At times, congestion on existing roads prevented normal evacuation from aid stations to one of the collecting companies, necessitating evacuation to another collecting company of an open road. Ambulances were unable to reach the battalion aid stations at all times. At one time two of the aid stations were temporarily cut off by enemy shell-fire, and during another period to absence of usable roads to some of the aid stations necessitated the establishment of advanced ambulance loading points. When the Battalion moved to a new zone of action during the month, the roads were found to be in excellent condition causing no problem so far as evacuation or supply was concerned.

                                                                        [signed]


                                                                        HAROLD A. HOGG
                                                                        Lt. Colonel, MC
                                                                        Commanding.

SOURCE:  National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 112, Records of the US Army Surgeon General, World War II Records, Entry 1044D, Box 3, Records of the 103d Medical Battalion, 28th Infantry Division.


[103D MEDICAL BATTALION, 28TH INFANTRY DIVISION]

UNIT REPORT
No. 6
From: 010001A Dec 1944
To:     312400A Dec 1944

103rd Medical Battalion, APO 28
2 January 1945
Location: Vic Epioux, Belgium
(P246311, Sh No 17)

Maps:

    GSGS 4336, 1:100,000 GSGS 4416, 1:100,000

1. Location of troops, command posts, and boundaries.

(1) At the close of the period, the three collecting companies of this battalion were in operation, each supporting its respective combat team. Their locations, as shown on the attached overlay, were at the following points.

Company A - Petitvoir, Belgium (P303408, Sh. 17)

Company B - 1 Mi W of Straimont, Belgium (P332282, Sh 17)

Company C - Bomal, Belgium (P428999, Sh 13)

(2) The Division Clearing Station had one platoon in operation at Epioux, Belgium (P246311, Sh 17). ). The other platoon was in reserve at Chiney, Belgium (P277294,

Sh. 17).

(3) The Battalion CP, Division Medical Supply, and Battalion 2nd Echelon Maintenance Section were located in proximity to the Clearing Station and Battalion CP, at Epioux, Belgium (P246311, Sh. 17).

b. Location of adjacent medical units and supporting elements.

(1) At the close of the period the following medical units were adjacent.

Right flank - Collecto-Clearing Co. of CC "A", 9th Armd Div., Longlier, Belgium (P359420) Sh 17.

Left flank - Division Clearing Station, 87th Inf Div., Vic Bouillon, Belgium (P080362) Sh. 17.

(2) Supporting the evacuation of the Division Clearing Station were the following units:

Ambulances of the 595th Ambulance Co., 170th Med Bn, 64th Medical Group (CP at Gerouville, Belgium P335160, Sh 17.

(B) Casualties were being evacuated to the 107th Evacuation Hospital at Sedan, France (0-980260, Sh 13) and 635th Clearing Station at Villers (P262162) Sh 17. During the month the following medical units also serviced this battalion. The 580th Ambulance Company, the 32nd, 102nd, 103rd, 106th, 109th and 110th Evacuation Hospitals, the 42nd Field Hospital, the 130th General Hospital, and the 618th Clearing Station.

c. Operations during the period:

The medical battalion continued to carry out its normal function of supporting the 28th Infantry Division by evacuating, treating and disposing


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of the casualties suffered by the Division. During the first half of the month the Division carried out defensive operations on a wide front. The width of this front and concurrent wide separation of the medical units necessitated the split of the clearing company, with sections so located as to best support the collecting stations.

This was a continuation of the system used the previous month, wherein three separate clearing stations were maintained, each receiving the casualties from one of the collecting stations. Ambulances attached to each clearing station evacuated casualties directly to the nearest evacuation hospital.

During the first half of the month, with a very low division casualty rate, a training and re-equipping program was continued and efforts made to correct any deficiencies previously noted. All of the units were comfortably billeted in available buildings, and all our stations were likewise set up in comfortable surroundings.

In the latter half of the month, the enemy on our front became most active and aggressive. Our medical units were constantly subjected to shell fire and sometimes small arms fire. They were forced out of their positions by the tactical situation which became very fluid. The units were kept on the move continuously endeavoring to best continue the support of the tactical units and avoid enemy capture. Companies A and C, with their CT's, were attached temporarily to other Divisions as the tactical situation caused their release from control by this Division. The clearing station supporting A Company remained with that CT until the 109th CT rejoined the Division. The clearing station supporting C Company returned to the clearing company CP just before C Company, with its CT became attached to another Division. B Company continued to evacuate casualties to our clearing station, and when conditions allowed, established medical department straggler point for the Division. B Company also examined all stragglers for medical disabilities, as in a most critical period, it was necessary for the Division to use all available personnel and stragglers for the defense of the front. Medical service in these rapidly changing situations was maintained by the formation of provisional medical detachments to serve the hastily organized defense units, utilizing medical personnel and equipment from available medical detachments, our collecting company and medical department stragglers.

Towards the end of the month the clearing station which had been attached (with A Co and the 109th CT) to another Division, returned to our control, when the 109th RCT rejoined the Division. At the close of the month C Company with the 112th CT was in Corps reserve, and evacuating its casualties to the nearest clearing station.

d. Estimate of combat efficiency of the command:

During this month, as in the previous period, the personnel of the command, carried out their assigned duties in a highly efficient manner. This was evidenced very noticeably at times when the units were in imminent danger of capture by the enemy, as was the case during the critical stages of the tactical situation. In the attempt to maintain the usual high degree of efficiency of this unit, twenty one (21) members of the command were captured by the enemy. Under such conditions the personnel of the command continued the medical support of the Division and managed to save all but an unavoidable amount of equipment from falling into enemy


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hands, in spite of the added hardship of the limited amount of available transportation. In the month of December 1944, 11 Bronze Star Medals and 6 Purple Hearts were awarded to members of the medical battalion.

e. Results of operations.

(1) The following numbers of patients were treated during the month by the companies indicated:

    Company A - 573 patients

    Company B - 418 patients

    Company C - 515 patients

    Clearing Company - 1958 patients (including 151 enemy and 35 civilians).


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2. ADMINISTRATIVE:

a. Status of strength of command.

At the close of the period the battalion was under strength two (2) officers, MC, and twenty-one (21) Enlisted Men.

b. Casualties.

    Battle - 31

                21 Missing in Action

                3 Evacuated   7 Non-Evacuated

c. No prisoners captured.

d. Normal evacuation status.

e. The division and battalion medical supply dump was located in proximity to the clearing station (Vic. Epioux, Belgium, P246311, Sh. No. 17)

f. Status of supply.

    Rations - 2 day reserve.

    Ammunition - None.

    Gasoline - 3 day supply.

    Oil - 7 day supply.

g. Condition of roads and circulation in area of unit.

    In the areas to which the units of this battalion were assigned, the roads were found to be in excellent condition with an adjacent road net, causing no problem insofar as evacuation or supply was concerned.

                                                                        [signed]

                                                                        EDGAR W. MEISER
                                                                        Major, Medical Corps
                                                                        Acting Commander

SOURCE:  National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 112, Records of the US Army Surgeon General, World War II Records, Entry 1044D, Box 3, Records of the 103d Medical Battalion, 28th Infantry Division.