U.S. Army Medical Department, Office of Medical History
Skip Navigation, go to content

HISTORY OF THE OFFICE OF MEDICAL HISTORY

AMEDD BIOGRAPHIES

AMEDD CORPS HISTORY

BOOKS AND DOCUMENTS

HISTORICAL ART WORK & IMAGES

MEDICAL MEMOIRS

AMEDD MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS External Link, Opens in New Window

ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORIES

THE SURGEONS GENERAL

ANNUAL REPORTS OF THE SURGEON GENERAL

AMEDD UNIT PATCHES AND LINEAGE

THE AMEDD HISTORIAN NEWSLETTER

Preface

Contents

Preface

    A momentous chapter in the history of wars is the story of the devastations caused by malaria. Man has struggled under the ravages of this disease and many other incapacitating and lethal illnesses transmitted by insects, mites, and ticks, diseases which seem to be especially destructive in wartime. For example, as Dr. Russell has stated in the first chapter of this volume, from 9 July to 10 September 1943, during the active campaign in Sicily, malaria was responsible for the hospitalization of 21,482 American soldiers as contrasted with 17,375 hospitalized because of wounds inflicted by the German-Italian forces. Since most of those infections were with Plasmodium vivax, many relapses occurred in the crucial spring of 1944, and so deprived the American forces of valuable manpower.

    World War II saw great advances in military preventive medicine and in particular in the control of malaria. The effort is by no means finished however, and certain lessons that were learned in World War II can be helpful in guiding our preventive programs in the future. Probably the most important lesson to be learned is that effective malaria control in military operations in malarious areas will fail unless the line commanders at all echelons are specifically malaria conscious. Clearly, the control of malaria and other arthropodborne diseases is not a task that the Army Medical Service can undertake alone. There must be education and training of both medical and line officers toward a definite understanding that control of these diseases is a broad military problem with immediate application to actual striking power. Malaria discipline is necessary to an army's success in many areas of the world.

    The experiences of World War II have shown that control of malaria cannot be really effective without a special military control organization, which must actively and continuously function and give full and undivided attention to the problem.

    The volume presents the story of the difficulties as well as the triumphs in the constant fight against malaria during World War II. Each author is a specialist who has written from the vantage point of his own close experience. Thanks are extended to the authors for their willingness to undertake this task of writing, which has meant long hours of work snatched from busy schedules. Each chapter has been reviewed by one or more experts who have advised the authors as to scope, coverage, and technical accuracy. Thanks are expressed for this valuable help to: Dr. Justin M. Andrews, Col. Samuel C. Dews, Dr. Elliston Farrell, Col. Hugh R. Gilmore, Jr., Mr. William A. Hardenbergh, Prof. John M. Henderson, Brig. Gen. Earl Maxwell, the late Dr. Maurice C. Pincoffs, Dr. Earle Rice, Capt. James S. Sapero, U.S.N., Mr. Millard E. Smith, Dr. Alan Stone, Col. William S. Stone, and Dr. Stanley F. Yolles.

    As in the case of the previous volumes of the Preventive Medicine series, members of the Advisory Editorial Board have been closely associated with the planning, writing, and preparation of the volume. Grateful thanks are tendered to Dr. Stanhope Bayne-Jones, Chairman of the Board, for his careful review of every chapter. Dr. Paul F. Russell, the member of the Advisory Board with special concern for the subject matter of this volume, has been consulted in all phases of its preparation. Dr. Russell has participated significantly in the selection of authors and has corresponded with them as to content and presentation. He has scrutinized each manuscript meticulously and has advised in numerous technical details. The editors, authors, and readers of this volume owe a particularly warm debt of gratitude to Dr. Russell.

    The editors are grateful for this opportunity of thanking the President, Chancellor, Comptroller, and other officers of the Medical College of Virginia whose cooperation has made possible the work of the editorial office at the Medical College under contract with the Office of The Surgeon General.

    It is a privilege for the editor of the Preventive Medicine series to record here his cordial thanks to Col. John Boyd Coates, Jr., MC, USA, Editor-in-Chief of. the History of the Medical Department, U.S. Army, World War II, of which this series is a part. The comprehensive history of the Medical Department, under Colonel Coates' inspired and competent direction, will stand as a major contribution to medicine. Colonel Coates has continued to expedite the publication of these volumes so that they may be available as soon as possible. He and his staff have produced books of high quality in both appearance and content.

    The authors and editors have again greatly relied upon the services of the Medical Statistics Division of the Office of The Surgeon General. Mr. E. L. Hamilton, Chief, Mr. A. J. McDowell, Assistant Chief, and Mr. M. C. Rossoff, Assistant Chief, Statistical Analysis Branch, have not only provided essential data but have also checked and reviewed all statistical information in this volume. Their contribution has been a substantial one. The Scientific Illustration Division, Medical Illustration Service, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, under the direction of Mr. Herman Van Cott, prepared the illustrations for this volume. Maps were prepared by Miss Elizabeth P. Mason, Chief, Cartographic Section, and Miss Jean A. Saffran, Cartographic Draftsman, of the Special Projects Branch, The Historical Unit.

    The editors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Mrs. Elaine R. Stevenson, Publication Editor of the Editorial Branch, The Historical Unit, who performed the manuscript editing and prepared the index for this volume.  

EBBE CURTIS HOFF, Ph. D., M.D.