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Medical Detachment, 112th Infantry Regiment, APO 28, U.S. Army, 16 November 1944

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MEDICAL DETACHMENT, 112TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
APO 28, U. S. ARMY
16 November 1944

SUBJECT: Mis-use of Aid Station Site.

TO: Regimental Surgeon, 112th Inf. Rgt.

1. Late on the afternoon of 3 November 1944 Red Bn. moved into Vossenack. An aid station site was established but within an hour the order was received to be ready to move immediately. No indiction was given to the destination or anticipated route.

2 The site was immediately abandoned amd the remainder of the Bn. Med. Section took up the march in to rear at the rapidly moving column. The weasel carrying the aid station equipment followed the rear of the column. The trip was cross country thru markedly hilly and wooded areas. We reached a steep rocky hill down which it was impossible to take the vehicle. It was therefore left under guard at the top of the hill and the pack equipment was carried by the men.

3. Our destination turned out to be the town of Kommerscheidt, which we reach about 2200, 3 November 1944.

4. The Bn. CP was located in a dugout in a sparsely stocked small orchard. We were told by the Bn CO to remain there, dig in and wait for the morning. In view of the impracticability of digging in an aid station in this small open orchard, Lt. Morrison and I set out to find a more suitable area. The only available site, a house with cellar that could be adapted for blackout use.

5. Early on the morning of the 4 November 1944 it was noticed that an 81 mm mortar was being implaced just about 10 yards to the left of the aid station. About the same distance to the right and forward of it just a few yards was a machine gun emplacement. In a short while there were two medium tanks not more than 25 yards to the left rear of the aid station.

6. On the afternoon of 4 November 1944, the Blue artillery observer took his post in a concrete shelter about 5 feet the left of the aid station entrance.

7. At approximately 0500, 5 November 1944, the supply train dumped its ammo and ration load in front of the entrance. For the next 2 to 3 hours the area was the site of distribution for the ammo and rations to representatives of the elements of two battalions, of which there were at least three from each company.

8. Throughout the previous 24 hours the aid station became the central meeting point for all elements present, neceesitating frequent admonitions and demands that they find some other place.

SOURCE: National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 407, Records of The Adjutant General, U.S. Army, Combat Interviews (CI-76), 28th Infantry Division, Hürtgen Forest Campaign, Box 24032.


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9. In the course of the afternoon of 5 November 1944 , between 1200-1600 the aid station itself was the site of three direct hits further injuring several already wounded patients and killing three medical personnel. There were other near direct hits which destroyed medical personnel. There were other near direct hits which destroyed the artillery observers post and the immediately adjacent outhouse. The aid station site became useless and during a lull we started to move our patients and equipment to the Horseshoe blue aid station. During the procedure we were hampered by shells which fell at uncomfortable [?] from the site.

10. Observations and suggesions:

a. It has been the practice in the past to take off on a mission without sufficient, if any, information regarding the need for medical support. It has been the opinion, expressed or implied, that medical support is “nice” to have along, but rarely is adequate provision attempted beforehand that would help insure speedy and safe treatment and evacuation of the wounded.

b. Information regarding contact with the enemy is not relayed to the medical personnel so that they may be led to expect casualties. Instead the first indication is the rapid influx of patients which necessitates establishing an aid station in the most unusual and dangerous situated sites.

c. Other military installations have absolute disregard for the proximity of an already established aid station site thus jeopardizing the lives and safety of men who are unable to protect themselves. Tanks, mortars and machine guns in action present a definite hazard to adjacent areas.

d. The aid. station should not be interpreted as being a shelter or meeting place for other than wounded who need medical care.

[signed]

PASCHAL A. LINGUITI , CAPT, MC
Surgeon, 1st Bn., 112th Inf. Regt.