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Headquarters, 64th Medical Group

Table of Contents

HEADQUARTERS 64TH MEDICAL GROUP
APO 230, U. S. Army

1 January 1945

SUBJECT: Annual Report of Activities - 1944

TO: The Surgeon General, War Department, Washington, D. C.
    (THROUGH CHANNELS)

In compliance with AR 40-1005, and ltr AG 319.1 (9.15.42) EG-H, War Department, 22 September 42, Subject: "Annual Reports, Medical Department Activities", the following report is submitted.

I
EARLY HISTORY AND OPERATIONAL DETAILS

This unit was originally activated at Camp Bowie, Texas 9 June 1941 as part of the Third U. S. Army, and designated 64th Medical Regiment. The original cadre of 56 officers (assigned from Carlisle Barracks and Reserve Officers called to active duty) and 18 enlisted men (assigned from the First Medical Regiment) was augmented on 3 July 1941 when 386 enlisted men arrived from MRTC, Camp Grant, Illinois. On 4 July 1941, 345 enlisted men were assigned from MRTC, Camp Grant, Illinois. The 64th Medical Regiment was reorganized and designated 64th Medical Group on 12 September 1943 in accordance with GO No. 90, Hq Third U. S. Army, Ft Sam Houston, Texas, dated 3 September 43, and ltr Hq Third U. S. Army, file AG 320.2 Med GNMCC-5, subject: "Reorganization and Activation of Medical Units", dated 1 Sep 43. The 64th Medical Group, as redesignated, consisted of Hq and Hq Det 169th Med Bn, 425th, 426th, and 427th Medical Collecting Companies, 609th Medical Clearing Company, Hq & Hq Det 170 Med Bn, 428th, 429th, 430th Medical Collecting Companies, and the 610th and 659th Medical Clearing Companies.

The Initial Training Phase began 22 February 1943 with 242 trainees. This phase of training was completed on 10-12 May 1943. Rating - very satisfactory. The Unit Training Phase began 10 May 1943 and completed 21-23 June 1943. Rating - very satisfactory. The unit has had extensive maneuver experience. On 2 August 1941, 436 officers and enlisted men departed for the Louisiana Maneuver Area by motor convoy. The balance of the personnel-316 officers and enlisted men-left for the maneuver area by rail. The entire unit returned from these maneuvers to Camp Bowie, Texas 5 October 1941. One battalion participated in the Desert Maneuvers from 3 April 1942 to 9 February 1943. During the period 21 July to 11 November 1942 one battalion took part in the Louisiana Maneuvers. The entire Regiment departed for the Louisiana Maneuver Area 30 Aug 1943 by motor convoy, and arrived in the vicinity of Bellwood, Louisiana 1 September. The unit participated in eleven phases of the Fourth Maneuver Period and in the first three phases of the Fifth Maneuver Period. Unit returned by motor convoy to home station, Camp Bowie, Texas, 31 December 1943.

This unit completed the Physical Fitness Test on 1 July 1943 - 88% were found to be physically fit. The Infiltration Course was completed on 24 August 1943 - 97.5% completing the course.


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The 64th Medical Group furnished cadres for the following units:

11th Med Depot

204th General Hospital

Med Det, 68th Ord Bn

Med Det, 174th FA Bn

Sp Troops, Third U. S. Army

4th Med Depot

331st Med Regt

2d Medical Lab

511th Engr Bn

Med Det, 343d Engr Regt

7th Med Depot

Med Det, 334th Engr Regt

Med Det, 818th TD Bn,

13th Ord Bn

38th Inf Div Med Bn

Med Det, 176th Engr Bn

Med Det, 8th Ord Bn

91st Inf Div

34th Ambulance Bn

5th Medical Lab

Med Det, 751st FA Bn

134th QM Co

Med Det, 2d QM Transfer Bn

31st Med Regt

35th Med Depot

Med Det, 10th Ord Bn


During the period 1 January to 11 February 1944 the 64th Medical Group was engaged in extensive preparation for overseas movement. Training was intensified, physical examinations were completed, leaves and furloughs were granted, items of clothing and equipment were replaced as needed, and the unit was brought up to T/O strength. An advance party consisting of 2 officers and 2 enlisted men departed Camp Bowie, Texas 23 January and arrived NYPE 26 January. They sailed aboard the Mauretania 31 January. The balance of the unit departed Camp Bowie, Texas 1 February by rail and arrived at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, 4 February. While here, last minute preparations were completed. Methods of abandoning ship were demonstrated, all personnel had an opportunity to use the scramble nets in abandoning ship, security lectures were attended, and inspections of equipment and clothing were conducted. Censorship instructions were given and all personnel went through a gas chamber. At time of departure for overseas unit was relieved of all attachments. Unit boarded the ocean vessel "Dominion Monarch" 10 February and departed New York harbor 11 February. Voyage across the Atlantic was uneventful. Enlisted mens' quarters were crowded but adequate. During trip calisthenics were conducted and boat drill held daily. Enlisted men were assigned sanitary details and officers were given various ship responsibilities. Recreation facilities were good. Moving pictures were shown to the men, and talent shows were conducted. Crossing was made without mishap.

Upon arriving in Liverpool harbor early in the morning of 24 February unit immediately proceeded by rail to Stone, Staffordshire where we were met by the advance party. Arrangements had been made to establish a CP and quarters in Stone, Staffordshire. Headquarters and enlisted personnel were established in Meaford Hall. The officers were billeted in private homes. Effective 24 February Hq and Hq Det 64th Medical Group was assigned to ETOUSA and attached to VIII Corps. A training schedule was immediately set up which stressed map reading (British system), aircraft identification, defense against chemical attack, medical aid, and physical conditioning. Immediate procurement of T/O equipment was initiated and individual clothing and equipment were replaced as needed. During unit's stay in Stone, Staffordshire, some sanitation difficulties were evidenced - bathing and heating facilities. Coal allowances were very meager and bathing facilities were practically nil. In Meaford Hall only one water tap was available for the use of approximately 200 men.


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Effective 13 March 1944 the Group was relieved of assignment to E'I'OUSA and attachment to VIII Corps, and was assigned to Third U. S. Army. On the 26th of March unit was again assigned to VIII Corps. By direction of Third U. S. Army a move was made to Altrincham, Cheshire - this move was made by motor convoy 27 March.

Headquarters and personnel were established in Wilton House, Groby Road, Altrincham, Cheshire. All personnel were quartered in Wilton House with the exception of the commanding officer and executive officer who were billeted in private homes. Arrangements were made to mess with the 39th Evacuation Hospital which was also stationed in Altrincham. Preparations for eventual movement to the continent were continued, i.e., equipment shortages were reduced, practice loading of vehicles was accomplished, and detailed inspections of attached units were conducted. The training schedule as previously outlined was continued with the following added subjects - Bomb Reconnaissance, Waterproofing, Passive Air Defense, Language Classes, and Orientation Lectures. Organic personnel who had attended schools in the UK in these subjects were utilized as instructors for these subjects. An IPW team visited the unit on 7 June and conducted a very interesting and educational demonstration. The team lectured on recognition of the German soldier, interrogation methods used in the Division PW cage, Russia's role in the war was explained, and the physical and psychological makeup of the German soldier was discussed. On 19 June, after preliminary instruction by an Ordnance unit, all personnel fired 35 rounds of familiarization fire with the carbine.

While located in Altrincham all personnel took advantage of the many civilian recreational facilities available. Theaters and cinemas were numerous, an American Red Cross Donut Club was located in Altrincham, dances were attended, and it was found that the civilian population were making every effort to have the American soldiers' stay in England an enjoyable one. Again as in Stone, bathing facilities were inadequate. Use was made of public bath houses, but sanitation conditions in these baths were not very satisfactory. Employment of an Army Fumigation and Bath Unit would have alleviated this condition.

Nine officers and twelve enlisted men departed at 120300 July by motor convoy from Altrincham, Cheshire for the Marshalling Area at Winchester. The balance of the unit proceeded by rail and arrived in the Marshalling Area 12 July 44. While there, final preparations for the channel crossing were completed. All money was converted to francs, personnel were issued anti-motion sickness pills, and emergency rations. During the night of the second day while located in the Marshalling Area a "flying bomb" landed about 400 yards from the bivouac area. At 1730 hours 16 July the unit departed from the Marshalling Area for Southampton docks. Because organic transportation was inadequate unit was split into a motor party and a marching party. The motor party was composed of 9 officers and 12 enlisted men, and the marching party was composed of 1 officer and 12 enlisted men. The motor party boarded Liberty Ship "John L. Caldwell" at 0430 hours 17 July. The convoy formed in the harbor and sailed for France early in the morning of 18 July. The channel crossing was uneventful and the weather was excellent. Late in the afternoon of 19 July the convoy arrived at destination and unit boarded an LCT for trip to beach. Because of shell craters some difficulty in landing was encountered and it became necessary to wait until high tide before beaching could be accomplished. At


4

approximately 1900 hours landing was made at a floating dock - Utah Beach, Normandy, France. We immediately proceeded by motor to Transient Area B, vicinity St Germain de Varreville.

The marching party departed Marshalling Area 18 July, proceeded to Southampton docks, and boarded the ship "Isle of Guernsey". Marching party landed at Omaha Beach 19 July and bivouaced that night vicinity St Germain De Varreville and the following day moved to unit's bivouac area vicinity Les Moitiers d' Allonne.

While located in bivouac area vic Les Moitiers d' Allonne, final preparations for active employment were completed. Inspections of attached units were completed, the Group commander held conferences with the Army Surgeon and with commanders of attached units. Commanders of attached units were informed as to the current planning and future operations. Unit departed Les Moitiers d' Allonne by motor convoy and arrived vic Periers, France, 31 July. Attachments as of 1 August were Hq and Hq Det 170th Med Bn, Hq and Hq Det 240th Med Bn, 659th Med Clr Co, 462d Med Coll Co, 580th Med Amb Co, 585th Med Amb Co, 610th Med Clr Co, 590th Med Amb Co, and 595th Med Amb Co.

Upon arriving in our bivouac area, Periers, the first enemy plane was sighted. This plane circled our bivouac area several times but did not bomb or strafe our installation. It was finally driven off by friendly planes and by intense AA fires. On 1 August the 64th Medical Group dispatched ambulance support to the 4th and 6th Armored Divisions, and the 8th and 79th Infantry Divisions. One ambulance platoon per infantry division was found to be adequate support and in the case of Armored Divisions one platoon was dispatched to each Combat Command. By keeping ambulance platoons intact, better control by the platoon officer was maintained. This same date one officer (MC) and 10 enlisted men were sent from a Clearing Company to provide dispensary service at PWE #8. Evacuation of the Armored Divisions presented some problems - in many instances ambulance hauls were extremely long, 80 miles or more one way; advance elements of the armor were far in front of Evacuation Hospitals (Evacuation Hospitals were unable to move forward because of road priorities). Despite difficulties of evacuation the Group commander received a message from the 4th Armored Division Surgeon stating the ambulance support by the Group was superior. In order to maintain closer support with the rapidly advancing combat troops we moved by motor convoy to bivouac area vic Sartilly, 3 August. This same date we were relieved of evacuation of the 79th Infantry Division, and a Clearing Company was dispatched to augment the 32d and 39th Evacuation Hospitals. In this employment of a Clearing Company lightly wounded patients were sent from the Receiving Ward of the Hospital to the Clearing Station for treatment. In some instances a large number of these patients were prisoners of war. The use of an Army Clearing Company in this role proved very satisfactory. A great load was taken from the Evacuation Hospital, thereby permitting it to devote more time and facilities to the severely wounded cases.

Evacuation of the 15th Cavalry Group and 83d Infantry Division was assumed 4 and 6 August respectively.

While located at Sartilly enemy air activity was very heavy. The apparent objective of these air attacks was a bridge at Avranches and an Ammunition Dump. During the night enemy planes were over our area and heavy fires were directed against these night actions. Because of the "flak" and the possibility of an attack by these night raiders all personnel dug fox holes and it became necessary to sleep in them. However at no time during our stay at


5

Sartilly did the enemy planes direct an attack against the unit. Again, on 6 August 1944 to maintain closer contact with units supported a move was initiated to a bivouac site vicinity St Ouen.

On the 7th of August ambulances were dispatched to evacuate the 6th Armored Division. At this time Third U. S. Army columns were advancing very rapidly - one column was moving up the Brest Peninsula and one column was moving towards the heart of France. In order to be in the hub of these two columns our headquarters moved to Rennes 10 August. A station and litter platoon of a Collecting Company was placed with the 100th Evacuation Hospital. In this type of employment of a Collecting Company the station platoon worked as a part of the hospital and the litter platoon was used to move patients within the hospital. On the 10th of August a French hospital at Loudeac, which contained enemy prisoners of war, was evacuated. Third Army columns were now racing up the Brest peninsula and as a result on 18 August we established an advance CP at Plouvorn which moved the next day to Lanhourneau. This same day we were relieved of evacuation of the 4th Armored Division. Balance of unit moved by motor to Lanhourneau 20 August by motor convoy. Evacuation of the 2d Infantry Division was begun 22 August, and on 24 August ambulances were dispatched to evacuate the 29th Infantry Division. A station and litter platoon of a Collecting Company were dispatched to support the 107th Evacuation Hospital and two Clearing Company platoons were used to augment the 2 HU, 53d Field Hospital and the 101st Evacuation Hospital. The Clearing Company with the 107th Evacuation Hospital was relieved of this mission 27 August and sent to Air Strip at Morlaix to operate an Air Evacuation Holding Unit. This Holding Unit received patients from the 100th, 102d, 107th, 108th Evacuation Hospitals and the 53d Field Hospital. Organic equipment of a Clearing Company was found to be inadequate so the following items were drawn from Communications Zone stocks - additional blankets, litters, cots, marmite cans, immersion heaters, and 6 ward tents. Prisoner of War labor was utilized to the utmost in the operation of this Holding Unit. The following additional items were also procured - patients' mess equipment, urinals, bedpans, thermometers, abdominal pads, rubber sheeting (for colostomy patients), Levine and rectal tubes, 30 and 50 cc syringes, paraldehyde, belladonna, paregoric and cast cutters.

The type of wounds most frequently seen at this Holding Unit were wounds of the extremities which comprised 61% of all wounds. 23% were upper extremities and 38% lower. Other wounds were as follows: Head - 8%, Shoulders - 7%, Chests - 7%, Buttocks - 6%, Back - 4%, Neck - 2%, Abdomen - 2%, Miscellaneous - 3%. Treatment given consisted of reinforcement of bandages and redressings when necessary. Penicillin and sulfadiazine therapy was continued on patients when necessary. Intravenous fluids were given when indicated.

This Holding Unit at Morlaix Air Strip opened 26 August and closed 27 September 1944. A total of 6,135 patients were treated, 2,962 were evacuated by air, 3,162 were evacuated by ship to England, and 7 were transferred to hospitals in France.

A Clearing Platoon was sent to augment the 100th Evacuation Hospital 29 August. Attachments to this Group as of 31 August were as follows: Hq and Hq Det 170th Med Bn, 595th Med Amb Co, 590th Med Amb Co, 439th Med Coll Co, 623d Med Clr Co, Hq and Hq Det 240th Med Bn, 580th Med Amb Co, 581st Med Amb Co, 462d Med Coll Co, and 666th Med Clr Co. Supported units as of 31 August were -


6

2d Div, 53d Field Hospital, 29th Div, VIII Corps Med Bn, 8th Div, 6th Armored Div, 83d Div, 15th Cavalry Groups, 107th and 100th Evacuation Hospitals.

Operations on the Brest peninsula were assumed by Ninth U. S. Army and accordingly this unit was assigned Ninth U. S. Army and attached VIII Corps 5 September 1944. On 12 September a Collecting Company was established with the 102d Evacuation Hospital. Evacuation of the 94th Division was begun 17 September. The fall of Brest was announced 18 September and this Group was given the mission of evacuating all German casualties from the underground hospitals located in Brest. Four officers (MC) and one ambulance platoon are employed in this mission. Most of the casualties were in four main, underground hospitals - three were tunnels hewn from solid rock and the main Marine Hospital was found actually built underground. Sanitation in these hospitals was very poor - latrines were very unsanitary, flies were everywhere, and the air was foul. Food supplies were abundant, medical supplies were not too adequate, and there was an abundance of medical personnel. 871 German casualties were evacuated in this operation and of this total only 4% were medical cases.

On 20 September this unit was given the responsibility for the evacuation of enemy casualties and civilians from Le Fret on the Crozon peninsula. A total of 420 casualties and prisoners were evacuated in this operation. Of this total 46 were prisoners (medical personnel) and 50 were French women who were evacuated to the Civil Affairs at Chateaulin.

During the period 24 to 27 September the Group was relieved of support of the 6th Armored Division and the 8th and 29th Infantry Divisions. Hq and Hq Det 64th Medical Group relieved of attachment to VIII Corps 26 September. On September 29 this unit was relieved of evacuation of the 83d, 94th, and 2d Infantry Divisions, and the 15th Cavalry Group. The Group departed Lanhourneau 28 September for Wincrange, Luxembourg. This move required four days and overnight bivouacs were made at Liffre, Digny, and Mesnil, France. The entire move, approximately 650 miles, was made by infiltration. Unit arrived at Wincrange, Luxembourg, 1 October and immediately established headquarters and bivouac under tentage.

While located in Luxembourg our mission as before was to support VIII Corps who were executing a holding action along a 50 mile front. tit the start of this operation units of this headquarters were - Hq and Hq Det 170th Med Bn, 595th Med Amb Co, 590th Med Amb Co, 439th Med Coll Co, 623d Med Clr Co, Hq and Hq Det 240th Med Bn, 580th Med Amb Co, 581st Med Amb Co, 419th Med Coll Co, and 666th Med Clr Co. Unit continued to set up headquarters and quarters under tentage but the weather was very cold and wet. Stoves were set up for the first time, 2 October. Medical support was dispatched to the 2d and 8th Divisions and the 53d Field Hospital on 2 October. Prophylactic stations were opened 5 October at Longwy, France, Neufchateau and Bastogne, Belgium, and in Arlon, Luxembourg [Belgium]. A dispensary was opened at PWE #2, 7 October. Personnel (1 officer (MC) and 2 enlisted men) were taken from an attached Collecting Company. The 42d Field Hospital relieved the 53d Field Hospital, and as a result ambulance support was assigned to evacuate the 42d Field Hospital. A Clearing Company platoon was dispatched to augment the 110th Evacuation Hospital, lb October. The 83d Infantry and 9th Armored were assigned to the Corps sector, and support of these divisions was assumed on 17 and 22 October. Hq and Hq Det 64th Medical Group and attached units relieved of assignment to Ninth U. S. Army and assigned to First U. S. Army 22 October.


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Because of inclement weather reconnaissance of building sites was made on 22 and 23 October and on 24 October unit departed Wincrange by motor shuttle system travelling 8 miles to the vicinity of Trois Vierges, Luxembourg where headquarters and quarters were established in Cloister Cinq Fontaine two miles SE of Trois Vierges. Cloister Cinq Fontaine was a very modern building and was found to be well suited to our requirements.

The 42d Field Hospital and 4 Traumatic Surgica1 Teams of to Third Auxiliary Surgical Group were attached to Group 25 October. This Group opened a Provisional Dental Clinic at Schifflange, Luxembourg on 2 November. On 3 November another Provisional Dental Clinic was opened by this Group at Bastogne, Belgium. Personnel for these clinics (2 Dental officers and 2 Dental technicians) were taken from attached units - 42d Field Hospital and, the 623d Clearing Company. These clinics provided dental service for Army and Corps troops.

One officer was killed and an officer and enlisted man were wounded by a mine explosion which occurred about 100 yards from unit headquarters 5 November 1944. Also this date an enemy patrol dressed in American uniforms was sighted about 400 yards from our CP. The patrol opened fire and wounded two ambulance drivers of an attached Ambulance Company. During the month of November and during the first fifteen days of December detailed inspections were made by this headquarters of attached units.

Rotation of divisions on the VIII Corps front continued and the following changes in support were nude. Evacuation of the 28th Division was assumed 17 November; ambulances with the 8th Division were relieved 20 November; the 4th Division moved into our sector and consequently medical support was assumed 9 December; the 106th Division replaced the 2d Division, therefore, on 12 December ambulance support of the 2d Division was transferred to the 106th Division.

Ambulance support of the 28th Division at Clerf [Clervaux] and the 106th Division at St Vith was reinforced on 16 December because of a sharp increase in casualties. The enemy shelled towns in the northern part of VIII Corps sector and to all appearances was launching an attack. Due to enemy breakthrough of VIII Corps defenses, this unit evacuated the Cloister Cinq Fontaine at 0630 hours 17 December. A forward CP was established at VIII Corps Surgeon's Office in Bastogne, Belgium, and the balance of the unit moved to Martelange, Luxembourg where headquarters and quarters were established. On the advice of VIII Corps, unit cleared Martelange at 1930 hours 18 December and arrived vicinity Libin, Belgium at 2200 hours.

Unit CP and quarters were taken up at the 107th Evacuation Hospital. During that night the enlisted personnel assisted as litter bearers in the hospital. On 19 December the headquarters, less 3 officers and 3 enlisted men who remained at the CP 107th Evacuation Hospital, moved at 0630 hours to Biourge, Belgium. Hq and Hq Det 64th Medical Group was attached to Third U. S. Army for supply and evacuation as of 2400 hours 19 December 1944.

During the afternoon of the 20th a move was made to Carlsburg, Belgium. This move was made because of rapid enemy advance and Neufchateau, Belgium was in danger of being overrun. This headquarters remained at Carlsburg only one day and on 21December a move was made to Sedan, France where headquarters and quarters were established. In order to be in closer contact with units supported, a move was completed 25 December to Gerouville, Belgium where unit remained for balance of the period. Effective 26 December Hq and Hq Det 64th Medical Group was assigned to Third United States Army.


8

The week ending 17 December found the enemy making initial successes along the northern zone of the VIII Corps front. The 106th Division Clearing Station at St Vith moved to Vielsalm. It was reported that 2 regiments of the 106th Division were surrounded and sustaining heavy losses. Hq and 3d HU, 42d Field Hospital, located in St Vith, moved all personnel from St Vith but equipment had to be abandoned because of lack of transportation to move it in time, and non-transportables. This HU left 2 officers and 7 enlisted men at St Vith to care for non-transportables. These personnel were later safely evacuated. The 1 HU, 42d Field Hospital at Wiltz evacuated personnel but because of rapid enemy advance the transportation provided by Group at an appointed hour to move equipment could not be fully used. This unit finally was able to move four (4) truckloads of equipment from Wiltz to Bastogne. Two Medical officers including CO of 1st HU and 18 enlisted men remained at Wiltz to care for non-transportables. One Surgical Team including 4 officers and three enlisted men also remained behind. Two ambulances of the 64th Group remained at Wiltz, one as part of the Wiltz defense plan and one with 1st HU, 42d Field Hospital. Personnel of 1st HU, who were evacuated to Bastogne, were further evacuated to Libin, Belgium. Removal of equipment from Bastogne was impossible, because of inability to enter the town and this equipment was used by the 101st Airborne Division while defending Bastogne.

At the start of the enemy breakthrough the 64th Medical Group was supporting the 4th, 28th and 106th Infantry Divisions, and the 9th Armored Division. Evacuation of the 7th Armored Division was assumed 17 December. Five ambulances were committed to the 101st Airborne Division Clearing 8 miles W of Bastogne. On 20 December a report was received that the 101st Abn Division Clearing Station had been over-run by the enemy. Three ambulances of this unit were either destroyed or captured in this advance by the enemy. During the first few days of the breakthrough the 107th Evacuation Hospital was the only hospital available in relative close proximity to the line of the enemy advance. The 130th General Hospital at Ciney was also used and all patients from the 107th Evacuation Hospital were evacuated to the 130th General Hospital.

On 22 December unit was relieved of support of 4th Infantry Division. Additional ambulance support was this date dispatched to the 101st Abn Division. An effort was made to reach St Vith to recover the equipment of 3d HU, 42d Field Hospital. It was impossible to enter St Vith; equipment presumed to have been captured. On 24 December the Group was relieved of evacuation of the 106th Infantry Division. The 635th Clearing Company now had a station located at Villers devant Orval. This station was established to handle the evacuation of encircled Bastogne. This Group was to supervise this evacuation and triage of patients arriving at this Holding Station. The Group dispatched approximately 40 ambulances to this Clearing Station to transport the Bastogne patients to Evacuation Hospitals. On 26 December evacuation of the 11th Armored Division was assumed.

Supply columns reached Bastogne 27 December and it was anticipated that patients would be evacuated that same day, either to the Holding Unit at Villers or Attert. That afternoon 12 truckloads of walking wounded and 22 ambulances of litter patients arrived at Villers. These patients were triaged and evacuated to Evacuation Hospitals. Ambulances and trucks returned to Bastogne together with one platoon of ambulances from this unit, and returned again to Villers at 2200 when the same routine of triage was repeated. Approximately 652 patients were evacuated that day. Further casualties from Bastogne were brought into the Villers station on 28 December. A total of


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242 arrived that day, 23 of which were Germans. On 29 December evacuation of the 17th Abn Division was assumed and on 30 December ambulance support was dispatched to the 87th Infantry Division. At the close of the year the two Field Hospital Platoons were being reequipped and units were in the process of servicing and preparing this equipment to insure an early return of these units to an operational status. Some equipment of the 1st HU, 42d Field Hospital was retrieved from Bastogne.

At the end of the year 1944 the 64th Medical Group was furnishing the following medical support to troops of VIII Corps:

Evacuation of the 9th, 10th, and 11th Armored Divisions.

Evacuation of the 87th and 28th Infantry Divisions.

One Clearing Company operating in the Meuse River Defense Sector.

One Clearing Company Platoon in support of 110th Evacuation Hospital,

107th Evacuation Hospital operating in Sedan.

Attachments at close of 1944 were as follows:

Hq, 1st, and 2d HU, 42d Field Hospital

Hq and Hq Det 170th Medical Battalion

Hq and Hq Det 240th Medical Battalion

580th Medical Ambulance Company

581st Medical Ambulance Company

590th Medical Ambulance Company

595th Medical Ambulance Company

419th Medical Collecting Company

606th Medical Clearing Company

623d Medical Clearing Company (less 1st Plat)

II
PERSONNEL

This unit is organized under T/O and E 8-22 dated 1 November 1943 and Change 1 dated 27 November 1943, providing 10 officers (including attached Chaplain) and 24 enlisted men. From the time of departure for overseas service unit has lost 3 officers by transfer, and 2 officers and 1 enlisted man were battle casualties. Replacements were obtained by transfers from attached units. Two additional enlisted men were assigned the unit and remained on extended temporary duty with Hq Special Troops, First U. S. Army. Thus, at end of period, unit had 10 officers and 26 enlisted men or an excess of two enlisted men above T/O strength.

Promotions were awarded to five officers and seven enlisted men during the year.

The T/O has provided sufficient personnel for efficient functioning of the unit with minor adjustments being made in duty assignments being necessary for operational reasons. Additional personnel were required in the Operations Section due to the extent of operational activities and in the message center due to the volume of material handled. Personnel in all sections have proven to be well chosen and performed their duties efficiently under all conditions encountered.

WD Circular 99 was implemented by replacement of a medical corps officer in S-3 position with a Medical Administrative Corps officer. The Medical officer thus rendered surplus was transferred to an Evacuation Hospital as executive officer.


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No courts martial were necessary for any member of the unit; punishment under the 104th AW were imposed upon three members of the command for minor deficiencies.

No civilian personnel were employed by this unit at any time during the year.

Since arrival on the continent unit has provided motion pictures to attached units through the Group Special officer and supply of special service equipment has been adequate. Limited amounts of post exchange items have been furnished by past exchange of an attached battalion; gratuitous issues of tobacco, toilet articles, candy etc., have been generally available but in small quantities and at irregular intervals. Incoming mail service has varied from excellent to complete failure for extended periods. Morale during the year 1944 has been excellent.

III
SUPPLY

The unit moved overseas with "minimum essential equipment". Upon arrival in the United Kingdom the retraining items of T/E and SLOE items were obtained. This process required multiple trips to widely separated depots located considerable distances from our location. At the time of departure for the Continent, unit was fully equipped. Vehicles and equipment arrived without loss. Supply problems on the continent have been chiefly those of non-availability but no problems were encountered which hindered our operations. Temporary difficulties arose in this and attached units in obtaining replacement vehicles, tires, gasoline, and some items of individual clothing and equipment. Attached units, being separate numbered companies and, battalions, functioned almost separately in supply matters.

The transportation provided by T/E proved inadequate for movement except by shuttling or "borrowing" vehicles from attached units. Unit was authorized to retain one German truck (1-1/2 ton Ford) captured at Brest; this vehicle proved invaluable in transporting equipment found necessary during operations. Transportation for personnel in movements] and for messenger and reconnaissance use is not adequate. This problem could be solved by including a 1-1/2 ton personnel carrier and one additional truck 1/4 ton, 4x4, in the T/E. No additional personnel would be required.

Second echelon maintenance has been provided by motor section of an attached battalion. Spot checks by ordnance personnel of higher headquarters to which attached have shown maintenance to be adequate.

Combat losses of equipment have been negligible; two vehicles were lost by theft from parking lots away from unit. Losses in attached units were chiefly vehicles damaged in combat use; two Field Hospital Platoons lost practically all their equipment during the German counter-offensive in December. These platoons were rapidly re-equipped and resumed operations.

IV
SANITATION

The housing situation during 1944 was satisfactory. While in the United Kingdom men and officers were billeted in either private homes or in requisitioned buildings. From 31 July to 24 October


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tentage was used for housing of personnel. From 24 October to close of 1944, unit was located in buildings. Throughout the year the water supply was adequate. While located on the continent only water from U. S. Army Engineer water points was used. During continental operations, Quartermaster Bath units were used and these were found to be very satisfactory. While unit was located in Cloister Cinq Fontaine near Trois Vierges, Luxembourg bathtubs were available. Laundry presented some problem while on the continent. While in the UK a contract with a civilian dry cleaning and laundry Company was provided through the Quartermaster Corps. This arrangement proved to be very satisfactory. While on the continent all clothing had to be washed either by the individual or by civilians.

As this unit has no organic messing facilities mess arrangements were made with nearby units. While in the UK unit messed with the 35th and 39th Evacuation Hospitals. While on the continent the kitchen complement of an attached company, usually an Ambulance Company, operated a mess for this unit. During the year the ration was found to be adequate. "B" rations were available at all times except for short periods of time, i.e., during motor movements and fur a short time following our arrival on the continent.

V
TRAINING

Training during 1944 was quite extensive especially prior to arrival on the continent. A formal training program was carried out prior to our arrival on the continent. This program stressed such subjects as map reading, aircraft identification, defense against chemical attack, medical aid, physical condition, reconnaissance, waterproofing, passive air defense, language classes, and orientation lectures. Details of training have been discussed in the early part of this report.

During the year officers were sent to the following schools - Mines and Booby Traps, Gas Officers' School, Bomb Reconnaissance School, Waterproofing School, Incident Officers' School, Civil Defense School and to the Army Education School; Cite Universitaire, Paris, Two enlisted men were sent to the Mines and Booby Trap School and one enlisted man was sent to the Waterproofing School. The Group Chaplain attended the Chaplains' Orientation School, These Army schools were found to be very beneficial, informative, and instruction was excellent.

During the year a very comprehensive schedule of inspection of attached units was conducted. Inspections of attached units were made on the basis of one every six weeks. Attached battalions inspected their units once every month. These inspections were made by staff officers of this headquarters. Informal visits were constantly made to attached and serviced units with a view to increasing the operational efficiency of the Group.

H. E. ZITTEL,
Colonel, Medical Corps,
Commanding.

Inclosures:

Annex No. 1-Notes on the Employment of Medical Units.

Annex No. 2-Evac and Amb Mileage Chart (1 Aug to 31 Dec 44)

Annex Nos. 3 to 7 incl- Evac and Amb Mileage Charts for months of Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec, respectively. 

Annex No. 8-Map, Phase 1, Cherbourg Peninsula.

Annex No. 9-Map, Phase 2, Brittany Peninsula.

Annex No. 10-Map, Phase 3, Belgium and Luxembourg.

Annex No. 11-Map, Phase 4, Belgium-Luxembourg breakthrough. [Missing]

SOURCE:  National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 112, Records of the US Army Surgeon General, World War II, 64th Medical Group, Box 223.