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Headquarters 9th Armored Division

Table of Contents

HEADQUARTERS 9TH ARMORED DIVISION
Office of the Surgeon
APO #259, U. S. Army

 GNWHM

20 January 1945

 SUBJECT: Annual Report of Medical Department Activities, Ninth Armored Division for the Year ending 31 December 1944.

TO : The Surgeon General, Army Service Forces, Washington, 25, D.C.
   (Thru: Technical Channels)

1. In compliance with Circular Letter No. 143, Hq, European Theater of Operations, United States Army, Office of the Chief Surgeon, dated 18 December 1944, the following report is submitted.

a. Date of Activation and Early History.

The Ninth Armored Division was activated 15 July 1942 with permanent station at Fort Riley , Kansas . The Division moved to Camp Ibis , California in June, 1943. During September, 1943 the Division departed Camp Ibis , as its base camp, and moved into the desert for three weeks of division exercises. Corps Maneuvers which were to follow these exercises were cancelled and the Division was ordered back to its base camp to reorganize as a Light Armored Division and move to Camp Polk , Louisiana . The movement to Camp Polk was effected by 25 October 1 943. During November 1943, the Division had moved into the field for participation in the 5th phase of Third Army Maneuvers, which lasted until late in January, 1944. The Division remained in the field until 10 February 1944 at which time they moved into Camp Polk .

Preparation was made for overseas pavement during the months of June and July and the Division arrived at the staging area, Camp Kilmer , New Jersey , 14 August 1944. Arrived at the port of Embarkation on 1 9 August 1 944 and at its destination, Tidworth Barracks, in Southern England on 28 August 1944. The Division was re-issued equipment and vehicles at this location and moved to the Marshalling Area on the southern coast of England the latter part of September 1944. Embarked on LCT's and LST's and assembled in a concentration area in the vicinity of St. Marie du Mont, France on 1C October 1944. Departed this area 14 October for trip across France arriving in the vicinity of Mersch , Luxembourg , 21 October 1944. Jurisdiction upon arrival under First U. S. Army and VIII Corps, as Corps Reserve.

b. Specific Details of Operations.

Units of the Division (less Combat Command "B") were deployed in the vicinity of Mersch and continuously during the balance of the month of October, November, and early December the combat elements were in rotation tactically attached to adjoining divisions for the purpose of battle indoctrination.


2

Evacuation, administration and supply of these tactically attached units remained with this Headquarters.

 The following attachments occurred on date indicated:  

2

November

1944

482 AAA, AW Bn (SP)

15

November

1944   

-

811 Tank Destroyer Battalion

4

December

1944

Hq & Hq Co, 12th Armored Group

(1) The following composition of combat commands within the Division was made for planning purposes and later went into effect during combat.  

CC "A"

Hq & Hq Co, CC "A"
19th Tank Bn
60th Armd Inf Bn
3d Armd FA Bn
A/9th Armd Engr Bn
A/l31st Ord Maint Bn
A/2d Med Bn, Armd
B/811th TD Bn
   One Plat Rcn Co (811 TD Bn)
A/482 AAA, AW Bn (SP)
A/89 Cav Rcn Sq, Mecz
    One Plat E Tr (89Cav Ron Sq)

CC "B"

Hq & Hq Co, CC "B"
14th Tank Bn
27th Armd Inf Bn
16th Armd F A Bn
B/9th Armd Engr Bn
C/131st Ord Maint Bn
B/2d Med Bn, Armd
A/811th TD Bn
    One Plat Ron Co (811 TD Bn)
B/482 AAA, AW Bn (SP)
D/89 Cav Rcn Sq, Mecz
    One Plat E Tr (89 Cav Rcn Sq)

CC "R"

Hq, Res Comd
Hq & Hq Co, 12 Armd Gp
2d Tank Bn
52d Armd Inf Bn
73rd Armd FA Bn
C/ 9th Armd Engr Bn
B/1 31st Ord Maint Bn
C/2d Med Bn, Armd
C/811th TD Bn
    One Plat Rcn Co (811 TD Bn)
C/482 AAA, AW Bn (SP)
B/89 Cav Rcn Sq, Mecz
    One Plat E Tr (89 Cav Rcn Sq)

The balance of the Division remained under Division control.

Div Hq & Hq Co
149th Armd Signal Co
Div Tns Hq & Hq Co
Div Arty Hq & Hq Co
Hq & Hq Co, 2d Med Bn, Arrnd
Hq & Hq Co, 131 Ord Maint Bn
Hq & Hq Co, 9th Armd Engr Bn
89 Cav Ron Sq, Mecz (-)
M. P. Platoon
Band
811 TD Bn (-)
482 AAA, AW Bn (-)

(2) Over a 50 mile front the disposition of troops of the Division prior to 14 December 1944 was approximately as follows:


3

CC "B" - vicinity of Trois Verges, Luxembourg .

Mission - sector defense.

Balance of Division in vicinity of Mersch , Luxembourg as Corps Reserve.

On 14 December 1944 -

CC "B" atchd to V Corps, First U. S. Army and moved north into Belgium .

     CC "R" replaced CC "B" at Trois Verges, Luxembourg .

On 17 December 1944 -

The enemy attacked over a wide front with the spearhead of the attack in front of CC "R" which was deployed by Corps in small groups to maintain and defend road blocks. They were overrun and withdrew to Bastogne , Belgium , where they fought with 101 Airborne Division and CC "B", 10th Armored Division. During this withdrawal no patients from the Division were evacuated to Company "C" Clearing Station because units were overrun: CC "R" passed to Division con­trol on 1 January 1945.

On or about 20 December 1 944 -

CC "A" was attached to 10th Armored Division and continued their previous mission of defense of Gillesdorf - Irmsdorf - Waldbillig sector.

The balance of the Division established headquarters in Etalle , France and set up a defense of the Corps sector. On or about 29 December 1944 headquarters moved to vicinity of Poix Terron , France for the purpose of refurnishing personnel and equipment to the combat commands as they were returned to Division control.

Casualty Tables for the period 22 Oct 1944 to 31 Oct 1944 inclusive

KIA- - - - - - - - - - - - 2

ADM

DUTY

TRFD

DIED

REMAININ G

  TOT DISP

Dis

NBC

BC

Tot

Dis

NBC

BC

Tot

Dis

NBC

BC

Tot

Dis

NC

BC

Tot

Dis

NBC

BC

Tot

43

7

32

 82

12

 1

26

39

23

 5

 18

46

   

1

1

1

9

18

104

Admissions were as follows:

DISEASE

Resp

GI

OD

 Cbt Exh

Total

7

2

33

1

43

NBC Inj

BC Inj

7

0

WOUNDED IN ACTION

GSW

 Land Mines

HE

Total

22

6

4

32

TOTAL ADM 82


4

Casualty Tables for the Month of November, 1944

 Admissions


5

Casualty Tables for the Month of November, 1944

Dispositions


6

Casualty Tables for the Month of December, 1944

Admissions


7

Casualty Tables for the Month of December, 1944

Dispositions


8

Abbreviations:

G-I  - Acute gastro-intestinal conditions

VD  - Venereal Disease

Cbt Exh - Combat exhaustion and Psychiatric conditions

OD - Other Disease

GSW   - Gun shot wound

HE  - High Explosive Shell

Col   - Colored Personnel

c. Military and Civilian Personnel.  

(1) The Medical Department of this Division has at no time had attached civilian personnel.  

d. Training of Personnel, Equipment, Literature, Training Aids, Participation in Exercises, Special Courses.

(1) Training of Personnel:

The Division had successfully passed through the various training phases prior to 1 January 1944. Beginning in May, 1944, Circular 48, W.D. training was intensively complied with for a six-week period.

An eight-week Division course for medical detachment technicians was instituted beginning 15 May 1944.

e. Equipment, Supplies and Transportation.  

All Medical Equipment, except MD Chest No. 2, as required in 4K POM WD, was turned in prior to overseas shipment. On arrival in England all medical equipment was re-issued and upon departure to the continent was complete except for four (4) tents, surgical, truck and one (1) sterilizer, dressing and utensil. The latter item was later obtained in France .  

During combat, in December, the complete Aid Station equipment of the 52nd Armd Infantry Battalion and the 73rd Armd Field Artillery Battalion was captured by the enemy. These have been replaced. At no time during combat has medical supply been a problem. There has been an abundance of the essential drugs, dressings, litters and blankets. Transportation in the Medical Department of a light armored division has been curtailed by T/E. There is no assigned transportation for the following:

(1) Division Surgeon's Office

(2) Combat Command Surgeon

Company aid men in each combat company of a Tank Battalion, and of each fighting troop of the Reconnaissance Squadron require some means of trans­porting casualties back to the Battalion kid Station. The following chart shows the T/E allowance of Truck, 1/4 Ton 4 x 4, available for that purpose and the number of fighting companies they serve. One such vehicle assigned is not included, being reserved for use of the Battalion Surgeon.


9

 

Truck 1/4 ton 4 x 4
(-1 for Bn Surgeon)

No. of Fighting Co's w/aid men

Tank Battalion

3

4

 

 

A

 

 

B

 

 

C

 

 

D

Reconnaissance Squadron

3

4

 

 

A

 

 

B

 

 

C

 

 

D

 

 

E (None)

 

 

F (None)

E & F Troops attached as Combat Platoons to A, B, C, and D, therefore one additional vehicle needed.  

f. Improvisations of Techniques, Procedures, and Equipment.

While in England , Trucks, 1/4 Ton 4 x 4, which were to haul patients were modified for that purpose. There was considerable variation allowed unit Surgeons, the only requirements being that patients be carried parallel with the body of the vehicle and that the modification be such to give maximum safety and comfort to the patient. Variations have resulted in litter carriers being made to carry 2, 3 and 4 patients. These modifica­tions have proven their value in combat.

g. Conservation of Material and Manpower.

In compliance with Circular 122, 1944,  W.D., Ass't Battalion Surgeons of each Tank Battalion were replaced by MAC Officers as Assistants to the Battalion Surgeon. Circular 99, 1944, W.D., replaced the Medical Corps Officer serving as Division Medical Inspector with a Sanitary Corps Officer. Such was affected in this Division prior to leaving the United States .

h. Housing, Water Supply, Bathing Facilities, and Laundry.

The Division has been billeted in public buildings and houses almost entirely since arrival on the continent. Water has been obtained only from authorized Engineer water points by components of the Division except for those members of the command which were in Bastogne . While there, food and water was obtained from civilian sources as the regular supply was out off. Eighty-three (83) cases of diarrhea resulted, all of which at present are controlled. A Quartermaster bathing unit has rendered service to this Division constantly except during days of actual fighting. A laundry unit has given weekly service.

i. Food and Messing, Sewage and Waste Disposal, Insect Control.

(1) Food and Messing:

A Modified "B" ration has been issued to troops of this command. At times the exigencies of battle required troops to eat "C" or "K" rations, but at no time longer than two weeks.


10

 (2) Sewage and Waste Disposal:

Water-borne sewage systems, where inadequate, have been supplemented by straddle trenches. Those troops living under field conditions use straddle trenches for the disposal of fecal material and pits for disposal of garbage and unburnable trash.

 (3) Insect Control:

Insects have presented no problem to troops of this command during the year.

j. Venereal Disease Controls

The Venereal Disease rate by months for the year has been as follows:

Jan 

4.74

July

21.44

Feb

8.36

Aug

3.78

Mar

12.56

Sept   

8.87

Apr

18.90

Oct

1.22

May

20.37

Nov   

0.00

June

18.88

Dec

4.90


All personnel are instructed in the military, moral and physical aspects of the problem as required by AR 40-230.

All troops are urged to take advantage of the religious, recreational and entertainment facilities provided by Special Service Officer, Chaplain, USO, and the American Red Cross.

All personnel have been instructed in the proper use of mechanical and chemical prophylactics and such are available to the men at all times. Every dispensary and/or Aid Station maintains a prophylactic station.

The provisions of Circular Letters #74 and #105, Surgeon General's Office, 1942, are being complied with.

k. Professional Medical and Surgical Services.

(1) New Methods of diagnosis and treatment - None

(2) Treatment of battle casualties:

It was found during heavy combat that little could be done for casualties at Infantry Battalion Aid Stations beyond dressing, splinting, morphine and quick evacuation. Other Battalion Aid Stations received less casualties and often administered plasma. At Division Clearing Stations plasma was routinely given where necessary and dressings changed only where hemorrhage or contamination rendered it imperative.


11

l. Nursing, Dental and Veterinary Service.

Dental Officers during combat are utilized as assistants to the Battalion Surgeons. At times other than combat they are used full time at professional duties. The dental  classification of the division as of a December 1944 is  

Class

I -

170

Class

II -

327

Class

III   -

None

Class

IV   -

8468


 m. Evacuation

The only evacuation problems have arisen forward of Aid Stations in those units not having sufficient organic transportation to furnish one vehicle per group of company aid men. This has been enumerated in par. E.

n. Welfare, Social Service and Recreation.

This is adequately taken care of by the Special Sections concerned.

o. Other Subjects of Interest. None.

[signed]

RALPH B. KETTLEWELL,
Lt. Col., Medical Corps,
Division Surgeon.

SOURCE:  National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 112, Records of the US Army Surgeon General, World War II, 9th Armored Division, 1944-45, Box 387