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

This study is one of a series dealing with the administrative history of the U.S. Army Medical Department in World War II. As an account of the programs developed in the Zone of Interior to train Medical Department personnel to operate fixed medical installations and field units, it focuses on the organization and administration of training, changes in scope and emphasis, the development of doctrine and technique, and responses to personnel and supply problems. Other volumes in the clinical and administrative series necessarily impinge to an extent upon the subject matter of this study, just as this volume deals with problems of organization and administration, personnel, and supply falling within the scope of training. In this book, training is considered in the context of the Army and the Medical Department over the period from 1938 to 1945, providing a unified picture of Medical Department training efforts.

The training volume itself has a long and complex history. Work on the project began during World War II, when the Office of The Surgeon General was directed to prepare a manuscript history of its training activities to serve as source material for a projected history of training under the Army Service Forces. Under the supervision of Lt. Samuel M. Goodman, MAC, AUS, several young officers at the Office of The Surgeon General were assigned to the project, and by the end of the war, these officers completed a 10-volume manuscript encompassing all phases of Medical Department training conducted under the jurisdiction of the Army Service Forces. Although these studies were of uneven value, they served as the foundation for all subsequent versions of the training volume.

In 1946, shortly after work began on the administrative history of the Medical Department in World War II, the project was assigned to Mr. Graves H. Wilson, a civilian historian employed by The Historical Unit. Although Mr. Wilson was unable to complete more than fragments of the study before leaving the unit in 1952, he compiled an extensive file of verbatim notes to supplement manuscripts written during the war.

Following the departure of Mr. Wilson, the training volume lay fallow until 1956, when it was reactivated under the aegis of an Advisory Editorial Board, whose members are listed on a preceding page of this volume. Key figures on this board included Maj. Gen. Paul R. Hawley, USA (Ret.), who acted as chairman until his death in 1965, when he was succeeded by Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Hartford, USA (Ret.). Determined to produce an exemplary volume, the board decided to tap the skills of officers with extensive experience in training and apply a technique of group authorship that had been used with great success in Medical Department clinical histories. After the board amended and adopted an outline prepared by the Medical Field Service School, Col. Charles A. Pendlyshok, MSC, USA (Ret.), and Lt. Col. John A. Ey, Jr., MSC, AUS (Ret.), were chosen as project officers. In cooperation with the Advisory Editorial Board, these officers selected a number of individuals who had held important training positions during World War II to participate in the creation of a manuscript. Together, the project officers and the individuals cited in the list of contributors overcame many problems. After Colonel Pendlyshok left The Historical Unit for another assignment, Colonel Ey supervised the completion of a draft manuscript. By 1964, however, it had become apparent that the technique of group authorship could not be adapted to the requirements of the administrative series, and Colonel Ey's retirement made it impossible for him to undertake the necessary revisions.

Because staff replacements were not immediately available, the training volume was put aside until 1966, when the project was assigned to Mr. William D. Shaver, formerly of the Historians Branch. Working from a revised outline prepared by Dr. Charles M. Wiltse, formerly Chief Historian, Mr. Shaver began the process of screening documents but unfortunately left The Historical Unit before this phase of the revision could be completed.

Shortly after Mr. Shaver's departure, the project was assigned to Capt. Robert J. Parks, MSC, AUS, a Reserve officer who had been called to active duty at The Historical Unit. Captain Parks is a graduate of Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Mich., and completed the requirements for the M.A. and the Ph. D. degrees at Michigan State University. Working under the direction of the undersigned, and using as guidelines valuable suggestions made by the Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army, he completed a stylistic, organizational, and substantive revision of the training volume, making maximum use of all previous versions of the manuscript.

If any one individual were to be singled out as author, it would have to be Captain Parks, but so many others have made important contributions that it would be unfair to give preeminent credit to any one of them. The entire list of contributors and reviewers appears under Acknowledgments. Very special thanks are due, however, to General Hawley and to General Hartford. Others who labored long and diligently to make the book a success are Mrs. Claire M. Sorrell of the General Reference and Research Branch and Mrs. Marjorie G. Shears of the Editorial Branch who did the editing and compiled the index. Thanks are also due to Dr. Stetson Conn, formerly Chief Historian, Office of the Chief of Military History; to Brig. Gen. John Boyd Coates, Jr., USA (Ret.), former Director of The Historical Unit, who set the project in motion; and to Col. Arnold L. Ahnfeldt, MC, USA (Ret.), and Col. Robert S. Anderson, MC, USA (Ret.), former Directors of The Historical Unit; and to the present Director, Col. William S. Mullins, MSC, USA, who sustained the project.

ROSE C. ENGELMAN.

Return to the Table of Contents