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Preface

Contents

Preface

This volume is one of a series dealing with the administrative history of the Medical Department, United States Army, in World War II. As an account of the organization and administration of the medical service in the United States and major oversea theaters of operations, it necessarily includes not only a description of changes in structure and administrative techniques but the accompanying changes in functions and responsibilities, which are treated here in broad terms.

Attention is focused principally upon the Surgeon General's Office, and upon the offices of the surgeons of the more important commands, both in the Zone of Interior and overseas. Minor theaters such as Alaska, the South Atlantic, and the Middle East, received no separate discussion here since they are treated in adequate detail in other volumes of this series. Problems of organization and administration in these areas did not differ in essentials from those in the larger theaters where the war was fought out. They were problems neither exclusively medical nor purely military, but a fusion of the two.

Other volumes in the administrative series, dealing respectively with hospitalization and evacuation in the Zone of Interior, with personnel, with medical supply, with training, and with all aspects of medical service in the European, the Mediterranean, and the Pacific theaters, necessarily impinge to some extent upon the subject matter of this study, but in a context relating in each case to substantive problems. In this book organization and adminis-tration are treated in the context of the whole medical service over the entire span of the defense and war years, thus supplying an essential framework for all segments of the history of the Medical Department in World War II.

Although the author of this volume, Miss Blanche B. Armfield, left The Historical Unit before the final editing of her manuscript, judgments and evaluations, as well as content and language, are basically hers, and full credit for the merits of the book belongs to her. Responsibility for the volume is shared to some extent, by Donald O. Wagner, Ph. D., who supervised the production of the original manuscript; by Col. John Boyd Coates, Jr., MC, USA, who suggested a number of changes in the author's draft; and, more especially by Charles M. Wiltse, Ph. D., Litt. D., who revised and reorganized the text after both Miss Armfield and Dr. Wagner had left The Historical Unit.

Others who influenced the final product are three former members of The Historical Unit, Mrs. Josephine P. Kyle, who served as Chief of the General Reference and Research Branch; and Nora V. Lewis (now Mrs. Thomas H. Major), and William K. Daum, who assisted the author with her research and wrote preliminary drafts of portions of the manuscript; Stetson Conn, Ph. D., Chief Historian of the Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army, and members of his staff, who offered numerous helpful comments based on a detailed review of the manuscript; and many members of the Medical Department, both active and retired, who shared with the author their firsthand knowledge of the events described. Their names are listed under "Acknowledgments."

CHARLES M. WILTSE.

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