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Chapter XI - continued

Contents

CHAPTER XI - CONTINUED

387-394

TABLE 36.-Operating strength of Medical Department units in oversea areas,1 30 April 1943-31 August 1945

Theater

Aggregate

Type

Function

Air

Ground

Service

Hospitalization

Preventive

Animal care

Miscellaneous

Supply

Fixed

Mobile

Total

Malaria

Food inspection

Total

Air

Ground

Service

30 April 1943

Total overseas2

Strength

67,015

905

16,078

50,032

1,920

46,257

10,843

38

18

20

320

7,684

410

4,989

2,285

Rate

52

0.7

12

39

1

36

8

0.03

0.01

0.02

0.2

6

0.3

4

2

North America:

Strength

3,002

0

0

3,002

47

2,941

0

20

0

20

0

41

0

0

41

Rate

40

0

0

40

0.6

39

0

0.3

0

0.3

0

0.5

0

0

0.5

Alaska:

Strength

3,493

82

206

3,205

18

3,146

0

0

0

0

0

329

64

206

59

Rate

33

0.8

2

31

0.2

30

0

0

0

0

0

3

0.6

2

0.6

Caribbean:

Strength

2,394

0

415

1,979

9

1,970

0

0

0

0

0

415

0

415

0

Rate

21

0

4

17

0.08

17

0

0

0

0

0

4

0

4

0

South Atlantic:

Strength

328

0

0

328

0

328

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Rate

67

0

0

67

0

67

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Europe:

Strength

7,734

156

430

7,148

401

6,370

0

0

0

0

0

963

0

430

533

Rate

69

1

4

64

4

57

0

0

0

0

0

9

0

4

5

North Africa-Mediterranean theater:

Strength

19,833

345

8,625

10,863

743

8,808

6,444

0

0

0

0

3,838

261

2,181

1,396

Rate

50

87

22

27

2

22

16

0

0

0

0

10

0.7

6

4

Africa-Middle East:

Strength

2,424

40

0

2,384

40

2,377

0

0

0

0

0

7

0

0

7

Rate

65

1

0

64

1

64

0

0

0

0

0

0.2

0

0

0.2

Persian Gulf:

Strength

1,529

45

101

1,383

45

1,383

0

0

0

0

0

101

0

101

0

Rate

83

2

5

75

2

75

0

0

0

0

0

5

0

5

0

China-Burma-India:

Strength

3,324

131

1,271

1,922

208

1,824

655

0

0

0

102

535

0

514

21

Rate

110

4

42

64

7

61

22

0

0

0

3

17

0

17

0.7

Southwest Pacific Area:

Strength

11,996

21

3,598

8,377

285

7,974

2,954

18

18

0

144

621

0

500

121

Rate

85

0.2

26

60

2

57

21

0.1

0.1

0

1

4

0

4

0.9

Pacific Ocean Areas:

Strength

10,958

85

1,432

9,441

124

9,136

790

0

0

0

74

834

85

642

107

Rate

42

0.3

5

36

0.5

35

3

0

0

0

0.3

3

0.3

2

0.4

30 September 1944

Total overseas2

Strength

237,079

5,413

53,370

78,296

5,733

161,863

22,462

2,560

2,230

330

700

43,793

3,816

25,800

13,577

Rate

55

1

12

42

1

38

5

0.6

0.5

0.08

0.2

10

0.9

6

3

North America:

Strength

879

0

0

879

0

839

0

0

0

0

0

40

0

0

40

Rate

25

0

0

25

0

24

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

Alaska:

Strength

2,860

38

0

2,822

46

2,736

0

0

0

0

0

17

17

0

0

Rate

43

0.6

0

43

1

41

0

0

0

0

0

0.3

0.3

0

0

Caribbean:

Strength

1,910

0

0

1,910

0

1,805

0

0

0

0

0

105

0

0

105

Rate

27

0

0

27

0

25

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

South Atlantic:

Strength

432

43

0

389

0

364

0

25

25

0

0

43

43

0

0

Rate

79

8

0

71

0

67

0

5

5

0

0

8

8

0

0

Europe:

Strength

121,076

2,759

27,759

90,558

2,913

83,828

9,461

122

0

122

0

24,732

2,259

15,743

6,730

Rate

59

1

13

44

1

41

5

0.06

0

0.06

0

12

1

8

3

North Africa-Mediterranean theater:

Strength

38,587

884

10,714

26,989

762

25,160

5,020

367

282

85

154

7,124

632

5,250

1,242

Rate

54

1

15

38

1

35

7

0.5

0.4

0.1

0.2

10

0.9

7

2

Africa-Middle East:

Strength

1,093

0

0

26,989

0

917

0

111

111

0

0

65

0

0

65

Rate

67

0

0

67

0

56

0

7

7

0

0

4

0

0

4

Persian Gulf:

Strength

1,657

0

123

1,534

33

1,498

0

36

36

0

0

90

0

90

0

Rate

58

0

4

54

1

52

0

1

1

0

0

3

0

3

0

China-Burma-India:

Strength

12,360

485

3,533

8,342

670

7,843

1,855

306

306

0

264

1,422

380

869

173

Rate

72

3

21

49

3

46

9

1

1

0

1

8

2

4

0.8

Southwest Pacific Area:

Strength

35,245

344

8,628

26,273

760

21,667

4,946

1,296

1,183

113

167

6,409

174

2,902

3,333

Rate

51

0.5

12

38

1

31

7

2

2

0.2

0.2

9

0.3

4

5

Pacific Ocean Areas:

Strength

20,980

860

2,613

17,507

549

15,206

1,160

297

287

10

115

3,146

311

946

1,889

Rate

50

2

6

42

1

37

3

0.7

0.7

0.02

0.3

8

0.7

2

5

31 December 1944

Total overseas2

Strength

273,133

4,056

65,200

203,877

7,250

183,654

28,382

2,784

2,355

419

925

50,238

2,978

30,680

16,580

Rate

57

0.8

14

43

2

38

6

0.6

0.5

0.09

0.2

10

0.6

6

3

North America:

Strength

822

0

0

822

0

782

0

0

0

0

0

40

0

0

40

Rate

33

0

0

33

0

32

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

2

Alaska:

Strength

1,856

15

0

1,841

46

1,747

0

0

0

0

0

63

15

0

48

Rate

33

0.3

0

33

0.8

31

0

0

0

0

0

1

0.3

0

0.9

Caribbean:

Strength

1,735

0

0

1,735

0

1,953

0

12

12

0

0

130

0

0

130

Rate

25

0

0

25

0

23

0

0.2

0.2

0

0

2

0

0

2

South Atlantic:

Strength

288

0

0

288

0

263

0

25

25

0

0

0

0

0

0

Rate

58

0

0

58

0

53

0

5

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

Europe:

Strength

165,173

2,001

42,631

120,541

4,052

109,050

17,282

124

24

100

154

34,511

1,553

21,863

11,095

Rate

61

0.7

16

45

1

40

6

0.05

0.01

0.04

0.06

13

0.6

8

4

North Africa-Mediterranean theater:

Strength

24,226

784

5,366

18,076

563

16,932

2,553

328

258

70

0

3,850

542

2,668

640

Rate

48

2

11

36

0.5

33

5

0.7

0.5

0.1

0

8

1

5

1

Africa-Middle East:

Strength

1,054

0

0

1,054

0

884

0

111

111

0

0

59

0

0

59

Rate

49

0

0

49

0

41

0

5

5

0

0

3

0

0

3

Persian Gulf:

Strength

1,638

0

123

1,515

33

1,479

0

36

36

0

0

90

0

90

0

Rate

59

0

4

54

1

53

0

1

1

0

0

3

0

3

0

China-Burma-India:

Strength

15,176

540

4,393

10,243

545

9,567

1,751

485

365

120

451

2,377

370

1,816

191

Rate

74

3

21

50

3

46

8

2

2

0.6

2

12

2

9

0.9

Southwest Pacific Area:

Strength

39,941

500

10,343

29,098

1,519

25,128

5,779

1,378

1,249

119

90

6,047

324

3,366

2,357

Rate

53

0.7

14

39

2

34

8

2

2

0.2

0.1

8

0.4

4

3

Pacific Ocean Areas:

Strength

21,224

216

2,344

18,664

492

16,229

1,017

285

275

10

230

3,071

174

877

2,020

Rate

51

0.5

6

45

1

39

2

0.7

0.7

0.02

0.6

7

0.4

2

5

30 April  1945

Total overseas2

Strength

295,351

4,295

71,877

219,179

7,764

199,580

31,189

3,216

2,622

414

1,025

53,941

3,301

34,184

16,456

Rate

56

0.8

14

42

1

38

6

0.6

0.5

0.08

0.2

10

0.6

7

3

North America:

Strength

672

0

0

672

0

632

0

0

0

0

0

40

0

0

40

Rate

25

0

0

25

0

24

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

Alaska:

Strength

1,354

15

0

1,339

44

1,194

0

0

0

0

0

116

0

15

101

Rate

32

0.35

0

31

1

28

0

0

0

0

0

3

0

0.3

2

Caribbean:

Strength

1,679

0

0

1,679

0

1,539

0

12

12

0

0

128

0

0

128

Rate

25

0

0

25

0

23

0

0.2

0.2

0

0

2

0

0

2

South Atlantic:

Strength

271

0

0

271

0

246

0

25

25

0

0

0

0

0

0

Rate

54

0

0

54

0

49

0

5

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

Europe:

Strength

181,914

2,018

49,307

130,589

4,220

120,227

20,557

66

24

30

154

36,636

1,594

25,120

9,922

Rate

59

0.7

16

42

1

39

7

0.02

0.01

0.01

0.05

12

0.5

8

3

North Africa-Mediterranean theater:

Strength

25,038

831

5,936

18,271

529

16,781

2,979

366

133

65

86

4,297

622

2,749

926

Rate

50

2

12

37

1

34

6

0.7

0.3

0.1

0.1

9

1

6

2

Africa-Middle East:

Strength

1,343

0

0

1,343

0

1,105

0

136

111

25

0

102

0

0

102

Rate

49

0

0

49

0

40

0

5

4

0.9

0

4

0

0

4

Persian Gulf:

Strength

841

0

27

814

27

778

0

36

36

0

0

0

0

0

0

Rate

49

0

2

47

2

45

0

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

China-Burma-India:

Strength

16,154

681

4,237

11,236

568

10,116

1,918

641

496

145

643

2,267

510

1,422

335

Rate

70

3

18

49

2

44

8

3

2

0.6

3

10

2

6

1

Southwest Pacific Area:

Strength

42,629

447

9,269

32,913

1,605

30,038

4,700

1,419

1,295

124

90

6,196

314

3,359

2,523

Rate

53

0.6

11

41

2

37

6

2

2

0.2

0.1

8

0.4

4

3

Pacific Ocean Areas:

Strength

23,456

303

3,101

20,052

771

16,924

1,035

515

490

25

52

4,159

261

1,519

2,379

Rate

51

0.7

7

44

2

37

2

1

1

0.5

0.1

9

0.6

3

5

31 August 1945 

Total overseas2 

Strength

247,295

2,715

62,139

182,441

6,162

163,845

28,224

3,549

2,686

689

862

44,653

2,081

28,620

13,952

Rate

57

0.6

14

42

1

38

7

0.8

0.6

0.2

0.2

10

0.5

7

3

North America:

Strength

348

0

0

348

0

308

0

0

0

0

0

40

0

0

40

Rate

19

0

0

19

0

17

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

2

Alaska:

Strength

1,339

0

0

1,339

44

1,194

0

0

0

0

0

101

0

0

101

Rate

33

0

0

33

1

29

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

2

Caribbean:

Strength

1,641

0

0

1,641

0

1,481

0

12

12

0

0

148

0

0

148

Rate

23

0

0

23

0

20

0

0.2

0.2

0

0

2

0

0

2

South Atlantic:

Strength

271

0

0

271

0

246

0

25

25

0

0

0

0

0

0

Rate

30

0

0

30

0

27

0

3

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

Europe:

Strength

139,446

1,217

40,718

97,511

2,559

89,398

17,730

128

37

91

149

29,482

1,011

20,797

7,674

Rate

64

0.6

19

45

1

41

8

0.06

0.02

0.04

0.07

14

0.5

10

4

North Africa-Mediterranean theater:

Strength

16,808

132

3,886

12,790

308

12,047

2,121

275

72

35

86

1,971

56

1,557

358

Rate

68

0.5

16

52

1

49

9

1

0.3

0.1

0.3

8

0.2

6

1

Africa-Middle East:

Strength

1,143

0

0

1,143

9

869

0

129

98

25

0

136

0

0

136

Rate

40

0

0

40

0.3

30

0

4

3

0.7

0

5

0

0

5

Persian Gulf:

Strength

301

0

0

301

0

289

0

12

12

0

0

0

0

0

0

Rate

37

0

0

37

0

35

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

China-Burma-India:

Strength

15,176

737

2,841

11,598

740

9,950

1,513

814

559

255

487

1,672

566

431

675

Rate

66

3

12

50

3

42

7

4

2

1

2

7

2

2

3

Pacific Ocean Areas:

Strength

70,822

629

14,694

55,499

2,502

48,063

6,860

2,154

1,871

283

140

11,103

448

5,835

4,820

Rate

48

0.4

10

38

2

33

5

1

1

0.2

0.09

8

0.3

4

3


1Basic data for April 1943 from Troop Section, Logistics Group, Operations Division, War Department General Staff, Overseas Troop Basis, 1 May 1943: for all other dates from  Troop List for Operations and Supply for dates approximate thereto; all data include non-Medical Department personnel. Data for April 1943 comprise actual strength; data for all other periods comprise "operating strength" which is either table-of-organization strength or strength authorized within the theater. April 1943 data also include non-table-of-organization organizations, and Air Transport Command personnel. Divisional medical units are not included at any time. All rates greater than unity are rounded to the nearest whole number. Rates for April 1943 are per 1,000 troop strength for that date as shown in table 31 and rates for April and August 1945 are per 1,000 adjusted troop strengths shown for these dates in table 31, appendix. Rates for September and December 1944 are based on adjusted strengths, determined in a manner similar to that used in determining April and August 1945 rates, as follows:


395

Area

Army

Medical Department

Ratee

Unadjusted strengtha

Air Transport Commandb

Adjusted strength

Unadjusted strengthc

Air Transport Commandd

Adjusted strength

30 September 1944

North America

24,290

10,216

34,506

1,334

184

1,518

44

Alaska

63,495

3,727

67,222

3,563

67

3,630

54

Caribbean

70,556

577

71,133

4,008

10

4,018

56

South Atlantic

2,989

2,453

5,442

479

44

523

96

Europe

2,053,417

3,698

2,057,115

183,634

67

183,701

89

North Africa

712,915

6,675

719,590

54,932

120

55,052

77

Africa-Middle East

9,354

7,026

16,380

1,159

126

1,285

78

Persian Gulf

27,739

855

28,594

2,009

15

2,024

71

China-Burma-India

149,014

22,866

171,880

13,052

412

13,464

78

Southwest Pacific Area

689,804

3,871

693,675

60,895

70

60,965

88

Pacific Ocean Areas

412,618

3,748

416,366

34,388

67

34,455

83

31 December 1944

North America

19,223

5,458

24,681

1,140

120

1,260

51

Alaska

52,024

3,630

55,654

3,112

80

3,192

57

Caribbean

70,070

567

70,637

3,816

12

3,828

54

South Atlantic

2,715

2,291

5,006

432

50

482

96

Europe

2,699,467

7,516

2,706,983

247,377

165

247,542

91

North Africa

498,675

9,182

507,857

36,972

202

37,174

73

Africa-Middle East

9,321

12,092

21,413

1,147

266

1,413

66

Persian Gulf

26,647

1,214

27,861

1,980

27

2,007

72

China-Burma-India

180,405

25,642

206,047

17,892

564

18,456

90

Southwest Pacific Area

744,373

4,668

749,041

63,473

103

63,576

85

Pacific Ocean Areas

408,085

5,948

414,033

33,789

131

33,920

82


aFrom source of area data reported in table 31, footnote 2.
bFrom source shown in table 31, appendix, footnote 2.
cFrom "Strength of the Army," for dates approximate to those shown.
d1.8 percent of Air Transport Command general strength for 30 September 1944. 2.2 percent of Air Transport Command general strength for 31 December 1944.
eRatio of adjusted medical strength per 1,000 troops of adjusted Army strength.

2Total "Oversea" strength is the aggregate of strengths shown for individual areas.


396

The veterinary care of animals was a more important function of the Medical Department in the China-Burma-India area than elsewhere, but even there it did not increase the proportion more than a few points (table 36). The prevention of disease is one of the major functions of the Medical Department yet, in terms of special personnel for the purpose, it too increased the proportion only slightly in most areas. In certain small theaters, however, it was of considerable significance primarily because of the malaria control and survey teams which were stationed there. This results from the fact that the need for antimalaria personnel is more a matter of geography than of the troop strength to be served.

Besides the organizations directly concerned with hospitalization, most theaters possessed Medical Department units whose functions were accessory to the provision of hospital service. Among such units were dispensaries of various types, ambulance companies, medical depots, medical laboratories, clearing companies, collecting companies, medical gas treatment battalions, and sanitary companies. In the European theater in the latter part of the war, they constituted a substantial element of medical strength which helped to give that area its preeminent position in this respect among the major theaters and its high position among all of them. The European theater utilized more types of Medical Department units (including hospitals) than any other theater (table 37), distributed among air, ground, and service force units.

For the most part, Medical Department personnel in oversea areas were assigned to and served in table-of-organization units. Some medical personnel were in units that had been set up overseas under the non-table-of-organization allotments of the various theaters. Although the maximum number of medical officers who might come under the allotment was fixed by the War Department,

TABLE 37.-Types of Medical Department units in use in the various theaters of operations, by area, 30 September 1944

Area

Total

Air

Ground

Service

North America

3

1

0

2

Alaska 

4

2

0

2

Caribbean

2

0

0

2

South Atlantic 

4

1

0

3

Europe 

35

4

14

17

North Africa

33

3

14

16

Africa-Middle East

2

0

0

2

Persian Gulf

5

0

2

3

China-Burma-India 

21

3

12

6

Southwest Pacific Area

29

4

15

10

Pacific Ocean Areas

21

3

10

8


Source: Troop List for Operations and Supply, 1 Oct. 1944.


397

TABLE 38.-Estimated additions by Air Transport Command to theater medical strength per 1,000 troops, 19441

Area

30 September 1944

31 December 1944

North America 

5

5

Alaska 

1

1

Caribbean 

.1

.2

South Atlantic

8

10

Europe

. 03

.06

North Africa

.2

.4

Africa-Middle East

8

12

Persian Gulf 

2. 5

1

China-Burma-India

.6

.3

Southwest Pacific Area

.1

.1

Pacific Ocean Areas

.1

.3


1For the estimated medical strengths of the Air Transport Command on the dates shown and the adjusted theater strengths on the same date, see table 36, footnote 1.

other types of officers could be substituted. In the case of nurses, no substitutes could be made. In either case, the theater surgeon could make representations concerning the size of these allotments, and this was one of the few opportunities he had to deal directly with strength; that is, strength consisting of individuals rather than strength composed of units. Thus, the chief surgeon of U.S. Army Forces, Far East, dispatched an emissary after V-E Day on a successful mission to obtain a large increase in the overhead allotment of medical officers for the Southwest Pacific.19 Yet, it does not appear that the theater surgeons materially augmented the medical strength ratios of the areas under their jurisdiction through increases in medical allotments. In the larger theaters, especially, it would have been difficult to do so because of the relatively small role played by overhead in the strength of such theaters.

The medical personnel of the Air Transport Command, the Airways Communication System, and certain other troops under the command of the Army Air Forces were counted as part of the strength of the individual theaters only in the early part of the war. From the limited statistics available, it would appear that they contributed a substantial proportion of the strength in the South Atlantic and Africa-Middle East theaters and to a lesser degree in the North America and China-Burma-India areas. In the major theaters, on the other hand, they were of infinitesimal importance (table 38).20

19(1) Memorandum, Maj. Gen. G. B. Denit, Surgeon, U.S. Army Forces, Far East, to Colonel Pincoffs, 22 May 1945. (2) Memorandum, Brig. Gen. R. W. Bliss, Assistant Surgeon General, for Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations, 23 June 1945, subject: Revised Authorization of Medical Corps Officers for Army Forces Pacific Overhead. (3) Memorandum, Maj. Gen. B. M. Fitch, Adjutant General, U.S. Army Forces, Pacific, for The Adjutant General, 11 Aug. 1945, subject : Theater Overhead Authorized Grades and Strengths.
20See appendix to table 31 for further discussion of this matter.


398

Distribution of Oversea Strength by Major Commands

At the end of September 1944, approximately 5.7 percent of all oversea medical personnel excluding overhead were serving with the Air Forces, 36.9 percent with the Ground Forces, and 57.8 percent with the Service Forces or in communications zone installations.21 The percentage of medical strength actually assigned to the Air Forces but 1 month earlier was 7.74, but this included overhead personnel (table 39). It represented a decline from a higher percentage prevalent in 1943. At all times, however, the percentage was lower than the Air Forces fraction of the worldwide Medical Department strength. The ratio of medical Air Forces strength to total Air Forces strength was always lower than the ratio of medical strength to general Army strength both worldwide and overseas, but because of the lack of Air Forces hospitals abroad, the strength of the Medical Department personnel assigned to Air Forces organizations in oversea areas was always lower proportionately than the like strength in the Zone of Interior.

While the majority of oversea medical personnel served in the Services of Supply or communications zones, the proportionate strength of such personnel fluctuated greatly. For example, in the European theater in September and October 1942, during the buildup for the North African invasion, medical personnel comprised approximately 30 percent of total personnel in the Services of Supply. After the invasion of North Africa, the total Services of Supply strength in the theater declined approximately 20 percent while Medical Department Services of Supply strength increased by nearly 60 percent (table 35). During November, a number of medical units had landed in the United Kingdom because, although they were destined for North Africa, port facilities which would have made possible their debarkation in the Mediterranean area had not yet become available, and were therefore probably counted as part of the European theater strength.22

As 1943 progressed, however, emphasis was placed on supplying Air Forces and Engineer troops to the British Isles. The result was a decline of the percentage of medical troops in the Services of Supply from the peak attained in February 1943. Despite resumption of shipments of medical units in the latter part of the year, the influx of ground troops in preparation for invasion of the Continent led to a continued decline of the percentage of medical personnel under the Services of Supply.23 Before the end of the year, it had fallen below 50 percent.

21The percentages are based on the strength of Medical Department units shown in table 36 and the strength of attached and divisional medical personnel shown in table 34. These statistics are based on authorized strengths since actual strength figures for oversea areas by major commands are lacking.
22Information from Col. James B. Mason, 6 Oct. 1942.
23Ruppenthal, Roland G.: Logistical Support of the Armies, Volume I. United States Army in World War II. The European Theater of Operations. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1953, table 5, p. 232.


399-403

TABLE 39.-Strength of Medical Department personnel assigned to Air Forces,1 30 September 1942-31 May 1945

Date

Total strength2

Air Forces

Total strength4

Air Forces

Strength3

Percent of total strength

Rate per 1,000 Air Forces troops

Strength5

Percent of total strength

Rate per 1,000 Air Forces troops

Army

Medical Department

30 September 1942:

Worldwide

3,971,016

1,122,208

28.26

---

349,253

38,260

10.95

34.10

Overseas

822,962

186,843

22.70

---

58,827

2,914

4.95

15.60

30 June 1943:

Worldwide

6,993,102

2,114,175

30.23

---

619,020

86,714

14.01

41.00

Overseas

1,637,419

421,763

25.76

---

129,955

11,208

8.62

26.60

31 January 1944:

Worldwide

7,556,157

2,310,673

30.58

---

628,758

89,159

12.50

42.90

Overseas

2,814,658

740,605

26.31

---

238,914

19,508

8.17

26.30

31 August 1944:

Worldwide

8,102,545

2,392,364

29.53

---

688,537

86,076

12.50

36.00

Overseas

4,262,247

1,066,240

25.02

---

354,379

27,446

7.74

25.70

31 May 1945:

Worldwide

8,291,336

2,316,805

27.94

---

666,710

71,179

10.68

30.72

Overseas

5,406,779

1,181,804

21.86

---

455,068

27,627

6.07

23.38

Medical Department officers4 5

Medical Corps4 6 

30 September 1942:

Worldwide

65,922

6,627

10.05

5.91

31,309

---

---

---

Overseas

10,280

466

4.53

2.49

4,945

342

6.92

1.80

30 June 1943:

Worldwide

93,994

13,402

14.26

6.34

37,189

---

---

---

Overseas

23,882

2,136

8.94

5.06

10,302

1,509

14.65

3.60

31 January 1944:

Worldwide

113,634

21,644

19.05

9.37

41,859

8,686

20.75

3.80

Overseas

42,218

3,748

8.88

5.06

16,631

2,236

13.44

3.00

31 August 1944:

Worldwide

121,269

20,844

17.19

8.71

44,726

8,480

18.96

3.50

Overseas

60,739

5,583

9.19

5.24

23,522

3,186

13.57

3.00

31 May 1945:

Worldwide

142,378

18,797

13.20

8.11

46,750

7,711

16.49

3.33

Overseas

77,837

6,005

7.71

5.08

27,639

3,092

11.19

2.62

Dental Corps4 6

Veterinary Corps4 6

30 September 1942:

Worldwide

8,432

---

---

---

1,408

---

---

---

Overseas

798

92

11.53

0.50

97

6

6.19

0.03

30 June 1943:

Worldwide

12,048

---

---

---

1,839

---

0

0

Overseas

1,859

322

17.32

.80

289

19

6.57

.05

31 January 1944:

Worldwide

14,193

3,845

27.09

1.70

1,957

44

17.83

.20

Overseas

3,301

552

16.72

.70

471

349

9.34

.06

31 August 1944:

Worldwide

15,121

3,960

26.19

1.70

2,024

355

17.54

.10

Overseas

4,980

928

18.63

.90

572

47

8.22

.04

31 May 1945:

Worldwide

14,705

3,826

26.02

1.65

2,050

352

16.15

.14

Overseas

7,103

1,089

15.33

.92

705

58

8.23

.05

Sanitary Corps4 6

Medical Administrative Corps4 6

30 September 1942:

Worldwide

983

---

---

---

3,646

---

---

---

Overseas

47

2

4.26

0.01

590

14

2.37

0.07

30 June 1943:

Worldwide

1,755

---

---

---

11,630

---

---

---

Overseas

242

9

3.72

.02

1,843

126

6.84

.30

31 January 1944:

Worldwide

2,246

207

9.22

.10

14,990

2,060

13.74

.90

Overseas

538

16

2.97

.02

4,746

289

7.71

.40

31 August 1944:

Worldwide

2,350

271

11.53

.10

14,902

2,029

13.62

.80

Overseas

995

69

6.93

.06

6,695

477

7.12

.40

31 May 1945:

Worldwide

2,560

292

11.41

.13

19,385

2,318

11.96

1.00

Overseas

1,288

89

6.91

.08

10,936

821

7.51

.69

Army Nurse Corps4 5

Hospital Dietitians4 6

30 September 1942:

Worldwide

20,144

1,733

8.60

1.54

---

---

---

---

Overseas

3,803

10

.26

.05

---

---

---

---

30 June 1943:

Worldwide

28,423

4,633

16.30

2.20

666

96

15.97

0.05

Overseas

9,189

151

1.64

.35

93

0

0

0

31 January 1944:

Worldwide

36,672

6,286

17.14

2.70

1,100

176

16.00

.007

Overseas

16,958

604

3.56

.80

326

5

1.53

.08

31 August 1944:

Worldwide

39,970

5,519

13.81

2.30

1,312

183

13.95

.005

Overseas

22,970

868

3.78

.80

569

5

.88

.08

31 May 1945:

Worldwide

54,128

4,028

7.44

1.74

1,550

148

9.55

.06

Overseas

28,842

755

2.62

.64

757

1

.13

.00

30 September 1942:

Worldwide

---

---

---

---

282,331

31,633

11.16

13.1

Overseas

---

---

---

---

48,547

2,448

5.04

28.2

30 June 1943:

Worldwide

403

20

4.96

0.009

525,026

73,312

13.97

21.5

Overseas

65

0

0

0

106,073

9,072

8.55

34.7

31 January 1944:

Worldwide

559

35

6.26

.02

515,124

67,515

13.11

20.50

Overseas

241

2

.83

.003

196,696

15,760

8.01

29.20

31 August 1944:

Worldwide

807

47

5.82

.02

567,268

65,232

11.50

20.50

Overseas

427

3

.70

.003

293,640

21,863

7.45

27.30

31 May 1945:

Worldwide

1,190

50

4.20

.02

524,332

52,382

9.99

22.61

Overseas

546

0

.00

.00

377,231

21,622

5.73

18.30


1No Pharmacy Corps personnel were assigned to Air Forces organizations on any date shown except May 1945, when there were two in the Zone of Interior.
2Worldwide strength from tables 5 and 45. Oversea strength from source shown in table 31, footnote 2.
3Oversea strength from "Officers and Enlisted Men Strength of the Departments and Bases. Recapitulation by Arm or Service. Assigned to Air Corps and Other Than Air Corps" (records of AGO Statistical and Control Branch, Office of The Adjutant General), for all dates shown prior to 1945 or dates approximate thereto; from "Personnel Assigned to Air Forces Organizations by Arms and Services by Command," in "Strength of the Army," 1 June 1945, pp. 24-25, for 31 May 1945. Worldwide strength equals oversea strength plus continental United States strength as shown in "Strength of the Army" for dates listed or dates approximate thereto.
4Worldwide strength (including personnel assigned to Veterans' Administration) from tables 1 and 27. Oversea strength from sources stated under this heading in footnote 3.
5Oversea strength from sources for oversea strength shown in footnote 3. Worldwide strength equals oversea strength plus continental United States strength as shown in "Strength of the Army" for dates listed or dates approximate thereto.
6From sources shown in footnote 5. However, no data on continental United States strength for September 1942 and June 1943 are available. Consequently, it is not possible to state worldwide strengths on these dates.


404-409

After the invasion of Normandy began, however, it was necessary to increase the rear echelon medical support of the campaign and more fixed hospital installations were brought into the theater.24 The percentage ascended somewhat above the 50 percent mark although it may have been held down by the reduction of table-of-organization strength of fixed hospital units. By mid-March of 1945, the Medical Department strength in the communications zone of the European theater was less than 45 percent of the total medical strength in the theater. This was exclusive of headquarters personnel, but it is unlikely that even with such personnel it reached 50 percent.25 By that time, the theater had returned much of its patient load to the Zone of Interior.26 Use of civilians and prisoners of war also may have reduced the proportion of military personnel in the Communications Zone medical service.

COMPOSITION OF THE MEDICAL DEPARTMENT OVERSEAS

Army Components

For some time after mobilization began in 1940, the majority of U.S. troops overseas were Regular Army due to the time element necessary to train the other components. At the same time, the proportion of Regulars in the Army as a whole was greater than it was in the Medical Department. This was true overseas in the early part of 1942 although the reverse had been the case in the middle of 1941 (tables 40 and 41). But as the relative strength of the Regular Army declined in the Medical Department overseas, that of every other component increased, at least for a time.

24Data from monthly "Troop Lists for Operations and Supply."
25Computations based upon communications zone strength (122,100) as shown in "Unit Strength-ComZ-ETOUSA. Comparison of Actual and T/O-15 Mar. 1945", in Progress Report, Communications Zone, ETO-USA, 31 March 1945, p. 4. Theater medical strength used here equals the mean of strengths shown in "Strength of the Army" for 1 Mar. and 1 Apr. 1945.
26
See footnote 9, p. 382.

TABLE 40.-Strength of Medical Department by Army components, worldwide and overseas, 31 January and 31 August 19421 


410

TABLE 41.-Strength of male personnel by Army components, worldwide and overseas, on 31 July 19411

Component

Total Army

Medical Department

Number

Percent

Number

Percent

Worldwide

1,524,375

100.0

120,914

100.0

Regular Army

508,383

33.3

32,255

26.7 

National Guard

2280,333

18.4

317,261

14.3

Reserves

65,143

4.3

11,567

9.6

Selectees

670,516

44.0

59,831

49.5

Overseas

122,913

100.0

4,761

100.0

Regular Army

100,534

81.8

3,919

82.3

National Guard

47,472

6.1

5154

3.2

Reserves

4,118

3.4

490

10.3

Selectees

10,789

8.9

198

4.2


1Basic data from "Strength of the Army," 31 July 1941.
2Includes approximately 22,000 Army of the United States enlisted men or 1.4 percent of the worldwide Army male strength. See table 12, footnote 18.
3Includes approximately 750 Army of the United States enlisted men or 0.6 percent of the worldwide Medical Department male strength. See table 12, footnote 18.
4It is uncertain whether Army of the United States enlisted men are included. Since in January 1942 the number of such enlisted men serving overseas was only 725 (see table 40), the number on 31 July 1941 could not have been large.
5It is uncertain whether Army of the United States enlisted men are included. In January 1942, the total oversea strength of such personnel was 25 (see table 40); hence, they could hardly have been more than a handful in July 1941.

The actual size of the components, however, cannot be traced beyond the early part of 1943 except in the case of Regular Army officers. In April 1944, Regular Army officers, numbering 618, constituted 2.01 percent of the male Medical Department officer strength in foreign areas. The corresponding figure for all male officers (6,323) was 2.37 percent.27

It can be said with certainty, however, that by the closing days of the war at least 80 percent of the oversea medical enlisted strength comprised selectees and not less than half of the male Medical Department officers abroad were so-called Army of the United States personnel; that is, neither Regulars, National Guardsmen, nor reservists.

The trend of Army components among nurses probably was the same as that among male officers until about the middle of 1942. At that time, a large reclassification of members of the Army Nurse Corps took place, and many who had been considered reservists were given Regular Army status. Some delay occurred, however, in the reclassification of those nurses who were abroad or at least in the recording of this reclassification. Thus, on 31 August 1942,

27On 30 April 1944, the Regular Army strength of the male Medical Department officer corps overseas and the percentage of Regulars in the total oversea strength of each corps were as follows: Medical Corps, 509 (2.5 percent); Dental Corps, 66 (1.6 percent); Veterinary Corps, 35 (6.5 percent); Pharmacy Corps, 9 (88.8 percent). Basic data are from AG Machine Records Branch, Military Strength of Bases. Recapitulation by Arm or Service by Station, Officers and Enlisted Men, 30 Apr. 1944.


411

the proportion of nurses serving in oversea areas and who were reported to be in the Regular Army was considerably smaller than the corresponding worldwide ratio (table 32). By the end of October, this situation had changed, and by 30 April 1944, the proportion of Regular Army personnel among nurses serving in foreign areas was not much different from the corresponding ratio among other personnel.

Negroes

In the early part of the war, proportionately fewer Negroes were shipped overseas by the Medical Department than whites, partially because of the reluctance of theater authorities to utilize such personnel. Manpower shortages together with the War Department policies to better utilize Negro personnel and to ship abroad personnel that had not seen foreign service reversed the proportion of Negro and white Medical Department personnel overseas.28 For much of the period between October 1944 and the end of hostilities, the number of Medical Department Negroes overseas was proportionately greater than the oversea portion of the Medical Department as a whole. Contributing to this change was a decline in the Medical Department's overall Negro strength, a decline which was relatively greater than the corresponding loss to the Army as a whole.

While every Negro table-of-organization hospital unit organized in the Zone of Interior eventually went overseas,29 the number of such units did not exceed five. The increasing use of Negro medical personnel outside the United States was perhaps primarily manifested in regard to sanitary companies. As late as June 1943, only two of these companies were abroad; one, the 708th, had gone overseas in 1942 and was operating in the North African Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, and the other, 716th, had arrived on Guadalcanal in the spring of 1943. Between August and December 1943, only five more sanitary companies were shipped abroad, three to the European theater and two to the Pacific. In 1944, however, at least 35 medical sanitary companies were moved overseas; in January 1945, one additional company was activated in Hawaii. Thus, if January 1945 be taken as the month marking the peak oversea Negro medical strength (14,150), it may be assumed that at least 5,000, or more than one-third of this oversea strength, were allotted to sanitary companies (tables 31 and 42). Virtually all of the companies were concentrated in the European theater and the Pacific (table 42). These were the areas which were receiving the largest number of personnel of all types and this at a time when the War Department policies to promote oversea use of Negroes were becoming effective.

The sanitary companies were trained primarily for the purposes of malaria control, but even in the Pacific, many were occupied in hospital construction and some were used as pools of Medical Department common labor.30

28Information from Mr. Ulysses G. Lee, Jr., 24 July 1953. 
29See footnote 9, p. 382.
30Quarterly Report, 714th Medical Sanitary Company, 5 July 1944.


412

TABLE 42.-Negro Medical Department units overseas, Pearl Harbor to V-J Day1

Type

TOE2

Europe

North Africa

Africa-Middle East3

China-Burma-India

Pacific4

Authorized strength5

Officers

Enlisted men

Medical Sanitary Company

8-117

17

1

0

0

26

132

4,928

Station Hospital6

8-560

0

0

1

2

1

130

244

Medical Prophylactic Platoon

8-500

0

1

0

0

0

0

6

Medical Battalion7

8-15

0

1

0

0

1

872

858

Motor Ambulance Company

8-317

10

2

0

0

3

60

1,275

Malaria Survey Unit 

8-500

0

0

1

0

1

2

24

Malaria Control Unit

8-500

0

0

2

0

0

2

22

Veterinary Company

8-99

91

91

0

3

0

20

236

Veterinary Animal Service Detachment 

8-500

0

0

0

0

1

1

4

Medical Supply Platoon (Aviation)

8-497

0

1

0

0

0

2

17


1Compiled chiefly from copies of unit cards, W.D., A.G.O. Form 016, 1 Feb. 1942.
2A 1944 TOE has been selected, if published in that year. In all other cases, a TOE prior to 1944 was used. In many cases-particularly in the 8-500 series-the T/O was totally changed during the war.
3All units listed in this column were in Liberia.
4Certain units saw service in both the Pacific Ocean Areas and in the Southwest Pacific. However, the one station hospital and the three malaria control units served exclusively in the Southwest Pacific and the veterinary animal service detachment operated only in the Pacific Ocean Areas. Some of the other units also may have served in only one of the theaters.
5T/O strength times number of units. Totals therefore are merely approximations to actual strength, particularly in view of changing T/O's, the undetermined number of white officers utilized, and overstrengths.
6The 168th Station Hospital, with white officers and enlisted men, is not included in the unit tabulation, but the Negro nurses in that unit are counted in the "Authorized strength" column.
7The medical battalions were the largest medical units staffed with Negro personnel in World War II. The 318th supported the 93d Infantry Division in the Pacific; the 317th supported the 92d Infantry Division in Italy.
8Includes 4 warrant officers.
One Negro veterinary company moved from the North African to the European theater with the invasion of southern France in August 1944.

In the absence of a serious malaria problem in the European theater the personnel of the sanitary companies serving therein, though used principally as litter bearers, were also used to guard prisoners of war occupied as Medical Department labor, to perform elementary carpentry and masonry tasks, to handle mail, and to pack supplies as well as operate small dispensaries and carry out basic sanitary measures in the vicinity of Medical Department units.31 Among other Negro Medical Department organizations that served overseas, the most important from a numerical point of view were the motor ambulance companies. Many of these units were employed in the European theater and lesser numbers in the North African theater and in the Southwest Pacific (table 42).

31(1) Annual Report, 726th Medical Sanitary Company, 30 June 1945. (2) Periodic Report (1 Apr.-10 May 1945), 274th Medical Sanitary Company, 23 May 1945. (3) Annual Report, Surgeon, Normandy Base Section, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, for 1944, dated 31 Jan. 1945. (4) Periodic Report (1 Jan.-30 June 1945), 703d Medical Sanitary Company, 15 Aug. 1945.


413

Distribution by Sex

For much of the period of hostilities, female personnel of the Medical Department serving in oversea areas constituted a larger percentage of total Medical Department strength in such areas than they did of total Medical Department strength worldwide (tables 43 and 44). This situation existed until the threat of a draft brought the Army Nurse Corps up to authorized strength. Furthermore, Medical Department female personnel constituted the large majority by far of military female personnel in oversea areas during World War II. In the Zone of Interior, this ceased to be true as early as January 1943 (table 43).

TABLE 43.-Proportion of Army female personnel in the Medical Department1

Date

Total Army female2 personnel

Medical Department3

Total Army female5 personnel

Medical Department percent of total Army female personnel6 

Percent of total Army female personnel

Percent of total Medical Department personnel4

Worldwide

Overseas

1942

30 September

23,841

84

5.8

3,803

100

1943

31 January

45,126

52

4.7

5,978

97

30 April

79,059

35

4.7

8,033

97

31 July

92,146

33

4.9

10,796

91

31 October

89,485

40

5.8

15,716

86

1944

31 January

98,932

39

6.1

19,872

88

30 April

109,822

37

6.3

26,566

82

31 July

121,341

35

4.3

32,464

73

31 October

132,697

33

6.4

39,947

66

1945

31 January

137,929

33

6.8

42,644

66

30 April

153,991

36

8.1

45,876

65

31 July

152,882

38

8.9

46,374

63

30 September

141,306

39

9.4

37,161

63


1Female strength is that of the female components and excludes the small number of women who served in the Medical Corps. For worldwide strength of women doctors, see table 1, footnote 3. In oversea areas, probably no more than 18 women doctors saw service.
2Aggregate of worldwide Medical Department female personnel as shown in table 1 and WAAC and WAC personnel as shown in "Strength of the Army," 1 Jan. 1947, pp. 44-45.
3For basic data on Medical Department strength, see table 1.
4For Medical Department strength, see table 1.
5Aggregate oversea Medical Department female personnel as shown in table 44 and overseas WAAC and WAC personnel as reported in "Strength of the Army," 1 Jan. 1947.
6For basic data on Medical Department female personnel overseas and the percentage of Medical Department oversea strength in female components, see table 44.


414

TABLE 44.-Oversea strength of Medical Department-male and female officer components, 30 September 1942-30 September 1945

Date

Male officer corps

Female officer corps

Strength1

Percentage of total Medical Department strength2

Strength1

Percentage of total Medical Department strength2

1942

30 September

6,477

11.0

3,803

6.5

1943

31 January

10,003

11.4

5,779

6.6

30 April

13,008

11.5

7,759

6.9

31 July

15,543

11.1

9,859

7.1

31 October

19,422

10.8

13,533

7.5

1944

31 January

24,693

10.3

17,525

7.3

30 April

30,809

10.3

21,690

7.2

31 July

35,482

10.3

23,658

6.9

30 September

37,884

10.3

24,360

6.6

31 October

39,877

10.2

26,532

6.8

1945

31 January

43,894

10.2

28,362

6.6

30 April

48,358

10.4

29,834

6.4

31 May

47,692

10.5

30,145

6.6

30 June

46,583

10.5

29,269

6.6

31 July

43,725

10.3

29,339

6.9

31 August

39,467

10.5

26,558

7.0

30 September

34,815

10.5

23,397

7.1


1From table 32.
2Medical Department strength from table 31.

Officer Strength

Overseas, as in the Zone of Interior, the Medical Department contained a greater proportion of officers than did the Army in general, and between 16 and 19 of every 100 officers serving overseas were members of the Medical Department. For reasons already set forth, however, officers ordinarily constituted a somewhat smaller percentage of the Medical Department's strength overseas than they did of its worldwide strength. The year 1943 witnessed an exception to this rule (table 45).


415-416

TABLE 45.-Medical Department officer strength, worldwide and overseas, 30 November 1941-30 September 1945

Date and area

Number1

Percentage of total Army strength2

Number3

Percentage of worldwide Medical Department officer strength

Rate per 1,000 troops2

Percentage of Army officer strength

Percentage of total Medical Department strength4

Army officer strength

Medical Department officer strength

30 November 1941:

Worldwide

121,094

7.4

23,484

---

14

19.4

17.8

Overseas

10,217

6.2

1,412

6.0

9

13.8

17.7

31 March 1942:

Worldwide

157,867

6.6

31,535

---

13

20.0

15.7

Overseas

21,475

6.5

3,581

11.4

11

16.7

18.8

30 June 1942:

Worldwide

214,151

7.0

43,755

---

14

20.4

17.2

Overseas

36,393

6.0

7,518

17.2

12

20.7

17.6

30 September 1942:

Worldwide

307,009

7.7

65,922

---

17

21.5

18.9

Overseas

54,797

6.7

10,280

15.6

13

18.8

17.5

31 January 1943:

Worldwide

438,499

7.5

79,948

---

14

18.2

16.1

Overseas

83,384

7.4

15,782

19.7

14

9

17.9

30 April 1943:

Worldwide

525,669

7.8

88,673

---

13

16.9

15.1

Overseas

110,474

7.9

20,767

23.4

15

18.8

16.1

31 July 1943:

Worldwide

602,831

8.5

99,000

---

14

16.4

15.8

Overseas

143,911

8.1

25,402

25.7

14

17.6

18.2

31 October 1943:

Worldwide

660,892

9.0

107,491

---

15

16.3

17.4

Overseas

182,209

8.1

32,955

30.7

15

18.1

18.3

31 January 1944:

Worldwide

707,828

9.4

113,634

---

15

16.1

18.1

Overseas

231,610

8.2

42,218

37.2

15

18.2

17.7

30 April 1944:

Worldwide

743,075

9.5

118,391

---

15

15.9

18.2

Overseas

296,141

8.3

52,499

44.3

15

17.7

17.5

31 July 1944:

Worldwide

784,726

9.7

120,728

---

15

15.4

17.8

Overseas

352,850

8.6

59,140

49.0

14

16.8

17.2

30 September 1944:

Worldwide

815,691

10.1

122,532

---

15

15.0

18.0

Overseas

383,590

8.1

62,244

50.8

14

16.2

16.9

31 October 1944:

Worldwide

815,709

10.1

124,712

---

15

15.3

18.1

Overseas

397,547

8.6

66,409

53.3

14

16.7

17.0

31 January 1945:

Worldwide

844,646

10.5

129,904

---

16

15.4

19.5

Overseas

431,299

8.4

72,256

55.6

14

16.8

16.8

30 April 1945:

Worldwide

879,775

10.7

139,938

---

17

15.9

20.8

Overseas

465,932

8.5

78,192

55.9

14

16.8

16.9

31 May 1945:

Worldwide

892,167

10.8

142,378

---

17

16.0

21.4

Overseas

465,636

8.6

77,837

54.7

14

16.7

17.1

30 June 1945:

Worldwide

890,798

10.8

142,616

---

17

16.0

21.5

Overseas

440,311

8.4

75,852

53.2

14

17.2

17.1

31 July 1945:

Worldwide

896,611

10.9

145,342

---

18

16.2

22.0

Overseas

415,205

8.4

73,064

50.3

15

17.6

17.3

31 August 1945:

Worldwide

897,929

11.2

144,475

---

18

16.1

22.7

Overseas

393,943

8.5

66,025

45.7

14

16.8

17.5

30 September 1945:

Worldwide

879,542

11.6

138,655

---

18

15.8

23.4

Overseas

357,131

8.6

58,212

42.0

14

16.3

17.6


1Includes all commissioned officers as well as warrant officers, flight officers, and WAAC officers. Worldwide strength except for March 1942 is worldwide officer strength as shown in "Strength of the Army," for 1 October 1945, minus worldwide Medical Department officer strength as shown in table 1 plus worldwide Medical Department officer strength as shown here. Worldwide strength for March 1942 consists of Medical Department officer strength shown here plus worldwide non-Medical Department officer strength as determined in accordance with procedures for determining all strengths on that date described in table 31, footnote 2. Oversea strength for all months except March 1942 from "Strength of the Army," 1 October 1945. Oversea strength for March 1942 determined in accordance with procedure for ascertaining all oversea strength on that date described in table 31, footnote 2.
2For worldwide total Army strength, see table 1; for the same strength overseas, see table 31.
3Oversea strength is the sum of the oversea strength of the individual officer corps as shown in table 32. Worldwide data from table 1.
4For worldwide Medical Department strength, see table 1; for the same strength overseas, see table 31.

Quality

Medical Corps

By the middle of 1945, the great majority of Medical Corps officers-amounting to at least 69 percent of the peak strength of the corps-had seen service overseas. The early shipment overseas of medical officers in affiliated units resulted in a decided improvement in the professional quality of medical care in those areas. Medical officers in these units were by experience and professional training highly skilled physicians. At the same time, the gains obtained in oversea theaters by the acquisition of these officers were a loss to Zone of Interior installations. Many older specialists who had served long in the Zone of Interior as specialists were transferred by their own request to oversea assignments. In mid-1945, about half the medical officers over the age of 50 who were not Regular Army personnel were overseas. A sizable majority of this age group serving in the Zone of Interior were assigned to the Veterans' Administration. In the entire medical service, including both Regulars and non-Regulars, the majority of the group in the over-50 category were overseas.


417

On the other hand, in the Zone of Interior, as large medical requirements for definitive and specialized care built up during the war, it was necessary concurrently to retain highly qualified specialists in the United States and, in fact, to return some from oversea theaters. 

In the early part of the war, despite the departure of affiliated units, the Zone of Interior retained more specialists than it released for oversea shipments. As the war progressed and the Zone of Interior installations were stripped of their specialists, the oversea theaters were considerably better staffed. Toward the end of the war, with the return of some specialists to the Zone of Interior and the induction of others, the two areas became approximately equal in quality. After V-E Day, the Zone of Interior again was better staffed. A greater proportion of its doctors were specialists than was the case overseas, and a greater proportion of these also had proficiency ratings above the minimum of D. What was more significant was the fact that this advantage was centered in the A and B categories (table 46).

TABLE 46.-Strength and proficiency ratings of Medical Corps specialists, worldwide and overseas, 20 June 19451

Group

Worldwide

Overseas

Medical Corps strength2

47,938

25,449

Total specialists

26,525

12,679

Percent of specialists in total strength

55.33

49.82

Specialists rated A:

Number

197

79

Percent of total specialists

.74

.62

Specialists rated B:

Number

4,989

2,033

Percent of total specialists

18.81

16.03

Specialists rated C:

Number

9,124

4,559

Percent of total specialists

34.40

35.96

Specialists rated D:

Number

12,215

6,008

Percent of total specialists

46.05

47.39


1Basic data from "Summary Sheet, Specialists Inventory Report Form as of 20 June 1945" in "Classification Count" (prepared in the Personnel Service, Military Personnel Division, Office of The Surgeon General).
2Strengths vary considerably from those shown for approximate dates in tables 1 and 32.

It is very difficult to compare with any degree of accuracy the overall quality of the medical officers in the individual theaters. In the early part of the war, because of the military strategy adopted, the Mediterranean and European theaters were favored from a qualitative point of view. But as the war progressed, efforts were made to raise the level of professional quality in the Pacific and in China-Burma-India as those theaters gained in military importance.


418

Dental Corps

In the early part of the war, the distribution of dental personnel according to quality probably resembled that of the Medical Corps. The affiliated units which went overseas early contained highly skilled dentists as well as doctors. But the dental service overseas was never augmented to the same degree that the medical service was. One reason for this may be the fact that the Dental Corps never had as much as half its strength abroad, with the consequent likelihood that a great many of its members failed to see oversea service. It is also possible that the need for high quality dental personnel in oversea areas was relatively limited. Thus, the Zone of Interior managed to retain more of its highly qualified dental personnel than it sent overseas.32

Enlisted personnel

There may have been a tendency for a brief period early in the war to retain the better type of Medical Department enlisted man in the Zone of Interior and to send abroad the misfits and other less desirable persons. One observer, at least, found that in the Southwest Pacific certain station hospitals activated just before departure for that area in 1942 contained what he considered an "abnormally high proportion" of problem cases.33The same observer noted, however, that many other units were not staffed in this manner and that the personnel authorities in the Office of The Surgeon General made vigorous efforts to prevent the objectionable practice. The various regulations covering oversea service of enlisted men issued after the beginning of 1944 increased the difficulty of retaining higher quality medical enlisted personnel in Zone of Interior installations. It is significant that The Surgeon General stated in October 1944 that the personnel most suited to be commissioned in the Medical Administrative Corps were warrant officers and Medical Department noncommissioned officers serving overseas.34

Late in the war, conditions overseas leading to a large-scale exchange of enlisted personnel between the Medical Department and the combat branches served to lower the quality of the enlisted personnel in the oversea medical service. A similar exchange and like deterioration also was taking place in the continental United States. Hence, it is difficult to determine whether, at the end of the war, the quality was higher at home or abroad. The later stages of the war also witnessed a tendency to send limited-service men overseas, particularly as members of communications zone units. Thus, in the communications zone of the European theater, there were 36,042 Medical Department

32Letters, to Col. C. H. Goddard, Office of The Surgeon General, from (1) Brig. Gen. L. H. Tingay, DC, Brooke Army Medical Center, 20 Sept. 1952; (2) Col. E. W. Cowan, DC, 15 Sept. 1952; (3) D. J. Holland, D.D.S., Boston, Mass., 18 Sept. and 21 Oct. 1952; and (4) Col. T. A. McFall, DC, 4 Oct. 1952.
33Letter, M. C. Pincoffs, M.D., Baltimore, Md., to Col. C. H. Goddard, Office of The Surgeon General, 29 Aug. 1952.
34Memorandum, The Surgeon General, for War Department, Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1, 9 Oct. 1944, subject: Medical Officer Requirements and Availabilities.


419

enlisted men who, as of 15 March 1945, were so classified and who constituted nearly 38 percent of the total strength of such personnel in the zone. The corresponding percentage for all the theater personnel was somewhat under 22 percent.35It need not be assumed, however, from the fact that large numbers of Medical Department enlisted men were regarded as unable to perform general duty, that they could not accomplish the tasks assigned to them in a satisfactory manner. Furthermore, it is likely that the limited-assignment Medical Department enlisted personnel in the communications zone constituted the great bulk of such personnel in the theater; in relation to the total Medical Department enlisted strength in the broader area, they were less than 16 percent.

Non-Medical Department Personnel Overseas

As in the Zone of Interior, chaplains, engineers, and other officer specialists worked in Medical Department installations overseas although, as already indicated, it is difficult to state the strength of such personnel with the precision possible in the case of Medical Department personnel proper.36 A similar group comprised the workers of the American Red Cross Hospital Service-field directors, assistant field directors, medical social workers, recreation workers, staff aides, and their assistants-who were assigned to or worked with Army medical units in virtually every oversea area. As in the continental United States, the Red Cross personnel handled patients' communications with their homes, aided soldiers with their financial and personal problems, and, in general, did all kinds of welfare work for members of the Army. They not only set up recreation programs in the hospitals, but also obtained social histories of the patients for their own or the medical officers' use.

It was originally planned that Red Cross personnel assigned to the Army for service overseas should be placed only in general and station hospitals, but the importance of field, evacuation, and convalescent hospitals made it desirable to assign workers to these units too, and this at least in the case of evacuation hospitals was done within the theaters. Normally, Red Cross personnel were assigned to Army hospitals as follows: 5 workers per 1,000-bed general hospital, with 3 more for each additional 500 beds; 3 per station hospital (between 500 and 1,000 beds); 10 per convalescent center (in the European theater); and 2 for each field and 400-bed evacuation hospital. In cases where more workers were available, more might be assigned. Smaller medical units were usually covered by Red Cross field directors.

Available statistics do not differentiate Red Cross personnel working in Army hospitals from those employed overseas in Navy and civilian medical

35"Unit Strength-ComZ-ETOUSA. Comparison of Actual and T/O-15 Mar. 1945," in Progress Report, Communications Zone, ETO-USA, 31 March 1945, p. 4.
36The number of table-of-organization positions for chaplains in oversea hospitals on 30 April 1945 was 1,050. (Data from "Troop List for Operations and Supply, 1 May 1945.") This was a figure in excess of the number of veterinary officers, dietitians, or physical therapists serving abroad on that date (table 32).


420

installations, but it is safe to assume that the bulk of oversea hospital workers of the American Red Cross worked in Army establishments. The total number of these workers increased from 73 in mid-1942 to 2,197 in the middle of 1945 (table 47).37

TABLE 47.-The American National Red Cross: Oversea hospital workers on duty and en route, 1942-45

Type of worker

1942

1943

1944

1945

Supervisory and administrative field staff

0

0

24

24

Field director and assistant field director

0

78

165

231

Staff aide and assistant to field director

0

0

260

568

Medical social worker

5

86

192

190

Recreation worker

47

183

557

711

Recreation consultant

0

0

0

7

Hospital visitor

0

34

0

0

Clerical, stenographic, secretarial

21

114

366

466

Total

73

495

1,564

2,197


Source: "Oversea Hospital Workers on Duty and Enroute as of June 30 (or nearest comparable date) 1943 through June 30, 1949," enclosure to letter, C. H. Whelden, Jr., Chief Statistician, The American National Red Cross, National Headquarters, to Historical Unit, Office of The Surgeon General, 6 June 1952.

Members of the Women's Army Corps, civilians, and prisoners of war also swelled the strength of the medical service overseas beyond the figures revealed by statistics of Medical Department elements proper.

PERMANENT LOSSES OF PERSONNEL

Influences Affecting the Rate of Loss

Factors tending to reduce the Medical Department's temporary as well as permanent losses, in comparison with those of the Army at large, were the location of the great bulk of medical personnel overseas in Army service areas, various communications zones, and base sections where the hazards of combat, though not absent, were minor, and the location of large numbers of personnel in the Zone of Interior. The extent to which these factors operated to reduce the dangers of combat is indicated by a comparison of the battle-casualty rates of the Medical Department with that of the Army as a whole (table 48). For officers, the Army rate was 36.6, while the Medical Department rate was 3.2; for enlisted personnel, the Army rate was 32.6, the Medical Department rate, 11.6; for officers and enlisted men combined, the Army rate was 32.6, the Medical Department rate, 10.1. (See also tables 49, 50, and 51.)

37(1) Letter, D. C. Smith, American National Red Cross, Washington, to the Office of The Surgeon General (attention: Lt. Col. Markowitz), 16 June 1952, with enclosures thereto. (2) Annual Report, Personnel Division, Office of the Chief Surgeon, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, 1943.


421-423

TABLE 48.-Battle casualties of the Medical Department, officers and enlisted men:1 Total battle casualties, deaths among battle casualties, and killed in action, 7 December 1941-31 December 1946

Area and group

Strength2

Total battle casualties

Deaths among battle casualties3

Killed in action

Median

Number of months of exposure

Number

Annual rate per 1,0004

Number

Annual rate per 1,0004

Number

Annual rate per 1,0004

Total overseas

2,526,729

46

936,259

96.7

234,874

24.2

189,696

19.6

Officers

206,910

46

95,998

121.0

35,984

45.4

30,157

38.0

Enlisted

2,319,819

46

840,261

94.5

198,890

22.4

159,539

17.9

Medical Department

209,414

46

23,962

29.3

4,922

6.1

3,690

4.6

Officers

37,587

46

1,339

9.3

321

2.2

196

1.4

Enlisted

171,828

46

22,623

34.3

4,601

7.0

3,494

5.3

Regional

Alaska:

Total Army

64,918

46

1,875

7.5

877

3.5

853

3.4

Officers

4,007

46

290

18.9

175

11.4

170

11.1

Enlisted

60,297

46

1,585

6.9

702

3.0

683

3.0

Medical Department

3,267

46

74

5.9

30

2.4

29

2.3

Officers

480

46

5

2.7

2

1.1

2

1.1

Enlisted

2,825

46

69

6.4

28

2.6

27

2.5

Caribbean and South Atlantic:

Total Army

89,669

46

57

.2

38

.1

36

.1

Officers

6,474

46

10

.4

5

.2

5

.2

Enlisted

83,824

46

47

.1

33

.1

31

.1

Medical Department

4,690

46

3

.2

2

.1

2

.1

Officers

1,051

46

0

0

0

0

0

0

Enlisted

4,098

46

3

.2

2

.1

2

.1

European theater:

Total Army

935,346

44

586,628

171.0

135,576

39.5

116,991

34.1

Officers

79,897

44

56,804

193.9

19,152

65.4

17,393

59.4

Enlisted

855,449

44

529,824

168.9

116,424

37.1

99,598

31.8

Medical Department

81,616

44

14,589

48.8

2,763

9.2

2,265

7.6

Officers

14,359

44

618

11.7

128

2.4

99

1.9

Enlisted

67,257

44

13,971

56.7

2,635

10.7

2,166

8.8

Mediterranean theater:

Total Army

518,138

34

175,107

119.3

40,455

27.6

35,313

24.1

Officers

47,428

34

19,079

142.0

6,371

47.4

5,638

42.0

Enlisted

473,361

34

156,028

116.3

34,084

25.4

29,675

22.1

Medical Department

38,122

34

3,755

34.8

608

5.6

517

4.8

Officers

7,104

34

191

9.5

43

2.1

38

1.9

Enlisted

33,212

34

3,564

37.9

565

6.0

479

5.1

Africa-Middle East:

Total Army

11,352

39

3,959

107.3

1,031

27.9

930

25.2

Officers

1,097

39

1,636

458.9

462

129.6

407

114.2

Enlisted

9,989

39

2,323

71.6

569

17.5

523

16.1

Medical Department

1,396

38

9

2.0

3

.7

3

.7

Officers

311

38

1

1.0

0

0

0

0

Enlisted

1,085

38

8

2.3

3

.9

3

.9

China-Burma-India:

Total Army

107,595

42

6,925

18.4

3,727

9.9

2,723

7.2

Officers

12,530

42

2,295

52.3

1,480

33.7

1,106

25.2

Enlisted

95,065

42

4,630

13.9

2,247

6.8

1,617

4.9

Medical Department

9,945

42

95

2.7

42

1.2

17

.5

Officers

1,869

42

20

3.1

11

1.7

1

.2

Enlisted

8,076

42

75

2.7

31

1.1

16

.6

Pacific:

Total Army

683,697

46

157,938

60.3

50,385

19.2

30,538

11.7 

Officers

51,239

46

14,512

73.9

7,260

37.0

4,536

23.1

Enlisted

632,458

46

143,426

59.2

43,125

17.8

26,002

10.7

Medical Department

59,768

46

5,405

23.6

1,427

6.2

812

3.5

Officers

9,858

46

502

13.3

136

3.6

55

1.5

Enlisted

49,911

46

4,903

25.6

1,291

6.7

757

4.0

U.S. Army Strategic Air Forces:

Total Army

61,900

15

2,897

37.4

2,148

27.8

1,795

23.2

Officers

8,285

15

1,289

124.5

1,016

98.1

857

82.8

Enlisted

53,615

15

1,608

24.0

1,132

16.9

938

14.0

Medical Department

(5)

(5)

1

(5)

1

(5)

1

(5)

Officers

(5)

(5)

1

(5)

1

(5)

1

(5)

Enlisted

(5)

(5)

0

0

0

0

0

0

En route:

Total Army

(5)

(5)

725

(5)

491

(5)

475

Officers

(5)

(5)

53

(5)

33

(5)

33

(5)

Enlisted

(5)

(5)

672

(5)

458

(5)

442

(5)

Medical Department

(5)

(5)

56

(5)

41

(5)

41

(5)

Officers

(5)

(5)

1

(5)

0

0

0

0

Enlisted

(5)

(5)

55

(5)

41

(5)

41

(5)

Theater Unknown:

Total Army

---

---

148

---

146

---

42

---

Officers

---

---

30

---

30

---

12

---

Enlisted

---

---

118

---

116

---

30

---

Medical Department

---

---

5

---

5

---

3

---

Officers

---

---

5

---

5

---

3

---

Enlisted

---

---

0

---

0

---

0

---


1Basic data, unless otherwise noted, from "Battle Casualties by Duty, Branch, Type, and Disposition: 7 December 1946" in Department of the Army "Army Battle Casualties and Nonbattle Deaths in World War II. Final Report 7 December 1941-31 December 1946," pp. 48-69. A full explanation of the categories of casualties is found in the same document pp. 1 to 4, inclusive. Although casualty data, as reported in this source, are cumulative, 7 December 1941-31 December 1946, it is here assumed that all casualties were incurred prior to 1 October 1945, since the number reported as having occurred subsequent to that date is negligible. (See pp. 10-11 of the report.)
2Median strength is based on end-of-month strength on the following dates: 30 November 1941; 31 March, 30 June, and 30 September 1942; 31 January, 30 April, 31 July, and 31 October 1943; 31 January, 30 April, 31 July, and 31 October 1944; and 31 January, 30 April, 31 July, and 30 September 1945. In determining the median strength for any group or area, the first of these dates chosen was the first to show a strength for such group or area in the following sources: For the Army in general and the Medical Department, both in oversea areas as a whole and in individual theaters, table 31 (unadjusted data); for Medical Department officers and enlisted men in oversea areas as a whole, tables 5 and 45, for Army officers and enlisted men in oversea areas as a whole, tables 5 and 45, with the addition, in the case of officers, of WAAC officers and, in the case of enlisted personnel, of WAAC and WAC enlisted women, as shown in Strength of the Army," and for officers and enlisted men in individual oversea areas, including the Army as a whole and the Medical Department, the sources for the corresponding total (unadjusted) strengths in such areas reported in table 31. The final date for the median strength in all cases was 30 September 1945. Time of exposure was dated from the first month following the date on which a strength was first shown for the group or area involved in "Strength of the Army" or the sources thereof. The terminal date in each instance is 30 September 1945.
3All persons killed in action, dead as a result of wounds or injuries received in action declared dead from missing in action, and dead of nonbattle causes while in a battle casualty status of captured, interned, or missing in action.
4Rate per 1,000 of median strength.
5Information not readily available. 


424-426

TABLE 49.-Battle casualties of the Medical Department, officers and enlisted men:1 Wounded and injured in action,2 7 December 1941-31 December 1946


427-429

TABLE 50.-Battle casualties of the Medical Department, officers and enlisted men:1 Captured and interned,2 7 December 1941-31 December 1946


430-431

TABLE 51.-Battle casualties of the Medical Department, officers and enlisted men:1 Missing in action,2 7 December 1941-31 December 1946


432

The battle-casualty rates for individual officer groups of the Medical Department were: Medical Corps, 5.2; Dental Corps, 2.2; Veterinary Corps, 1.3; Sanitary Corps, 0.3; Pharmacy Corps, 0; Medical Administrative Corps, 3.5; Army Nurse Corps, 1.0; Dietitians, 0; Physical Therapists, 0.

Location in rear areas not only reduced the dangers of combat but the likelihood of diseases and injuries that were more prevalent at the front than elsewhere-for example, malaria and cold injury. Little information is available on the incidence of noncombat injury in the Medical Department, but figures for nonbattle deaths amply bear out this statement (table 52). On the other hand, the Medical Department contained a higher than average proportion of women, limited-service troops, and persons of a high age level, many of whom had waived disabilities, all factors that tended to raise the rate of loss through hospitalization or discharge.

Types of Permanent Loss

Permanent losses of the Army comprised not only persons who were formally relieved from active service but those who, though nominally still in service, were absent from their duties because they were hospitalized, imprisoned for misconduct, captured by the enemy, missing in action, absent without leave, or had deserted. The total numbers of Medical Department personnel who were captured and missing in action have been determined (tables 50 and 51), but how many in either group were restored to the service before the end of hostilities is unknown. No figures are available for those who were permanently hospitalized, imprisoned as deserters, or absent without leave, but it is known that a very considerable number of persons hospitalized remained under treatment until the end of the war.


433-435

TABLE 52.-Nonbattle deaths in the Medical Department:1 Actual, 7 December 1941-31 December 1946; estimated, 7 December 1941-30 September 1945


436

Deaths

In the Medical Department, the death rate from enemy action was a little more than one-fourth that in the Army as a whole, although there was a great variation in rate among the several Medical Department components (table 53).

TABLE 53.-Deaths from enemy action: Medical Department and Army as a whole, 7 December 1941-30 September 19451

Group

Battle deaths2

Killed in action

Number

Rate

Number

Rate

Army

225,618

7.9

189,696

6.7

Officers

35,340

13.5

30,157

11.5

Enlisted personnel

190,278

7.4

159,539

6.2

Medical Department

4,665

2.0

3,690

1.6

Officers

293

.7

196

.5

Medical Corps

203

1.3

129

.8

Dental Corps

25

.5

18

.3

Veterinary Corps

4

.05

1

.01

Sanitary Corps

0

0

0

0

Pharmacy Corps

0

0

0

0

Medical Administrative Corps

45

.8

34

.6

Army Nurse Corps

16

.1

14

.1

Dietitians

0

0

0

0

Physical Therapists

0

0

0

0

Enlisted personnel

4,372

2.2

3,494

1.8


1Basic data on deaths are in tables 50 and 52.
2Comprises killed in action, died of wounds and injury, died of wounds while in captivity, and missing in action and declared dead. 


437

Returns to civilian life

The basic reasons for returns to civil life were physical and mental disabilities, the attainment of a certain age, inefficiency or misconduct, hardship and civilian needs, and demobilization in its early stages. Statistics on these causes for the entire war period are available only in the case of male Medical Department officers. A breakdown so far as enlisted men are concerned is available only for the period October 1943-June 1945 (tables 54, 55, 56, and 57).

TABLE 54.-Returns to civil life: Officers of the Medical Department and of the Army as a whole, 7 December 1941-30 September 1945

Group

Median strength1

Returns

Number2

Rate3

All Officers:

Army

684,360

89,510

33.8

Medical Department

110,563

16,887

40.1

Male officers:

Army

641,188

78,711

31.6

Medical Department

73,602

7,288

25.8

Medical Corps

40,983

4,060

25.8

Dental Corps

13,776

2,280

43.2

Veterinary Corps

1,963

155

20.6

Medical Administrative Corps

14,385

655

11.9

Sanitary Corps and Pharmacy Corps

2,236

138

16.1

Female officers:

WAAC and WAC officers only

5,754

1,200

65.9

Medical Department:

Army Nurse Corps

35,381

9,358

69.0

Dietitians and Physical Therapists

2,066

241

46.7


1From table 52 for all officers, Army and Medical Department, as well as for Medical, Dental, Veterinary, Medical Administrative, and Army Nurse Corps, individually. All other median strengths were computed on the basis of the dates used in computing the median strengths of the groups already mentioned. Strength data constituting the course for the determination of the median strengths of the combined male Medical Department personnel, the combined Sanitary and Pharmacy Corps, and the combined Dietitians and Physical Therapists are in table 1. Corresponding data for WAAC and WAC and all Army male officers appear in "Strength of the Army," 1 Jan. 1947.
2Basic data for the Medical Department are from table 55; for the nurses, dietitians, physical therapists, and the Army in general, from "Strength of the Army," 1 Oct. 1950. Basic data in this issue of "Strength of the Army" may be more complete than that in table 55; hence, the figures for male Medical Department officers may be somewhat higher than those shown here.
3Per 1,000 per annum of median strength.


438

Physical and mental disability-The rates of discharge of Medical Department personnel for physical and mental disability were frequently high in comparison with those of the Army as a whole, particularly in the case of officers. The rate for male officers in general was 11.1. The higher rates of discharge were concentrated almost entirely in the Medical and Dental Corps; the Medical Administrative Corps and the combined Sanitary and Pharmacy Corps had rates well below those of male officers in the Army at large (tables 55 and 58).

It will be noted that in the latter part of 1943 the rate of discharge for medical and dental officers was particularly high despite the fact that at that time the regulations authorizing release on physical grounds were less lenient for them than for other Army officers: In July of that year, the General Staff authorized the release of line officers qualified only for limited service, but specifically excepted doctors and dentists from the terms of its directive.38

Late in 1943, the rate at which male Medical Department officers of all corps were being granted discharges for physical reasons caused an investigation. At that time, the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1 (personnel) of the War Department General Staff, called the attention of Army Service Forces headquarters to the fact that in September 1943 the rate of discharge for Medical Department officers on grounds of physical disqualification was almost four times that for the rest of the Army. It was intimated that more careful scrutiny of doctors under consideration for discharge on those grounds might lead to their retention in a limited-service capacity.39

At the request of Army Service Forces headquarters, The Surgeon General appointed a board of officers to investigate the matter. The board reported that a careful review of the 143 separations for physical causes in September 1943 showed the action of retiring boards to be justified in 84 percent of the cases and unjustified in the remaining 16 percent. With regard to the latter groups, the board emphasized that, in the review, professional judgment rather than rigid interpretation of existing regulations was used to evaluate the officers' status. In the group of 123 whose separation appeared justified, 49 were retired because of defects which had existed prior to appointment. It was evident, the board declared, that none of the 49 should have been commissioned. "The chief apparent explanation of the acceptance of doctors who later had to be separated from the service lay in the fact that the urgent need for medical officers made it necessary frequently to commission individuals who did not meet the strict physical requirements of Army regulations."40

38Medical Department, United States Army. Dental Service in World War II. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1955.
39Memorandum, Maj. Gen. Miller G. White, G-1, for Director of Personnel, Army Service Forces, 12 Oct. 1943, subject: Medical Department Officer Separations.
40The board did not mention that examining officers may not always have been familiar enough with the physical standards required for commissions. This was very likely the case with at least some members of the Medical Officer Recruiting Boards, which lacked centralized direction but which had brought in large numbers of officers in 1942.


439-441

TABLE 55.-Returns of male Medical Department officers to civilian life, December 1941-September 19451


442

TABLE 56.-Returns of Medical Department enlisted men to civilian life, October 1943-June 19451

Date2

Mean strength3

Total releases

Honorable discharges

Transfer to inactive status

Discharges other than honorable

Physical and mental disqualifications4

Overage

Retired5

Demobilization

Miscellaneous

1943

October-December

510,282

15,586

13,662

136

369

---

466

6295

658

1944

January-June

527,048

12,135

8,371

44

678

---

1,522

578

942

July-December

558,469

25,103

16,857

9

72

---

7,136

412

617

1945

January-June

532,729

19,787

11,051

1,980

69

4,942

917

345

483

Total

72,611

49,941

2,169

1,188

4,942

10,041

1,630

2,700

1All data from Monthly Progress Reports, Army Service Forces, War Department, November 1943 to July 1945, inclusive, Section 5: Personnel.
2Dates are the periods in which processing of the pertinent papers by the Office of the Adjutant General was completed.
3Average of monthly mean strength within the periods shown, obtained by averaging the strength at the end of the month with the strength at the end of the preceding month, both as stated in table 1.
4Includes releases for inaptitude.
5From November 1943 through June 1944 also includes "dropped held for unterminated enlistment" and "dropped from the rolls resulting from AWOL." After June 1944, "dropped held for unterminated enlistment" are included in miscellaneous; "dropped from the rolls resulting from AWOL" are not included at all. Data, which cover the Army as a whole but not the Medical Department specifically, show that during the period when "dropped" were grouped with retired, the retired were only 7.5 percent of the combined categories. (The percentage is determined by comparing the combined figures in the contemporary reports with a revision, published in Monthly Progress Report, Army Service Forces, War Department, December 1944, showing retirements alone.)
6November and December only. Transfers to inactive status in October are included in "miscellaneous."

TABLE 57.-Returns to civil life: Enlisted men of the Medical Department and of the Army as a whole, October 1943-June 1945

Date

Army1

Medical Department

Number

Rate

Number

Rate

October-December 1943

195,128

117.1

15,586

123.6

January-June 1944

173,128

50.0

12,135

46.1

July-December 1944

262,902

73.1

25,103

89.9

January-June 1945

288,803

80.0

19,787

74.3


1Revised figures exist for the Army, indicating that some revision of the Medical Department figures is also needed. The revised Army figures (from "Strength of the Army," 1 Jan. 1950) are as follows: October-December 1943, 190,187 (rate, 114.2); January-June 1944, 159,853 (rate, 46.0); July-December 1944, 262,958 (rate, 73.1); January-June 1945, 340,920 (rate, 94.5). The Army and Medical Department figures in the text are contemporaneous, both being drawn from data in the Monthly Progress Reports, Army Service Forces, for the periods shown. The same data for the Medical Department appear in table 56, where the mean strengths of medical enlisted personnel are shown. The mean strengths of Army male enlisted personnel were: October-December 1943, 6,664,339; January-June 1944, 6,949,670; July-December 1944, 7,193,678; January-June 1945, 7,217,133. Mean strengths are the average of the monthly means for the periods covered. Monthly means are the average of end-of-month strength of the particular month and the strength at the end of the preceding month as shown in "Strength of the Army," 1 Oct. 1945.


443

TABLE 58.-Rates of discharge for mental and physical disability: Male officers of the Medical Department and of the Army as a whole, December 1941-September 19451

Date

All officers (male)

Total Medical Department officers (male)

Medical Corps

Dental Corps

Veterinary Corps

Sanitary Corps and Pharmacy  Corps

Medical Administrative Corps

December 1941-June 1943

7.6

16.3

18.7

17.3

10.2

7.9

5.2

July-December 1943

11.3

24.3

31.2

25.7

12.4

9.6

7.1

January-June 1944

10.9

13.3

14.5

17.7

20.1

5.6

5.5

July-December 1944

14.3

15.8

11.5

37.2

10.9

10.6

9.1

January-June 1945

17.5

35.4

30.9

83.4

23.5

16.2

12.7

July-September 1945

22.4

29.3

35.5

40.7

5.8

20.4

10.1


1Basic data on disqualifications of all male officers are from "Strength of the Army," 1 Oct. 1950; of Medical Department officers, from table 55. Mean strengths for male officers in general, including warrant and flight officers, were computed from monthly means of end-of-month strengths shown in "Strength of the Army," 1 Jan. 1947. These mean strengths are as follows: December 1941-June 1943, 286,887: July-December 1943, 602,393; January-June 1944, 668,487; July-December 1944, 708,695; January-June 1945, 811,693; July-September 1945, 831,028. For mean strengths of male Medical Department officers, see table 55.

The board report also stated that "the racial distribution of medical officers separated by reason of physical disability may be significant," but it did not explain this statement further. Although admitting it was conceivable that professional relations between members of a disposition board and the officer whose record was under review could have been a factor in the high rate of Medical Department officer separation, the board considered this "highly improbable."

The board also suggested that the high discharge rate of Medical Department officers in general was attributable partly to the fact that they were older, on the average, than other officers. A report on Medical Department officers retired in September, October, and November 1943 added the following points:41

There is a relative excess of Medical Corps officers among the Medical Department officers retired.

There is a relative excess of 1st lieutenants in the group * * *.

The average period served by retired Medical Department officers was approximately 14 months.

In nearly 90 percent of cases the disability leading to retirement was judged not contracted in line of duty.

The types of disability leading to retirement and their incidences were similar to those in the retirement of non-Medical Department officers.

The rate of discharge of Medical Corps officers for physical disability was markedly lower in the first half of 1944 than it had been previously. Possible reasons for the decline may have been the influx into the corps of younger men of greater stamina from the medical schools, the elimination

41Reports, Brig. Gen. Hugh J. Morgan, Office of The Surgeon General, 15 Nov. 1943 and 31 Dec. 1943.


444

earlier of some officers who might otherwise have been discharged during this period, and perhaps also a less liberal attitude on the part of reviewing boards in consequence of criticism. The rate of discharge of dental officers declined at the same time, though not so sharply as that of doctors, and in the last half of 1944, it leaped upward while the rate for doctors continued to decline. The policy of discharging dentists to avoid a surplus had been inaugurated as early as April 1944, and in the same month, the authorization to discharge limited-service officers had been extended, under certain conditions, to dentists.

The upward trend in discharges for disability during 1945 among male officers throughout the Army no doubt represented, in part, the effect of physical deterioration as the war was prolonged. The fact that the rate was so much higher in the Medical Department than in the Army as a whole probably reflects the higher age level of the group, as well as its larger proportion of men who had waived disability in entering the Army.

So far as enlisted men were concerned, the disability-discharge rate from October 1943 until June 1945 was not greatly different in the Medical Department from what it was in the Army as a whole (table 59).

Physical and mental disability caused most of the separations of male Medical Department officers from service during the war period. The same is true of separations of Medical Department enlisted men during the period from October 1943 to June 1945; in this case, physical and mental disability caused two-thirds of the discharges (table 56).

Data on discharges resulting from this cause exist for all three women's officer components of the Medical Department for the period 1 September 194--30 June 1945 and also for the following 3 months. One cause of the great disparity between these two periods in the rates of discharge is the fact that during the first period the reporting was very incomplete. Since pregnancy caused the great majority of disability discharges, the rates for that cause are shown separately in table 60.

TABLE 59.-Disability-discharge rate: Enlisted men of the Medical Department and of the Army as a whole, October 1943- June 1945

Date

Rate

Army1

Medical Department

October-December 1943

107.1

100.6

January-June 1944

36.4

31.8

July-December 1944

60.2

60.4

January-June 1945

41.2

41.5


1Basic data on Army discharges are from Monthly Progress Reports, Army Service Forces; on Medical Department discharges, from table 53. For mean strengths of Army enlisted men, see footnote to table 54. For mean strengths of Medical Department enlisted men, see table 55. Revised figures for medical discharges of enlisted men of the Army as a whole are given in "Strength of the Army," 1 Oct. 1950, as follows: October-December 1943, 167,148 (rate, 100.3); January-June 1944, 120,570 (rate, 36.4); July-December 1944, 262,958 (rate, 60.2); January-July 1945, 162,022 (rate, 44.9).


445

TABLE 60.-Discharges for disability: Army Nurse Corps, Dietitians, and Physical Therapists, 1 September 1944-30 September 19451

Female officers

1 Sept. 1944-30 June 1945

1 July 1945-30 Sept. 1945

Total discharges for disability2

Pregnancy discharges

Total discharges for disability2

Pregnancy discharges

Number

Rate3

Number 

Rate3

Number 

Rate3

Number

Rate3

Army Nurse Corps

318

8.2

269

7.1

690

50.1

615

44.7

Dietitians

8

6.6

6

4.9

17

43.3

14

35.5

Physical Therapists

5

5.8

4

4.7

9

22.9

8

20.4


1Basic data are from records in Statistical and Accounting Branch, Statistical Section, Personnel Statistics Unit, Office of The Adjutant General.
2Includes pregnancy discharges.
3Annual rate per 1,000 of mean strength for the period shown. Mean strengths are the average of monthly mean strengths computed by averaging the end-of-month strength for a particular month with the strength at the end of the preceding month, both as shown in table 1. The mean strengths are as follows: September 1944-June 1945-Army Nurse Corps, 45,560; Dietitians, 1,465; Physical Therapists, 1,030; July-September l945-Army Nurse Corps, 55,091; Dietitians, 1,571; Physical Therapists, 1,265.

Attainment of a certain age.-Age alone caused the discharge of very few male officers of the Medical Department. Retirements, which also included retirements for physical disability after 20 years' service, occurred at the rate of 0.56 not materially different from the rate of 0.67 for male Army officers in general.42 Another basis for the discharge of officers was "overage in grade." Of the very few male Medical Department officers released for this reason, the majority came from the Medical Corps (table. 55).

In December 1943, the War Department authorized the discharge of all Army officers 45 years of age and over for whom no suitable assignment existed. A month later the age limit was lowered to 38.43 At the end of 1944, the age limit for discharges on this ground was removed, but it was indicated that persons over 38 would be given more consideration than others.44 Actually, the great majority discharged afterward under this rule were over 38. In the approximately 21 months of war during which the rule was in operation, more male Medical Department officers were released through its workings than were discharged throughout the war for any other reason except physical and mental disability, and more than 80 percent of those so

42Basic data for Medical Department are from table 55, and for Army from "Strength of the Army," 1 Oct. 1950. Data for the Medical Department are not so complete as for the Army at large. If the figures were complete, the Medical Department rate would probably equal or exceed the Army rate. For median strengths, see table 54. Here and in subsequent references, rates are figured on the basis of number per annum per 1,000 median strength for the period of December 1941 to 30 September 1945.
43Letters, The Adjutant General, to Divisions of War Department General Staff, 8 Dec. 1943 and 12 Jan. 1944, subject: Relief From Active Duty of Officers for Whom No Suitable Assignment Exists.
44War Department Circular No. 485, 29 Dec. 1944.


446

released were members of the Dental Corps. The rates for the various corps were as follows:

Medical Department male officers

2.44

Medical Corps

.33

Dental Corps

9.87

Veterinary Corps

.29

Sanitary Corps and Pharmacy Corps

.47

Medical Administrative Corps

.97


Nevertheless, the Medical Department rate for most of this period was much lower than that for male officers of the Army at large. Thus, the Medical Department rate for January-June 1944 was 0.8; the Army rate, 9.2; for July-December 1944, the rates were 4.5 and 11.5; and for January-June 1945, 9.2 and 8.0.

The return of enlisted men to civilian life for reasons involving age included retirements. Comparative figures on retirements are available only for the year 1 July 1944-30 June 1945. They show a slightly higher rate for the Medical Department 0.3 than for the Army as a whole (0.2) (table 56).

Beginning in December 1942, the Army permitted the release of enlisted men over 38 years old who were less useful to the Army than to industry and who could show that a job was waiting for them in an essential war industry. Under this rule, men were discharged outright, but at least as early as 1943 they could be transferred to the Enlisted Reserve Corps,45 although some continued to be discharged. Then, in April and May 1945, when the war in Europe was ending, successive directives46 permitted the discharge of enlisted personnel, at first over 42 years of age and then over 40, almost without restriction. Figures for the Army at large show heavy discharges in the age category for the months following December 1942, and then a decline. In the last few months of 1943, when comparative figures for the Medical Department first became available, the rates for the Army and the Medical Department were on the way to becoming insignificant until they shot upward during the period when the directives of April and May 1945 took effect. Comparative rates for October-December 1943 were: Medical Department 1.07, Army 0.23; for January-June 1944, Medical Department 0.16, Army 0.14; for July-December 1944, Medical Department 0.03, Army 0.04; and for January-June 1945, Medical Department 7.43, Army 7.08.

Meanwhile, the rates of transfer to the Enlisted Reserve Corps, at first much higher than the rate of discharges, descended without a break. In this case, the comparative rates for November-December 1943 were: Medical Department 3.5, Army 5.0; for January-June 1944, Medical Department 2.2, Army 2.4; for July-December 1944, Medical Department l.5, Army 1.2; and

45(1) War Department Circular No. 397, 7 Dec. 1942. (2) War Department Circular No. 92, 3 Apr. 1943.
46(1) War Department Circular No. 125, 25 Apr. 1945. (2) War Department Circular No. 151, 23 May 1945.


447

for January-June 1945, Medical Department 1.3, Army 1.4.47 The majority were transferred for reasons of age. Among the minority transferred for other reasons, probably most returned to active duty before the end of hostilities.

Inefficiency and misconduct-Among male officers of the Medical Department, 324 were discharged specifically for inefficiency and misconduct during the course of the war (table 55). Of these, 120 were separated from the service through the action of reclassification boards. Another eight were discharged for unsatisfactory service, presumably without such proceedings. Of the remainder, 139 were given discharges without honor and 57 received dishonorable discharges; as already noted, these are to be understood as separations in addition to those resulting from action by reclassification boards, although the latter could recommend any type of discharge-honorable, dishonorable, or without honor. These boards, which existed throughout the Army, could propose (among other things) the separation of officers brought before them on allegations of inefficiency, misconduct, or undesirable habits and traits of character. The person involved might be returned to his command for trial by court martial. A board was to recommend honorable discharge if it found the officer to be merely incompetent; it could recommend a dishonorable discharge or one without honor in case of misconduct or undesirable habits or traits.48

For both officers and enlisted men, the rates of discharge for misconduct in the Medical Department were lower than those for the Army as a whole, reflecting, in part, a greater degree of professionalism and a higher age and maturity level; in part, the psychological effect of feeling that they were saving rather than taking lives. Another important factor was the fact that Medical Department personnel were less subject to the hazards and strains of combat.

Hardship and civilian needs-Very few male Medical Department officers were separated from the service because of "undue hardship" to themselves or their families, the pertinent annual rate being only 0.3 per 1,000. Somewhat more were discharged on the score of their importance to the Government or the community in a civilian capacity. Provision was made for releasing individuals who were "keymen in industry and Government" or who were essential to "the national health, safety, or interest." Both provisions applied to enlisted personnel as well as officers. Only 19 male officers of the Medical Department were released under them up to the end of 1944. Well before that time, the Procurement and Assignment Service had advocated releasing physicians who came from communities where there was a shortage, but this plan failed to obtain tangible results. After a conference in January 1945 between representatives of the Army and the Procurement and Assignment Service, the Army announced its new policy: Medical officers over 39

47Basic data for the Army are from Monthly Progress Reports, Army Service Forces; for the Medical Department, from table 56.
48Army Regulations No. 605-230, 25 Aug. 1941, 24 Dec. 1942, and 9 June 1943.


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years of age who were qualified for general service or who were practicing a specialty in the Medical Department, who were deemed "worthy cases" could be discharged. This procedure resulted in virtually no discharges before the end of June 1945, but by 30 September of that year, a total of 75 medical officers and 4 other male Medical Department officers had been discharged under the "National and community health" provision. By the same date, 44 male Medical Department officers, mostly members of the Medical and Medical Administrative Corps, had obtained release as "keymen." These factors produced an annual rate of loss among male Medical Department officers amounting to 0.5 per 1,000. The number of enlisted men discharged for the same reasons is not available.

Demobilization-Among the permanent losses of the Medical Department during the war must be counted that group of personnel discharged in accordance with established demobilization procedures, limited as they were, between May 1945, when these regulations went into effect, and the end of hostilities. The regulations apparently had no effect on the discharges of male Medical Department officers before July 1945, and by the end of September had caused the release of less than 90 officers. For nurses, on the other hand, the demobilization regulations were operative as early as May; up to the end of September, somewhat more than 200 nurses had been discharged under them.49 The number of Medical Department enlisted men demobilized before the end of the war is available only through June 1945; by that date, it amounted to 4,942 (table 56).

Transfers to other branches of the Army

Transfers of Medical Department personnel to other branches of the Army represented another type of Medical Department loss. Although figures on this point are lacking, transfers of officers from the Medical Department were necessarily less than that of Medical enlisted personnel, the highly specialized training of most of the Department's officers and the fact that a large proportion of them were women made it difficult and inadvisable to transfer them. The majority of those transferred were Medical Administrative Corps officers who were transferred to combat or other service branches of the Army.

Transfer of enlisted men, on the other hand, was considerably more important numerically; the repeated efforts of medical authorities to stop the flow of medically trained enlisted men out of the Department are an indication that the loss was substantial. This was particularly true toward the end of the war when personnel were desperately short. In the Mediterranean theater in November 1944 to February 1945, 25 percent of general-assignment enlisted men in station and general hospitals were replaced by limited-service men.

49Data on male officers are from table 55; on nurses, from records in Statistical and Accounting Branch, Statistics Section, Personnel Statistics Unit, Office of The Adjutant General.


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This impression is confirmed by the experience of the European theater. There the number of enlisted men scheduled to be given up in the latter part of 1944 and in 1945 was in excess of 12,000, and even though by special arrangements the great majority of these eventually were retained in the medical service, more than 4,000 were transferred out of it.50

50(1) Administrative and Logistical History of Medical Service, Communications Zone, European Theater of Operations. Chapter X. [Official record.] (2) Report, Operations Division, Office of the Chief Surgeon, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, 1 Jan.-30 June 1945. (3) Annual Report, Surgeon, Third U.S. Army, 1944.

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