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Headquarters, Third Portable Surgical Hospital, APO 322-1, 10 May 1944

Table of Contents

HEADQUARTERS
THIRD PORTABLE SURGICAL HOSPITAL
APO 322–1
10 May, 1944


SUBJECT: Quarterly Medical History, Jan 1, 1944 to April 1, 1944.

TO: Surgeon, Sixth Army, APO 442 (Thru:  Medical Channels).

1.    The 3rd Portable Surgical Hospital was attached to the 42nd Gen. Hospital for duty from Jan. 1, 1944 until March 19, 1944 in Brisbane, Queensland.  It did not function as a separate unit. The personnel were assigned to duties equivalent to their duties in the organization and followed the hours and regulations of the 42nd. Captain Muller and Captain Karns were given medical wards to care for, and Captain Fernbach, a surgical ward. The EM were placed in the operating room for training, in the surgical and medical wards and in the kitchen, perfecting their training in particular jobs required eventually in field service. I think it a very essential and necessary routine for EM and Officers to be returned after an extended tour of field service to a large fixed installation where their medical knowledge and technical and themselves can be properly rehabilitated. We were appreciative of this opportunity and sincerely tried to gather as much individual and unit training as possible, helping in surgery and medicine, attending autopsies, reviewing and studying laboratory work, particularly those examples of Filarisis, Leishmaniasis, and unusual Malaria.

2.    During this time a survey of teeth and physical examinations were done and any abnormality was corrected. Two men developed Nephrolithiasis and were lost to the organization. Two Officers and six enlisted men had recurrences of malaria diagnosed by smear but the cases were so mild that they did not require hospitalization, except in the case of one Sergeant who suffered a Psychiatric break at the same time. There was generally an increase in weight and development of better morale. Every one overcame the fatigue and depression which had developed by being isolated the previous six months in the bush.

3.    The organizational equipment wad brought up to T/E requirements and an attempt was made to meet the requirements of packing equipment so that it could be entirely “mobile-loaded” but this could not be done. The fault is in the vehicles. The two 3/4 ton weapon-carriers are inadequate. Two two and a half ton, six wheel trucks would easily do the job.

3.     Sanitation, water supply, food supply, quarters and recreation facilities were excellent in the Gen. Hosp and the Brisbane area.

4.    Interesting clinical subjects and battle casualties are part of the history of the 42nd Gen. Hosp of that period.

5.    On March 19, 1944 the organization departed from Brisbane by train and arrived in Townsville March 21, 1944 where it was staged at Armstrong Paddock. Three days were spent in loading equipment in the SS “Bontekoe”, a Dutch tramp steamer, and on March 24 we proceeded to Milne Bay, March 28, remaining there until March 31. The organization opened and ran the hospital on the ship and took sick call for the 740 troops present. No serious illnesses or accidents occurred. The patients had malarias, dengues, skin rashes and minor cute and bruises.  Food and quarters were good.    
 
7. (sic)    On April 1 the organization arrived in Buna, New Guinea, proceeding NW.

Signed
William L. Garlick, Major, M. C.
Commanding.

SOURCE:  National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 112, The Army Surgeon General, Entry 54A, 3d Portable Surgical Hospital History, Box 611.