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Headquarters, Third Portable Surgical Hospital, 9 February 1945

Table of Contents

HEADQUARTERS
THIRD PORTABLE SURGICAL HOSPITAL

9 February 1945

SUBJECT: Quarterly Medical History, 1 October 1944 to 31 December 1944.

TO: Surgeon, Sixth Army, APO 412 (Thru Channels)

1.    The period of 1 October to 31 December 1944 was one of inertia, dullness and vegetation for the officers and enlisted men of the 3rd Portable Surgical Hospital. The hospital had been closed 23 September 1944 at the end of the Noemfoor Campaign and with the opening of the 361st Station Hospital we had nothing to do but sit. Our camp had been satisfactorily set up and improved with roads, walks, shrubbery and neatly framed tents until there was no point in carrying the beautification program further. Every one was comfortable and it was enough. After being imprisoned on the island for nearly five months, a sort of ingrown lethargy settled into us. The war was going on other places up the islands away from us. It was difficult to keep up the pretense of some activity and we simply vegetated.

2.    We were given the job of taking sick call for a thousand troops about us which required about an hour's work each day. There was very little illness, the majority seen on sick call had skin things, usually tinea of one form or another. The incidence of malaria practically disappeared with the settling down to garrison life and good atabrine supervision. In our own particular area, there were no mosquitos and I think that became true of the large number of camp sites on the island. The malaria control did an excellent job. Dengue was rarely seen and no other tropical disease occurred at all.

3.    The men all gained five to fifteen pounds in these months because the rations were particularly good but because they did no work. Our mess was adequate but the lack of fresh food particularly meat, butter and vegetables was strongly felt over such a long period.

4.    Our sanitation was routine and good. We had no cases of diarrhea or any G.I. upsets. After the occasional issue of American beer we did have men complaining of belly cramps and loose bowels but nothing more serious.

5.   Dental health of this command was excellent. A dental examination was given to all members 14 December 1944. The 361st Station Hospital and the 71st Evacuation Hospital rendered necessary dental attention.

6.    A peculiar situation developed in the outfit. Due to rotation to the states, illness with evacuations, and having only a small group


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of men, there was no one capable of holding the job of top sergeant. None of the old men had that special ability to command other men and receive their respect. One or two of the new assigned personnel would eventually be capable of holding the job but at the time were too unfamiliar and inexperienced to be given the job, for we were heading toward our most important campaign. At my request, Jerome C. Ulrick, an enlisted man in the 60th Signal Battalion was transferred into the organization and placed in the position of top sergeant. The choice of the man was very good for he has been able to unify and consolidate thirty three men, trained in most other branches of Army work, instead medicine, into a smooth working surgical unit.

7.    On November 20 we returned to an assignment to 6th Army and felt as though soon we would experience some activity. Soon after, we received nine replacements which brought us up to full strength. We resupplied and reequipped ourselves, crated and prepared everything for loading and eventually received orders.  On December 29, 1944 we loaded entirely on the S.S. Leon and commenced the journey of our fifth island lending.

Signed
WILLIAM L. GARLICK
Major, MC
Commanding

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