|OFFICE OF MEDICAL HISTORY AMEDD REGIMENT AMEDD MUSEUM|
HISTORY OF THE OFFICE OF MEDICAL HISTORY
In the Army of World War II-the day of the jeep, armored force, and airplane-it may be a surprise to many to know that the Army Veterinary Service provided 2,065,289 days of hospital treatment to Army horses and mules,1 operated a veterinary hospital system in the Zone of Interior that totaled a stall capacity of 2,500 for disabled animals, and developed animal evacuation plans for oversea theaters comprising 72 separate detachments, companies, and hospitals, and several provisional organizations (1).
The veterinary hospital was the central establishment, whether at a station in the Zone of Interior or in the field in a war theater, for the collection, shelter, segregation, care, and treatment of sick and wounded animals. In the U.S. Army, a reference to it may have been made as early as 1868 when the War Department ordered the establishment of an animal recuperation depot at Fort Leavenworth, in the military division of Missouri (2). The veterinary hospital system and animal evacuation plan that came into existence during World War I was studied, tried in maneuvers, and further perfected in the peacetime years following the Armistice and then was used when the need arose in World War II.
VETERINARY HOSPITAL SYSTEM IN THE ZONE OF INTERIOR
The veterinary hospital system in the Zone of Interior included stall accommodations for 2,500 horse and mule patients and was operated in a manner closely paralleling the Medical Department's hospitalization program for troops. The veterinary system included facilities located in more than a hundred camps, training centers, remount depots, purchasing and breeding zone headquarters, and ports. Together, these provided 1,700,769 days of hospital treatment during the 5-year period, 1941 through 1945 (1). A lesser number disabled animals were treated as stable cases and not admitted into the hospitals. These veterinary hospitals, for the greater part, were operated as a Medical Department activity under the control of the camp surgeon.
The beginning of World War II found the Army's horse and mule strength at about 22,000 and its veterinary hospital system comprising a patient capacity for 5.4 percent of the animal strength or 1,188 stalls. Of this number of hospital stalls, 970 were located in the Zone of Interior and 218 in the oversea departments. These stalls were distributed among 2 general veterinary hospitals, 41 station veterinary hospitals, and 32 veterinary dispen≠
saries (3), but those having accommodations for 10 or more animal patients numbered only 30 (table 44).
Beginning in the fall of 1940 and continuing through the fiscal year ending 30 June 1942, a wartime building program added more than 1,450 stalls to the veterinary hospital system in the Zone of Interior (4, 5). The 2-year program-costing $933,500-included a veterinary hospital (10-stall); 17 dispensaries; 16 surgical clinics; 8 colic buildings; 54 medical, contagious, and surgical wards; and a variety of accessorial structures such as 2 autopsy slabs, 4 dipping vats, 3 squeeze chutes, 16 corrals, 18 sheds, and barrack accommodations for 482 enlisted personnel. These comprised the establishment of new hospitals and dispensaries at 12 Army camps (table 45) and addition to the existent facilities at 5 camps and the 3 remount depots. The additional construction at the depots included the expansion of the hospital ward capacities, and at Forts Bliss, Bragg, Clark, Riley, and Sill, included dispensaries, surgical clinics, and ward buildings. The 12 new veterinary facilities each in-
cluded a surgical clinic, one or more wards, sometimes a colic building and corral, and a few other structures; however, the facilities at Camp Carson and Camp Hale, Colo., were the larger of these and included also new dispensaries (4 and 10, respectively) for mounted units which were in training.
Source: (1) Annual Report of the Surgeon General, United States Army. Washington: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1941, pp. 166 and 194. (2) Annual reports, Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, U.S. Army, 1942.
The above construction program was completed with a degree of rapidity and ease that reflected favorably on the preparatory planning which had taken into account such matters as the determination of requirements and the development of construction plans. There were also matters of inspecting the buildings during construction, and, later, the assigning of operational personnel. The urgency of the moment in which these problems seemed to arise made necessary the finalization and centralization of many matters in the Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office. The latter alone could obtain firsthand information from the War Department staff on pending plans to augment the Army's horse and mule strength or to organize and train a mounted unit at a particular camp. The requirements were stated in terms of the kind, capacity, and location of the veterinary hospitals and dispensaries (6, 7). Actually, the capacities of the facilities were not fixed, but were designed to include as many stalls as were needed to hospitalize 3.5 percent of the animals in a camp or unit and to provide 360.5 square feet2 of corral space for each stall (8). The station veterinary hospital was designated ordinarily to serve the local camp of which it was a part, but where the requirements were quite small or were extended to include a large number of widely dispersed mounted units, the camp was provided with a dispensary only or with a number of dispensaries supplemental to the hospital. The latter were designated regimental dispensaries and served specific mounted units. The camps selected for the approved building program were recommended by the Surgeon General's Office in requests to The Adjutant General or the War Department Bureau of the Budget for the necessary appropriations of money and were influenced by the ex≠
pressed intentions of The Quartermaster General and chiefs of the mounted services.
With few exceptions, the hospitals, dispensaries, clinics, wards, and other veterinary structures built during World War II followed the construction plans which, since 1937,3 were developed or perfected by the Office of the Quartermaster General in cooperation with the Surgeon General's Office (4). There were at least 11 approved plans as of the fall of 1941 (table 46). As these were entered in the building projects, the Surgeon General's Office encouraged the local camp veterinary officers to inspect them4 and, also, to requisition those items of Medical Department supply that would have to be fixed in the structure (such as Ajax dressing stocks and operating tables) (9). Under the provisions of Army regulations, the station veterinarian was responsible to The Surgeon General for expressing his opinion on the exact sites and arrangements of the new hospital or dispensary and for reporting on the compliances of any construction with the approved plans (6, 7, 10). As the building program progressed, a number of corrective suggestions5 in the plans were made by the station veterinarians (11 through 17), and these, after a review jointly by the Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, and the Office of the Quartermaster General, were incorporated into changes to the plans and were referred to the civilian contractors for compliance.
In the same manner that it influenced the hospital capacities, the animal strength was used also to determine the personnel space authorizations and the assignments of operational personnel to the station veterinary hospitals. During World War II, Army regulations provided for the assignment of at least four enlisted personnel in the grade of private or private first class when the camp's animal strength totaled 200 animals, and one additional such enlisted personnel for every additional 75 animals. Noncommissioned officers were allotted one for each station, and one for every four privates first class. The station complement for veterinary officers was expressed at one per station having 200 to 600 animals, another one where the station strength was between 601 and 1,100 animals, three for a station with 1,101 to 1,600 animals, and thus in graduated increases up to six veterinary officers where the station strength
was between 2,801 and 3,500 animals (18, 19). These regulatory provisions were actually used by the Surgeon General's Office in planning requirements or recommending assignments of veterinary personnel to certain Army camps.
ANIMAL EVACUATION PLAN
In contrast to the hospital system in the Zone of Interior, the Army Veterinary Service in the oversea theaters and during maneuver training operated an animal evacuation plan. This included, of course, the hospitalizing of sick and wounded animals in the field or during campaign but such was only a part of the evacuation plan. The other major action was the progressive movement of disabled animals rearward from the frontline tactical units. For the accomplishment of this operational responsibility in World War II, 72 veterinary units of 11 different kinds were organized (table 47). With few exceptions, these were deployed in the Central and the Southwest Pacific Areas, supported the Fifth U.S. Army in the Mediterranean theater, the Seventh U.S. Army in the European theater, Merrill's Marauders and the MARS Brigade in the Burma campaigns, or were superimposed on the Allied-sponsored Chinese military forces in the China-Burma-India theater. Altogether, these supported U.S. animal strength in the oversea theaters that increased from a yearly mean of 3,009 in 1941 to 11,121 in 1945 (5);6 there were untold thousands of animals in the U.S.-supervised Italian Army pack trains and in the Allied-sponsored Chinese military forces. Wherever formed, the veterinary evacuation plans successfully provided for the early and prompt discovery, treatment and segregation of disabled animals, their orderly movement to areas in back of the combat units, and their restoration to full duty status in veterinary hospitals, and conserved animal strength and efficiency.
Animal evacuation generally paralleled the Medical Department system for evacuating troop casualties. However, there was the difference that animals disabled beyond the chance for recovery into the status of serviceable duty or infected with a serious communicable disease were destroyed.
Following World War I, the units planned for animal evacuation in a theater of operations were changed to satisfy the needs in a planned field force or a theoretical field army whose composition also was changed from time to time. The units were the veterinary company of the medical regiment, the veterinary troop of the medical squadron, and the veterinary evacuation, convalescent, general, and station hospitals (20). The veterinary company was designed to collect disabled animals from the veterinary detachments included in the composition of the divisional units and supply trains and to operate a veterinary aid station within the infantry division. The same veterinary unit was planned also for assignment in the ratio of one per corps and four in each field army when the so-called corps troops and army troops each had a certain
1. Planning for veterinary
hospital construction included also stable, closed, types S-1 through S-9,
drawing 700-320, and stable, open, types S-10 through S-19, drawing 700-321,
both dated 5 May 1937. Types S-1 and S-10 each had a stall capacity of 20; these
capacities were increased in increments of 4 stalls so that the closed stable,
type S-9, had a rated capacity of 52 stalls, and the open stable, S-19, had a
rated capacity of 56 stalls.
1The table excludes the
named hospitals in the oversea departments and the provisional organizations
formed during the war in the oversea theaters; it enumerates only those
by War Department authorization and then activated and organized pursuant to T/O&E's.
number of animals (2,000 and 1,700 animals, respectively). The veterinary company of the medical regiment of an infantry division was substituted in the cavalry division by the veterinary troop of a medical squadron.
It was planned that the division, corps, and army aid stations were to be relieved of their more seriously sick and wounded animals by three army≠assigned veterinary evacuation hospitals. The latter, unlike its World War II successor, had a twofold operational function: To collect or evacuate from the aid stations and to provide hospitalization normally for 250 animal patients. From such evacuation hospital, the recovered animals could be issued into the army's remount depot system, and those requiring rest and recuperation could be moved into the army-controlled 1,000-patient veterinary convalescent hospital. However, any animal requiring a longer convalescent period or definitive treatment was to be evacuated out of the area of the field army into the theater's communications zone to the veterinary general hospital. Ordinarily, three such general hospitals, each with a normal patient capacity of 500 animals, were planned to support a field army. Another communications zone installation, but not a part of the evacuation chain, was the 150-patient veterinary station hospital. It was designed to render the veterinary animal service for ports of debarkation and remount depots in the rear areas of a theater. Evacuation out of a theater of operations into the Zone of Interior was not contemplated.
The internal organization of these veterinary units remained constant for many years. However, resulting from the programs of increasing mechanization and motorization, the forecasted requirements of the numbers of veterinary units were lessened appreciably. Actually, these reductions were made rapidly during the 5 years preceding World War II. The veterinary units were moved out of the new streamlined tactical army and transferred into the General Headquarters Reserve. The latter's veterinary hospitals and other units were gradually reduced in parallel with the reductions taking place in the cavalry and with the motorization of other mounted units. During 1940 and 1941, the projected animal strength for mobilization planning was decreased from 45,500 to 31,221 animals-the latter including 2 cavalry divisions (15,988), 1 cavalry brigade (3,225), 9 cavalry regiments (5,166), and 12 field artillery battalions (6,852) (21, 22, 23). The War Department Munitions Program, 1940, provided for 2 separate veterinary companies and 10 evacuation, 2 convalescent, 5 general, and 4 station hospitals (24), but reductions were suggested for the next year.
The internal organization and the assigned operational functions of veterinary units were changed. The changes were made in recognition that a relatively few animals which were being retained in the newer field forces would be widely scattered, this requiring long-distance evacuation practices and smaller units. At about the beginning of the pre-World War II emergency periods, the functional organization of the veterinary evacuation hospital was amended so that it became only a field hospital installation of a
reduced patient capacity (of 150 animals); its evacuating functions were transferred to the veterinary company, medical regiment (25, 26). A short time later, the medical regiment was completely reorganized, including the disassociation of its veterinary element-the latter becoming the separate veterinary company (27).
The new T/O's (tables of organization) for the separate veterinary company and veterinary evacuation hospital were subsequently changed from time to time during the war period, as were also the tables for the veterinary troop and veterinary convalescent, general, and station hospitals (28 through 45) (table 48). Some of the changes included the removal of Medical Department detachments from the larger hospitals, the conservation of Veterinary Corps officers in certain unit assignments by their replacement with Medical Administrative Corps officers, and the increase in the rank of hospital commanders. Equally important were the unit reorganizations: The veterinary company of five platoons became a unit of three collecting and treatment platoons and a motor evacuation section in 1943; the veterinary troop became a unit of two collecting and treatment platoons and one clearing platoon; and the station hospital was reorganized in 1942 from one of a normal patient capacity of 150 animals to one that could operate also as a 300-patient hospital. Also, the convalescent hospital was reduced in 1943 to a normal operational capacity of 500 patients; the latter's T/O, however, was canceled during May 1945 (46). Of course, another divisional collecting and treatment unit came into existence during the war in connection with development of the new light (pack) or mountain division-this being the veterinary company, mountain medical battalion (47, 48).7 It was comparable to the former veterinary company in the peacetime infantry division or to the existing veterinary troop in the cavalry division. In addition to the foregoing changes, there were many pertaining to the equipment of these veterinary units, including the addition of arms and armament.
With these wartime changes, other planning for newer and smaller veterinary units was undertaken. Up to that time, needless to say, the hospitals and evacuation units were studied on the concept of a single theater of operations where a relatively large number of animals might be used. The newer planning took into consideration the needs of animal evacuation chains in one or more theaters where the animal strengths would be relatively small or widely dispersed. Actually, this multitheater concept and small task force planning was little considered in veterinary mobilization planning prior to the war. In fact, the original demands for operating small-scale evacuation plans in the Southwest Pacific Area, and later in the China-Burma-India
1Canceled on 14 May 1945.
theater and the Central Pacific Area, were met necessarily by the organization and deployment of separate veterinary detachments such as were described in the existing T/O's for field artillery units and quartermaster remount troops. Beginning in 1942 and continuing to mid-1944, 43 of these detachments were organized: 7 lettered sections (each with two officers and nine enlisted personnel) and 27 numbered detachments (each with one officer and four enlisted personnel) being organized pursuant to the T/O's for a field artillery pack battalion, and 9 lettered sections (each with one officer and seven enlisted personnel) being organized as described in the T/O's of a quartermaster remount troop. Of these, 27 were reorganized and redesignated at a later date as numbered veterinary sections animal service, or veterinary animal service detachments, Teams DC (each with space authorizations of one officer and four enlisted personnel). The latter was one of six kinds of veterinary cellular teams concerned with animals that came into existence after mid-1943.
The others included veterinary team, type 1, or veterinary hospital detachment, Team DA (with 1 officer and 23, later 19, enlisted personnel),
having a patient capacity of 30 animals, and the veterinary team, type 2, or veterinary hospital detachment, Team DB (with 2 officers and 46, later 35, enlisted personnel), having a patient capacity of 75 animals. A later edition of the original 23 July 1943 tables for these cellular team organizations added two different-sized motor evacuation sections or detachments: Team CD (with three enlisted personnel) was designed to evacuate 8 animals at a time on a single semitrailer truck, and Team CE (with an officer and 10 enlisted personnel) was designed to handle 24 disabled animals. The T/O's also provided for the assignment of certain administrative personnel to a command having three or more veterinary animal service detachments, but it was not until 18 January 1945 that the tables described these personnel in a new Team AR or headquarters, veterinary animal service (with an authorization for one officer and two enlisted personnel).
Thus, during World War II, the type units developed for animal evacuation in the theaters numbered thirteen. Of these, 11 were actually used in the organization of 72 T/O units-there being no convalescent hospital and small veterinary evacuation detachment (table 47). Of this number of units, only 6 were in active military service at the time of Pearl Harbor, and, during the war period, 49 were newly organized in the Zone of Interior, and 17 were organized in the oversea theaters. Eight units organized in the Zone of Interior were undeployed to an oversea theater, and 26 were reorganized into wholly different units, inactivated, or disbanded prior to V-E or V-J Days (table 49). The manner in which these veterinary units were deployed in the animal evacuation plans of the oversea theaters is described in the following pages.
An animal evacuation plan was developed to meet the urgent needs of the Fifth U.S. Army after its landing on the Italian peninsula at Salerno Gulf (9 September 1943). Though a few animals were used earlier in the American combat divisions in North Africa and during the Sicilian campaign (49),8 little, if any, thought had been given previously to veterinary hospitals and evacuation units in the Mediterranean theater. Six months after the landing, a U.S. veterinary evacuation hospital arrived from the Zone of Interior and was deployed into the Fifth U.S. Army area at Teano. In the interim, that Army's animal strength grew from almost nothing to 1,078 mules and horses which were included in two field artillery battalions and
the pack trains which were improvised by the 3d, 34th, 36th, and 45th Infantry Divisions, and another 1,835 animals with Italian Army pack mule trains which were operating in the divisional areas. The Italian trains were manned and equipped originally by the Italian Government and then were deployed under the control and supervision of the U.S. forces in the theater. At this time also, the Fifth U.S. Army included the French Expeditionary Corps, with approximately 4,300 animals-this number increasing to more than 9,000 mules and horses before July 1944 when the control over that Allied force was transferred to the Seventh U.S. Army for entry into the southern France campaign. In the course of time, the pack trains of the U.S. combat divisions were discontinued and replaced by the Italian pack mule trains (or companies); the latter's animal strength, beginning after December 1943, was gradually increased to a peak of 4,391 mules and 158 horses (as of March 1945). Altogether, the Fifth U.S. Army's mean animal strength in the period from December 1943 through June 1945 averaged 5,150 mules and horses (table 50) (50, 51). Its disabilities approximated 3,000, including 795 battle casualties, of which number 5.9 percent died or were destroyed on account of disease and injury; another 1,300 animals were killed in action. For the collection and treatment of these 3,000 or more disabled animals, an evacuation plan was developed and operated that included as many as 2 separate veterinary companies, a veterinary company of a mountain division, 2 evacuation detachments, and at least 9 hospital organizations and units, in addition to a complete remount operation. A portion of this plan involved, of course, the Mediterranean theater's Peninsular Base Section and U.S.≠supervised Italian veterinary hospital organizations.
During the first few months on the Italian peninsula, the U.S. combat divisions hurriedly and unexpectedly had begun to assemble animals-almost any kind of mule or horse-that could be used in the conduct of reconnaissance or to transport ammunition, medical supplies, and rations to the outpost positions in the southern Apennine mountains (52). By December 1943, such animals numbered more than a thousand and were organized by the divisions into so-called provisional pack trains.9 These were operated, equipped, and controlled by the division veterinarians because other personnel were unavailable. The animal losses in these divisional trains were evidently great. For example, the Provisional Reconnaissance Troop, Mounted, of the 3d Infantry Division, with 620 mules and horses, during October 1943 lost 108 animals, 88 being killed by gunfire and 20 being destroyed on account of severe gunshot wounds (49). In the 34th Infantry Division, only 30 animals remained from a group of 75 after little less than 2 months of operations. These losses could be expected under the conditions under which the
1The parenthetical data
relate only to U.S. Army animals for the period that such were in the army, with
the exception of the period after April 1945 when the 10th Mountain Division
was provided with approximately 850 animals. The data for the period from
December 1943 through June 1944 relate to United States, French, and
U.S.-supervised Italian Army animals. Beginning with July 1944, the data pertain
to U.S.-supervised Italian Army pack companies.
trains were assembled and used. The animals, removed from the Italian countryside, were unconditioned and not suitable for military campaign; the divisional personnel were inexperienced in animal care and management; the local resources of feed, horseshoes, and veterinary supplies had been removed or destroyed by the retreating Germans; the pack trains were the select
targets of artillery fire and mortar barrage; and the animals which became disabled could not be removed from the divisional areas.
Foreseeing that the combat divisions were not to be denied their animal transport, the Veterinarian, Fifth U.S. Army, supported and developed plans for an orderly supply of animals and the care of those becoming disabled (52). Breeding stations, remount depots, racetracks, and stables, as they were uncovered in the northward advances of the Allied forces, were set up as hospital and remount depot sites; these depots later were operated by a provisional remount organization identified as an activity of the Peninsular Base Section. Originally, remount depots were established at Persano (September 1943), Santa Maria (November 1943), and Bagnoli (December 1943), each with a veterinary section which operated depot dispensaries. Contrary to the accepted principles of animal evacuation, for more than a year these dispensaries received disabled animals directly from the combat divisions and veterinary evacuation hospitals of the Fifth U.S. Army. In the beginning, a Fifth U.S. Army provisional veterinary hospital, organized on 8 December 1943, and manned by Italian Army veterinary personnel, and a French Army veterinary ambulance company (the 541st) opened station in the vicinity of these remount depots, but both units were soon lost to the French Expeditionary Corps.
The most singular gain in the early growth of the Mediterranean theater's animal service plan came during December 1943 when the first of several Italian pack mule trains and two veterinary evacuation hospitals were received on the Italian peninsula from Sardinia. The former had approximately 1,600 mules and horses which were transshipped and used in the Italian campaigns. They were deployed to augment, and later to replace, the provisional trains of the U.S. combat divisions.10 The two Italian veterinary evacuation hospitals-the 110th and the 130th-established stations at Treponti and Nocelleto in back of the divisional trains and Italian pack trains of the II Corps, Fifth U.S. Army.11 A third hospital unit-the U.S. 17th Veterinary Evacuation Hospital-newly arrived from the Zone of Interior,12 established station on 5 April 1944, at Teano (52). These hospitals forwarded replacement animals in exchange for the disabled animals received from the pack trains and evacuated those animals requiring further treatment out of the army area to the remount depot dispensaries.
With the beginning of the spring 1944 operations, the evacuation hospitals were supporting four Italian pack trains, the 36th and 45th Infantry Divisions' trains, and the 601st and 602d Field Artillery Battalions-their aggregate animal strengths approximating 3,000 mules and horses. The 601st and 602d Field Artillery Battalions, having arrived from the Zone of Interior during March 1944, were deployed in the Fifth U.S. Army until mid-July 1944 when they were transferred to the Seventh U.S. Army; each included an organic veterinary detachment.
In the offensive that started on 11 May 1944, and culminated with the capture of Rome (4 June), the three evacuation hospitals continued their support of the Italian pack trains, which now numbered seven (with 1,964 mules and horses), and the 601st and 602d Field Artillery Battalions and the 36th Infantry Division's provisional train (with 1,189 animals). A fourth hospital organization-the Italian 210th Veterinary Hospital-joined the Fifth U.S. Army on 3 May 1944, but was disbanded during the next month. In this offensive, taking place in the mountains about the Garigliano River, the hospitals remained fixed in their original positions because no suitable sites could be found in the advanced areas.
The Fifth U.S. Army made little use of animals during the latter part of the Rome-Arno Campaign or in the "battle of pursuit" across the plains area to the Gothic Line in the northern Apennines. During this time, however, the 17th Veterinary Evacuation Hospital moved six times in the wake of the 601st and 602d Field Artillery Battalions, reaching Pontiginione in mid≠July 1944 and then closing station on 12 August 1944. The unit received 251 animal patients; 194 were evacuated for further hospital treatment, 51 were returned to duty, and 6 died or were destroyed. Also, the Italian 110th and 130th Veterinary Evacuation Hospitals were moved out of Treponti on 20 June and Nocelleto on 1 July, respectively, and then through Rome and northward to take stations at Vaglia on 14 September and at Cafaggiolo on 22 September, respectively.
The 1944 summer lull in animal utilization saw the reorganization of the Italian pack mule companies under an Italian 20th Pack Mule Group and the attachment of U.S. veterinary officers as supervisory personnel. Other changes were made in the Fifth U.S. Army incident to the preparations for Operation ANVIL (the Allied invasion of southern France). These included the transfer of the two field artillery battalions (with 800 animals) and the French Expeditionary Corps (with 8,000 animals) to the Seventh U.S. Army, as well as the 17th Veterinary Evacuation Hospital and the new 45th Veterinary Company (Separate) (52). The last-named unit was the continuation of the 6482d Separate Veterinary Company (Provisional), which had been formed on 24 May 1944, at Oran, transshipped on 18-23 June to Naples, and then redesignated the 45th Separate Veterinary Company effective 16 July 1944.
At the beginning of the new campaign to penetrate the Gothic Line (10 September 1944), the Fifth U.S. Army's evacuation plan included two Italian evacuation hospitals: The 110th at Vaglia and after 17-18 October at Pitramala and the 130th at Cafaggiolo. The latter was joined on 2 October by the Italian 212th Veterinary Evacuation Hospital, which was then moved on 6-8 January 1943, to Lucca.13 A fourth, the Italian 211th Veterinary Evacuation Hospital, established station at Pontepetri on 24 February 1945.14 In this period, the number of Italian pack trains under the operational control of American divisions and corps increased from 8 (with 2,706 mules and 131 horses as of 30 September 1944) to 11. Up to 31 December, these companies had lost more than 700 disabled animals to the evacuation hospitals for additional treatment, and another 461 animals were killed in action. During February 1945, the 11 pack companies were assigned to the divisional units of the two army corps in the Fifth U.S. Army, each corps being supported by two evacuation hospitals, as shown below:
The corps assignment of divisions and the divisional assignments of the Italian pack trains were changed frequently. In the next month (March 1945), the pack trains numbered 14, and their animal strength reached a peak of 4,549 mules and horses.
During April 1945, the number of Italian pack mule companies with the Fifth U.S. Army was increased to 15, and the four Italian veterinary evacuation hospitals were moved northward-the 110th moving to Polvrifitto on 26-28 April; the 130th moving to Verona on 28-30 April, the 211th moving on 1-3 April to Riolo and then to Ghisione on 26 April, and the 212th moving on 20-22 April to Pal. Beceadelli. These trains and hospitals were assigned as follows:
At about this time, which marked the beginning of Operation GRAPESHOT (the capture of Bologna and the subsequent breakout into the Po River Valley), the evacuation plan of the Fifth U.S. Army was augmented with the 36th Separate Veterinary Company and the beginning operations of the veterinary animal service organic to the 10th Mountain Division. This company, arriving in Italy on 14 April 1945, during the next 3 months received 118 animal patients from the Italian veterinary evacuation hospitals and other units, and provided 1,377 hospital treatment days (53). The 10th Mountain Division, arriving in Italy during January 1945, was provided with a few Italian pack companies, and, in addition, during April, its 86th Mountain Infantry Regiment, 10th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop, and 605th Field Artillery Battalion were provided with 841 pack mules and cavalry horses (52, 54).15 The latter animals, when becoming disabled, were collected by the division's Veterinary Company, 10th Mountain Medical Battalion. Until the end of that month, the disabilities within the division numbered 67 animals (including 14 battle casualties); of these, 45 animal patients were evacuated out of the combat area to the 2605th Veterinary General Hospital.
In back of the Fifth U.S. Army, the foregoing evacuation plan was supported by a veterinary hospital system controlled by the Peninsular Base Section, a services of supply organization. Approximately 1,500 disabled animals were evacuated from the combat divisions and Allied units. This hospital system originally included remount depot dispensaries (52)16 and the Fifth U.S. Army Provisional Veterinary Hospital which was renamed the Italian 210th Veterinary Hospital and then transferred to the French Expeditionary Corps. The latter's hospital operations at Grosseto, after mid-1944, were resumed by the new Italian 213th Veterinary General Hospital, renamed the Italian Veterinary General Hospital and later, on 31 March 1945, the Italian 1st Veterinary General Hospital. This organization, operating under the technical supervision of U.S. Army veterinary officers, received more than a thousand animal patients (55, 56, 57) during the period
TABLE 51.-Sick and wounded animals admitted into the U.S.-supervised Italian 213th Veterinary General Hospital, Italian Veterinary General Hospital, and Italian 1st Veterinary General Hospital, Peninsular Base Section, Mediterranean theater, July 1944 through 20 July 1945
Sources: (1) Veterinary Reports of Sick and Wounded Animals, Italian 213th Veterinary General Hospital, July through September 1944. (2) Veterinary Reports of Sick and Wounded Animals, Italian Veterinary General Hospital, October 1944 through March 1945. (3) Veterinary Reports of Sick and Wounded Animals, Italian 1st Veterinary General Hospital, April through 20 July 1945.
of 1 year or until its inactivation on 20 July 1945 (table 51). Of this number of patients, 599 were received direct from the Fifth U.S. Army's veterinary evacuation hospitals. In the spring of 1945 also, the evacuation plan of the Peninsular Base Section was augmented by four veterinary hospitals and two evacuation detachments. The latter, including the 643d and the 644th Veterinary Evacuation Detachments, were activated and organized on 12 March 1945, at Leghorn, Italy, and were used in the moving of hospitals to new locations and of animal patients out of the army area or to other hospitals (fig. 61). The new hospitals were the 2604th Veterinary Station Hospital (Overhead)17 organized on 15 March 1945, at Leghorn (58) (fig. 62); the 2605th Veterinary General Hospital (Overhead),18 organized on 15 March 1945, at Naples (59); the Italian 1st Veterinary Station Hospital, formed on 1 April 1945, at Bagnoli; and the Italian 2d Veterinary General Hospital. Each of the Italian units were attached to the respective American station and general hospital organizations for operational control.
FIGURE 61.- Capt. L. T. Lacey, VC, commanding the 643d Veterinary Evacuation Detachment, supervising the unloading of wounded animals for admission to the U.S.≠equipped Italian 2605th Veterinary General Hospital, Mirandola, Italy, on 9 May 1945.
FIGURE 62.-U.S. Army Veterinary Corps officers with the 2604th Veterinary Station Hospital (Overhead) examining and giving treatment to captured sick and wounded animals at the Fifth U.S. Army Remount Station, San Martino, Italy, 10 May 1945.
The 2604th and Italian 1st Veterinary Station Hospitals, joining on 11 April 1945, were scheduled to take station at Cafaggiolo to replace the Fifth U.S. Army's Italian 130th Veterinary Evacuation Hospital, but the change in the battlefront and lack of hospital sites prevented the movement; instead, on 5 May 1945, the two units moved to San Martino. The 2605th and the Italian 2d Veterinary General Hospitals, however, were moved during April 1945 and set up station in the vicinity of Pontepetri; on 1-2 May 1945, they closed station and were moved to Mirandola. During the period from 19 April to 1 May, the 2605th Veterinary General Hospital admitted 99 animal patients-41 from the Italian 211th Veterinary Evacuation Hospital and the remainder from the veterinary company of the 10th Mountain Division. In May 1945, with the surrender of the German armies in Italy, these four hospital units were engaged in supporting remount operations. During the next month, the Fifth U.S. Army's Italian pack mule companies and veterinary evacuation hospitals were returned to the Military Ministry of the Italian Army, effective on 30 June 1945.
The veterinary evacuation plan, which included the deployment of the 17th Veterinary Evacuation Hospital and the 45th Separate Veterinary Company in the European theater, originated with the preparations taken during mid-1944 in the Mediterranean theater for Operation ANVIL (the invasion of southern France). Both units were reassigned in mid-August 1944 from the Fifth U.S. Army in Italy to the Seventh U.S. Army and subsequently transshipped to southern France. The hospital established station at Grenoble, France, on 26 September 1944, and the company, moving in two shipments through Vars, proceeded to Saint-RaphaŽl by 6 September and then moved to Lons-le-Saunier on 14 September and to Sisterone on 17 September. The two Seventh U.S. Army units were attached to the First French Army for operational control, effective on 21 September 1944, and, on 20 November 1944, all former Mediterranean theater units were transferred to the control of the European theater.
Other units with animals that came into the European theater through southern France included a provisional quartermaster remount organization and the 601st and 602d Field Artillery Battalions, each with its own veterinary detachment. The battalions, arriving in France during September and October 1944 with approximately 800 mules and horses (60, 61), served under the 44th Antiaircraft Brigade, 6th Army Group, in southeastern France until mid-March 1945 when they were dismounted.19 During the time that
the two battalions with animals were a part of the Seventh U.S. Army (August 1944 through mid-March 1945), their disabled animals totaled 197, including 4 battle casualties, and another 14 animals were killed in action, as shown in the following tabulation:
1Includes 4 battle casualties.
The more seriously sick and injured animals in these two battalions were evacuated to a platoon of the 45th Veterinary Company (Separate) that was located at Nice.
As a unit under the operational control of the First French Army, the 45th Veterinary Company (Separate) established its headquarters at Gap, France, on 29 September 1944, remaining there until after V-E Day (62). Its three platoons were deployed as follows: The 1st to Ch‚teauroux (40 kilometers east of Gap) in support of the French Army; the 2d in support of the 513th Quartermaster Pack Company (Separate), moving to VillŤ, France, to Dossenheim, Germany (early January 1945), to Hangerville, France (in mid-January 1945), and also to Liestadt, Germany; and the 3d Platoon, after 4 December 1944, at Nice, where it supported the two field artillery battalions until their dismounting, and then the French 1st DIM Division. The 1st and 2d Platoons returned
to the parent headquarters at Gap, on 27 April and 1 May 1945, and were relieved from French Army control on 19 May 1945; the 3d Platoon was reassigned to Seventh U.S. Army control a few days later and rejoined the company at Gap on 31 May 1945. Until this late date, the 45th Veterinary Company (Separate) received 285 animal patients20 for treatment, of which number 31 died or were destroyed and 57 were evacuated to the 17th Veterinary Evacuation Hospital or to the 6835th Quartermaster Remount Depot for additional treatment; the other 197 patients were returned to duty (52). Stable treatment days totaled 4,688.
The 17th Veterinary Evacuation Hospital operated under the operational control of the French Army at Grenoble, France, for the period from 26 September 1944 to 30 April 1945, when it was moved into Germany as a Third U.S. Army unit. During its stay in France, the hospital received 400 animal patients, including 28 battle casualties, from French Army organizations and from evacuees from the 45th Veterinary Company (Separate);21 hospital treatment days totaled 23,442 (63). After release from the French Army control, the 45th Veterinary Company (Separate) and the 17th Veterinary Evacuation Hospital departed for Germany on 30 April and 4 June 1945, respectively.22
The animal evacuation plans in the China-Burma-India theater began inauspiciously during August 1942 when a hospital operation was established at the Rāmgarh, India, training center. It had for its objective the care and treatment of animals being issued to the Chinese 22d and 38th Divisions which, having been driven out of Burma by the Japanese enemy, were being Allied equipped and U.S. trained for new deployment. The sponsoring of these Chinese units-sometimes referred to as the X-Force or the Chinese Army in India-was a diversion from the original Allied strategy which included assistance to the Chinese military forces in China. However, until Burma was cleared of the Japanese and the overland route into China was reopened, material assistance, except by aerial transport, was not generally possible. Thus, in time, U.S. combat teams (that is, Merrill's Marauders and, later, the MARS Brigade) and the U.S.-trained Chinese military units entered in campaigns against the Japanese in Burma. A plan of animal evacuation was operated for each. A third plan came into existence in the theater's services of supply organization to support the remount service that
was started during November 1943 when the first of 30 incoming shipments of approximately 10,000 U.S. Army mules and horses was disembarked at Calcutta, India. These evacuation plans were actually begun during May 1943 with the arrival of the 1st Veterinary Company (Separate) from the Zone of Interior; 7 months later, the Veterinary Company, 13th Mountain Medical Battalion, came into the China-Burma-India theater. After mid≠1944, new unit activations within the theater and additional arrivals saw the Army Veterinary Service include as many as 5 separate companies, a veterinary company of a mountain medical battalion, 2 evacuation hospitals, 1 hospital detachment, and 24 animal service detachments (as of December 1944). In that month, the U.S. animal strength alone averaged 5,981 mules and horses in the India-Burma theater. Of course, it must be understood that the China-Burma-India theater was divided into two separate theaters during October 1944, and a number of the foregoing veterinary units had been transferred or moved into China by that time. In the China theater, the units were attached and superimposed upon the Chinese armies in a liaison capacity and as an exemplary chain of animal evacuation. The U.S. animal strength in the India-Burma theater continued to increase, reaching a peak monthly mean of 7,531 mules and horses during February 1945, and of as many as 1,730 mules and horses in the China theater during July 1945. At no time were the true Chinese military animal strengths known.
The animal evacuation plan for the Chinese Army in India was dependent almost entirely on the Chinese veterinary platoons included in the organic composition of the field army and division.23 These veterinary platoons were comparable in their functional organization to the former U.S. "square" division's veterinary company, included Chinese personnel trained by the Army Veterinary Service, and in the subsequent Burma campaigns were technically supervised by U.S. liaison veterinary officers (64). The movement of disabled animals rearward from the Chinese divisional army and veterinary platoons was not impressed during the earlier training periods of the Chinese Army in India because of the known reluctance of Chinese tactical commanders to move any kind of animal outside of their immediate jurisdiction and the belief that the Burma terrain (including jungles and mountains) would make impossible the movement of evacuation and location of veterinary hospital sites. However, when these Chinese units entered Burma, U.S. veterinary units were deployed to support the Chinese veterinary platoons, and an evacuation plan was made operational through the assistance of the U.S. liaison teams with the Chinese tactical divisions. Originally, the 1st Veterinary Company (Separate) of the theater's services of supply organization was so deployed, but during December 1943 it was replaced by the newly arrived Veterinary Company, 13th Mountain Medical Battalion (figs. 63 and 64). The latter moved
FIGURE 63.-Ambulance loading point of the 2d Platoon, Company E (Veterinary), 13th Mountain Medical Battalion, in March 1945, at Lashio, Burma. This veterinary unit was providing rear echelon veterinary services to mounted units of the Chinese 38th Division.
about in the theater's Northern Combat Area Command in support of the Chinese Army in India throughout the North and the Central Burma Campaigns, until its inactivation on 2 June 1945.
Other units, including three separate veterinary companies and an evacuation hospital, were used in the animal evacuation plan of the Northern Combat Area Command during December 1944. However, by that time these were more urgently needed elsewhere, and the needs of the Chinese Army in India were considerably lessened-a few of the Chinese divisions soon being moved out of Burma into China. The veterinary units included a major part of the 7th Veterinary Company (Separate) which assisted in the aerial movement of some 5,000 Chinese military animals into China; its 3d Platoon element, however, was used in the Central Burma Campaign to support the MARS Brigade. The other two companies, the 43d and the 44th-once removed from the schedule for redeployment into China because of Chinese objections against Negro troops-were used in a miscellany of service duties and then were inactivated during June 1945. The hospital unit was the 19th Veterinary Evacuation Hospital, but it was not operational until its equipment arrived when it was transferred to the China theater (February 1945).
There was no accurate accounting of the animal morbidity and mortality in the Chinese Army in India. United States veterinary officers on liaison duty with the Chinese armies and divisions frequently provided professional assistance only where the disease and injury were of a more serious nature. The numbers of such cases and the numbers of Chinese animals admitted to U.S. veterinary hospitals, however, totaled more than 20,000 (table 52).
Another plan of animal evacuation was operated for the U.S. tactical organizations that fought in Burma (64). The first of two such organizations was the GALAHAD Force or the 5307th Composite Regiment (Provisional), or the more popularly known Merrill's Marauders. It depended on the 31st and the 33d Quartermaster Pack Troops to transport supplies, including artillery pieces which were airdropped after the regiment entered the Burma jungles.24 Beginning at the head of the Hukawng Valley (during February 1944) with 360 horses and 230 mules, the Merrill's Marauders by August 1944
1Of the 5,776 cases
admitted for hospital treatment, 576 animals died or were destroyed for disease
and injury, including: Surra and surra suspect, 113; wounds, all varieties,
63; fistula, 48; laminitis, 27; under observation, 19; epizootic lymphangitis,
18; fracture of bone, 18; equine infectious anemia, 17; malnutrition, 17;
pneumonia, 16; quittor, 15; anemia, 13; intestinal fermentation, 13; cicatrix,
12; enteritis, 11; septicemia, 9; piroplasmosis equorum, 8; and 7 each for
filariasis, glanders, and strongylosis.
lost 90 percent of these animals in the southward drive to Myitkyina, Burma. The losses were as follows (65, 66, 67):
The battle casualties were suffered for the most part in a battalion of the Merrill's Marauders that was surrounded for 14 days and subjected to enemy mortar and artillery fire; injuries received in combat additionally resulted in 20 percent of the animals lost by death and 70 percent of those which were destroyed. Exhaustion from overexertion accounted for 70 percent of the deaths and 20 percent of the animals destroyed. Diseases, principally thrush of the feet and some few cases of sand colic and plant poisoning, and injuries due to marching and saddle sores accounted for the remainder of the deaths and destruction. The mules outperformed the horses during the campaign and seemed to better tolerate the noise of gunfire and aerial bombardment. It was believed that nonbattle diseases and injuries would have been lessened by 90 percent had the animals been acclimatized and conditioned before being entered into campaign and had the combat troops been better trained in animal care and management.
Following the capture of Myitkyina, the Merrill's Marauders were succeeded by the 5332d Brigade (Provisional), effective on 10 August 1944 (68). The latter, also called MARS Force, comprised the 475th Infantry Regiment, 124th Cavalry Regiment (Dismounted), and the Chinese 1st Infantry Regiment, as well as the 612th and 613th Field Artillery Battalions (Pack) (69, 70)25 and six quartermaster pack troops, the 31st, 33d, 35th, 37th, 252d, and 253d.26 Their animal strength aggregated 2,960 mules and 2,850 horses. For this number of animals, a brigade veterinary service was organized to include a brigade veterinarian, six veterinary sections, each with a veterinary officer, for the regiments to which the pack troops were attached, and the organic veterinary detachments of the two field artillery battalions.27 This was supported by the 18th Veterinary Evacuation Hospital (fig. 65) which established station at Myitkyina on 26 September 1944, and by the 3d Platoon, 7th Veterinary Company (Separate) (71). Up to 27 December 1944, that hospital received 350 cases of disease and injury, including a great number of so-called foot cases (infested, underrun soles); the latter disappeared, however, after the end of the rainy season. Hospital collection and treatment stations were set up after December 1944 at Nalong and Myothit, but the main body of the hospital was located at Bhamo, Burma.
With the termination of Japanese resistance in central Burma, the 5332d Brigade (Provisional) was disbanded. Its two field artillery battalions with
FIGURE 65.-Veterinary officers with the 18th Veterinary Evacuation Hospital. Left to right: Lt. Col. E. W. Young, Maj. Edward C. Phipps, Capt. Charles W. Tate, Capt. John H. Scruggs, Capt. Waldemar T. Berner, and Lt. Alton M. Coddington.
900 animals departed for the China theater during the latter part of May 1944, followed during the next month by the 1,550 animals belonging to the six quartermaster pack troops.
The support for the remount operations of the theater's services of supply began at Rāmgarh when the Army Veterinary Service assisted the U.S.-trained Chinese divisions in their lend-lease receipts of animals from the British and Indian Armies (64). Though a veterinary hospital was in operation more or less since August 1942, this Rāmgarh facility was given formal recognition when a detachment of the 1st Veterinary Company (Separate) was detailed there on 27 July 1943. After November 1943, when the first of 10,000 U.S. military animals came into the China-Burma-India theater and the Chinese forces were moved into northeastern India, the center of remount activities was moved northward into the Assam and Burma areas. There the remount depot at Ledo was being serviced by the 1st Veterinary Company (Separate), less its detachment at Rāmgarh. Another detachment of the same company unit established hospital services for a new remount depot at Shillong, Assam, during October 1944, in which area the 1st Veterinary Company (Separate) was fully
re-formed during December 1944. In the interim, the hospital operations by the company at Rāmgarh were taken over (on 6 July 1944) by three locally activated animal service detachments-the 39th, 40th, and 41st-but, in December 1944, these, too, were moved to Shillong, and the original hospital was closed. The veterinary service at the Ledo remount depot was continued by the 2d Veterinary Company (Separate) and the 51st and 52d Veterinary Animal Service Detachments in December 1944, these units arriving from the Zone of Interior at about this time and replacing the 1st Veterinary Company (Separate) which had transferred to Shillong.
Aside from these remount depot hospitals, the Army Veterinary Service established one in Calcutta, where the incoming animals were disembarked. The port hospital facility was operated by the 78th Veterinary Hospital Detachment, beginning in October 1944; before that time, animals coming off the transports and found disabled or too sick for immediate movement northward to Assam and Burma were cared for by the Indian Army's 41st Veterinary Hospital.
The veterinary evacuation plan for the Chinese Army in China was one of superimposing U.S. units, in addition to the attachment of liaison veterinary officers, on the Chinese tactical armies and divisions (72). The plan was at variance with that used earlier in India to the extent that 19 veterinary animal service detachments were brought into the China theater for attachment to the Chinese armies and divisions, but the rear echelon support of these with U.S. veterinary hospitals and evacuation units was not fully developed. In the beginning, there was a program of sponsoring a so-called Y-Force of 27 Chinese divisions; another program was scheduled later for a Z-Force of additional Chinese divisions in eastern China. However, the southerly advances by the Japanese enemy toward the American airbases disrupted the schedules of preparing the Chinese forces which were necessarily entered into combat when the needs arose. Until this occurred, however, the Chinese units were reorganized and equipped and trained as much as was possible after the pattern of the U.S. Army. Such training was given to more than 300 Chinese Army veterinary officers and to 1,600 enlisted technicians, horseshoers, and stable sergeants of the Chinese military forces (fig. 66). The U.S.-sponsored Chinese army and division were reorganized to include a veterinary detachment, comprising 3 officers and 24 enlisted men, which was designed to collect and treat disabled animals within the relevant army or division. This detachment was a complete entity in itself, uncoordinated with any other veterinary detachment in the Chinese field forces, and was not expected to participate in any sort of an evacuation plan because the Chinese tactical commanders, uncertain of the supply of replacement animals, would use the animals in spite of their inefficiency, or until they died. This frontline Chinese military veterinary service organization was further hampered by the fact that some
Chinese armies and divisions had no veterinary detachment or one which had only 40 percent of the number of personnel normally authorized.
In order to improve the Chinese unit veterinary service, the China-Burma≠India theater, in May 1943, planned for the deployment of at least 30 U.S. veterinary detachments with the Chinese forces (64). An unaccountable delay was experienced in the execution of the plan. During July 1944, the War Department approved and ordered the theater to organize 12 veterinary animal service detachments from local resources and began the transshipment of another 12 detachments from the Zone of Interior, the latter arriving during September and October 1944. Of the 12 locally activated detachments (the 39th through the 50th Veterinary Animal Service Detachments), 3 were retained in the India-Burma area, and the 42d through the 50th were moved to the China theater. There, as new elements of that theater's Y-Force Operations Staff, they were immediately attached to artillery regiments, transportation regiments, and the U.S. liaison teams with the Chinese forces participating in the Salween campaign, which led to the opening of the China side of the Burma Road (73 through 81). Of the 12 veterinary animal service detachments received from the Zone of Interior, 2 were retained in India and Burma (the 51st and 52d Veterinary Animal Service Detachments), and the
53d through the 62d Veterinary Animal Service Detachments were deployed to the China theater. The latter, after a period of indoctrination and orientation at the YŁnnan Field Artillery Training Center, China, were subsequently attached to the U.S.-sponsored Chinese field armies (82 through 91). By the end of January 1945, nearly all animal service detachments were attached to a Chinese army (table 53); a few were deployed in the U.S. services of supply centers of veterinary training and remount activities in China. Later, however, with the increased enemy activity against U.S. airbases, all detachments were attached to the Chinese armies and were moved into eastern and then into southern China. In the period from February through August 1945, these detachments and the U.S. veterinary officers with the liaison teams on duty with the Chinese military forces registered 11,105 cases of disease and injury among the animals of the Chinese forces that averaged a monthly strength of more than 21,000 (table 54). During the times that the relevant Chinese units were relatively inactive, the veterinary animal service detachments assisted in programs of training Chinese personnel in veterinary medicine, horseshoeing, and the packing of animals.
During the spring of 1945, the original veterinary planning was extended28 to superimpose additional units on the Chinese military forces (72). Large units, surplus to the needs of the India-Burma theater, were to be brought into China, and a complete U.S. animal evacuation plan was to be established. In fact, the 19th Veterinary Evacuation Hospital and the 7th Veterinary Company (Separate), less its 3d Platoon, had been transferred into China during February and March 1945. Other units were scheduled for movement into China but did not arrive because of more urgent needs at the time for services of supply food inspection detachments and the swift series of events which led to V-J Day. Neither the hospital nor company was used in any evacuation plan on arrival in China; instead, they were used to operate stations along the westward route of the mounted Chinese military forces moving to halt the Japanese advances on Chih-chiang and to open the subsequent offensives in and about Liu-chou (92).
In addition to the support of the Chinese military forces, the Army Veterinary Service also cared for U.S.-owned animals which were procured locally or brought into the China theater for transfer to the Chinese (93). The latter included approximately 1,500 mules and horses belonging to the two field artillery battalions and six quartermaster pack troops of the MARS Brigade, which was being disbanded following the completion of the Central Burma Campaign. Until these animals began to arrive from the India-Burma theater after traversing the Burma and Stilwell Roads, the China theater's animal strength had gradually increased from a monthly mean in January 1945 of 96 horses and mules to 379 horses and mules by May 1945. These were used in the mounting of the liaison teams and the veterinary units with the Chinese
1In the fall of 1944, the 42d through the 50th Veterinary Animal Service Detachments saw service with the Chinese Second, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, Fifty-third, Fifty-fourth, and Seventy-first Armies along the Burma-China border. Additional changes in the period from June through August 1945 included only the 49th Veterinary Animal Service Detachment with the Chinese Fifty-third Army, being attached to the Reserve Command, and the 54th Veterinary Animal Service Detachment, being attached to the Chinese Fifty-second Army, Southern Command.
1The strengths are
approximated from those obtained from the Chinese military forces.
armies and divisions. With the arrival of animals of the field artillery battalions and quartermaster pack troops belonging to the former MARS Brigade, this strength increased to a peak of 1,740 mules and horses for July 1945. By the end of September 1945, all animals were transferred to the Chinese Army.
Central Pacific Area
Evacuation plans comparable to those operated in the Mediterranean, European, and China-Burma-India theaters were developed in the several areas of the Pacific theater where the animal strengths aggregated a peak of 8,900 horses and mules. These animals belonged to a cavalry regiment, a cavalry quartermaster troop, field artillery battalions, quartermaster pack troops, and remount troops, each including an organic veterinary detachment or serviced by a small veterinary unit. The veterinary units in a few areas were supported by a veterinary hospital. However, the original strategic or tactical planning which led to the assemblage of this number of animals and this staging of veterinary units was changed so that most were not actively deployed into any real campaign.
The carrier-based aerial attack on Pearl Harbor (on 7 December 1941) found most of the 350 animals in the Hawaiian Department assigned to the Hawaiian Department Pack Train (94). This organization, with station at Schofield Barracks, Oahu, T.H., was divided into small reconnaissance patrols and pack detachments which were used to improve the trails, lay signal communications, and transport supplies to mountain observation posts; their required professional services were rendered by the department's veterinary sta-
tion hospital (95). A small group of animals was stationed at Fort Shafter, Oahu, and were serviced by the department's veterinary general hospital which was moved to Fort Armstrong and then was replaced during March 1945 by the newly activated 113th Medical Service Company (Veterinary).
On 30 June 1944, the Hawaiian Department Pack Train was disbanded, and the 4339th and 4340th Quartermaster Pack Troops were activated at Schofield Barracks. A third pack troop-the 30th-and the 63d, 64th, and 65th Veterinary Animal Service Detachments, one for each pack troop, arrived on 3 December 1944, from the Zone of Interior. At this late date, 916 mules and horses also arrived from the Zone of Interior29 and were added to the original group of pack train animals to mount the three pack troops. These units were being staged for Operation LONGTOM (an amphibious assault and landing on the southeastern coast of China) which was canceled at a later date; on 15 September 1945, the three pack troops were inactivated. During the 9-month period, the attached veterinary detachments treated 456 cases of disease and injury among the pack troop animals and could refer those of a more serious nature to the veterinary station hospital (96, 97, 98).
Before the end of the war, the Central Pacific Area's animal evacuation plan for the pack troops was furthered with the activation (on 6 August 1945) of the 38th Headquarters, Veterinary Animal Service. This unit established administrative control over the 63d, 64th, and 65th Veterinary Animal Service Detachments. The four units were assigned to the theater's Combat Training Command on Oahu. Another unit, the 306th Veterinary Hospital Detachment, arrived from the Zone of Interior during June 1945. However, on account of its late arrival (after the discontinuance of Operation LONGTOM planning), this hospital team was attached to the Veterinary Station Hospital, Schofield Barracks, for training, and then was scheduled for deployment to Okinawa when the Japanese surrendered.
With the inactivation of the quartermaster pack troops after V-J Day, the animals were placed on a caretaking basis in the quartermaster service units on Oahu-a few being sold locally, and the remaining 900 being held for UNRRA (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration). The three veterinary detachments formerly with the pack troops were kept intact at this time in connection with plans for them to accompany the shipment of the UNRRA animals to China.30 However, before the end of 1945, both the 38th Headquarters, Veterinary Animal Service, and the 306th Veterinary Hospital Detachment were inactivated.
South Pacific Area
On New Caledonia, where approximately 2,800 horses and mules were assembled by late 1942, no animal evacuation plan or hospital was established (94). Instead, the veterinary animal service was limited almost entirely to the level of a battalion or regiment, beginning soon after the American First Task Force (later becoming the Americal Division) landed at Noumea. On 1 April 1942, the 97th Field Artillery Battalion (less its animals) arrived from the Zone of Interior and was partially mounted with a few animals obtained locally and 490 horses which arrived from Australia in two shipments, on 25 May and 24 June 1942. The battalion's horses were replaced by mules arriving from the Zone of Interior and the Panama Canal Department on and after 6 July 1942. On this date, a remount unit-Troop A, 252d Quartermaster Remount Squadron, redesignated in January 1943 as Troop B, 251st Quartermaster Remount Squadron-arrived from the Zone of Interior and established a depot on the Ducos Peninsula; it processed all subsequent animal shipping on New Caledonia. Altogether, 781 mules were received, and 2,048 horses arrived from Australia (in the Southwest Pacific Area).
The second of two mounted units, the 112th Cavalry Regiment, arrived 11 August 1942, and was provided with approximately 1,500 animals from the remount depot. While on New Caledonia this regiment, along with the 97th Field Artillery Battalion, and each with its own organic veterinary detachments, was a part of the Americal Division. However, with the transfer of that division to Guadalcanal during November 1942, the two tactical units were subordinated into the so-called First Island Command, South Pacific Area. Up through December 1942, that command's battalion and regimental veterinary detachments treated more than 1,400 cases of disease and injury in the animals of their units (table 55) (99).
After January 1943, the number of animals on New Caledonia decreased. The 97th Field Artillery Battalion, with its animals, was transferred to Guadalcanal. The 112th Cavalry Regiment was dismounted during May 1943 and then was transferred to the Southwest Pacific Area; until this time the regimental animal disabilities had totaled 717 cases (table 55) (100). However, the regimental animals were turned in to the remount depot on New Caledonia, from which they were transshipped to the China-Burma-India theater over a 1-year period starting in September 1943. In these remount operations, the 112th Cavalry Regiment's veterinary detachment assisted in the operation of the depot's veterinary dispensary. Having been detached from its parent unit since May 1943, the detachment finally departed from New Caledonia during November 1944. At this time, only a few animals remained on New Caledonia, and these were used for administrative purposes, there being only two horses as of June 1945.
The 97th Field Artillery Battalion, with its 947 mules and horses, was moved from New Caledonia to Guadalcanal in three shipments during the
1The specific causes of the loss
of 45 animals included the following diseases and injuries: Fractures, 12; and
early months of 1943. It was briefly employed in that campaign.31 Then, for more than a year, the animals were kept on a caretaking basis, during which time (January 1943 through 3 May 1944) the number of cases of sick and injured animals totaled 921; the number of animals dying or destroyed on account of disease and injury was 124 (table 55). During March 1944, when preparations were started for transshipment out of the South Pacific Area to the China-Burma-India theater, a survey of the animals for combat serviceability led to the finding of 83 mules and horses as unsuitable; these were destroyed and another four were transferred to the Guadalcanal Service Command. Then, in two shipments, one on 25 March 1944, and the other on 3 May 1944, the 97th Field Artillery Battalion's animals, totaling 763, were transshipped from Guadalcanal.32
Southwest Pacific Area
At the time of the attack by Japan, the Philippine Department's animal strength approximated 1,550 horses and mules (101). For the most part, these were located at Forts William McKinley and Stotsenberg, each with a station veterinary hospital, or belonged to four tactical units: The 26th Cavalry Regiment, the 23d Field Artillery Battalion (Battery A) (Philippine Scouts), and the 65th and 66th Separate Quartermaster Pack Troops (Philippine Scouts), each with a veterinary detachment. During December 1941, the Army Veterinary Service in the Philippine Islands treated 297 disabled animals, including 35 battle casualties, of which number 50 died or were destroyed. Another 419 animals were lost by release from corrals or killed in action. During the next month the tactical unit animal strengths approximated 850 animals. During March 1942, the surviving animals which were not in the best condition were being slaughtered to provide food to the troops defending Bataan and Corregidor (102, 103, 104).
Following the surrender of the Philippines, the tactical planning in late 1942 for the newly established Southwest Pacific Area included the mounting of seven field artillery battalions and the activation of nine quartermaster pack companies (troops). Animal requirements were estimated at 10,792 mules and 7,541 horses (105). It was believed that each battalion and troop should be provided with a small veterinary detachment or section, and the latter, in turn, was to be augmented by three veterinary evacuation hospitals. This planning was changed and finally discontinued during late 1943. During July 1943, the 1st Cavalry Division (less its animals), with a complete divi≠
sional veterinary service, came into the theater from the Zone of Interior,33 but it received only 20 animals which were retained for a few months (106). Before this tactical planning came to a stop, approximately 3,500 horses were procured in Australia by April-May 1943 and were assembled at Townsville by Troop A, 251st Quartermaster Remount Squadron, and another 1,521 mules were received from the Zone of Interior and were diverted to New Guinea when the Australian governmental health officials refused to permit their landing on Australia. The horses were issued to a field artillery battalion and four quartermaster pack troops in Australia, and, on New Guinea, the mules were issued to another field artillery battalion and a quartermaster troop.
Against the originally planned requirements, 16 veterinary sections or detachments arrived in Australia during March and September 1943; however, only a few were actually deployed in animal service activities. The latter included Veterinary Sections D, E, F, G, H, and I which were used in the operations of the veterinary dispensary of Troop A, 251st Quartermaster Remount Squadron, at Townsville, or were attached to newly activated or converted mounted tactical units. The units receiving horses from the remount depot were the 62d and 63d Quartermaster Pack Troops and the 167th Field Artillery Pack Battalion, first during February 1943, and then, during April 1943, the 61st and the 68th Quartermaster Pack Troops.34 The veterinary requirements of these five units were met by the dispensary of the remount depot or by the units' own veterinary detachments-the latter treating more than 800 sick and wounded animals (table 56) (107, 108, 109, 110). The situation did not last for any great length of time because, beginning on 24 September 1943, the pack troops were dismounted and their animals were returned to the remount depot, and the field artillery battalion was finally dismounted on 11 November 1943. Within a short time after this, the depot was discontinued and the animals were transferred to the Australian Army; subsequently, many were transshipped to the China-Burma-India theater. The veterinary sections, including those which arrived during September 1943 and were deployed from the onset in veterinary food inspection and medical supply operations (that is, Veterinary Sections K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, and Z), were disbanded on 1 October 1944, and their personnel were reassigned into several newly activated food inspection detachments.
The 1,521 mules on New Guinea were received in three shipments from the Zone of Interior-those of the 98th Field Artillery Battalion arriving on 23 February and 9 June 1943,35 and the 323 mules of Troop D, 16th Cavalry
1The data for the 62d
Quartermaster Pack Troop are not shown because they were integrated into the
reports of sick and wounded animals of the veterinary dispensary, Troop A 251st
Quartermaster Remount Squadron, as were the earlier data of the other units in
Australia. Likewise, the May 1943 data for the 61st Quartermaster Pack Troop are
not shown because they were integrated in the report of disabled animals of the
68th Quartermaster Pack Troop.
Quartermaster Squadron (Horse) being disembarked on 23 July 1943 (111).36 Both units contained their own veterinary detachments, and that of the squadron also, for a brief period of time, provided professional services to the remount depot facility which was organized at Port Moresby in mid-1943 by the Advanced Echelon of the parent Troop A, 251st Quartermaster Remount Squadron, in Australia. The battalion and troop veterinary detachments were supported by the 16th Veterinary Evacuation Hospital which had arrived and established station on this island base on 17 February 1943 (112).37 Until Troop D, 16th Cavalry Quartermaster Squadron (Horse) was dismounted (20 October 1943), its veterinary detachment reported on 116 disabled animals, including 5 dying or destroyed; most of these were sent to the evacuation hospital for treatment. During a year's period of general inactivity, the animal disabilities of the 98th Field Artillery Battalion totaled 129, including 17 animals dying or destroyed on account of disease (table 56). Of this number, 25 to 30 percent were sent to the 16th Veterinary Evacuation Hospital for additional treatment. The 98th Field Artillery Battalion during this period was reorganized at least twice, with cutbacks in its animal strength, and finally was dismounted on 11 March 1944.
With the dismounting of both the squadron and battalion units, the mules on New Guinea were placed in a caretaking status at the remount depot. After October 1943, the professional services of the depot were provided by the 16th Veterinary Evacuation Hospital. That hospital, in the period from August 1943 through 5 October 1944, received more than 1,100 animals for treatment, most of these originating from the remount depot. The latter date marked the closure of the 16th Veterinary Evacuation Hospital on New Guinea and the start of preparations by it to move into the Philippine Islands where it was entered into the theater's food inspection service. By the time of the movement, most of the mules on New Guinea were transshipped to the China-Burma-India theater.