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Chapter 10

The United States Army Medical Service Corps


Vietnam was a country torn by war long before Americans became involved in the fighting. French domination was interrupted by the Japanese occupation in World War II, during which Communist leader Ho Chi Minh formed his Viet Minh organization and began guerrilla operations against both occupying powers. The Viet Minh came to power when Japan fell, and the French Indochina War began in 1946 as France attempted to regain control over its colony. The war ended in May 1954 when the Viet Minh mauled the French in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. The Geneva Accords then divided the country into North and South Vietnam.

Ho Chi Minh took power in North Vietnam and one million refugees fled south. The United States became involved in the defense of South Vietnam as guerrilla activity by Communist-led insurgents intensified. The first Americans were killed in 1959. There were 342 advisers in Vietnam in January 1960, but after John F. Kennedy's inauguration as president in 1961 the number rose rapidly to 11,000. Lyndon B. Johnson, made president upon Kennedy's assassination in November 1963, ordered the first air strikes against North Vietnam the following August. Escalation was rapid once the 1964 elections were over. General William C. Westmoreland assumed command of the U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV), as well as of the U.S. Army, Vietnam (USARV), formed in 1964.

Johnson ordered a major troop buildup in 1965, and on 5 May the 173d Airborne Brigade redeployed from Okinawa as the first Army combat unit in Vietnam. By the end of the year there were 154,000 military personnel in Vietnam, and over sixteen hundred combat deaths had already been recorded. American troop strength reached 536,000 in December 1968. By that time South Vietnamese armed forces totaled 826,500, and allied forces included 50,000 troops from South Korea, over 7,500 from Australia, and smaller groups from the Philippines, Thailand, and New Zealand.

The Communists lost an estimated forty-five thousand killed in a militarily disastrous Tet (lunar new year) offensive in January 1968; the allies lost about fifty­five hundred. However, Tet turned American opinion against the war; peace talks began in Paris, and General Creighton W. Abrams replaced Westmoreland. President Richard M. Nixon was inaugurated in 1969 with pledges to end the war with honor. Although American forces reached their peak of 543,482 in April, reductions began almost immediately thereafter. Nevertheless, domestic U.S.

Dust Off by Luis P. Carranza


opposition to the war continued as 500,000 protesters marched in Washington on 4 April 1970. A cease-fire was signed in January 1973, and the final pullout occurred on 7 May 1975. In all, 8,744,000 Americans served in Vietnam, and 47,312 died in combat.1

It was a strange, contradictory conflict. The United States fought a high-technology war against adversaries who had only the bare necessities for fighting, moving, and living.2 American soldiers faced a determined enemy without the support of Congress and with an ambivalent public. The military reflected the tensions of a society undergoing extraordinary turmoil. At home, racial conflict peaked and quickly invaded the Army. One example was racial demonstrations in the form of sit-ins in the commanding general's office at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.3 The Army was also affected by the burgeoning drug culture in American society. By 1970 a variety of illicit drugs was readily available in Vietnam, including amphetamines, marijuana, and heroin.4 The tragedies engendered by the war did not end with the fighting.

The Medical Department in Vietnam

Medical Department doctrine listed the same five echelons of the evacuation and treatment chain as in Korea-the unit, division, field army, communications zone, and zone of the interior levels of medical support. (The Army had replaced the regiment with the brigade, and because of this the department had renamed the regimental level of medical support the unit level.) The department's doctrinal evolution after Korea had added a medical brigade commanded by a brigadier general for command and control of corps-level medical groups and battalions, and a medical command headed by a major general for command and control of medical units in the communications zone.5 The Army activated the 44th Medical Brigade to assume command and control of the nondivisional medical units in Vietnam. The brigade commander and the surgeon, USARV, were separate positions until they were combined in 1967; in 1970 both staffs merged into the United States Army Medical Command, Vietnam. Two subordinate medical groups controlled the activities of eight evacuation hospitals, four surgical hospitals, three field hospitals, and one convalescent center.6

Among the changes that affected medical operations in Vietnam was the replacement of the tents and equipment of the sixty-bed Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) with Medical Unit, Self-contained, Transportable (MUST), equipment. MUST featured inflatable double-walled fabric shelters for wards and turbine engine power packages, called utility packs, which provided electrical power and air-conditioning and maintained the internal pressure of the shelters. The sixty-bed MASH, commonly referred to as a surgical hospital, could augment its capacity with additional MUST sets, and some of the MASH units were converted to 200-bed combat support hospitals as the MUST sets were issued.7

Aeromedical capability remained under the theater surgeon's control. The doctrine for air ambulance organizations evolved into two principal units: a 25-helicopter medical air ambulance company allocated on the basis of one per field


army, and a helicopter ambulance detachment of six helicopters allocated on the basis of two detachments per division. There were 10 air ambulance helicopters in Vietnam at the end of 1965, 55 by 1966, and 140 by 1969, at which point the air ambulances had moved over 206,000 patients.8

The normal chain of evacuation was frequently altered in Vietnam since the helicopter could bypass aid and clearing stations and take casualties directly to the nearest appropriate hospital. The change was necessitated by the absence of a road net and made possible by the presence of helicopters and the absence of an enemy air capability. However, bypassing unit-level facilities was not a universal practice. The 173d Airborne Brigade, for example, evacuated its casualties throughout the war to battalion aid stations or the brigade clearing station before further movement to a supporting hospital.9

All of Vietnam was declared a combat zone and Japan, with 3,500 hospital beds, became the communications zone, although some of the hospitals in Vietnam actually performed as station hospitals. There were 110 hospital beds in Vietnam at the beginning of 1965; the rapid buildup resulted in 1,600 beds by December. Capacity peaked in early 1969 with over 5,200 beds. The percentage of casualties who died after reaching a hospital was the same as in Korea, 2.5 percent, but this included the more seriously wounded who were able to be moved because of the capability of the air ambulance system.10

While the United States originally sought to quell an internal insurgent movement, the growing commitment of regular combat units from North Vietnam and the size of the American military involvement gave the Vietnam War the predominate characteristics of a conventional war. Most MSCs were assigned to medical units supporting conventional combat operations, but some had a taste of special operations. Although MSCs held command positions, those were generally limited to ground and air ambulance units and hospital enlisted detachments. For the first time, MSC officers commanded battalion-size ambulance units when the Medical Department formed two evacuation battalions to test new air-ground evacuation organizations. In 1970 Lt. Col. Francis A. Copeland, MSC, took command of the first of these, the 55th Evacuation Battalion at Qui Nhon, followed by Lt. Col. Henry P. Capozzi, MSC, who headed the 58th Evacuation Battalion at Long Binh.11 Nonetheless, the Medical Department policy still required physician commanders for all medical units in the evacuation chain, including medical detachments, clearing companies, hospitals, battalions, groups, the medical brigade, and, later, the medical command. The relatively prolonged buildup, the lengthy period of United States involvement in Vietnam, and a large physician draft enabled the department to hold to this rule, as it had not been able to do in Korea.

Col. Frederick W. Timmerman, MC, deputy commander of the 44th Medical Brigade, later pointed out that most Medical Corps officers in Vietnam had essentially no military training and, as a result of their years of clinical experience, thought of themselves as specialists first. A physician commanding the 58th Medical Battalion agreed, regarding his medical expertise as wasted in his assignment. The old problems of World War II and Korea were thus submerged rather than resolved.12


Dissatisfaction extended to the use of physicians as battalion surgeons. Lt. Col. Quinn H. Becker, MC, division surgeon of the 1st Cavalry Division, found his battalion surgeons unanimous in the view that they were not needed at the unit level of medical support. Becker declared that battalion surgeons were never asked anything an advanced medic (military occupational specialty 91C) or an MSC couldn't answer. Capt. William Shucart, MC, battalion surgeon of the 1st Cavalry's 2d Battalion, 7th Infantry, and survivor of the deadly fighting in the Ia Drang Valley in November 1965, said that it was misutilization of a physician and "a total waste of time. They don't need a medical doctor in that job. I figured the major thing I did was morale support, not medical support." Some units pulled physicians from those slots in order to pool them in clearing stations or hospitals. The 25th Infantry Division, for example, reduced the number of physicians assigned to it from thirty-four to nineteen in this way. It removed them from the maneuver battalions, used 91C medics in the battalion aid stations, increased the number of physicians in the brigade clearing stations, and redeployed to Cambodia in the spring of 1970 in that configuration.13

MSC Officers in the Theater of Operations

In 1966 there were 642 MSC officers in Vietnam. Corps policy dictated that, as a rule, the first assignment of junior officers should be to field units. Brig. Gen. Manley G. Morrison, the MSC chief from 1969 to 1973, stressed the importance of that experience in an officer's development: "Everything else being equal, my vote is going to the officer who has good, solid field medical unit experience during his early developmental years."14

MSCs were key members of Army medical organizations at all levels of medical support. At the unit level, MSC second lieutenants were assigned to the medical platoons of maneuver battalions as the medical operations assistant (formerly the battalion surgeon's assistant) and expected to act as the medical platoon leader, even though the physician battalion surgeon was the platoon commander. These lieutenants completed the Battalion Surgeon's Assistant Course at the Medical Field Service School, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, prior to their assignments to Vietnam. Some also completed Ranger School at Fort Benning, Georgia, or the Jungle Operations Course at Fort Sherman, Panama. Those who went to airborne or Special Forces units completed Airborne School at Fort Benning.

The medical operations assistant for the medical platoon of the 2d Battalion, 7th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division, in November 1965 was 2d Lt. John R. Howard, MSC. His battalion was chopped to pieces by North Vietnam's 33d and 66th Regiments in the Ia Drang Valley of the Central Highlands. Howard (who was himself wounded), a wounded sergeant, and four other soldiers were cut off from their battalion on the seventeenth during the savage attack. They found themselves in a no-man's-land between the opposing forces. In actions for which he would receive the Silver Star, Howard led his group to safety with a nighttime escape and evasion, arriving at a 1st Cavalry Division artillery base before daybreak the next day. As they crawled through the elephant grass they could hear the


Lieutenant Howard at An Khe, December 1965

voices of the North Vietnamese and realized that the enemy soldiers were signaling to each other by tapping the wooden stocks of their AK-47 rifles.15

At the division level of medical support, MSCs filled the administrative positions of the operating medical clearing companies (with the exception of the company commander, which they filled only when the company was in garrison). While MSCs commanded the ambulance units, the highest position open to them in the operational treatment units at that level was the executive officer of the medical company. Capt. George H. Kelling, MSC, was the executive officer of the medical company of the 3d Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, during the Ia Drang battle in November 1965. Set up in tents, his company was in a race for time to handle the rush of casualties. "We threw caution to the winds and often gave a patient four cutdowns (intravenous tubes tied directly to blood vessels) with four corpsmen squeezing the blood bags as hard as they could. It was not unusual for the patient to shiver and quake and lose body temperature from the rapid transfusion of so much blood-but the alternative was to let him die." Capt. Webb Olliphant, Jr., MSC, was the executive officer of Company D, 25th Medical Battalion, 25th Infantry Division. His clearing station, located at Tay Ninh, received nearly 650 casualties and used four tons of medical supplies in a two-month period beginning


Captain Kelling prepares to leave for the Ia Drang battle from the Camp Holloway airstrip, November 1965

8 December 1967; at one point the station was hit by mortar and recoilless rifle fire that destroyed twenty of twenty-four cots in one tent. The experience persuaded Olliphant to place his facilities into bunkers, a practice that became common in Vietnam. The medical company of the 173d Airborne Brigade, for example, worked in both underground and aboveground bunkers.16

There were new shapes to field medical service as well. Capt. David M. Watt, MSC, served as the executive officer of a medical company supporting the Mobile Riverine Force, a joint Army and Navy command that conducted combat operations in the Mekong River Delta area. The medical platoons of the rifle battalions used converted landing craft (LCM-6) equipped with helicopter landing pads as medical aid boats. Watt's company operated a clearing station aboard a Self Propelled Barracks Ship (APB), itself a converted Landing Ship, Tank (LST).17

The combat support and combat service support units of the divisions were organized into division support commands (DISCOM), an element of which was the medical battalion. The highest position open to MSCs in the medical battalions was the executive officer. Maj. John W. Lowe, MSC, was the executive offi­


cer of the 15th Medical Battalion, and he represented the DISCOM at the 1st Cavalry Division operations briefing in April 1970 for the invasion of Cambodia. Lowe oversaw the staff planning and the execution of the operational plan for the movement of elements of the medical battalion in the first deployments of the division on the first of May.18

Some MSCs served in the surgical and evacuation hospitals of the field army level of medical support. At times they faced mass casualty situations. An example was the 71st Evacuation Hospital at Pleiku during the battle of Dak To in 1967, a fierce engagement fought in the Central Highlands near the Cambodian border. Wounded soldiers began arriving on the third day of November, and for three weeks Maj. Gordon K. Dowery, MSC, the executive officer, led the hospital's administrative staff in an exhausting effort as they treated over seven hundred wounded and nearly a thousand sick and injured soldiers. Casualties were so heavy that the six operating rooms were overwhelmed, and the hospital required over forty tons of medical supplies. The hospital commander reported that Major Dowery expertly handled extraordinary demands caused by the sustained peak load.19

The new MUST sets were a technological improvement over the sets they replaced. A distinct advantage was the provision of a clean environment whose temperature and humidity could be controlled to the advantage of both patients and staff in a way not possible with the tents of the old hospital sets. Equipment had also been improved. However, the more complex assemblages posed difficult challenges for the MSC officers charged with their initial fielding and subsequent operations and maintenance.

The logistical demands could be a nightmare.20 Lt. Col. John O. Williams, MSC, had his hands full as the project officer for fielding the sets in Vietnam, beginning with the 45th Surgical Hospital, which became operational in November 1966 (and whose commander, Maj. Gary P. Wratten, MC, was killed by a mortar round shortly thereafter). The fuel requirements were extraordinary. Williams found that the MUST-equipped hospitals required 2,400 gallons of aviation fuel (JP4) a day, and some needed more, depending on their size and operational requirements. Fragments from mortar attacks collapsed the inflatable shelters, and they required concrete pads or they would float in the mud during heavy rains.21

Maj. John P. Jones, MSC, executive officer of the 2d Surgical Hospital, supervised that unit's conversion to MUST in 1969, dealing with the problems of fuel supply, made more difficult because the hospital was not authorized a fuel truck. He had to depend on his local support unit to keep the fuel bladder filled daily. "After running out once or twice they began refueling every day." The utility packs were another source of trouble because their maintenance was a constant aggravation. Further, the connecting sections of the MUST assemblage had to be perfectly aligned even though the hospital had no forklifts or heavy-duty wreckers in its equipment. While the hospital was supposed to be able to move within seventy-two hours, Major Jones believed that seven to nine days was more likely. Such problems prompted Brig. Gen. David E. Thomas, MC, the theater Army surgeon, to suggest it would be best to "forget the MUST and start all over again" once the war was over.22


Some officers served as advisers to medical units of the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces. Maj. Robert F. Elliott, MSC, was one of two officers in 1971 who provided administrative assistance and training support for South Vietnam's Military Medical School in Saigon. This school, originally founded in Hanoi, had moved to Saigon when Vietnam was partitioned.23

Other MSCs supported unconventional warfare operations. Green Beret MSCs of the 5th Special Forces Group were considered essential for the administration, training, and logistics aspects of the unconventional warfare medical mission. Capt. George D. Baker, MSC, went to Vietnam in October 1964 when the 5th Special Forces Group deployed from Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Initially assigned as the group's medical supply officer, he soon discovered that someone had overordered kaolinpectate; his detachment had 10,000 one-gallon bottles of the stuff. Baker spent months figuring out ways to use it. One was to mix it with petroleum jelly as a treatment for rashes. Another was to mix antibiotic into each bottle and issue it to the Special Forces detachments as a treatment for diarrhea. "We would sit around shaking those bottles of kaolinpectate. We had enough kaolinpectate to stop up every a-- in Vietnam."24

Commanding a Special Forces A Team was not an assignment that MSC officers had been prepared to undertake, but in July 1965 Baker assumed command of Detachment A-212, located at Plei Mrong in the Central Highlands about twenty miles northwest of Pleiku. He later remembered flying to the Green Beret camp thinking that as a medic, "I really did not have a background for this sort of thing." But Baker received the Combat Infantryman's Badge, although he continued to wear his MSC insignia. Another Special Forces MSC, Capt. Joseph Krawczyk, MSC, the intelligence officer for a B Team, changed to infantry brass, but the accoutrement was not entirely helpful when he was interviewed by the chief of the Medical Service Corps. Maj. Sigurd Bue, MSC, ended up with so much Special Forces experience that he requested a transfer to the Infantry (the request was denied). While indicative of their enthusiastic spirit, the use of MSC officers in nonmedical roles during the early years left medical jobs vacant in the 5th Special Forces, and the practice ended.25

The small hospitals operated by the Special Forces teams provided the only medical support for Montagnard tribesmen, the nomadic hill people of Vietnam, who supported the U.S. war effort. Organized into militia-like Civilian Irregular Defense Group (CIDG) units, the Montagnards had little affinity with the ethnic Vietnamese on either side. At their peak, the Special Forces hospitals handled over seventy-five thousand outpatient visits a month. Capt. James N. Williams, MSC, worked with perhaps the most unusual situation, the CIDG hospital at Kontum. There, Pat Smith, M.D., a civilian physician from Seattle, Washington, ran a 200-bed facility until the 1968 Tet offensive made it impossible for her to continue. Smith was frustrated by her inability to get medical supplies, so the Special Forces stepped in and assisted.26

Capt. John F. Reed, Jr., MSC, was assigned in 1969 to Detachment B-23 at Ban Me Thuot, a Special Forces B Team that operated a CIDG hospital and provided rural health nurse training. Reed was very proud of their medical support for the Vietnamese. Reed's replacement, 1st Lt. Arthur F. Steinberg, MSC, was


particularly appreciative of the way the specially trained Special Forces medics developed close rapport with the local population, who were also an invaluable source of intelligence.27

Scientific Specialties

The expertise and skill of MSC scientific specialty officers provided commanders at all levels in Vietnam significant assets for the maintenance of a healthy fighting force. The prolonged period of U.S. involvement in this Asian country provided opportunities for MSC scientists to conduct research that had direct application to the soldiers in the field. As in previous wars, unforeseen challenges emerged that required the immediate harnessing of medical scientific expertise to solve pressing medical problems that were degrading combat operations. MSCs in clinical roles encountered the demands of operating in a challenging setting. Preventive medicine remained a very important Medical Department function during the war, prompting the fielding of a new MSC specialty.

In 1964 Lt. Col. Dan C. Cavanaugh, MSC, went to Vietnam as part of a Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) team that worked in Saigon jointly with the Pasteur Institute to establish the only plague research laboratory in Southeast Asia. Their research supported plague control efforts of the U.S. military and the Vietnamese Ministry of Health.28

By 1971 four social work officers were serving with divisions or separate brigades and another three were assigned to medical command units. Their service continued after the U.S. withdrawal when some served on Operation HOMECOMING teams set up to handle the U.S. prisoners of war repatriated from Vietnam in 1973.29

The contributions of entomologists were also important in Vietnam, where tropical diseases, such as malaria, were endemic. There they designed vector control operations that included aerial dispersal of insecticides. An unusual Field Epidemiological Survey Team formed by the 5th Special Forces provided an aggressive survey capability under combat conditions. Capt. Wayne F. Hockmeyer, MSC, the team's entomologist, reported that it took advantage of combat-seasoned soldiers as team members since these soldiers could take care of themselves under austere conditions.30

A new preventive medicine specialty deployed to a theater of operations when the first seven sanitarians (later called environmental science officers) reported to Vietnam in November 1968. Receiving good marks for their contributions in that theater of operations, they were judged more effective at the division level for day-to-day preventive medicine activities than the Medical Corps preventive medicine officers they replaced. The USARV surgeon, Brig. Gen. Hal B. Jennings, praised the innovation, and Col. Ralph J. Walsh, Jr., MSC, the USARV sanitary engineer, described them as "eminently successful."31

A drafted optometrist, 1st Lt. Donald D. Schmidt, MSC, was assigned in September 1967 to the 93d Evacuation Hospital, Long Binh, which supported the 1st Infantry Division. Soldiers easily lose or break glasses, but Schmidt found that it took about thirty days to fill eyeglass prescriptions during this period before


32d Medical Depot Optical Laboratory

the Army established a fabrication capability within Vietnam. Since division policy was that soldiers with uncorrected acuity greater that 20/200 could not be placed on alert status, Schmidt would travel by helicopter to the various units in the division several days a week to perform eye examinations and to deliver new glasses directly to the battalions.32

Schmidt was irritated by additional duty requirements, especially administrative officer of the day, a task assigned as a rotating duty. Other additional duties included those typically required of Army officers, such as special services officer and pay officer. Later assigned to the 36th Evacuation Hospital at Vung Tau, he found his administrative responsibilities took on a different meaning during the Tet offensive in 1968. The military situation curtailed routine optometric services. Schmidt and other MSC officers led patrols of their perimeters, accounted for the personal effects of casualties, assisted as litter bearers, acted as Dustoff dispatchers, and handled the disposition of remains. His experience supported General Hamrick's position that optometry officers, just as all MSC officers, must be qualified both in their specialty and "in the application and techniques of the combat arms."33

In 1967 the Army authorized placing optometrists directly in the combat divisions, a step that greatly pleased General Thomas, the theater Army surgeon. Bringing them forward was "one of the smart moves in this conflict."34 The first optometrist was assigned to a division in September 1968, and in twelve months the number of optometrists in Vietnam went from seven to twenty-eight.

The optometrists who filled the divisional positions benefited from their experience. Capt. Jeffrey Halopin, MSC, assigned to the 25th Division, noted that his close working relationship with field units and their commanders afforded


"more personal satisfaction than in any other area of military optometry."35 Capt. O. Howard Smalling, MSC, of the Americal Division, noticed very few eyeglasses among the villagers in his area, and those he did observe, such as a man wearing a woman's glasses, were of marginal utility. Smalling set up an "OPCAP"-an Optometric Civic Action Program-to meet this need, using spectacle frames donated by the Kiwanis Club of Augusta, Georgia.36

Maj. Albert Reinke, MSC, the USARV optometry consultant, estimated that only about 18 percent of the soldiers reporting to Vietnam in 1969 arrived with the required number of spectacles. Meeting that demand, as well as filling routine prescriptions, produced a considerable requirement for optical fabrication within the theater of operations. The Optical Section of the 32d Medical Depot fabricated about 75 percent of the eyeglasses made in Vietnam, while division optometry sections made the other 25 percent. In 1969 the combined output of the depot and the division sections was 270,000 pairs, of which the depot accounted for 165,000. Some of the production was for special aviator glasses, an item that became quite fashionable. Lt. Col. Arthur R. Giroux, MSC, assigned as the USARV optometry consultant in 1970, found that requests for those prized items greatly exceeded the valid requirements and that special controls were required to prevent abuse.37

Some scientific specialty officers became engaged in a second front during the war, the battle with drug abuse. This problem began to assume visible proportions in 1968, and by the summer of 1971 it was quite apparent that the Army was facing a drug abuse epidemic among its soldiers in Vietnam. In June President Nixon ordered the Services to conduct heroin testing, a program that was later expanded to include amphetamines and barbiturates. A team led by Col. Charles R. Angel, MSC, chief of the Division of Biochemistry of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and his deputy, Lt. Col. Douglas J. Beach, MSC, developed the first large-scale urinalysis screening laboratories for heroin detection. It was the initial stage of Operation GOLDENFLOW, the United States government's war on drug abuse.

Colonel Angel arrived in Vietnam on 19 June to set up laboratories at Long Binh and Cam Ranh Bay. His prototype equipment used free radical assay techniques and thin layer and gas liquid chromatography to screen for opiates, amphetamines, and barbiturates. The 90th Replacement Battalion in Long Binh was tasked with collecting samples, and the GIs quickly tagged the building used for this purpose "The Pee House of the August Moon." The samples were sent to Angel's laboratories, which processed 60,000 specimens by 21 August 1971, of which about 5 percent were positive; soldiers who tested positive were hospitalized at the 9th Convalescent Center at Cam Ranh Bay. Just as Colonel Hunter's schistosomiasis work in Japan had created a market for parasite-free stool specimens, a market developed in Vietnam for clean urine. The going price was $25 per ounce.38

The testing program expanded to four military laboratories in Vietnam, as well as commercial laboratories in the United States and Germany. Unfortunately, by October there were problems with erroneous results from the U.S. contract laboratories, and this quickly became a sensitive political issue. Colonel Angel's division set up a quality control section to test the work of the civilian laboratories on an interim basis until a central agency could be established for that purpose. His


"The Pee House of the August Moon" at Long Binh, 1972

work enabled Brig. Gen. Richard R. Taylor, MC, commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, to report successful corrective action in congressional testimony in February 1972.39

Soldiers with positive results who were hospitalized at the 6th Convalescent Center had to demonstrate negative urinalysis test results before they were allowed to leave Vietnam, just as venereal disease patients had to be declared free of disease to leave Europe after World War I. Prior to Operation GOLDENFLOW the center had cared for soldiers with medical and surgical convalescent care conditions (principally malaria and hepatitis) who could be returned to duty within the thirty-day evacuation policy. When Capt. Barry R. Mintzer, MSC, the executive officer, was notified that the center would become a detoxification center for heroin users, he was given seventy-two hours to prepare for the new mission. His preparation included putting a fence around his compound "to keep the heroin out, not keep the patients in."

Mintzer's unit expanded from 300 to 500 beds, was augmented by a military police platoon, and began receiving patients on 19 June. There were no guidelines for running a detoxification center, and the staff received "one hell of an education." Patients were a constant source of disciplinary problems. Many did not want to be helped, and some would break into the mess halls at night for food because they became very hungry from drug withdrawal. The fence did not work because there were not enough military police to keep patients from going under the wire. To make matters worse, the sensationalism of the unique program assured a constant stream of VIP visitors. Mintzer said his commander nearly "reached his wits' end."40


Medical Logistics

A wall poster popular with the medical logisticians during the Vietnam War listed twenty requirements for the ideal medical supply officer, including "the smile of a baby" and "the patience of a burro." Someone else designed a fanciful badge. Its colors included silver for "the silver-tongued oratory of those who call supply easy."41

Officers in the medical logistics specialty, now called health services materiel, had every right to some humor, given the challenges they faced in support of military operations in Vietnam. The first challenge during the early days of the war came when the Army ignored the wartime lesson that the medical logistics system must reside under medical control. The Army's amnesia was manifested in 1965 when it established the Army Pacific Materiel Management Agency as the central funnel for all supply requisitions, including medical, from Korea, Hawaii, Okinawa, and Vietnam, and set up a computer-supported inventory control point in Hawaii. The arrangement failed. The inventory control point quickly became a bottleneck, and the Medical Department's ability to perform its expanding mission in Vietnam was held hostage by an external agency.42

Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Leonard B. Heaton became livid as the situation deteriorated:

It seems incredible that a mismanaged organization can continue to flourish and do more harm than good. When they meddle with medical supplies, they are playing with life and death and nothing could be more serious. Medical supplies should and must remain in medical channels and not logistical channels.43

The Medical Department was essentially the only user of medical items, a situation unlike other categories of supply that had multiple users. It made no sense to divorce the user from the commodity, but that was the situation MSC medical logisticians faced.44

Further, the general supply system was unable to cope with the Medical Department's dependence on nonstandard items (materiel not yet incorporated into the federal supply catalog due to the rapidity of technological change). To illustrate, the 32d Medical Depot in Vietnam stocked 1,200 nonstandard items (excluding repair parts) that were very important for medical units. The inability to fill orders for those items from the medical units anguished MSC supply officers who were compelled to rely on the failing general supply system. As Lt. Col. Richard S. Rand, MSC, the 32d's commander explained, the significance of medical supply was not the tonnage involved but its high percentage of critical items. For example, Colonel Rand was enormously frustrated by his inability to provide the Fogarty catheter, a critical nonstandard item used in acute care, to surgeons who were losing patients because it was unavailable.45

By the fall of 1965 the Pacific Materiel Management Agency's demand satisfaction rate for medical requisitions (the percentage of requests for stocked items that it filled at 100 percent) was only 79 percent. This was against a medical standard of 95 percent. The deterioration of the medical supply situation came to the attention of Vice Chief of Staff General Creighton Abrams, who directed


General Heaton to "leave no stone unturned" until the problem was corrected.46 General Heaton immediately asked the Army Staff to return the medical supply system in the Pacific to medical control. A series of fact-finding trips and much bureaucratic jousting ensued as the situation continued to deteriorate. Demand satisfaction dropped to 50 percent in April 1966 and plummeted to a dismal 12 percent in May, horrifying the medical logisticians in Vietnam. Heaton's patience was exhausted by the inaction of the Department of the Army and Pacific headquarters. He told the Chief of Staff, General Harold K. Johnson, that the situation remained unsatisfactory and asked for immediate action.47

He got it. The chief of staff transferred medical materiel responsibility for Vietnam to the 70th Medical Depot, stationed in Okinawa. The 70th was instructed to order supplies directly through the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania (it later moved to Fort Detrick, Maryland), to the Defense Personnel Support Center in Philadelphia. The subsequent recovery of medical supply was remarkable with the reinstatement of medical control as MSC medical logisticians again assumed responsibility for its operation. Demand satisfaction jumped to 81 percent in June, hit 91 percent in July, and by September had leveled off at 95 percent. At this point the surgeon general's staff concluded the system was working perfectly.48

It came none too soon. Ground forces in Vietnam desperately needed a fully responsive medical supply system as the tempo of combat accelerated. Medical logisticians supporting combat operations at the operating unit level had their hands full. For example, over a three-week period during the Battle of Dak To, the 71st Evacuation Hospital used more than forty tons of medical supplies, including 3,300 bottles of Ringers lactate, 1,500 bottles of dextrose solution, 975 units of blood, and more than 600 patient litters. Transporting the supplies to the hospitals was also a challenge. The enemy's interdiction of the main supply roads during the Tet offensive of 1968 put the 32d Medical Depot "in a real jam" and forced the use of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters to resupply supported units.49

The same recovery took place in Korea in 1967 with transfer of medical supply operations to the 6th Medical Depot. In three months demand satisfaction went from 50 to 90 percent. An identical transfer took place in Europe. When it was all over, the result of the resumption of medical supply operations by MSCs at all levels was called a "magnificent accomplishment."50

Some MSCs routinely handled medical logistics requirements that went beyond strictly combat support. Maj. Malachi B. Jones, MSC, was assigned to the Military Equipment Delivery Team in Cambodia, another country caught up in the turmoil of the Vietnam War. From 1973 to 1974 Jones directed operations that included distributing over 40,000 tons of rice monthly. In addition, his duties required him to furnish medical intelligence reports to the Army.51


Our kind of flying ain't no fun

Dustoff choppers ain't got no guns.

But now and then a medic will say

A machine gun would just get in the way.52


Aeromedical evacuation became a routine part of the Medical Department's evacuation system in Vietnam. It was universally referred to as "Dustoff," a radio call sign adopted in 1963. MSC commissioned officer and warrant officer pilots and the enlisted members of the Dustoff crews were heirs to the Letterman legacy. A measure of their devotion is gleaned from the statistics. The Medical Department lost 199 helicopters in Vietnam, and a third of the 1,400 Dustoff pilots were killed or wounded. The memorial book of the Dustoff Association recorded 90 commissioned and warrant officers killed in Vietnam, and another 380 pilots were wounded or injured as a result of hostile fire or crashes. Casualties among crew chiefs and flight medics included 121 killed and 545 wounded or injured.53

The air ambulances used a crew of four: aircraft commander (pilot), copilot, medic, and crew chief (who handled the helicopter's preventive maintenance). They flew UH-1 "Hueys" from the early "A" model to the "H" model in use at the end of the war, with a capacity for six litter patients. The pilots and copilots were graduates of a special course for Dustoff pilots, although some warrant officers lacked any specialized training. Close teamwork was a keynote from the beginning.54

Aeromedical evacuation became routine in Vietnam. Over sixty-four thousand patients were moved by medical helicopters in 1966, and by 1967 there were sixty-one helicopters providing Dustoff support. Yet, as Col. Joseph P. Madrano, MSC, who had been with the 498th Medical Company (Air Ambulance) in Vietnam, later emphasized, the important story was not in the glamour of air evacuation but in its establishment as a routine part of a larger evacuation and treatment system. Certainly the Dustoff crews approached their duties in a straight­forward way. As one pilot put it, "I'm not the hero type, just pulled a mission when called, got the poor guy out, took no chances but never turned one down either."55

The early aeromedical system went through growing pains and its doctrine was refined under combat conditions. Capt. John J. Temperilli, MSC, commander of the 57th Medical Detachment (Helicopter Ambulance) stationed at Fort Meade, Maryland, was alerted for movement to Vietnam in February 1962. His detachment arrived in April with five "A" model Hueys. They were handicapped by difficulties in obtaining logistical support, particularly for fuel problems and spare parts (including main rotors).56 Even the size of the red cross on the helicopter was debated-for some pilots it was a case of the bigger the better. In some cases nonmedical helicopters on a battle scene would extract casualties rather than call for Dustoff, but this entailed the usual "scoop and run" risks for the patients. "Some of these guys died because they didn't have somebody to stop the bleeding. They were just thrown on." However, reliance on the Dustoff system was to the advantage of commanders and their soldiers. Its provision of a medically trained crew and a sufficiently large helicopter enabled the treatment of casualties in flight. The experience of Capt. Terry Woolever, MSC, whose crew routinely performed life-saving care, was typical. On at least one occasion his medic successfully performed cardiac resuscitation by injecting adrenalin with a thoracic needle directly into a soldier's heart while they were airborne.57

The greatest problem in the early years was resolution of the ownership of the helicopters. The doctrine of medical control over all elements of the evacuation system was challenged in Vietnam by those who coveted the new Hueys of the


medics, and the 57th had to fend off officers with designs on the aircraft. One of the pilots, Capt. Robert D. McWilliams, MSC, was routinely pestered by a colonel who wanted the detachment to fly him to different sites. McWilliams finally told the colonel he would have first priority on a ride by becoming a casualty; until then he had none.58

The controversy heated up in 1963 when Col. John Klingenhagen, Transportation Corps, the commander of the U.S. Army Support Command, Vietnam, found out that Temperilli's helicopters were not flying as often as some of Klingenhagen's administrative ships. He proposed painting over the red crosses and using the aircraft as general purpose helicopters that would be on call for air evacuation missions; a removable red cross could be reaffixed to the helicopter when it was on a medical mission. Adopting the same logic, the 57th countered with a suggestion that since there was a shortage of fuel trucks in Vietnam, the Army should use fire trucks as general purpose trucks and fill them with aviation fuel. In case of a fire, the fire truck could be emptied out and filled with water. Told that this was unacceptable because the trucks could never respond in time, the medics responded that the same was true for air ambulances.

Klingenhagen's philosophy, as later recalled by Maj. Gen. Spurgeon Neel, was that "aeromedical evacuation is an aviation operation which entails the movement of patients," not Neel's version of "a medical operation which entails the use of aircraft."59 Brig. Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell, commander of the Army Support Group, Vietnam, became convinced that Klingenhagen was right, and he attempted to remove the 57th from the theater surgeon's control. Temperilli found himself on the defensive. Meeting personally with General Stilwell, he was able to at least temporarily squash the transfer proposal, but efforts to gain control over aeromedical assets did not cease. When Stilwell left Vietnam in June 1964, Maj. Charles L. Kelly, MSC, then the commander of the 57th, presented Stilwell with a farewell memento that symbolized the struggle. The medics had mounted five red crosses and the tail numbers of the five aircraft on a wooden plaque. "Here General," said Kelly, "you wanted my God-damned red crosses, take them."60

It took Kelly's death on the first of July to settle the matter of aeromedical control. Kelly, a World War II veteran, flamboyant, profane, and irrepressible, was the first MSC killed in Vietnam. As he touched down to evacuate an American sergeant his ship came under a hail of small arms fire. The American adviser on the ground shouted over the radio: "Get out, Dustoff, get out." Kelly replied: "When I have your wounded," and then was fatally wounded himself. Stilwell reportedly cried when he heard the news.61

Kelly became a legend, revered for his aggressive leadership and fearlessness in evacuating casualties. Ironically, his loss ensured that the Army's aeromedical operations would use his mold, one characterized by unarmed single ships operated without escort aircraft by aviators who, like Kelly, were experienced in night flying. In fact, the flying skills of Dustoff crews were such that some general aviation pilots believed there was a special school to teach their flying techniques. Kelly was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, and in 1967 General Heaton dedicated the Kelly Heliport at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.62


Major Kelly (right) presents a memento to General Stilwell, June 1964

After Kelly's death the staff of the 44th Medical Brigade continued to wage a battle over the issue of medical control of the evacuation system, even though overt efforts to seize the aircraft were minimized. Among other things, there was a need for medical control to prevent patients from becoming hitchhikers.63 The medical aviation capability was also important for its routine ability to rapidly and precisely move life-saving medical supplies, especially whole blood. If that entailed redundancy, then that was a small price to pay for operating a support mission that could leave nothing to chance.64

Warrant officer Dustoff pilots were a vital part of the aeromedical system, and three received Distinguished Service Crosses for their valor: WO2 Robert L. Horst, CW2 Warren G. Jackson, and WO1 Stephen R. Purchase. MSCs respected their aviator teammates. Lt. Col. William E. Knowles, MSC, who served as commander of the 498th Medical Company and later as operations officer for the 44th Medical Brigade, found them invaluable. Lt. Col. Eugene Lail, an MSC aviator, praised them for their performance, as did another MSC aviator, Maj. Douglas E. Moore, himself a holder of the Distinguished Service Cross, who called them "super heroes."65

Officers such as CW4 Michael J. Novosel were representative of the warrant officer Dustoff pilots. Novosel had originally enlisted in 1941, completed flight school, and as an Army Air Corps captain commanding a squadron in the Marianas had flown in the covering force for General MacArthur's plane as it


Chief Warrant Officer Novosel

landed in Japan. He was recalled to active duty as an Air Force major in Korea and again returned to civilian life when that war ended. At the time of the early buildup in Vietnam he was flying for Southern Airways and held an Air Force Reserve commission as a lieutenant colonel. Prevented by age from returning to active duty in the Air Force, Novosel came into the Army in 1964 as a warrant officer Dustoff pilot.66

By 1969 the 48-year-old aviator was on his second tour in Vietnam. On the afternoon of 2 October CW4 Novosel and his crew responded to a Dustoff request from ARVN units pinned down in an enemy training camp west of Saigon near the Cambodian border. Novosel was forced out of the area by enemy action a half dozen times, and each time came back on another approach. After several such pickups and eleven hours of flying, Novosel-himself wounded at point-blank range by an enemy soldier-managed to evacuate twenty-nine wounded soldiers. President Nixon presented the Medal of Honor to Novosel in 1971 while his son, Michael Novosel, Jr., also a Dustoff warrant officer, looked on. The younger Novosel had joined his father in the same unit at the end of 1969, and from January to April 1970 they flew together.67

Flying hours mounted for Dustoff crews. CW2 Michael A. Yourous of the 498th Medical Company described support of the 173d Airborne Brigade as six to eight hours of flying each day, missions that ranged from "hot" pickups to routine "backhauls" when the helicopters returned to the brigade's landing zone in Bong Son after delivering their patients to the 67th Evacuation Hospital in Qui Nhon. There were initially no graves registration units assigned to combat units, and Dustoff crews had the task of flying the remains of American soldiers to the Air Force mortuary at Tan Son Nhut Air Force Base. The crew members stuffed Vicks Vaporub in their nostrils to overcome the stench.68

Because the thick vegetation of the 200-foot triple canopy jungles in Vietnam hampered helicopter evacuations, the Army developed a hoist mechanism for lifting casualties out by a cable while the helicopter remained at a hover. The hoist employed an electric winch, and different rigs, including a modified Stokes litter, were attached to a 250-foot cable with varying degrees of success. The preferred device for the less seriously wounded was a folding seat called "the jungle penetrator," a three-foot-tall, bullet-shaped device. Once the penetrator was at ground level the seat pods were opened and the wounded were strapped into the device with chest belts.69


Lieutenant Tuell and Capt. Howard Elliott pilot a helicopter in Dustoff operation, May 1970

Hoist missions required Dustoff crews to hover the aircraft at treetop level, where they were highly vulnerable to ground fire. In November 1966 Capt. James E. Lombard, MSC, and 1st Lt. Melvin J. Ruiz, MSC, while evacuating casualties near Saigon, became the first crew shot down on a hoist mission. As Lombard hovered and began lowering the cable, they came under fire, and he broke off the hover. With hydraulics gone and the transmission growling, they headed to a clear zone a few minutes away. After traveling 150 meters the engine quit, forcing Lombard to autorotate the burning ship to the ground. Fortunately, the crew was met by friendly forces and got out of the area safely. But two days later Lombard was again shot up on another hoist mission.70

Dustoff hoist missions became commonplace, but never dull. One officer, 1st Lt. Henry O. Tuell III, MSC, began a log of his missions, but after ten months he had passed 300 and quit counting. On one mission in Cambodia his copilot, CW2 Greg Simpson, was sick and vomited as they were positioning the helicopter. Nevertheless, they lifted one patient up and were going for a second when a rocket-propelled grenade hit a tree about five feet away and spun the helicopter around. Machine-gun fire hit the fuel tank and ripped through the center console between the pilots, wiping out everything, including their radios and navigational aids. As Tuell said, "we were finally out of aircraft and out of ideas." Tuell and his crew and patients were rescued by another Dustoff ship.71


Lieutenant McGowan at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Saigon

Dustoff crews were often not sure whom they were evacuating in the early days when communications were poor and allegiances of those on the ground not clear. Most night evacuations for South Vietnamese units occurred at locations where there were no American units. Capt. Douglas E. Moore, MSC, found "there probably isn't a more harrowing experience than landing in a rice paddy in the wee hours of the morning and have eight to ten heavily armed men in black pajamas approach the ship." In December 1964 Moore, 1st Lt. James McGowan, MSC, and their crew attempted a pickup of South Vietnamese casualties, but the American adviser on the ground repeatedly radioed the Dustoff ship to back off because of incoming mortar rounds. Finally Moore and McGowan heard, "Dustoff, come back. We have many wounded." This was followed shortly by, "Dustoff, you come back and we will kill you," and laughter.72

On the lighter side, Col. Thomas C. Scofield, MSC, remembered the trials of one of his fellow pilots during a night mortar attack on their base camp. Awakened by the commotion, the aviator took off running and hit a center pole in their building. This disoriented him and he ran out the wrong door. A short time later Scofield's crew chief came and told him he had better see something and led Scofield outside. The crew chief shined his flashlight on the pilot, who was gasping for breath, lying in his underwear flat on his back in the deep end of a partially completed swimming pool the Dustoff crew had been digging.73

The crews also competed for the record number carried at one time in a Huey, a contest reminiscent of college students stuffing themselves into phone booths. Capt. Thomas L. Christie, MSC, and his crew put nineteen adults and children in a B model Huey at Phuoc Vinh, but, not to be outdone, Col. Lloyd E. Spencer, MSC, claimed the B model record with twenty-two. "If the doors had come off, people would have popped out like popcorn."74 Pickups from hot landing zones were stressful, and sometimes the medics became overexuberant. Capt. Kenneth M. Radebaugh, MSC, recalled one medic who literally threw patients into the open door of the helicopter. "The first time he was so vigorous that the patient continued through the aircraft and out the other door."75

President Nixon presented the Medal of Honor in October 1969 to Maj. Patrick H. Brady, MSC, the first Medical Service Corps officer to receive the nation's highest honor and the only Medical Department officer to win the award


Major Brady

in Vietnam. (Years later, Brady would transfer as a colonel to the Aviation Branch, and he was promoted to major general in 1989.) Brady was honored for his heroism on 6 January 1968 during his second tour in Vietnam when he evacuated fifty-one casualties in a series of missions in the mountainous region near Chu Lai. His penchant for the technical aspects of flying figured prominently in his incredible actions during a day in which he had to use three different helicopters.76

On the first mission that day Brady and his crew evacuated two wounded South Vietnamese soldiers while under fire in a heavily fogged-in valley. This was after an attempt by another Dustoff crew had failed. Brady tipped the helicopter over at an angle so that the rotor would blow the fog away in front of the ship enough so his crew could make out the trail. Meanwhile he flew sideways so he could see more clearly out the open side window. On the second mission Brady responded to a call from a company of the 23d (Americal) Division that was trapped in a minefield in the Hiep Duc Valley where the soldiers were pinned down by six North Vietnamese companies supported from the surrounding hills by mortars, rockets, and antiaircraft weapons. Again, a previous Dustoff attempt had failed. Brady required four flights to extract the casualties, which were within fifty meters of enemy soldiers at a site where two helicopters had already been shot down.77 The brigade commander had tried to dissuade Brady from returning after he had delivered the first load of casualties to the fire support base overlooking the valley. Soldiers there had witnessed the entire panorama. They cheered as Brady landed, while the division surgeon who met the ship, Lt. Col. William S. Augerson, MC, saluted.78

On Brady's third mission he picked up casualties from an American unit surrounded southeast of Chu Lai. He approached the pickup by flying backwards to protect the cockpit from enemy fire, but the helicopter was badly damaged by gunfire. The controls were partially shot away and he had to get another aircraft. For the fourth mission he volunteered to pick up casualties in another minefield. A mine exploded during the pickup, wounding two of his crew and damaging yet another helicopter, but six casualties were successfully evacuated. He changed helicopters again and completed two more urgent missions before the day was over.

In 1972 Capt. Kenneth Ledford, Jr., MSC, received the Navy Cross for actions on 15 September 1970. While flying a Dustoff mission accompanied by


Colonel Bloomquist
(Photo taken in 1966.)

four armed Navy helicopters, two of Ledford's escorts were downed by enemy fire, a third was disabled, and the fourth damaged. Ledford was still able to evacuate six casualties.79

In May of the same year a series of three explosions rocked the main entrance to the U.S. Army's V Corps headquarters and the officers open mess in Frankfurt, Germany. A bomb placed in a flowerpot at the entrance to the club was detonated by terrorists of the Baader-Meinhoff gang, wounding thirteen people. Lt. Col. Paul A. Bloomquist, MSC, who was walking into the club at the time, was killed. The attack took the life of an energetic, forceful, and personable officer who was the veteran of two tours as a Dustoff pilot in Vietnam. In 1980 the headquarters of the 68th Medical Group at Ziegenberg, West Germany, was named in his honor as Camp Paul Bloomquist.80

Bloomquist, an Infantry OCS graduate, had been honored as the Army Aviator of the Year in 1965 and the following year was the only Army officer selected by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as an outstanding young American. His nickname, "Big Ugly Bear," used in a Time magazine article, was actually the result of some of Bloomquist's mischievous Dustoff comrades who were having fun with a reporter. His fellow pilots had made up stories for the benefit of an impressionable correspondent, insisting that Bloomquist loved war and would lie awake at night thinking of ways to improve his flying. A friend, Capt. Edward J. Taylor, MSC, coined the name on the spot for the benefit of the reporter.81

The Dustoff crews possessed the same indomitable spirit as their predecessors in earlier wars. For their part, the crews were unstinting in their respect and compassion for the soldiers they pledged their lives to support. In the early days Capt. Roger Hula II, MSC, had responded to a Dustoff call for a first sergeant. The gravely wounded noncommissioned officer had given one of his squad leaders a present of a day off by taking the man's place in combat. "With tears in his eyes, my medic carried the first sergeant to the helicopter, cradling him in his arms." The memory never faded for Hula. "After twenty long years, my heart still goes out to the family of that man who gave his life on Christmas day of 1965."82


MSC scientific specialty officers demonstrated their importance during the Vietnam War as a quickly deployable medical asset. Col. Dan Cavanaugh's plague


team that went to Vietnam in 1964 and Col. Bob Angel's team that set up the drug testing laboratories in 1971 illustrated their significance as a national resource for employment by the United States government in crisis situations.83 The listing of various scientific specialties as critical shortages during the war and the drafting of optometrists were testimony to the value of those MSCs.

Through the eloquence of their actions the courageous Dustoff crews had also made the point that they were integral to the Medical Department-no different from their predecessor ambulance crews in the Civil War, World War I, World War II, and Korea-and attempts to dislodge them from medical control were doomed to failure. Maj. Pat Brady believed that Maj. Charles Kelly had inculcated a uniquely medical orientation to Dustoff that made it fundamentally different from general aviation. "It was more to us than a kind of operation, it was an attitude, an emotion, a way of life that sprang from the heart of one man and seeded in the hearts of others."84

Kelly's death had sealed a tradition of intense pride by Dustoff crews in their humanitarian mission. Aeromedical evacuation was firmly established in the day-to-day support of combat operations in Vietnam. Air ambulance ships were forward-deployed into operational areas with no discussion about their use for other missions. The business about hanging removable red crosses on general purpose helicopters-as was actually done in some cases-had ended, at least for the duration of the war in Vietnam.

Yet the end of the war quickly brought new challenges. The Vietnam War's impact on American society continued long after the United States withdrew its forces. American soldiers had returned home from Korea to benign neglect. Their sons and daughters returned home from Vietnam to overt hostility. The MSC officers who remained in the Army's active and reserve components undertook the challenge of rebuilding the Army, refining the Medical Department's doctrine, and improving medical readiness to respond to future national and international emergencies. They had a large task in front of them.



1Casualties: U.S. strength dropped to 335,794 by the end of 1970 and fell to 24,000 at the end of 1972. About 4,368,000 Army personnel served in Vietnam; 30,899 were killed (U.S. deaths are from 1 January 1961). Pamphlet, U.S. Department of Defense, Defense 86 (Arlington, Va.: Armed Forces Information Service, September/October 1986), p. 46; Brig Gen James L. Collins, Chief of Military History, DA, to Walter B. Edgar, 11 Sep 78, sub: Inclusive Dates of Vietnam Conflict, DASG-MS. Defense 86 uses 4 August 1964 to 27 January 1973 as the dates for the Vietnam War.

2Amenities: In some places the living accommodations included "hot and cold running water, television and movie entertainment, and many other amenities." Vincent Davis, "Americans and War: Crisis and Action," SAIS Review 4 (Summer-Fall 1984): 34. Ammunition shipments averaged about a million tons a year from 1969 to 1971, while post exchange (PX) supplies averaged 800,000 tons. Lt. Gen. Walter J. Woolwine, "A Logistics Perspectives" Army Logistician (March-April 1975): 2-7, 43-44. Col. Harry Summers, Infantry, observed that "the sybaritic lifestyle of the headquarters always differed from the Spartan existence in the field." Harry G. Summers, Jr., On Strategy: The Vietnam War in Context (Carlisle Barracks, Pa.: U.S. Army War College, 1981), p. 98.

3Racial discord: Underground newsletter, U-BAD, United Blacks Against Discrimination, 1 (1972), WRAMC, DASG-MS.

4Problems: James Webb, "Viet Vets Didn't Kill Babies and They Aren't Suicidal," Washington Post, 6 April 1986.

5Doctrine: Leonard B. Heaton, "Medical Support in Vietnam," Army 16 (October 1966): 125-28; Medical Field Service School, Introduction to the Army Medical Department, Study Guide no. 1, BAMC, May 1971, SL; Academy of Health Sciences, U.S. Army (AHS), Fort Sam Houston, Medical Support of a Corps, Study Guide no. 478, July 1974, SL; Interv, Lt Col Ralph W. Parkinson, MSC, XO, 44th Surg Hosp, Republic of Vietnam (RVN), with Maj Daniel G. McPherson, MSC, 27th Military History Detachment, Vietnam, 6 Jun 67, USACMH; Draft MS, Jeffrey Greenhut, sub: I Have Your Wounded: The Medical Department in Vietnam, USACMH, 1986, hereafter cited as Greenhut, Vietnam MS; Dorland and Nanney, Dust Off, pp. 115-23; Andre J. Ognibene, "Full Scale Operations," in Ognibene and Barrett, General Medicine and Infectious Diseases, pp. 39-71.

6Consolidation: Ltr, Heaton (drafted by Lt Col James J. DeFrates, MSC, Ops Div, OTSG), to Col E. S. Chapman, MC, Surg, USAREUR, 12 Jan 66, RG 112, accession 69A-2604, Box 17/38, NARA-WNRC. Brig. Gen. David E. Thomas, appointed brigade commander in May 1969, said he was proud of "getting rid of the 44th Medical Brigade and organizing the U.S. Army Medical Command, Vietnam." Interv, Brig Gen David E. Thomas, CG, BAMC, with Lt Col Charles Simpson, MSC, THU, OTSG, undated (1971), USACMH.

7MUST:  Spurgeon Neel, Medical Support of the U.S. Army in Vietnam, 1965-1970 (Washington, D.C.: Department of the Army, 1973), pp. 65-68; Engelman, A Decade of Progress, pp. 178-79. The sets were developed upon the recommendation of a DOD committee in 1961 in a project initially headed by Lt. Col. Forest L. Neal, MSC. A MUST demonstration at Fort Sam Houston on 24 February 1965 greatly pleased Heaton, who said "the publicity on TV was great." One viewer was Senator Richard Russell, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a patient on Ward 8 at BAMC. Russell told Heaton he wanted the equipment in Vietnam "without further delay." SG Conference, 2 Mar 65.

8Aviation: Also see AHS, Aeromedical Evacuation, Study Guide no. 453, March 1974, SL; Heaton, "Medical Support in Vietnam," p. 126; David M. Lam, "From Balloon to Black Hawk: Vietnam," p. 47. A third unit was the medical evacuation platoon of the airmobile division. With twelve aircraft, it was essentially two detachments.

9Evacuation: Bypassing medical units was achieved under "a special set of conditions and may not be subject to extrapolation for world-wide doctrinal requirements." 1st Ind, Maj Gen Glenn T. Collins, Acting TSG, to Asst Chief of Staff for Force Development (ACSFOR), 28 Oct 68, RG 112, accession 71A-3154, Box 9/48, NARA-WNRC. For example, in the battle of Dak To nearly all casualties came through the clearing stations of the 4th Infantry Division, 1st Cavalry Division, and 173d Airborne Brigade, where they were stabilized for movement to the 71st Evacuation Hospital.


10Statistics: Leonard B. Heaton, "Medical Support of the Soldier: A Team Effort in Saving Lives," Army 19 (October 1969): 85-86; Heaton, "Medical Support in Vietnam," pp. 125-26; Rpt, Brig Gen Hal B. Jennings, Jr., CG, 44th Med Bde, sub: Senior Officer Debriefing Report, 1 February 1969-3 June 1969, USACMH; Neel, Medical Support of the U.S. Army in Vietnam, pp. 75-76; Dorland and Nanney, Dust-Off pp. 115-17; Weir, McPherson interv, 17 Jun 67. Weir reported the hospital mortality rate as 2.7 percent for November 1965 to December 1966.

11Command: Interv, Lt Gen Leonard B. Heaton, USA, Ret., with Col Robert B. McLean, MC, Pinehurst, N.C., Dec 78, U.S. Army War College and USAMHI Senior Officer Oral History Program, USAMHI; Interv, Col Robert D. Pillsbury, MC, Dep Cdr, 44th Med Bde, with Maj Donald A. Lacey, MSC, Cdr, 27th Mil Hist Det, Vietnam, 30 Apr and 1 May 69, USACMH; Lt Col Henry P. Capozzi, USA, Ret., to Capt Peter G. Dorland, MSC, THU, OTSG, 18 Aug 75, USACMH.

12Vietnam experience: Interv, Col Frederick W. Timmerman, MC, Deputy Cdr, 44th Med Bde, and Dir Med Svcs, 1st Log Cmd, with Maj Norbert O. Picha, MSC, Cdr, 27th Mil Hist Det, Vietnam, 3 May 68, and interv, Lt Col Anthony J. Trucskowski, MC, Cdr, 58th Med Bn, with Maj William R. Tuten, MSC, Cdr, 27th Mil Hist Det, Vietnam, 20 Dec 69, both USACMH.

13Battalion surgeons: See Wier, McPherson interv, Vietnam, 17 Jun 65; Neel, Medical Support of the U.S. Army in Vietnam, p. 177; OTSG Lessons Learned Interv, Lt Col Foster H. Taft, MC, 7-8 Mar 86; OTSG Lessons Learned Interv, Lt Col James W. Ransome, MC, former division surgeon, 1st Cav Div (Airmobile), 30 Nov 67; Thomas, Simpson interv, 1971; OTSG Lessons Learned Interv, Lt Col Quinn H. Becker, MC, Cdr, 15th Med Bn, 2 Mar 71, all in USACMH. Quoted words: Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway, We Were Soldiers Once. . . And Young (New York: Harper Perennial, 1993), p. 258. 25th Inf Div: Thomas, Simpson interv, 1971.

14Quoted words: Manley G. Morrison, "Medical Service Corps," Medical Bulletin (October 1970): 19.

15Lieutenant Howard: Moore and Galloway, We Were Soldiers Once, pp. xviii, 286-87, 315-18, 416. Lt. Col. (later, Lt. Gen.) Harold Moore commanded the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, which was surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers three days before his sister unit, the 2d Battalion, 7th Cavalry, was ambushed. The 1st Cavalry Division had 234 killed in action in a four-day period, more than were killed in the entire Persian Gulf War in 1993.

16Quoted words: Moore and Galloway, We Were Soldiers Once, p. 160. Silver Star: U.S. Total Army Personnel Command, Permanent Orders 228-24, 15 Aug 96. Olliphant: Interv, Capt Webb Olliphant, Jr., MSC, with Lacey, Vietnam, 18 Oct 68; Rpt, Company D (Med), 25th Med Bn, sub: After Action Report, Operation Yellowstone, 11 Mar 68, both in USACMH. Surgical hospitals were also sandbagged for protection from mortar rounds and in some cases had earthen roofs. Brig Gen Andre J. Ognibene, MC, Ret., to Ginn, 28 Jul 88, DASG-MS.

17Riverine force: Daniel M. Watt, "Medical Support of the Mobile Riverine Force, Vietnam," Military Medicine 135 (November 1970): 987-90. The command was composed of the 2d Brigade, 9th Infantry Division, and the U.S. Navy River Assault Flotilla One, Task Force 117.

18Cambodia: Interv, Lt Col John W. Lowe, MSC, with Capt Peter G. Dorland, MSC, OTSG, 11 Jan 77, USACMH.

19Field support: After Action Rpt, 1st Lt R.M. Cook, MSC, Historical Officer, 71st Evac Hosp, 1967, Appendix III, sub: Dak To, 1 Dec 67, USACMH, hereafter cited as Cook, Dak To After Action Rpt; Dorland and Nanney, Dust Off, pp. 59-61, 122. Work demands: Cook, Dak To After Action Rpt.

20Logistics: One commander called it "a hair-raising operation." Interv, Col W.R. LeBourdais, MC, with Lacey, Vietnam, 1969, USACMH.

21MUST problems: OTSG Lessons Learned interv, Lt Col John O. Williams, MSC, MUST Project Officer for Vietnam, 17 Sep 67; OTSG Lessons Learned interv, Lt Col Foster H. Taft, MC, Surgeon, 9th Inf Div, 7-8 Mar 68; Interv, Lt Col Robert G. Stanek, MC, Cdr, 22d Surg Hosp, with 22d Mil Hist Det, undated (1968); Interv, Maj John P. Jones, MSC, XO, 2d Surg Hosp, with 27th Mil Hist Det, 1969; Thomas, USARV Senior Officer Debrief, 21 Nov 70; Neel, USARV Senior Officer Debrief, 1 Feb 69; OTSG Lessons Learned interv, Ransome, 30 Nov 67, all in USACMH; Greenhut, Vietnam MS, 3: 20-29; Neel, Medical Support of the U. S. Army in Vietnam, pp. 65-68. Also see Rpt, Brig Gen Robert E. Blount, Spec Asst R&D, OTSG, sub: Inprocess Review, Medical Unit, Self-Contained, Transportable (MUST), 4 Jan 64, RG 112, accession 72C-3503, Box 14/38,


NARA-WNRC; Brig Gen William A. Hamrick, MSC, Ret., to Ginn, 22 Aug 88, DASG-MS. Fuel: Some units reported rates higher than 2,400 gallons per day. Jones said the 2d Surgical Hospital used 3,800 gallons per day; Williams said the 45th Surgical Hospital required a 15,000-gallon fuel truck every other day before it deployed to Vietnam. Stanek reported 2,500 gallons per day for the 22d Surgical Hospital. "We would not become operational until we were assured that we would receive that much fuel on a daily basis. That I would say necessitated delaying becoming operational for a week."

222d Surgical Hospital: Jones, 1969 interv, including quoted words; Neel, Medical Support of the U.S. Army in Vietnam, p. 67. Quoted words: Thomas, USARV Senior Officer Debrief.

23Advisers: Rpt, Maj Robert F. Elliott, MSC, Senior Adviser, RVNAF Mil Med School, sub: The Military Medical School, in MFR, sub: Goals and Objectives for RVNAF Military Medical School, 29 Sep 71, DASG-MS.

24Quoted words: Interv, Maj George D. Baker with Maj Louis Darogi, MSC, THU, 6 Apr 76, USACMH.

25Special Forces: Darogi intervs, sub: Special Forces Oral History, THU, with Lt Col Stanley C. Allison, MC, Surg, 5th Special Forces Group (SFG) (June 1968-69), 20 Dec 76; Maj George D. Baker, MSC, 6 Apr 76; Col Sigurd Bue, MSC, Ret., 22 Mar 77; Maj John F. Erskine, MSC, 11 Jan 77; Maj Robert F. Fechner, MSC, 6 Jan 76; Maj Joseph Krawczyk, MSC, undated; Maj John F. Reed, Jr., MSC, 6 Apr 76; Capt Arthur F. Steinberg, MSC, 19 Dec 76; Maj Demetrious G. Tsoulos, MC, Surg, 5th SFG (July 1966-May 1968), undated; Capt James N. Williams, MSC, 1976, all in USACMH. MSCs as commanders: Darogi intervs with Baker (including quoted words), Erskine, and Fechner.

26Montagnard support: Darogi intervs with Reed, Steinberg, and Williams. The nomadic hill people consisted of several ethnic groups totaling over three million people. A 1979 census put the figure at 3.4 million. See Draft article, Judith Banister, sub: Vietnam: Population Dynamics and Prospects, June 1991, Center for International Research, U.S. Bureau of the Census, DASG-MS. Pat Smith: Williams, Darogi interv.

27Rapport: Steinberg, Darogi interv.

28WRAIR team: Rpt, Col John N. Albertson, Jr., MSC, sub: History of the Medical Service Corps Contributions to Medical Research and Development, 24 Sep 84, DASG-MS, hereafter cited as Albertson, MSCs in Medical Research and Development.

29Social work: Rpt, Col Richard H. Ross, MC, Cdr, USMEDCOMV, and Maj William L. Posey, MSC, Command Historian, sub: Army Medical Services Activity Report, CY 71, USACMH, hereafter cited as Ross, AMSAR CY 71.

30Entomology: Interv, Capt Wayne T. Hackmeyer, MSC, with Darogi, THU, 28 Apr 76, USACMH.

31Sanitarians (ESOs): Senior Officer Debrief, Brig Gen Hal B. Jennings, MC, USARV 25 Jun 69, USACMH; OTSG Lessons Learned interv, Lt Col Joseph J. Smith, MC, Cdr, 20th Prev Med Unit, 23 Oct 68, USACMH. Quoted words: DF, Col Ralph J. Walsh, MSC, HQ, USARV, sub: End of Tour Report, 20 Nov 69, USACMH.

32Schmidt: Donald D. Schmidt, O.D., to Ginn, 20 Feb 86, DASG-MS.

33Quoted words: Hamrick quoted in "Military Optometry," Journal of the American Optometric Association 37 (April 1966): 337.

34Quoted words: Thomas, USARV Senior Officer Debrief.

35Quoted words: In Rpt, Lt Col Arthur R. Giroux, MSC, Optometry Consultant, USARV, sub: Optometric Activities, CY 1970, Jan 71, hereafter cited as Giroux, 1971 Rpt.

36OPCAP: "Optometrists Go Mobile," Army Reporter [U.S. Army, Vietnam] 5 (24 March 1969), DASG-MS; "Optometrist in Field to Provide Eye Care," Southern Cross [Americal Division] 2 (11 May 1969), DASG-MS.

37Optical workload: SG Conference, 3 Nov 67; Col Robert W. Green, MC, Acting XO, OTSG, to ACSFOR, sub: USACDC Study, Area Optometric Support of Non-Divisional Units, 7 Nov 68, RG 112, accession 71A-3154, Box 9/48, NARA-WNRC; Giroux, 1971 Rpt; Rpt, Maj Albert R. Reinke, MSC, Optometry Consultant, USARV, sub: End of Tour Report, 12 Aug 69; Unpublished paper, Lt Col Robert J. Bryant, MSC, sub: Optimum Employment of the Division Optometry Section in Combat, March 1972, all in DASG-MS.


38. Drug problem: Presentation, Col Ronald Blanck, MC, Cdr, 97th General Hospital, Frankfurt, Germany, to the Office of the Inspector General, 7th MEDCOM, Heidelberg, 4 May 90, author's notes, DASG-MS. Urinalysis testing: Ross, AMSAR CY 71, USACMH; Thomas, USARV Senior Officer Debrief; DF, Brig Gen Kenneth R. Dirks, MC, Cdr, USAMRDC, sub: Brief Chronological Report, History of the USAMRDC, 17 Aug 73; Rpt, Col Charles R. Angel, MSC, sub: Drug Detection and the Screening of Military Populations for Illicit Drug Use in Vietnam, undated (1976); Lt Col Douglas J. Beach, MSC, DD Forms 1498, Research and Technology Work Unit Summaries, 1970-74, all in DASG-MS; Greenhut, Vietnam MS, 10: 1-33; William E. Campbell and Charles R. Connell III, "The Pee House of the August Moon," Army (June 1987): 68.

39Taylor: Testimony, Brig. Gen. Richard R. Taylor, MC, Cdr, USAMRDC, Before the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), Drug Abuse Subcommittee, 29 February 1972, DASG-MS.

406th Convalescent Center: Interv, Capt Barry R. Mintzer, MSC, XO, 6th Conv Ctr, 15 Aug 71, Vietnam, typed 3 Jun 74, USACMH; Neel, Medical Support of the U.S. Army in Vietnam, p. 68; Campbell and Connell, "The Pee House of the August Moon," pp. 67-68.

41"Burro": 8" x 10" poster (photograph), "What Is an MSO," 1972, DASG-MS. "Silver-Tongued": "MSO Badge" drawing and inscription, undated, DASG-MS.

42Logistics: SG Conferences: 9 Nov 65; 15 Apr, 17 May, 8 Jul, 22 Jul, 29 Jul, 30 Sep, and 14 Oct 66; 27 Jan, 17 Feb, 17 Mar, and 4 Aug 67; Thomas, Simpson interv; OTSG Lessons Learned interv, Lt Col Richard S. Rand, MSC, 13 Jun 68, USACMH; Col Campbell, XO, OTSG to ACSFOR, sub: Operational Report, Lessons Learned, 3 Jan 67, RG 112, accession 70A-2772, Box 12/43, NARA-WNRC; Summary sheet, Heaton for CSA, sub: Medical Materiel Logistics Structure for Support of Vietnam, Thailand, and Ryukyu Islands, 15 Apr 66; Msg, DA DCSLOG/DS-SPPD to CINCUSARPAC, 102210Z, Feb 67, sub: Army Logistic System in the Pacific Command in Support of Forces in South Vietnam, all in DASG-MS; Engelman, A Decade of Progress, pp. 151-54; Greenhut, Vietnam MS, 5: 32-35, 49; Thomas E. Kistler, "A Case for the Separate Medical Logistics System," Medical Bulletin (December 1985): 5-10; Richard V. N. Ginn, "Medical Logistics: A Lesson From Vietnam," Army Logistician (November/December 1993): 36-38.

43Quoted words: SG Conference, 15 Apr 66.

44Supply channel: Notes of discussion, Wilbur J. Balderson, Supply Div, OTSG, with Ginn, 5 Sep 84, DASG-MS.

45Losing lives: Rand, OTSG interv.

46Critical items: Rand, OTSG interv. Quoted words: SG Conference, 9 Nov 65.

47Unsatisfactory supply: Heaton, summary sheet, 15 Apr 66.

48Improvements: SG Conference, 30 Sep 66. Heaton said, "At long last we will control our medical supplies." SG Conference, 17 May 66.

49Logistics experience: CMT 2 with incls, TSG to ACSFOR, 16 Mar 67; Rpt, Lt Col Theodore R. Sadler, Jr., MC, Cdr, 68th Med Grp, sub: Operational Report, Lessons Learned, for Quarterly Period Ending 31 October 1966, 15 Nov 66, RG 112, accession 70A-2772, Box 12/43, NARA­WNRC; Rand, OTSG interv; Greenhut, Vietnam MS, 3: 15-16. Dak To: Cook, Dak To After Action Rpt, USACMH. Quoted words: Rand, OTSG interv, USACMH.

50Quoted words: SG Conference, 17 Feb 76. General Abrams was pleased with what he saw on a visit to Korea. SG Conference, 27 Jan 67.

51Foreign aid: Rpt, ASD (I&L), sub: Logistic Support in Vietnam, App. D to monograph no. 4, sub: Common Medical Supply System, 1970, pp. D3-D4, LD no. 25408H, Defense Logistics Studies and Information Exchange (DELSIE), hereafter cited as Besson Board; Lt Col Malachai B. Jones, MSC, Fort Sill MEDDAC, to Ginn, 9 Nov 83, DASG-MS.

52Verse: "Ballad of Dustoff," by Maj James B. Fisher, MSC, Capt Herbert L. Halstead, MSC, and Capt Joanne C. Dinga, ANC, 1966, copy furnished by Joseph M. "Doc" Kralich, Dustoff Association Historian, 3 Mar 92, DASG-MS. "Charlie" is a reference to the Viet Cong (VC)-Victor Charlie in the phonetic alphabet.

53Call sign: Dorland and Nanney, Dust Off pp. 28-29. "And regardless of the name they gave us we always reverted to dust-off." Lt Col Paul A. Bloomquist, MSC, Cdr, 45th Med Bn, to Lt Col Richard H. Scott, MSC, Asst Ch, Avn Br, OTSG, 1 Feb 71, DASG-MS. Killed: Rpt, Joseph M. Kralich, sub: Dustoff Vietnam-Memorial Book, Mar 92, DASG-MS. Kralich's detailed report lists 108 pilots killed in action as a result of hostile fire and another 103 killed as a result of crashes, many


of which occurred in bad weather or at night. Injured: Dorland and Nanney, Dust Off p. 117; Greenhut, Vietnam MS, 6: 47.

54Course: Interv, CW2 David Anderson with Tuten, Vietnam, 25 Nov 69, USACMH. Anderson thought the course was beneficial. Teamwork: Interv, Maj Douglas E. Moore, MSC, with Dorland, THU, 12 Sep 75, USACMH.

55Routine: Notes of discussion, Col Joseph Madrano, MSC, Ret., with Ginn, 28 Feb 86, and Madrano, bio data sheet, same date, DASG-MS. He was a bomber pilot in World War II and MSC battalion surgeon's assistant in Korea. Quoted words: Lt Col James E. Bizer, MSC, USA Hosp, Augsburg, to Dorland, THU, OTSG, 20 Aug 73.

5657th: Interv, Lt Col John J. Temperilli, Jr., MSC, with Dorland, THU, 15 Jun 74; Dorland and Nanney, Dust Off, pp. 27-32; Notes of discussion, Temperilli with Ginn, 28 Feb 86, DASG-MS. The deployment included MSC Capts. Donald L. Naylor, Robert D. McWilliams, William Balenger, and William Hawkins and Lts. Ernie Collins and Thomas C. Jackson.

57Red Cross: Interv, Capt Roger P. Hula II, MSC, with Dorland, THU, 4 Mar 74. Quoted words: Interv, Maj Orson J. Hosley, MSC, with Dorland, THU, undated. In-flight care: Interv, Capt Terry Woolever, MSC, with Dorland, THU, 14 Oct 76.

58Control: Temperilli, Dorland interv, 15 Jun 74; Bizer to Dorland, 20 Aug 73, both in USACMH; Dorland and Nanney, Dust Off, p. 27.

59Klingenhagen: Also see Moore to Ginn, 8 Sep 88. Quoted words: Interv, Maj Gen Neel, USA, Ret., with Lt Col Anthony F. Gaudino, AD, USAWC and USAMHI Senior Officer Oral History Program, 26 Apr 85, USAMHI.

60Quoted words: Interv, Lt Col Patrick H. Brady, MSC, with Dorland, THU, 3 Jul 74; Moore to Ginn, 22 Aug 88, DASG-MS.

61Kelly's death: Address, Heaton, sub: Dedication Ceremony, Charles L. Kelly Army Heliport, Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, 7 Apr 67, DASG-MS; Brady, Dorland interv, THU, 3 Jul 74; Interv, Maj Ernest J. Sylvester, MSC, with Dorland, THU, 12 Jun 74; Speech, Moore, sub: DUSTOFFer, 7th Annual Meeting of the Dustoff Association, San Antonio, Texas, 1 Mar 86, author's notes, DASG-MS; Moore to Ginn, 22 Aug 88; Hamrick to Ginn, 22 Aug 88, DASG-MS; General William C. Westmoreland, Ltr to editor in "A Gift of Love," McCalls (December 1966): 72-75; SG Conference, 7 Jul 64.

62Special school: Brady, Dorland interv, 3 Jul 74. Brady believed Kelly's death saved Dustoff.

63Medical control: SG Conference, 22 Jul 66; Hammett, Dorland interv, Oct 75; Maj William R. Knowles, MSC, Asst Ch, Avn Br, OTSG, to Temperilli, 3 Oct 62, USACMH; Neel, Gaudino interv; 1st Ind, Neel, USARV Surg, to ACSFOR, 1 Nov 68, RG 112, accession 71A-3154, Box 9/48, NARA-WNRC. Heaton continually emphasized his desire to preserve the Medical Department as the Dustoff system's "functional operator." Heaton to Lt Gen Harry W.O. Kinnard, CG, U.S. Army Combat Development Command, 27 Dec 68, RG 112, accession 71A-3154, Box 9/48, NARA-WNRC. Hitchhikers: Brady, "Dust-Off Operations," Army Logistician 5 (July-August 1973): 19.

64Redundancy: Neel, Gaudino interv.

65Distinguished Service Crosses: Joseph Kralich to Ginn, 4 Jan 93, DASG-MS. Value of warrant officers: Interv, Lt Col William R. Knowles, MSC, with McPherson, Vietnam, 7 Jun 67; Interv, Lt Col Eugene Lail, MSC, with Dorland, THU, undated, both in USACMH. Quoted words: Moore, Dorland interv.

66Novosel: Interv, CW4 Michael J. Novosel with Dorland, THU, 19 Jun 74; Dorland and Nanney, Dust Off, pp. 96-98; Notes of intervs, CW4 Michael Novosel, Jr., with Ginn, 28 Feb and 2 Mar 86, DASG-MS; Boston Publishing Company, Above and Beyond: A History of the Medal of Honor from the Civil War to Vietnam (Boston: Boston Publishing Co., 1985), pp. 299-300, hereafter cited as Boston, Above and Beyond.

67Novosel: When he retired in 1985, the elder Novosel had forty-four years of military service and was the last World War II aviator still on active duty. Reflecting upon his Vietnam experience he said, "It is a strange thing to be part of a war and honestly say you have not killed anyone." Novosel, Dorland interv.

68Daily routine: Moore, Dorland interv; Interv, CW2 Michael A. Yourous with Dorland, THU, undated; "The Gamest Bastards of All," Time 86 (2 July 1965): 21.


69Hoists: Interv, Maj James E. Lombard, MSC, with Dorland, undated; Interv, Capt Henry O. Tuell, MSC, with Dorland, THU, 29 Dec 76; Greenhut, Vietnam MS, 6: 19.

70Lombard: Lombard, Dorland interv.

71Quoted words: Tuell, Dorland interv.

72Quoted words: Moore, Dorland interv; Moore to Ginn, 22 Aug 88, DASG-MS.

73Swimming pool: Notes of discussion, Ginn with Col Thomas C. Scofield, MSC, Dustoff Meeting, San Antonio, Tex., 1 Mar 86, DASG-MS.

74Quoted words: Interv, Col Lloyd E. Spencer, MSC, with Dorland, THU, 10 Jun 74.

75Quoted words: Capt Kenneth M. Radebaugh, MSC, Ops Off, 63d Med Det (RA), to Dorland, 22 May 74, USACMH.

76Brady: Brady, "Solo Missions," U.S. Army Aviation Digest 12 (July 1966): 2-6; Brady, "Instruments and Flares," U.S. Army Aviation Digest 15 (January 1969): 12-13; Brady, "Dust-off Operations," pp. 18-23; Lt Col Robert D. McWilliams, MSC, Cdt, 54th Med Det (Helicopter Ambulance [HA]), "Recommendation for Valor," 22 Jun 68; News release, OTSG, "MSC Officer Wins Medal of Honor," 9 Oct 69; Brady, Dorland interv, 3 Jul 74; "Medal of Honor Awarded Maj. Patrick Brady, MSC," Service Stripe, WRAMC, 23 October 1969, all in MSC-USACMH; SG Rpt, 1970, pp. 107-08; Dorland and Nanney, Dust Off, pp. 63-66; Nick Adde, "Real American Heroes," Army Times (11 April 1988): 41-46; Boston, Above and Beyond, pp. 300-301; Hamrick to Ginn, 22 Aug 88, DASG-MS.

77Pickup site: Capt. (later Maj. Gen.) Michael J. Scotti, MC, battalion surgeon of the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry, 196th Light Infantry Brigade, was on the first flight. Ltrs, Joseph M. Kralich to Ginn, 18 Feb 92 and 2 Apr 92, DASG-MS.

78Salute: Augerson's salute meant a great deal to Brady. "For some reason that has remained with me and will always be a pleasure to recall." Brady, Dorland interv.

79Ledford: MSC Newsletter, 1970-73.

80Bloomquist: USAREUR, HQ, V Corps, GO 495, 30 May 72; Rpt, Frankfurt Resident Agency, 2d Region, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, sub: Criminal Investigation Division (CID) Report of Investigation, 16 Nov 72; Eulogy for Bloomquist, Brig Gen James A. Young, MSC, (drafted by Lt. Col. Robert F. Elliott, MSC, XO, 68th Med Group), 16 Jun 80; Lt Col Paul A. Bloomquist, Cdr, 45th Med Bn, to Lt Col Richard H. Scott, MSC, Asst Ch, Avn Br, OTSG, 1 Feb 71; Lt Col Edward J. Taylor, Jr., MSC, to Elliott, 9 Jun 80, all in DASG-MS; Interv, Maj Ernest J. Sylvester, MSC, with Dorland, THU, 12 Jun 74, USACMH; SG Conference, 22 Jul 66.

81"Big Bear": "The Gamest Bastards of All," Time 86 (2 July 1965): 21; Moore, Dorland interv.

82First sergeant: Ltr to the editor, Lt. Col. Roger P. Hula II, MSC, Ret., "The Joy and the Grief," Army 36 (February 1986): 6, 9.

83Cavanaugh: Cavanaugh et al., "Plague," in Ognibene and O'Neill, Internal Medicine in Vietnam, 2: 167-97; Interv, Col Dan C. Cavanaugh, MSC, Ret., with Maj Eric G. Daxon, MSC, Washington, D.C., 17 Apr 85, DASG-MS; Engelman and Joy, Two Hundred Years of Military Medicine, p. 40.

84Quoted words: Brady, Dorland interv.