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Korean War Unit Histories



APO 7, c/o Postmaster

San Francisco, California

      9 January 1952

MED 41 (R1)




The 7th Infantry Division, during the entire year of 1951, was a member of the Eighth United States Army in Korea and committed to combat except for short periods in reserve. The Division began its annual operations in the vicinity of Yongchon, Korea, which was a reassembly and training area. From this point it moved forward to the Chechon-Tanyang-Chungju area and on 26th of January 1951 the Division launched its attack toward Pyongchang. The Division shifted its position to the east on the 1st of April 1951 to relieve the First Marine Division and units of the 7th Division crossed the 38th Parallel and captured the Korean town of Yanggu. The Division on the 27th of April 1951, was ordered to withdraw and straighten out the Eighth Army line. The 1st of May 1951, the Division was on the move to an area north of Chipyong-ni to plug a gap caused by the collapse of the 6th ROK Division. The 7th Division then spearheaded the IX Corps drive to Hwachon. The Division seized its objective east of Kumhwa on the 17th of June 1951. On the 23rd of June 1951, the Division went into IX Corps reserve in the vicinity of Todun-ni where it remained until the Division went back into action on the 6th of August 1951. The Division forward CP was located at Hwachon, however due to insufficient spacing the Surgeon's Office remained at Todun-ni. On 30 August the Surgeon's Office moved into the Hwachon site vacated by the 7th Division Headquarters which moved to Oet'ook-tong. On the 4th of October 1951 the Division then moved into reserve at Kapyong where it remained until the 20th of October 1951. It then moved into the X Corps area in the vicinity of Yanggu, where it has remained until the present date.

The medical facilities supporting the 7th Infantry Division consisted of the 7th Medical Battalion to which was attached the Division Dental service, equipped with three dental vans for both prosthetic and Dental surgical procedures, the 17th Infantry Regimental Medical Company, the 31st Infantry Regimental Medical Company, the 32nd Infantry Regimental Medical Company, and the Medical Detachments of the Division Artillery, the 13th Engineer Battalion, the Headquarters of the 7th Infantry Division and finally the Division Surgeon's Office. A medical dispensary was established and maintained at the Division rear for the medical and dental care of approximately 500 rear personnel and variable replacements arriving at the Division. A medical officer and two dental officers were assigned to this dispensary. One dental officer was assigned to the replacement center to screen


and treat all replacements coming into the division requiring dental care. Two dental officers were also assigned to each Regimental Medical Company and one to each of the supporting detachments. The dental facilities thus provided 1st echelon dental care to the entire Division and has proved very satisfactory throughout the year.

The 7th Medical Battalion operated in combat status in support of the 7th Division throughout the year, operating a Clearing Company, an Ambulance and a Headquarters Company. Because of the type of terrain and the nature of the tactical situation the Clearing Company maintained two clearing platoons in continuous operation and one clearing platoon in reserve and training status. During the last quarter of the year all three clearing platoons were activated and in operation furnishing medical support to all three Regiments and attached units. The ambulance company maintained a platoon of ten ambulances at each of the Regimental Medical Companies and furnished excellent service considering the age, condition of the vehicles and the type of terrain they had to travel. The ambulances were originally brought over from Japan by the 7th Medical Battalion and of the original thirty, sixteen (16) are still in operation and of these five (5), should be surveyed because of their condition, but are still in operation as replacements are unavailable.

The Medical Battalion also operated the Division medical supply point. The service rendered was at all times efficient in that all available medical items requisitioned by the using medical units were anticipated and issued to the units as needed and at the same time there was never an excess nor was the mobility of the supply unit impaired. A unified system of control is now being placed in conjunction with policies and directives from Eighth Army for unification of supply procedures.

The 7th Medical Battalion experienced three main difficulties during the year 1951. The first concerned the maintenance in operation of the various type generators allowed the Battalion in their T/O & E. The Battalion is authorized two (2) 3 KV and three (3) 5 KV generators and during the past six (6) months they have operated with either two or at most three generators even though two clearing platoons were in operation separate from the parent unit and the third clearing platoon operated in the Battalion area in conjunction with the Headquarters Company, the Dental section and the Headquarters of both the Ambulance and Clearing Companies. Inasmuch as the authorized number of generators were found insufficient and in constant state of repairs, the Battalion was authorized a 15 KV generator in June 1951. This generator supplied essential electric service during the months of July and August when a small magneto part became defective and it was necessary to wait for a replacement for more than three (3) months before the generator could be put in use again. It is found that a 15 KV generator should be added to the T/O & E of the Medical Battalion in addition to those already authorized. The second difficulty


experienced by the Battalion has already been stated above under the ambulance discussion. The third concerning personnel will be considered later.

The Regimental Medical Companies supported their respective Regiments by furnishing personnel to establish advance and rear aid stations to each battalion on the line as well as a forward and rear collecting station whenever the tactical situation required. The forward aid stations were generally located within a fear hundred yards of the outpost line or on the outpost itself on the ridge lines. The Medical Officer assigned to the aid station was most often at this forward point. The rear aid station was usually located at base of the hill and served the rear battalion personnel. This division of the aid station and the collecting stations was found to be very efficient in the early treatment and evacuation of battle casualties which because of the nature of the terrain and type of warfare necessitated long hours of litter hauls. Serious battle casualties were evacuated from the forward aid stations be means of the Bell type helicopters which were attached to the Mobile Surgical Hospitals. These evacuations were all coordinated through the office of the Division Surgeon. Helicopters were also utilized in bringing whole blood to the advance medical units in the event of emergencies where blood was immediately needed. Helicopter evacuation played a tremendous role in the saving of life of the severely wounded soldier. It is believed that this service could be improved if the helicopters were stationed at the level of the Medical Battalion when the Mobile Surgical Hospital units where located more than approximately ten to fifteen miles behind the forward points. This service could also be improved by adopting a night flying helicopter inasmuch as many of the casualties occur at dusk and during the night.

Medical service could be improved at the forward units if oxygen therapy apparatus were made a part of the T/O & E of the battalion aid station. Many casualties requiring immediate oxygen therapy were required to wait until evacuated to rear medical units.

The remaining medical facilities of the division continued their support by rendering dispensary type service and utilizing their personnel in maintaining a high level of sanitation within the division.

During this annual period the Division had no veterinary service, having no actual need for it.

The Division Medical Service supplied the Division with good close medical support throughout the year with a minimum of difficulties in treatment, evacuation and supply.



The Medical Section which was part of the Division Headquarters organized and functioned under Column 13, T/O & E 7-1, dated 7 July 1918 as amended, and General Order 26, Headquarters Eighth Army dated 7 March 1948, as amended General Order 45, Headquarters 7th Infantry Division, dated 6 October 1949, as amended, which provides for four (4) Officers and five (5) Enlisted Men.

The Officers' positions are:

Division Surgeon (3000)

Division Medical Inspector (3005)

Division Neuropsychiatrist (3130)

Medical Assistant (3506)

Medical Units within the Division are organized and equipped under the appropriate T/O & E's (N-Series). During the years operation in Korea some augmentation of equipment was necessary to meet peculiar demands of road and climatic conditions. There were no shortages of personnel that impaired the fulfillment of assigned missions.


The physical health considering the theatre of operations, climatic conditions and prevalence of disease remained excellent throughout the year. Sick call for other than wounds received in action, varied inversely with the commitment of the units. Cold weather injuries began with a high admission rate at the latter part of November but have dropped to a low rate at time of this report. The physical health of the command remains excellent.

Mental Health of the Command. The mental health of the command has varied with both the weather and commitment of the troops. As a whole the mental health of the Division has been exceptionally good, and has created few problems to either the medical department or to Command. The Division Neuropsychiatrist has maintained close liaison with the Command and was able to anticipate possible trouble sources before a mental health problem has made any progress. The mental health of the Division has remained excellent throughout the year.

The Venereal Disease rate has been fairly low since the beginning of the year. Most of the V. D. contacts are made in Japan during R & R trips by personnel concerned. Penicillin Aureomycin and streptomycin have proved very satisfactory in the treatment of the disease.

Housing conditions for troops and medical facilities have been fair under the very mobile combat conditions here in Korea. The housing consisted solely of bunkers and tents. Tentage has remained short in supply throughout the entire year. Adequate tentage came over to Korea with the Division but salvage and replacement has been difficult


at its best. The tentage on hand at the close of the year is both inadequate in condition and quantity. Most PX facilities in Korea have been replaced by gratuitous issue of comfort items.


There has been to occurrence of serious epidemics among the troops either in the respiratory type diseases or those of the gastro-intestinal origin.

The sanitation in the field has been remarkable and this condition has been attributed to the cooperation and responsibility taken by each individual of the Division from the private up through the Staff Officers. A function pertaining to sanitation as a preventive measure in which disease is kept at a minimum, was established whereby each Company has delegated certain individuals to be personally responsible for the sanitation of the unit. This has paid marked dividends in reducing our morbidity reports, and consequently minimizing the man hours lost due to preventable diseases arising from poor sanitary conditions.

Along with the program of delegated responsibility, our Medical Officers utilized an extreme use of a wide range of suppurative, suppressive, and selectively destructive therapeutic agents in a professional manner thus counteracting in its infancy any disease brought to their attention through Medical channels.

In view of the facts that the environmental sanitation has presented many problems peculiar to "Korea", we feel that up to the present time our medical standards in preventing disease have been justified and adequate to meet the demands.

There have been no instances of diseases resulting from nutritional inadequacy. Field rations have been satisfactory and cold meals confined to periods of movement or operations which precluded preparation of hot foods. The overall health of the command has remained excellent throughout the year.


Common respiratory diseases were more prevalent during the first three months and last two months of 1951 because of the adverse environmental conditions. Specific diseases spread by the respiratory route were well controlled and all cases well scattered.

The division with the help of the attached Preventive Medicine Detachment has continuously made surveys of the division areas to eliminate insect breeding places. All indigenous personnel housing areas were routinely dusted with DDT.


Malaria was well controlled by the routine use of chloroquine throughout the division. Total number of cases was eighty-seven (87) for the year and the highest peak was in August.

This division had a very low episode of hemorrhagic fever. There were a total of eight (8) cases during the year. Most of these were from the 17th Infantry Regiment.

It is believed that the low incidence of communicable diseases is due to the efforts of the Preventive Medicine Team assigned to the division as well as the frequent inspections by all medical personnel in all phases of field sanitation and with particular stress on personal hygiene. Troops were warned about eating indigenous foods and beverages and it is believed that this supervision accounts for the low rate of gastro-intestinal diseases.


The following were the key personnel of the Medical Section during the year:

Division Surgeon


Lt Colonel Samuel J Newsom, MC

1 Jan - 26 June 1951

Lt Colonel George Britton, MC

27 June - 30 Nov 1951

Lt Colonel William A. Ventimiglia, MC

1 Dec - 31 Dec 1951

Division Medical Inspector


Captain Albert E. Fick, MSC

1 Jan - 12 April 1951

Major James R. S. Himebaugh, MC

13 Apr - 31 Dec 1951

Division Neuropsychiatrist


Major Wilmer C. Betts, MC

1 Jan - 23 June 1951

Captain Richard L. Conde, MC

24 June - 31 Dec 1951

Division Dental Surgeon


Lt Colonel [John E.] Pleasants

1 Jan - 27 July 1951

Captain Thomas J. Brown

28 July - 1 Oct 1951

Major Donald J. Styer

2 Oct - 31 Dec 1951

Medical Assistant


1st Lt Raymond N. Halstead, MSC

1 Jan - 19 Mar 1951

WOJG Martin R. Karaba

20 Mar - 22 Sept 1951


1st Lt Frank D. Stone, MSC

23 Sept - 13 Oct 1951

WOJG Judson H. Wynne, Jr.

14 Oct - 3 Dec 1951

1st Lt Emmett L. Sellers, MSC

4 Dec - 31 Dec 1951

7th Medical Battalion - Battalion Commander


Lt Colonel Robert Budge

1 Jan - 5 July 1951

Lt Colonel William A. Ventimiglia

6 July - 20 Nov 1951

Major Rudolph P. Wipperman

21 Nov - 31 Dec 1951

At the beginning of the year, the Division had thirty-five (35) Medical Corps Officers assigned, four (4) of these were United States Naval Officers attached to the Division. The assigned Medical Corps Officers reached a low of thirty-two (32) in June which did not affect the efficiency of the Medical Department of this Division. During the month of October, the Medical Corps Officer strength hit a high of forty-three (43) and continued at that level until the end of the year when thirty-eight (38) of an authorized forty-two (42) were present for duty. During the shortage of Army Medical Corps Officers throughout the year, United States Naval Officers were attached to the division, and were relieved upon the arrival of Army Medical Corps Officers to the division.

The Dental Corps started the year with sixteen (16) assigned officers of an authorized nineteen (19) and increased with various intermediate gains and losses to a total of twenty-four (24) for the month of September. At the end of the year, there were fifteen (15) Dental Corps Officers of an authorized nineteen (19) present for duty.

The Medical Service Corps started the year with thirty-seven (37) assigned officers of an authorized thirty-nine (39) and decreased with various intermediate gains and losses to a total of thirty-four (34) of an authorized thirty-nine (39) in the month of December.

At the beginning of the year there were four (4) Warrant Officers assigned to this division. At the close of the period, there were a total of two (2) officers of an authorized three (3) present for duty.

Army Medical Service Enlisted Personnel increased from eight hundred seventy-eight (878) in January to a high of one thousand twenty-nine (1029) during the month of August, dropping back to nine hundred eighty-five (985) at the close of the year. There was a shortage of trained Army Medical Service Enlisted personnel during the period, and it was necessary to take infantry personnel to fill in for the shortage of trained Army Medical Service Personnel. Combat casualties among enlisted medical personnel have been relatively high for the medical sections of this division.


Below is a breakdown of medical department personnel for the year by months















































































In January 1951, one (1) Dental Officer attached to the division from the Department of the Air Force.

In April two (2) United States Navy Officers were attached to the division as doctors.

In January four (4) Navy Officers were assigned to the 7th Infantry Division.

W.I.A. Medical Officers  3

Morale of the Medical Corps, Dental Corps and Medical Service Corps, was noted to be adversely affected by the rotation policy for officers integrated on or about March 1951, at which time these personnel had been informed that six (6) months service with division combat level would permit them to be rotated back to ZI. This program of rotation, although in operation for all personnel of the division, was not actually in effect in the Medical Department until the latter part of August and September. Actually rotation of Medical Department personnel presented a temporary problem when replacements became available within the division. They were assigned to the division in such large numbers that many units within the division itself had to function with complete new medical personnel. It is believed that the medical service could have been improved had replacements been assigned to the division in smaller number so that there would have been an overlap period of training and readjustment within the units themselves.

During the past six (6) months within the division, a rotation policy has been established and maintained for the Medical Corps, Dental Corps, and Medical Service Corps personnel. Officers are ro-


tated through Battalion Aid Stations, to Collecting and Clearing units, as well as interval assignments to the various medical detachments within the division. This program is intended to give the individual Medical Department officer a more rounded background in as far as the division medical service is concerned, to afford him an opportunity of better living conditions, and increased professional contacts afforded by the rear medical units. To date, this program appears to be functioning satisfactorily both, as far as the individual and the units are concerned.


The training of medical department personnel has been kept at as high a level as the tactical situation has permitted. All the personnel have had on-the-job training. The EM have had a training schedule maintained within the Regimental Medical Companies which along with reserve periods and the rotation of personnel has kept the training of individuals at a high level throughout the year. Officers have been rotated to different jobs throughout the year to give them a well rounded understanding of military medical facilities within the infantry.


In January the Division was recommitted east of Chechon with a 15 day stock of medical supplies on hand at the Division medical supply point. The Division medical supply office was located with Headquarters of the 7th Medical Battalion at this time. Replacement supplies were procured by organic transportation from the 6th Army Medical Depot Platoon located in Taegu with occasional trips to the Base Depot at Pusan necessary. All levels of supplies were maintained adequately with respect to the long distances involved.

February saw the 3rd Advance Platoon of the 6th Army Medical Depot move to the vicinity of Chungju, about 34 miles from Chechon cutting the distance for pick-up of supplies better than half. At this time levels were dropped to a 7-10 day period. Since this date all medical supplies have been received from the same advance platoon of the 6th Army Medical Depot, subsequently located at Chunchon.

The Division continued to be committed in the east and on the central front where exceptionally good roads were being constructed making the supply depot more accessible.

Toward the end of the period a back-order system was implemented to further the flow of supplies to the units and attached units of the Division.


Maintenance of medical equipment is maintained by a medical equipment repairman in the division medical supply office, augmented by an equipment repair vehicle that makes monthly visits to the division from the 6th Army Medical Depot in Taegu.

All medical non-expendable property is maintained in accord with TM 38-403.

Some items of medical supply were in a "short supply" status, among these were the antibotics, Aureomycin, chloramphenicol and Terramycin. These became more plentiful in December, and currently are in sufficient quantity to meet the demand. There were no major supply difficulties encountered during this period.


There has been no veterinary service within the division for the year. There has been no use of indigenous food products and no animals within the division.


The 7th Infantry Division and attached units have been in actual combat, or in reserve status in a combat zone, during the entire year 1951. Under the combat conditions, the efficiency of the Dental Service was impaired by frequent moves from one location to another as necessitated by the changing tactical situation. The tactical situation during the last quarter of the year was more stable and unit moves became less frequent.

There were 13 Dental Officers assigned to the Division and 3 attached at the beginning of 1951. This number of attached Dental Officers varied from month to month as the tactical situation changed. The number of assigned Dental Officers varied from 12 to 11 until September when 12 Dental Officer replacements were assigned to the Division. Two Dental Officers received PCS orders during September, eight during October, and one during December, so that, at the end of 1951 there were 15 Dental Officers assigned and none attached to the Division.

The Dental Identification Records were completed during July and August, with the exception of about 10% of the command. These could not be completed at the time because of the tactical situation, and represent individuals rather than specific units. With the replacements coming to the Division and rotation of personnel, together with DIRs completed on an individual basis, it is felt that all personnel presently assigned to the Division have had their DIRs completed.


It has been necessary to keep one Dental Officer on detached service to the Division Replacement Center. The dental health of the replacements reporting to the Division made it imperative that they be surveyed while at the Replacement Center. The Class V conditions were eliminated before the replacements reported to their units. In some groups surveyed, it was found that as high as 25% of the replacements were in a Class V, or Class III requiring extractions, condition.

There has been a low incidence of Vincent's Stomatitis during the year. The total number of cases during the year represent 6/10 of one per cent of the command. The largest number of cases was diagnosed during the months of June and July. This coincided with the drive from Chunchon north to the Hwachon Reservoir and beyond to Kumhwa, when the Division was steadily advancing.

The dental health of the Division at the end of the year as compared to the beginning of the year reflects the dental health of the replacements who have reported to the Division. The personnel in the Division at the beginning of the year were, in part, those who had been with the Division before it arrived in Korea. At the end of the year, however, the Division is comprised almost entirely of personnel assigned to the Division during the year. There is, at the end of 1951, an increase in the number of the personnel requiring restorations, a decrease in the number requiring no dental treatment, and approximately the same number requiring extractions and replacements of missing teeth.

The aim and purpose of the Division Dental Service is to provide the maximum amount of definitive dentistry, in addition, of course, to eliminate the causes of painful dental conditions. According to the reports of the Dental Officers who are assigned to the units, the most common obstacle encountered in accomplishing definitive dentistry is the lack of electrical current.

The availability of essential supply items has been adequate during the year.








Sittings Given












Miscellaneous Operations






Dentures, Full



Dentures, Partial



Total Prosthetic Operations



Total Days of Duty for Dental Officers           5, 413

Classification of Military Personnel at the beginning and close of report period. (Figures are percentage of command strength)

























1st Lt   MSC

Adm    Ass't


7th Infantry Division

1 January 1951 to 31 December 1951

During the report period, one thousand two hundred and forty-five (1245) patients were seen by the 7th Division Neuropsychiatrist. Thirty per cent (374) of these patients were evacuated through medical channels. Of those evacuated approximately ten per cent had medical or neurological diseases. Thus only approximately three hundred and fifty (350) men were evacuated from the Division during the year due to psychiatric conditions. It is recognized that varying number of patients were evacuated medically who were basically psychiatric patients, but were not brought to the attention of the Divisional Psychiatrist. Some of the patients evacuated with N P reactions subsequently returned to duty from rear medical installations.

Other factors revealing excellent morale was a consistently low SIW, AWOL, and courts-martial rate.

The care of all N P casualties was centralized in the platoon of the Clearing Company which was at the moment acting as the holding platoon. Two (2) extra squad tents were added to the Clearing Company equipment specifically to be used for the care of psychiatric casualties, but they were seldom needed because of the low casualty and rapid return-to-duty rates.

The Division Neuropsychiatrist, Major Wilmer C. Betts (1 January 1951 to 19 June 1951), Captain Richard L. Conde (20 June 1951 to 31 December 1951), lived with the Clearing platoon. No transportation was designated for the Neuropsychiatrist so that visits to forward installations were often possible only by hitch-hiking or borrowing transportation from the Medical Battalion. Occasionally transportation was available from the Division Motor Pool. There was a general medical officer (3100) assigned as Clearing Company psychiatrist until August 1951 after which no Clearing Company psychiatrist was available. The office of Division Surgeon was used for all administrative and clerical work.

Of the Clearing Company T/O & E of nine (9) N P enlisted technicians, four was the greatest number ever made available for N P work, although more help was not needed. However, it was impossible at times to obtain appropriate promotions for N P technicians because other Clearing Company personnel not doing N P work occupied the position vacancies. Men of above average intelligence with experience as riflemen who had succumbed to anxiety symptoms were found to be most valuable for work on the wards as they were able to estimate the degree of disability in proportion to the stresses of front line duty and were not overly sympathetic with non-effective and unwilling soldiers.


Good discipline was maintained on the ward at all times. One rifleman-technician-patient who had been awarded the Silver Star was very valuable inasmuch as he served as an example of a brave, previously ill, but now recovered "psycho" case. The work was further facilitated by the fortuitous procurement of a soldier with MOS 4745 [Ed.-rifleman] who had a college degree in social work and provided valuable professional help.

Each case was treated on its merits. All men were told they would be returned to duty by the corpsman and were called upon to perform menial tasks in a regular rotation work program. All patients were treated as being essentially well until the severity of their symptoms obviously indicated further evacuation. Tremulous, anxious, or disoriented patients were heavily sedated for eighteen to thirty-six hours with oral Sodium Amytal. Conversion reactions were treated with strong suggestion only. No Sodium Amytal hypnosis or other aids were found to be necessary at this level. Non-medical non-effective soldiers were exhorted and appropriate recommendations were made for command action. Patients with psychotic reactions were immediately evacuated, with escort of appropriate rank where necessary.

Command was promptly informed of special problems arising in various units and by circular letter and personal contacts command was informed regarding the problem of the non-medical non-effective soldier and proved most cooperative in this regard. Initiation of action under AR 615-368-369 was felt to be withheld to the detriment of the service in some cases.

Medical officers were visited frequently and all immediate problems and general procedures were often reviewed and discussed. Patients were examined at all levels, Battalion Aid Station, Collecting Station, Clearing Company, and occasionally where possible on a consultation basis with the Mobile Army Surgical units.

Medical officers were encouraged to discuss chronic sick-call visitors and other problem cases with the Division Neuropsychiatrist to facilitate definitive action through command channels which tended to free medical officers to devote full time to the care of the medically ill and injured.


Captain MC

Division Neuropsychiatrist

SOURCE:  National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 112, Records of US Army Surgeon General, 7th Infantry Division, Annual Reports, 1950-1953, Box 221.