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500th Medical Collecting Company - Operations Report

Operation Overlord




1.  Period: 6 June to 26 June 1944

2. Strength Prior to Operation: 115 EM and 5 Officers

3.  Equipment Prior to Operation: Complete equipment as listed T/E 8-27

  Plus additional Medical Equipment to be carried by the individual soldier including:

  One (1) litter per litter bearer, twenty four (24) shell cases (105) containing Medical Supplies, per Litter Platoon; sixteen (16) Mussett Bags, containing 2 units Plasma plus bandage and dressings, per Station Platoon.

  Plus three (3) additional Jeep-Ambulances from ESB for initial phase of operation. (Making total of five (5) Jeep-Ambulances in all.)

4.  Mission during Operation:

  This Collecting Company was assigned the mission of accompanying troops of the 6th Engineer Special Brigade in the initial phases of landings on Omaha Beach and perform the following functions:

  a.  To clear the beaches from Easy-Green to Dog-Green of casualties upon landing.

  b.  To give first and second echelon Medical Service to all casualties in the 6th ESB Beach Maintenance Area.

  c.  To furnish third echelon Medical Service to Divisional Units moving inland as the occasion arose.

  d.  To evacuate casualties from Clearing Company ESB to Naval Beach Evacuation Stations and to assist Naval Beach Evacuation Stations in loading these casualties onto small craft and in keeping the beach clear of casualties.

5.  Plan of Disposition of Troops and Equipment Prior to Landings; It was planned that the following breakdown of personnel and. equipment be used for the operation:

  a.  To land with the assault troops of the 6th ESB between H-Hour and H+240:

4  Officers and 83 EM with what Medical Equipment they could carry plus five (5) Jeep-Ambulance[s] loaded with approximately two-thirds of the companies station Equipment, and one 2 ½  ton 6 x 6 loaded with Clr Co Property

  b.  To land with build up forces D + 1:  

  One (1) Officer and 17 EM and ten (10) ambulances carrying a residual station equipment and one (1) 3/4 Ton maintenance truck.

  c.  To land as residue approximately D + 15:

15 EM and three (3) 3/4 Ton Trucks containing residue of company property, with two (2) 1/4 ton trailers.

6.  Disposition of Troops and Equipment during Landing:

  a.  The plan of disposition as given above was carried out as shown with the exception of the time element over which we had no control.

  b.  The following graft [graph] gives the disposition of personnel in relation to the point of landing and the time of landing both as planned and as actually carried out.

*SOURCE:  National Archives and Records Administration
  Record Group 112, Records of  The Surgeon General, U.S. Army
Historical Unit Medical Service (HUMEDS) files
  500th Medical Collecting Company After-action Reports, 1945
  Box 185


7.  Operations During D-Day:

  a.  Conditions upon landing:

  (1)  When first elements of the company landed artillery and rocket fire from the enemy-struck the craft on which the first elements of the company landed killing seven (7) and wounding three (3) of the ten (10) men. (As the casualties were immediately evacuated no report has been available from these men.) (Easy-Green)

  (2)  The next element of the company landing found the beach still under considerable enemy fire including artillery, mortar and small arms fire. The beach was littered with casualties, only a few of which had been collected and where [sic] were being poorly sheltered behind a beached LCVP. The degree of penetration of our troops at this point was barely beyond the dune line.

  b.  Operations after Landing;

  (1)  Immediately upon landing collection [of] casualties upon this beach was begun. It was however greatly retarded due to persistency of enemy fire.

  (2)  As soon as the casualty collection point upon the beach itself was found to be impractical due to enemy fire. Reconnaissance was made some fifty yards inland for a more sheltered spot. An enemy anti-tank ditch approximately 25 yards from the beach was selected and casualties were brought to this point for initial treatment and for evacuation. Those casualties at the original site were put upon small craft and evacuated immediately.

  Casualties brought to the anti-tank trench were segregated into seriously wounded, and not seriously wounded at the entrance of the trench and treated accordingly. The treatment consisting chiefly of administering morphine and plasma and applying sulphanilamide dressings. The evacuation from this point was 100 % depending only upon availability of craft and condition of the casualty.

  Liaison with the naval beach master was established and litter squads were assigned to evacuate to craft and to collect casualties to this collection point.

  It was estimated that between 200 and 400 casualties were evacuated from this point during D-Day. Due to the limited number of personnel and the necessity for hasty evacuation it was found impossible to maintain records during this period.

(3)  In addition to the twenty six EM and one officer who originally established this point, the officer was able to procure late on D Day approximately four Medical Officers and ten Enlisted Medical Personnel from landing First Division Troops and other Medical Units landing at this point to assist him in the operation of this collection point.


8.  Operations During D + 1:

  a.  At approximately 1000 of D + 1, it was decided to move that element of this company, which had by then been assembled, at the tank ditch collection point on Easy-Green Beach, to the Dog-Red Beach entrance, due to the following factors:

(1)  The establishment of the First Division Clearing Station immediately forward of our collecting point and the beginning of operation of this station so that it was possible to transfer our residual casualties to them.

(2)  Easy-Green Beach and adjacent areas had by this time been cleared of casualties.

(3)  Prior operations plan had designated the site for the Station of this Company to be situated just forward of Dog-Red Beach entrance, coordinates (blank) 1 to 50,000 map

  b.  Approximately 55 EM and 3 officers including CO, Station Platoon CO and Litter Platoon CO proceeded to the Dog-Red Beach entrance via St Laurent requiring about two (2) hours for this movement due to sniper fire. Sniper fire made such movement impracticable across the beach.

(1)  A new collecting point was established at Dog-Red Beach entrance in the shelter of the buildings of Les Moulins nearest the sea. Immediate evacuation of casualties from the beach was begun despite persistent sniper fire, which was brought to bear upon each litter squad going out on the beach and some twenty-five casualties were brought to this point and evacuated to the Clearing Platoon of the 6th ESB, which had located approximately four hundred yards inland of this point, coordinates (blank). In this interval the Jeep-Ambulances of the company were assembled at this point, the Station Equipment unloaded and a temporary station erected and ambulances used for evacuation. This site was used for the station until late D + 1 when evacuation from the Clearing Platoon became a major problem of the company and it was decided to move to the area of the Clearing Platoon and to continue collection of casualties from this point. The station was moved to coordinates (blank) and set up in conjunction with the Clearing Platoon of the 6th ESB at approximately 1800 7 June l944.

9.  Operations during D + 2:

  a.  From the site above mentioned Jeep-Ambulances covered the road network between St Laurent and Vierville and southward to Formigny collecting casualties, placing roadmarkers and establishing liaison between Medical Units of the 6th ESB and Medical Units of the 29th and 1st Divisions and evacuating casualties from the Clearing Platoon to small craft at Easy Green Beach which was then the only beach in operation permitting evacuation of casualties at this time.

  b.  The Collecting Station, which had been established in conjunction with the 6th ESB Clearing Platoon, received and sorted all casualties coming to this platoon and gave minor treatment to the sick and walking wounded and prepared the litter wounded for admission to the Clearing Station. Approximately 112 casualties passed thru the station in this period.

10.  Operations during D + 3:  

  a.  Jeep-Ambulances at this time were supplemented by the arrival of the ten regular ambulances of this company and road network coverage for collection of casualties extended to the outskirts of Isigny and the area between Formigny and Longueville to the beach.

  b.  Support was given to the Medical elements of the Second Division, which at that time had not come ashore.

  c.  Station operation as on the previous day, l34 casualties admitted during this period.

11.  Operations from D + 4 to D + 6:

  a.  Ambulance posts established at the following points:

(1)  On the beach at:

(a)  Dog-Green road entrance


(b)  Dog-White beach

(c)  Dog-Red road entrance

(d)  Easy-Green beach

(2)  Off the beach at:

(a)  St Laurent air strip.
(b)  Coordinates (blank) Vierville vicinity

  b.  Jeep-Ambulances obtained from 149th Engr. Combat Team prior to landing were returned to their parent organizations.

  c.  Evacuation of casualties from the Clearing Company ceased to be to small craft directly and instead was to the 2nd Platoon of the Clearing Company, which had located between the beach and the airstrip, and which acted as a casualty evacuation station, sorting and coordinating air and sea evacuation,

  d.  Station operation was the same as stated previously. Number of casualties admitted 10 June l944, 157.  Number of casualties admitted 11 June l944, 144.

12.  Operation from D + 6 to D + 12:

  a.  Operation was essentially the same as shown above. Location of the Station and function of the company was essentially unaltered during this period. Attached is a graph showing casualty admission rate from 8 June to 26 June l944 inclusive,

  b.  Support given the Medical elements of Second Divisions was relieved D + 5 upon the landing of their own Medical Units.


Enclosure 1 Landing Diagram, 6 June 1944

Enclosure 2 Casualties Treated 6-30 June 1944


1-  Company “C” 60th Medical Battalion was activated Sept 2, 1942 at Camp Butner, North Carolina with enlisted cadre personnel of the 5th Medical Battalion.

2-  On Oct 9, 1942 the company received a shipment of enlisted personnel to bring the organization up to T/O.

3-  On Oct 10, 1942 the company began a 6 week basic training period.

4-  On Nov 25, 1942 the organization began a 6 week military fitness training program.

5-  On Jan 9, 1943 the organization began a 13 week training period consisting of tactical problems. Also during this period, hospital and organizational training of surgical and medical technicians was in effect.

6-  On April 6, 1943 the company moved to Lyons, N.C. in preparation for departure for maneuvers.

7-  On or about April 14, 1943 the company departed from Lyons, N.C. by motor convoy for the maneuver area for the 2nd Army maneuvers starting May 2, 1943.

8-  Company participation in this maneuver during the first phase was as a Corps medical unit.  During the second phase the organization functioned as an Army medical unit.

9-  Company departed from the maneuver area July 3, 1943 arriving at Camp Butner, N.C.  July 4, 1943.

10-  On Aug 16, 1943 company departed from Camp Butner, N.C. for Crabtree Creek National Park, N.C. for tactical problems.

11-  On Aug 21, 1943 the organization departed from Crabtree Creek National Park, N.C. for Camp Butner, N.C.

12-  On Aug 11, 1943 the company moved from Camp Butner, N.C. into bivouac at Lyons, N.C.

13-  On Sept 3, 1943 the company departed from Lyons, N.C. by motor convoy for Camp Pickett, Va; attached tp 13th Corps for amphibious training.

14-  On Sept 6, 1943 the organization began a program of amphibious training.

15-  On Sept 20, 1943 Company “C”, 60th Medical Battalion was redesignated and reorganized as 500th Collecting Company (Separate), 60th Medical Battalion under T/O & E 8-27 dated 20 May l943.

16-  On Sept 22, 1943 the company departed from Camp Pickett, Va by motor convoy for Camp Bradford NOB, Va for amphibious maneuvers.

17-  On Oct 11, 1943 the company completed amphibious maneuvers and returned to Camp Pickett, Va.

18-  On Oct 30, 1943 the company departed from Camp Pickett, Va for one week tactical problems.


19-  On Dec 20, 1943 the company departed from Camp Pickett, Va by rail for a permanent change of station.

20-  On Dec 21, 1943 arrived Camp Kilmer, N.J.

21-  On Dec 28, 1943 the company departed from Camp Kilmer, N.J. for N.Y.P.E.

22-  On Dec 29, 1943 the organization departed N Y P E in overseas movement.

23-  Arrived in England 10 January 1944. On 11 January 1944 arrived Higher Barracks Exeter, England.

24-  19 January 1944 the company departed Higher Barracks, Exeter, England for Torquay, England.

25-  22 January l944 the company was relieved from assignment to ETOUSA and attached to the First US Army and assigned to the 6th Engineer Special Brigade.

26-  19 February 1944 the 500th Collecting Company redesignated the 500th Medical Collecting Company under TO & E 8-27 Change 2, dtd 14 Oct 1943.

27-  3 March 1944 the company departed for amphibious problem at Slapton Sands, England.

28-  11 March 1944 problem ended and returned to billets in Torquay, England.

29-  3 April 1944 the company entrained at Torquay Devon, England and arrived at Barnstaple, Devon for amphibious maneuvers.

30-  5 April 1944 the company departed from Camp Braunton for participation in “Cargo”problems at Woolacombe Bay.

31-  11 April 1944 the company departed from Woolacombe Bay by motor and drove to Torquay, Devon, England and moved into assigned billets.

32-  26 April 1944 company entrained at Torquay, Devon, England for an amphibious maneuver at Slapton Sands, England.

33-  7 May 1944 company departed from Slapton Sands, England by truck for return to proper station at Torquay, Devon, England.

34-  16 May 1944 the company entrained at Torquay, Devon, England for Dorchester, England and upon arrival the company marched to staging Camp D-7.

35-  27 May 1944 the company was briefed for “D” Day assault on the coast of France.

36-  1 June 1944 the company moved from Stating Area by truck to Portland, England and embarked on an LST 317.

37-  5 June 1944 the LST departed from rendezvous area Portland, England at 0316 for France.

38-  6 June 1944 the company disembarked from LST #317 at 0730 on Rhino Ferry and landed on Easy Green Beach, Omaha Sector on the Coast of France at 1615. Casualties heavy on the Beach.

39-  6 June l944 thru 28 June 1944 the company supported the 6th Engr Special Brigade, 29th Inf Division, 1st Inf. Division and the 2nd Inf. Division with medical service as they passed thru the Beach Maintenance Area. Established first collecting station in an anti-tank ditch on Easy Green Beach, casualties heavy.


40-  9 June 1944 the company moved to a new location and established a Collecting Station in the vicinity of St Laurent sur Mer, France. Commanding Officer divided the company into three (3) groups to provide 24 hour medical service.

41-  10 June 1944 casualties light during the day and increased during the night. Duffel bags came ashore and men got fresh shoes and clothes.

42-  11 June 1944 casualties heavy during the early part of the day due to bombing. The area has been cleared of snipers today.

43-  18 June 1944 company located in the vicinity of St Laurent sur Mer, France. Chaplain held memorial services at 0900 this morning.

44-  Pursuant to authority contained in letter Hq ETOUSA file 320.3 RCGA dtd 7 June 1944 subject “Reduction of Basic Privates”, unit authorized strength changed from 100 EM to 97 EM.

45-  25 June 1944 operating collecting station in the vicinity of St Laurent sur Mer, France; casualties light, majority of casualties caused by land mines.

46-  14 July 1944 the company broke bivouac at 1730 and moved one and one tenth miles to a new area; arrived at new area at 1750, set up station for operation.

47-  23 July 1944 company participated in Battalion Memorial Service held for Lt Colonel Bullock previously the Battalion Commander. [LTC Bernard E. Bullock, Medical Corps, was killed in action on 6 June 1944]

48-  1 August 1944 the litter platoon and the Basics of Headquarters section departed from the company at 1800 to assist the 2nd Platoon of the 634th Clearing Company at the Evacuation Center.
49-  Company on the 6 August 1944 moved from 1 mile South of St Laurent sur Mer, France to Vierville sur Mer, France.

50-  20 October 1944 the company operating two (2) dispensaries in the 6th Engr Special Brigade Area and one (1) in the 5th Engr Special Brigade area. Ambulances stationed on the beach for the 5th and 6th Engr Special Brigades.

51-  5 November 1944 the unit relieved from assignment to the 6th Engineer Special Brigade per par #2, Troop Assignment No 34  Hq 6th Engineer Special Brigade dated 5 November 1944.

52-  7 November 1944 the company departed from Vierville sur Mer, France at 0810 enroute for St Saens, France, traveled 137 miles and arrived at 1610 at St Saens, France. Billeted in an old French Factory.

53-  10 November 1944 company departed from St Saens, France at 0935 by motor convoys enroute for St Michel de Halescourt, France. Traveled 26 miles arriving at St Michel de Halescourt at 1130. Billeted in Chateau de St Michel.

54-  13 November 1944 company opened two (2) dispensaries; Dispensary “A” located in Forges, France and Dispensary “B” located in Argueil, France.

55-  On 20 November 1944 Company assigned to Channel Base Section per Troop Assignment #148, Hq ETOUSA.

56-  Dispensary “B” 500th Med. Collecting Company moved from Argueil, France to Yerville, France.

57-  20 December 1944 company awarded one (1) battle participation star for Normandy Campaign No 1 per ltr Hq European T of Opns dtd 16 Nov 1944.


58-  22 December 1944 the company awarded one (1) Battle Participation Star for the Campaign of Northern France No 1 per Ltr Hq European T of Opns., dtd 1 Dec 1944.

59-  10 January 1945 one (1) officer and eleven (11) EM left company area at 0815 for Yerville, France for purpose of establishing Dispensary “B” 500th Medical Collecting Company.  

60-  14 January 1945 Headquarters Section 500th Med. Collecting Company departed St Michel de Halescourt, France at 0800 by motor convoy drove 72 miles to Blosseville, France. Organization billeted in Chateau in Blosseville, France. Dispensary “A” 500th Med. Collecting Company departed from Forges les Eaux, France at 0845 by motor convoy drove 72 miles to Blosseville, France and preceded to Camp Lucky Strike, France a distance of four miles where the dispensary will operate.

61-  15 January 1945 Dispensary “B” 500th Medical Collecting Company departed from Yerville, France at 1330 by motor convoy drove 34 miles to Blosseville, France and proceeded to Camp Lucky Strike, France where the dispensary set up in tents for operation.

62-  28 January 1945; Dispensary “B” 500th Medical Collecting Company departed from Camp Lucky Strike at 0800 by motor convoy and drove to Yerville, France. Upon arrival at 0845 set up to receive patients.