U.S. Army Medical Department, Office of Medical History
Skip Navigation, go to content







AMEDD MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS External Link, Opens in New Window






Bibliographical Note



Although some materials used in the preparation of this volume came from civilian sources and from other Government agencies, the vast bulk of the documentation both in manuscript and in printed form is to be found in Army records located within the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. For matters pertaining to the Zone of Interior and the determination of broad personnel policies, the best single source was the central files of the Office of The Surgeon General for the war years, now deposited in the National Archives. Here were copies of incoming and outgoing correspondence, reports, memorandums for record (often containing invaluable summaries of long or complex courses of action), and minutes of conferences.

The Historical Division of the Surgeon General's Office (now known as the Historical Unit, U.S. Army Medical Service) collected documents during and after the war which were especially useful in tracing the applications of policy and in following the personnel history of particular areas at home and overseas. This material includes diaries, correspondence, and reports emanating from the various segments of the Surgeon General's Office. Among them are a number of reports to the Historical Division showing the highlights of personnel administration for various periods of the war. The material also includes annual reports of medical units and medical sections of headquarters as well as manuscript histories of some areas prepared, in most cases, under the direction of the surgeons of theaters and field armies; for certain theaters, there is considerable material of other types, such as orders, correspondence, and circular letters. These documents were of special value in the preparation of the chapters dealing with manpower sources.

Also deposited in the Historical Unit are a number of useful manuscript histories of various components of the Medical Department. These include "Organized Nursing and the Army in Three Wars," by Col. Florence A. Blanchfield (Ret.) and Mary E. Standlee; Lt. Col. Everett B. Miller's history of the Veterinary Corps; Col. William A. Hardenbergh's "Organization and Administration of the Sanitary Engineering Division (Office of The Surgeon General)"; Col. Emma Vogel's "Physical Therapists of the Medical Department"; and the work entitled "History of the Army Dietitian." The Historical Unit's file of annual reports of The Surgeon General to the Secretary of War yielded important data concerning personnel administration. These reports ceased to be published after the fiscal year 1941, but during the war years, annual summaries of events prepared by the Historical Division for Army Service Forces headquarters to some extent took the place of the published reports.

The Historical Unit at one time housed histories, reports, and correspondence accumulated in the Office of the Air Surgeon. These are now in the custody of the historical office of the Surgeon General of the Air Force.

The files of The Surgeon General's Resources Analysis Division contained material of value for personnel history during the latter part of the war. They were arranged both chronologically and by subject and since the elimination of that Division have been distributed among The Surgeon General's Personnel Division, Executive Office, and Comptroller's Office. Other extremely useful sources of information were the files of the Adjutant General's Office, the General Staff (particularly G-1), and Army Service Forces headquarters, which contained material regarding medical personnel matters involving those agencies. Manuscript and "processed" histories on file in the Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army, as well as printed volumes of the "official" history, were also used, both to obtain additional data pertaining to the Medical De-


partment and to gain a fuller understanding of developments which affected that Department in common with other branches of the Army.

Statistical materials were obtained in all of the groups of records mentioned, but certain sources of such data deserve special mention. Of particular significance for discussions of strength, promotions, and rank was the series originally prepared in mimeographed form by the Returns Section, Miscellaneous Division, Adjutant General's Office, in 1940 and known as the Quarterly Station Strength Report, Continental and Foreign. This became a monthly publication during the later emergency period and eventually was issued in printed form under the title "Strength of the Army" (STM-30) by the Machine Records Branch, Office of The Adjutant General.

Another important publication of a similar character was issued from October 1942 to May 1946. It was known as Personnel Section No. 5 Monthly Progress Report until August 1945 when the title was changed to Personnel and Training No. 5 Monthly Progress Report. From October 1942 through January 1943, it was prepared by the Control Division, Army Service Forces; from 28 February through 31 August 1943, by The Adjutant General's Office; and from 30 September 1943 through 31 May 1946, by the Director of Personnel, Army Service Forces. It has been used mainly for data concerning strength of civilian personnel of the Medical Department. For authorized strengths of Medical Department units and medical complements of other organizations the "troop bases" and "troop lists" were used; these were published as early as 1941. For the purposes mentioned, the most extensive use was made of the "Troop List for Operations and Supply," prepared monthly, from 1 July 1944 until after the end of hostilities, by the Strength Accounting and Reporting Office of the War Department.

Data pertaining to strength and replacements in the European theater also were obtained from a serial document issued by the theater's Services of Supply (and successor commands) beginning in July 1942. Under the title "Statistical Summary" and later "Progress Report," this appeared several times a month until 1945, when it was issued monthly and renamed "Progress Report, Section 1." Parts of this series are filed in the Record Center at Kansas City and in the Historical Unit, U.S. Army Medical Service.

Additional data on strength and rank were derived from one of the sources of "Strength of the Army," that is, the reports on W.D., A.G.O. Form No. 323 which are now in the custody of the Departmental Records Branch of the Adjutant General's Office. Another source of "Strength of the Army," the monthly statistical summary prepared in processed form by the Promotion Section, Officers Branch, Office of The Adjutant General, from November 1944 to June 1945 also was utilized. This series is on file in the Promotion Section, Personnel Actions Branch, Adjutant General's Office. Finally, considerable use has been made of the Department of the Army's "Army Battle Casualties and Nonbattle Deaths in World War II, Final Report, 7 December 1941-31 December 1946" [Washington, D.C., June 1943].

Records of civilian agencies of the Government were studied primarily for the history of personnel policies. They included printed material; for example, transcripts of Congressional hearings, the Statutes at Large of the United States, and unpublished correspondence and minutes of meetings of the Directing Board and subordinate committees of the Procurement and Assignment Service of the War Manpower Commission. Medical, dental, and similar journals revealed the attitudes taken by professional organizations toward Army and Medical Department personnel policies and, in letters to the editors, the views of individuals who were affected by these policies.

Despite the vast number of War Department records pertaining to medical personnel matters that were produced during World War II, many decisions were made by officers and civilian employees of the Department either in conference or by telephone without a written record of what took place. To help fill the gaps in the record as well


as to reconcile conflicting evidence and to develop proper perspective, many such individuals were interviewed in person or by telephone for their knowledge and opinions concerning various matters. A similar use was made of correspondence, now filed in the Historical Unit. Information obtained in this way has been used especially in the oversea sections of the chapters on strength and utilization of personnel. Finally, the chapters have been circulated in draft form among persons responsible for decisions taken on the subjects discussed in this study and their comments have been taken into account in the preparation of the final version.