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Chapter XIV



Animal Care and Management

During World War II, the care and management of animals was an inherent and a real supervisory activity of the Army Veterinary Service. There was no theater or area, including the Zone of Interior, in which some type of veterinary animal service was not conducted. This service was directed at the improvement of the physical efficiency of animals of the Army and the protection of troop health against animal diseases.

The term "Army animals" generally was used when referring to the Army's horses and mules, whose mean strength during the war years averaged more than 44,000 (table 41). However, more appropriately the term referred to a number of classes or groups of animals that would include also the 500 to 700 Government-owned stallions which were used in the Nation's Horse Breeding Plan, the K-9 Corps of 10,000 or more Army dogs, the 54,000 birds used in the Signal Corps' Pigeon Service, the hundreds of livestock and poultry maintained by the Quartermaster Corps and Army Exchange System on food-producing farms or by the Medical Department and Special Services at rehabilitation and rest centers, and the undeterminable thousands of mice, rabbits, and other laboratory animals; also, it would include captured military animals. Other animal groups, but of lesser official status, were the officers' private mounts (or horses), the Olympic equestrian teams of the prewar and postwar periods, and the troop mascots and privately owned dogs, cats, and animal pets belonging to military personnel. In addition, veterinary animal service was furnished to such animals as were entered into lend­lease, civilian supply, and military aid programs, or as were uncovered by Civil Affairs and Military Government in liberated and occupied areas. Other animals coming under the professional supervision of Veterinary Corps officers at times were the "devil dogs" of the Marine Corps, the horses and dogs used in the Coast Guard's beach patrols, and the livestock on the Navy-administered island bases in the Pacific.

This listing of animal groups is a key to the scope of veterinary animal service during World War II. However, because of the diversity of the problems encountered with each, the groups are described separately in other chapters, and the term Army animals, as used, will ordinarily refer to Army horses and mules but may include also the Army dogs and signal pigeons. 

Veterinary Corps officers investigated or surveyed the hygiene and sanitary conditions of the environs surrounding military animals and advised military commanders on the principles of veterinary sanitary science and on those methods of animal care and management related to health and efficiency. As there were many causes for animal disability and physical 


TABLE 41.- Mean strength for Army horses and mules in the U.S. Army, 1940-45


Mean strength  





25, 175























Sources: (1) Annual Report of The Surgeon General, U.S. Army. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1941. (2) Annual reports, Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, 1942-46.

inefficiency, these veterinary supervisory functions and responsibilities necessarily covered a great number of factors: The sanitary condition of picket lines, corrals, stables, and stable practices; forage and the feeding and watering procedures; restraint; grooming; the care of the feet and shoeing; the care and fit of equipment; exercise, conditioning, training, and work; the disposition of disabled animals; quarantine; and the qualifications and suitability of personnel who were taking care of the animals. In all of these matters, the duties of the Veterinary Corps officer were divided between that of a veterinary practitioner, a staff officer with responsibilities to keep superior military authority informed and advised, and a military commander with responsibilities for governing the command's veterinary service. These duties will probably be better understood after a description of the veterinary service with animals of an Army camp or station in the Zone of Interior.


The veterinary service with animals at a camp or station (1, 2) was somewhat analogous to the medical service for troops. This station veterinary service was continuous for the animals from the time they were received until transferred, sold, or otherwise disposed of; however, it was not furnished to the animals which belonged to units and organizations having their own attached veterinary personnel. The latter group of animals was cared for by the unit or organizational veterinary detachment in a manner comparable to station veterinary service. On their arrival at an Army camp or station, the animals were inspected; those found to be sick or wounded were sent to the station veterinary hospital, whereas the others were placed in a special corral or stable and confined under the conditions of a veterinary supervised quarantine. This quarantine ordinarily lasted for 21 days during which time the station veterinarian examined the animals for contagious diseases, including the administration of the mallein test for glanders.

After release from quarantine, the animals belonging to the organizations  


of the station were inspected daily in the corrals or stables; in fact, the station veterinarian had access to all animals at all times. It was necessary that disabilities in the animals be detected promptly and be properly treated at the earliest practical moment after their discovery and that the disabled animals be segregated from the well until their health was restored. With their presentation at veterinary sick call, the disabled animals were divided into three groups: (1) Those admitted to the station's veterinary hospital for treatment; (2) those with less serious diseases and injuries which were treated and then returned to the organizations as stable cases (or outpatients); and (3) the recovered patients that were returned to full duty status. In these activities, the Veterinary Corps officer alone was responsible for determining when an animal was physically incapacitated and would be placed on veterinary sick call and when the patient was to be discharged to duty status; he also determined the nature of the treatment, or curative measures which were used. Where the disability was severe, involving suffering or would cause a permanent total loss of the animal's usefulness, the station veterinarian performed euthanasia or submitted the animal for review and destruction by proper military authority, as was indicated.

Though the veterinary sick call and veterinary hospitalization were professionally interesting and outstanding events in the daily routine of the station veterinary service with animals, animal hygiene and veterinary sanitation-like quarantine-were more important to the Veterinary Corps officer and to the Army as a whole. These were corrective measures applied in a prompt, energetic, and efficacious manner. They prevented or diminished the disability and physical inefficiency of Army animals. Military commanders alone were responsible for the enforcement of animal hygiene and veterinary sanitation within their organizations, but the station veterinarian was responsible for supervising these activities. The latter supervised these to the extent that, under the terms of conducting veterinary sanitary inspections, the hygienic conditions and sanitary environs were investigated, and recommendations were made for the correction of observable defects in animal care and management (3, 4). The survey findings and recommendations were assembled into Veterinary Sanitary Reports (5, 6, 7). The report was sent as a letter report through military command channels to The Adjutant General. With the onset of World War II, this report was rendered at the end of each month, but, in November 1942, as it became evident that no great number of animals might be used, the distribution of the report was limited to the surgeon of the command; after the end of the war, the Veterinary Sanitary Report was described for inclosure to a surgeon's Monthly Comprehensive Sanitary Report (Reports Control Symbol MCE-132).


Animal quarantine within the Army refers to the 21-day segregation of Army horses and mules on arrival at a station, command, or area under  


military jurisdiction, or may mean a detention of those exposed to or suspected of having communicable disease. It played an important part in preventive veterinary medicine and in the supervisory care and management of animals, being one of the major procedures which the Army Veterinary Service used in carrying out its responsibility to protect the health and preserve the physical efficiency of Army animals. The procedure had gained its importance in the Army under the conditions that relatively large numbers of animals were assembled or collected from a wide variety of sources and then moved frequently, sometimes into far-distant places. It was conducted at the place of receipt of animals in order to protect the local health situation and to lessen the chances of introducing or disseminating communicable animal diseases from the point of origin or points along the route of the movement; such diseases could be those transmissible to animals of a military command or to the civilian animals in an area of military operations, or could be those dangerous to troop health. In a wider sense, veterinary quarantine practices within the Army imposed certain responsibilities also on the Veterinary Corps officer at point of origin to avoid the shipment of diseased animals.

The animal quarantine within the Army was routinely applied at the moment of arrival of horses and mules at a station or in a command, regardless of their source, and pertained equally to Army animals, privately owned horses, and captured animals (1). The animals in quarantine ordinarily were taken care of by the organization to which they belonged; in fact, the organization commander was responsible for the enforcement and operation of the quarantine procedures, and the veterinary officer only supervised the procedures. The latter recommended whether newly purchased or captured animals should be placed into absolute quarantine and when seasoned animals should be placed into a working quarantine status. Daily inspections were made of the quarantined animals, and, as indicated, the quarantine measures were modified. While a period of 21 days was mandatory for all new arrivals of animals, a quarantine of variable length was imposed on recommendation of the veterinary officer in any event that a communicable disease appeared among Army animals (4, 8, 9). Animals suspected of having such disease or in the proximity to a positive or suspect case also were quarantined until shown to be free of the disease. Animals found to be infected with glanders, anthrax, dourine, or surra were destroyed immediately; if infected with any other communicable disease, they could be isolated until they were completely recovered and comprised no threat of spread to animals or to troops.

During the emergency periods preceding World War II, the Army Veterinary Service successfully recommended the discontinuance of Army animal buying until the U.S. Department of Agriculture could effect a cooperative test-and-eradication program against dourine in three States in which that disease had appeared among the civilian animal populations; as soon


as the Federal quarantine restrictions against the extrastate movement of animals were lifted, Army buying was resumed.

Federal quarantine regulations included restrictions, and sometimes prohibitions, against the importation of animals which might introduce or disseminate exotic or other diseases among the Nation's animal population. These were applied upon Army animals which were imported from the European Continent after World War I and World War II. Probably best referred to as import quarantine, the Federal quarantine procedures were imposed on these animals just as were the Federal or interstate quarantine procedures because they were mandatory on all incoming animal traffic pursuant to the Nation's laws and the regulatory controls that were developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture pursuant to these laws.

During World War II, there was little or no traffic of military animals into the United States. However, after V- E Day, the problems of import quarantine arose with the importation of captured horses from the European Continent. A shipment of 152 horses on the S.S. Stephen F. Austin was processed through Newport News, Va., on 31 October 1945, and was quarantined at the Front Royal Remount Depot (10). A second shipment of 83 animals on the S.S. American Ranger arrived in mid-August 1946 (11, 12, 13, 14). The precautionary procedures which were taken by the Army Veterinary Service in the country of origin and during the quarantine period in the United States were conducted to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Another type of animal quarantine included the restrictions or prohibitions which originated with the animal disease control or import laws and regulations of the U.S. territories and foreign countries into which Army horses and mules were moved. Referring to this as foreign quarantine, such restrictions and prohibitions were familiar subjects with the Army Veterinary Service for many years before World War II. However, there is no evidence available that would indicate that foreign quarantine was once thought of as likely to influence the traffic of Army animals across international boundaries as it did during the war. During the preceding peacetime period, the Army Veterinary Service with the oversea departments routinely quarantined all incoming military animals pursuant to Army regulations and continued to do so even after the local governments in the Hawaiian and Philippine Islands and in the Panama Canal Zone had promulgated their own animal import laws and quarantine regulations. However, where such laws and regulations were developed, the Army Veterinary Service acted as an agency for the civilian governments to conduct the quarantine over the importations of Army animals. Routinely, the observance of such quarantines was a matter of local concern, beginning more or less as a subject of professional concern between Army Veterinary officers and the local or governmental quarantine or veterinary authorities. These involved matters of re­  


spect, appropriate relationship, and avoidance of usurpation of civilian responsibilities. It was more beneficial for the oversea department military commanders to cooperate with, rather than unnecessarily assume, the responsibilities of, civilian regulatory officials for protecting the territorial public health and the livestock populations from animal diseases that might be introduced. This original and informal understanding in time gave way to official military directives upholding the interests and responsibilities of civil animal quarantine laws and procedures.

The foreign quarantine problem of World War II was recognized soon after the consummation of the destroyer-leased base agreement of 1940 between the United States and Great Britain which led to the development of a new defensive screen of military island bases in the Atlantic and Caribbean areas. By July 1941, the Army Veterinary Service was studying the entrance of horses into the new Bermuda Defense Command in such a manner as to comply with the animal import laws of Bermuda (15, 16, 17).  Then, during the fall of 1941, the War Department informed and requested compliance by all concerned with the import requirements of the governments of Bermuda, Antigua and St. Lucia of the British West Indies, Trinidad, Tobago, Jamaica, British Guinea, and Newfoundland (18, 19, 20, 21). In 1941, the Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, also studied the problem of exporting a few horses into Peru (22, 23).

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, thousands of horses and mules were shipped from the Zone of Interior into the war theaters for the Allied armies, and the observation and compliance with the animal import laws and regulations of foreign countries did not become as great a problem as those concerning the traffic of Army dogs, signal pigeons, and the animal pets belonging to military personnel. However, that foreign quarantine might hamper military operations which were dependent on the utilization of animals seems to have escaped all comment. The closest approach to such a situation occurred during World War II when the civil quarantine officials in Australia, which was a major staging and defensive area in the SWPA (Southwest Pacific Area), forced the diversion of three shipments of approximately 1,500 Army mules of U.S. origin to New Guinea. In contrast, little or no quarantine procedures, other than those regularly prescribed by the Army on all its movements of horses and mules, were imposed on the animals brought into the South Pacific Area, China-Burma-India theater, and the Mediterranean theater. In the Central Pacific Area (comprising the original Hawaiian Department), incoming animals were quarantined under Army veterinary supervision to the satisfaction of the Board of Agriculture and Forestry, Territory of Hawaii (24). The action which was taken with respect to the 1,500 Army mules paralleled a similar threat against the importation of foods for feeding the American soldiers sent to assist in the defense of Australia. The same Australian governmental health officials also imposed their own export laws and regulations on the movement  


of military horses from Australia, but events proved that these were not followed in as meticulous a manner as might have been when approximately 2,500 horses were purchased by the Army in Australia and transshipped to the American forces on New Caledonia (in the South Pacific Area) (25, 26). Between June 1942 and February 1943, the Australian health officials' request for the Army to observe that country's prohibition against the importation of any animal from the North American Continent grew into almost pretentious demands that reached into diplomatic channels. By this time, the original planning to use animal pack trains and mounted field artillery battalions-evidently once believed to be essential for fighting the Japanese enemy on jungle islands of the Pacific-was canceled, and the mules of U.S. origin were diverted to New Guinea.


Another supervisory activity of the Army Veterinary Service with animals concerned their feed and forage supply. The quantity and quality of this supply received no less attention than did the food which was procured and issued to troops. There can be no question that the use of sound, nutritious, and good-quality feeds and forage as well as the practice of sound feeding principles were essential to the health and well-being of Army horses and mules. The technical supervision over feeds and feeding, including inspection, was the assigned responsibility of the Army Veterinary Service. The inspection or examination consisted of an inspection for the grade quality and other characteristics as were specified, and a sanitary inspection.

Forage inspection activities were the continuing responsibilities of the Army Veterinary Service in World War II, when they were practiced not only in the Zone of Interior but also were established and conducted in such oversea theaters as the Southwest Pacific, China-Burma-India, Mediterranean, and European. An index to the extent of these activities may be seen in the quantities of grain, hay, and straw which were inspected incident to their procurement by the Army (table 42). The grand total of 2½ billion pounds for the war period, on a year-to-year basis, was two to three times the amounts which had been inspected each year in the preceding peacetime period, 1922 through 1939. During World War II, forage procurement inspections were also conducted over the supply for the Coast Guard mounted beach patrols which were provided with Army horses under the joint Army-Navy agreement of 18 September 1942 (27). In addition, more than 130 million pounds of hay and straw were inspected when harvested from the so-called Army forage farms which were maintained at remount depots and larger camps (28,29).

During World War II, insofar as it was practical, forage inspection was conducted routinely by Veterinary Corps officers who were specially trained and qualified. By mid-1941, 9 National Guard officers and 112 veterinary


TABLE 42.-Procurement inspection of animal feeds and forage procured by the U.S. Army, 1940-45





Causes of rejection

Not type, class or grade

Insanitary or unsound









































1Includes months of January and February only.  
Sources: (1) Annual Report of The Surgeon General, U.S. Army. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1941. (2) Annual reports, Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, 1942-46.

officers of the Regular Army had qualified as forage inspectors following completion of a course of instruction at the Army Veterinary School. During the war period, 66 additional officers were qualified. During World War II, the Federal specifications for grains, feeding hay, bedding hay and straw, and concentrated feedstuffs were revised; the Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, on request, reviewed these Federal specification changes before they were put into effect (30 through 34).

Though the official U.S. grade standards and Federal specifications were major influences, equally important demands concerning bacteriological quality and nutritional values were placed on the forage supply for Army horses and mules by the Army Veterinary Service. For example, after 1942, the supply that originated from areas in which anthrax was indigenous or under quarantine jurisdiction (2). Also, the feed and forage could be submitted to Army veterinary laboratories for examination for molds, harmful bacteria, parasites, and adulteration, or for chemical or nutritional analyses (35, 36, 37).

The procurement-inspection system that was used in World War II emphasized point-of-origin inspection of the forage in the contractor's establishment. This system, more or less, followed a pattern that was established in 1928 when the Quartermaster Corps imposed a mandatory procurement­inspection system upon its feed and forage supply program for the Army (38, 39). Formerly, pursuant to the regulations of the Army, procurement inspection was conducted only when a veterinary officer was available at the procurement point and was expressly requested by the receiving quartermaster officer to inspect the forage for compliance with Government specifi-


cations (40). Under the new inspection procedure and as operated throughout World War II, the point-of-origin inspection was accomplished, either by Federal hay inspectors who were licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the grading of hay and straw procurements only, by Federal­employed grain supervisors for the grading of grain procurements only, or by Veterinary Corps officers who, however, could determine the grade quality of any animal feed and forage and at the same time conduct the examination of the sanitary qualities of the product as well as make the sanitary inspection of the contractor's establishment (41). In those instances in which the grade was properly established, the inspection which was made at the point of delivery to the Army (or destination inspection) included the acceptance of the previously determined grade quality, except in unusual circumstances, and the inspection only for the sanitary condition of the forage. Where the grade quality was not determined at point of origin, the destination inspection, as conducted at the Army camp or remount depot, included both the grading and sanitary inspection. Any destination inspection was considered as final insofar as Army procurement procedures were concerned and was always conducted by the Army Veterinary Service. The reports of the inspections were forwarded to the concerned Quartermaster Corps contracting officer, who alone was responsible for the decision of acceptance or rejection of the feed and forage for the Army.

Forage Ration Studies

Studies were conducted on the protective procedures of safeguarding Army animals against biologic and chemical contamination of their feed and forage supply (42, 43, 44, 45). Some of the studies concerned the nutritional qualities and military acceptability of sugar cane, algarroba bean, rice hay, and other feeds which were indigenous in the Hawaiian and Philippine Departments. During World War II, the intensive studies on equine periodic ophthalmia at the Veterinary Research Laboratory, Front Royal, Va., led into the study of the riboflavin deficiency syndrome. Studies also were made on the mineral requirements, especially the calcium-phosphorous ratio in the ration of horses and mules, as well as on sporadic outbreaks of plant poisoning. A continuing search was made for economical and suitable substitutes for components of the animal ration; namely, barley for oats; soybean meal for linseed meal, molasses; lespedeza hay; and sawdust, pine needles, peanut hulls, bearded wheat, and millet for bedding straw and hay.

Of particular importance were the studies on a forage ration needed for emergency or field use. The scientific study on the roughage requirements of the dietary was undertaken after the onset of World War II when the Army Veterinary Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperated in the experimental development of a new complete Army horse and mule feed.  


These veterinary studies were undertaken upon the request of the Office of the Quartermaster General of 2 December 1941, indicating that a ration was needed which would possess the necessary nutrient qualities for animals but would be considerably smaller in bulk to transport (46). This matter of bulk in the forage ration had become a major argument against the planned oversea deployment of horses and mules in World War II because of the great demands on Army shipbottom space for other military supplies. By January 1942, the Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, and the Bureau of Animal Industry, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the latter being requested to assist in the development project, had established a preliminary feeding experiment with a commercially prepared concentrated animal feed at the Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, Md. This experiment was soon extended to feeding trials with the horses and mules of several cavalry regiments and field artillery battalions at station or in maneuver training at Fort Bliss, Fort Bragg, Fort Riley, and Camp Hale. The feeding trials were subsequently reported upon by the 1st Cavalry Division Board, Field Artillery Board, and Field Artillery School but with such conflicting summaries and doubt on the efficacy of the feed under study that on 6 July 1942, Headquarters, Army Service Forces, directed the continuance of the research project. This research project was resumed on a feed prepared in pellet form after formulas which were developed jointly by the Army Veterinary Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. One such formula included oats (47 percent by weight), sugar beet pulp (35 percent), dextrinized starch or amidex (10 percent), alfalfa meal (7 percent), and salt (1 percent); another used corn and timothy hay along with a lesser percentage of the oats component. After a feeding experiment with the pelleted feeds at the Agricultural Research Center, larger scale feeding trials were authorized during the fall of 1942 by Headquarters, Army Services Forces, and Headquarters, Army Ground Forces, to be conducted at Fort Bliss and Camp Hale (47, 48, 49). The conditions of these trials were established by the Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, and included the comparison of the experimental pelleted feed with the Army's regular forage ration and with a doubly compressed mixture of hay, oats, and salt. The test boards of the Army Ground Forces showed the pelleted feeds to be completely unsatisfactory and asked that the Army's emergency forage ration be one comprising a doubly compressed bale of hay, oats, and salt (50, 51). The Army Service Forces concurred in this matter, and the wartime research activities on a complete horse and mule feed were canceled, effective 16 August 1943 (52, 53).

Forage Supply in Oversea Theaters

The studies on the Complete Army Horse and Mule Feed were matched by developments in the oversea theaters which reduced the bulk and facilitated the handling and transportation of animal feeds and forage. For  


example, veterinary officers of the SWPA urged the use of compressed oat hay chaff in lieu of the regular hay component of the forage ration, the former being available locally in bales or packed in bags for the Australian Army (54, 55). In the spring of 1943, assistance was given to the Quartermaster Corps in the investigation, inspection, and development of Australian feed sources on a double-compressed forage ration or a baled mixture of oats (28 pounds), oat hay chaff (40 pounds), and alfalfa or lucerne hay chaff (16 pounds). Both offered great reductions in bulk; the latter weighed 84 pounds and occupied a space of only 1 cubic foot (56, 57). In the China theater, the Army Veterinary Service took energetic steps in requisitioning hay-baling machines from the United States and having them airlifted over the Himalayan Hump into China in order to introduce and to provide hay in baled form to the American-sponsored Chinese military forces which had been using unbaled loose hay (58). Also, a compressed emergency animal ration was developed there that seemed to be satisfactory for short-time feeding or use as long as the animals would eat it. It was a mixture of barley (2.2 pounds), wheat bran (2.12 pounds), straw (1.1 pound), sugar (6.6 pounds), and salt (0.66 ounces), that was steamed and compressed into small cakes, the cakes then being wrapped with paper and packed in boxes which were made waterproof with a covering of a pig blood-tar mix. For the aerial supply or airdrop support to the mounted combat teams in the jungles of Burma, the grain components of animal rations were packaged in double­strength burlap bags (59).

Though the bulk reduction and packing of animal forage had become matters of great importance wherever animals were deployed, the Army Veterinary Service in the oversea theaters was also concerned with the investigation or uncovering of local resources, the study of indigenous forage and feeds, and with surveillance over the storage and methods of feeding. A large share of the forage used overseas originated within the theaters; veterinary procurement inspections in the European theater, for example, approximated 3 million pounds during the first 6 months of 1945 (60). In the SWPA, forage was obtained on a reverse lend-lease basis from Australian suppliers and was inspected whenever veterinary officers were available, particularly that forage which was transshipped to New Guinea. This supply was generally adequate and included oat hay, lucerne or alfalfa hay, oats, bran, and salt; however, the hays which were available were field matured so that they were obtained in a chaffed form. In line with the feeding methods used in the Australian Army, these chaffed hays were mixed with the grain and salt components of the forage ration and were given to the animals by a nosebag or feedbag. Bran, easily fermented in the feedbags and difficult to store under humid tropical conditions, was withdrawn from the ration for the mules on New Guinea.

Considerably greater difficulties were experienced in the Mediterranean theater where the use of animals had come about unexpectedly and the Allied  


animal strength of the Fifth U.S. Army rose to a peak of 12,000 animals by the spring of 1944 (61). Under the condition of unexpectedness that was made worse by the scorched-earth policy of the retreating German enemy, feed and forage soon became short in supply. The veterinary officer with the 36th Infantry Division's provisional pack train, with approximately 750 animals, complained that the feed, consisting mainly of barley and straw, was very poor. Toward the end of the 1943-44 winter campaign, the supply shortages were reflected in the physical condition and efficiency of the animals; malnutrition was causing the loss of many old animals. This situation was moderately corrected with the uncovering of 8,800 tons of roughages and grains in southern Italy and of a feed manufacturing plant in Maddaloni, Italy. Then, with the increased importations of feed and forage into Italy and reestablishment of crop production on the Italian farms during the following summer, the supply became adequate. Of course, whenever possible, the animals were grazed.

In China (58), the feed and forage supply was no worse than that encountered by the Allied armies in the Mediterranean theater during the winter of 1943-44. The veterinary officers on liaison duty with the American-sponsored Chinese military forces found it to be so short that its supply probably lessened the animal strength and efficiency in the units which deployed against the Japanese enemy in certain areas. The existing tactical and transportation conditions prevented the importation of the required forage into such areas. Along with shortages normally encountered where forage was extensively used for food, fuel, and building construction by the native population, the Chinese forage ration was below the nutritional standards believed necessary to maintain Army animals and was provided under a monetary allowance system which was far less efficient than the issue-in-kind system used by the other Allied armies. Changes that were recommended in March 1945 for the ration to be issued in kind and with increases in the quantities of its components were reluctantly approved by the Chinese Ministry of War, and the effective date was considerably delayed.

Elsewhere in the Asiatic theater, the supply of feed and forage presented a variety of other problems (59). The supply for the Allied-sponsored Chinese military forces in India and Burma originated with the British Army and included roughages such as bhoosa, paddy straw, and Indian grass hay, and concentrates such as barley, cowpeas, gram, maize, rice, and wheat bran. Bhoosa, the straw of cereal or leguminous crops, was received in the form of rope-tied bales weighing 60 to 70 pounds, but, like the paddy straw which was threshed rice straw, it had little nutritive value. The paddy straw was usually cut in short lengths and mixed with grain in order to induce animals to eat it. The Indian grass hays were generally unsatisfactory, being overripe, overcured, and contaminated. Of the concentrates, barley and grain were the principal ones and were usually fed in combinations of 5 to 7 pounds of barley and 2 to 3 pounds of grain. This supply was aug-


mented in the advance combat areas with grazing or foraging operations. In these areas, kunai and elephant grass were found to be satisfactory, but, in the mountains and jungles where these did not grow, bamboo shoots and leaves were used. The bamboo leaves had little nutritive value and when fed in too great quantity seemed to cause intestinal impactions in the animals.

The uncovering or finding of feed and forage resources in the advance and combat areas of the India-Burma theater seemed to have been a principal veterinary activity. During June-July 1943, veterinary officers set out on foot "* * * to make a reconnaissance of Northern Burma to determine the condition of the trails, locate and mark areas where animals might be grazed, map a route over which the animals of the Chinese Army in India might be taken into Burma, and to determine whether animals would be able to subsist entirely off the land without supplementary forage." In October 1943, the Veterinary Corps officer on liaison duty with the Chinese 38th Division conducted an aerial survey in the Hukawng Valley with much the same objectives. Following the surveys, the Chinese military forces and American combat teams (that is, Merrill's Marauders and MARS Brigade) routinely depended upon the grazing of their animals on the trails and in the vicinity of aerial supply dropsites along the lines of advance against the Japanese in Burma. Though the grazing provided the roughage component of the animal ration, the grain component was supplied along the route of march at dropsites and included grain and barley, separately packed, 40 pounds in a double-strength burlap bag. Concerning the supply to the Chinese 38th Division during the Hukawng Valley operations, the liaison veterinary officer reported:

* * * Cracked barley and grain were air dropped and fed on the basis of six pounds of the former and two of the latter to our animals that were mostly India tonga ponies weighing between six hundred and eight hundred pounds. Requests for increases in the grain ration were recommended to G-4, but refused due to limited air tonnage. * * *

* * * It was impossible to tell if the bag contained barley or grain, and unless the issuing officer opened each bag prior to issue, some outfits would obtain all of one kind. When grain was fed in excess, it produced a severe diarrhea, while a full ration of barley was not palatable and was frequently rejected by the animals. My recommendations to the Services of Supply to mix the two grains prior to shipping were ignored without reason.

Other troubles arose when aerial dropsites could not be reached on schedule or where the animal ration was reduced below the previously cited poundages.


Just as forage inspection and animal feeding had comprised an important supervisory activity of the Army Veterinary Service, so did the care of the feet and shoeing of horses and mules. Horseshoeing, the supply of horseshoes and horseshoe-making equipment, as well as the training of horseshoers, were critical problems with veterinary officers in the China-Burma­


India theater where Allied Chinese military forces were sponsored in the fighting against Japan. Comparable but less extensive problems were experienced in the Mediterranean theater where large numbers of animals were used (61). With the same degree of unexpectedness that horseshoeing had become a problem in these Asiatic and European areas during active military operations, horseshoeing again came to the forefront in occupied Germany when the latter in returning to a peacetime agricultural economy saw its draft horses and draft cattle unshod or wearing wornout shoes (62). The postwar supply of iron and nails was soon reestablished, but the reconstruction of shoeing schools, along with the development of a new German group of farriers who were properly trained, qualified with an apprenticeship and examination, and legally licensed to practice "hoof and claw shoeing," was not nearing completion until 1947.

In nearly all of these activities, the veterinary officers were far afield from the prescribed responsibility of the Army Veterinary Service to exert only such supervisory controls over Army horseshoeing as would improve animal health and efficiency. Horseshoeing, as a number of other details concerned with the care and management of animals, may not seem to be important in the motorized and mechanized Army such as fought in World War II, but it was particularly important to the Allied military forces that were dependent on animal transport or in the occupied countries which were returned to agricultural pursuits.

With the onset of World War II, there was an evident need for increased numbers of horseshoers in the Army, but there is no veterinary record of the continuation of the station or unit horseshoeing schools in the Army camps or mounted units after they had found their animals to be surplus and had returned most of the horses and mules to quartermaster remount depots in the Zone of Interior. The Cavalry School, Fort Riley, Kans., continued to train horseshoers for the Army, utilizing veterinary officers as instructors who later (in January 1945) came into complete control of that facility's Training School for Horseshoers.1

In the China-Burma-India theater, the Army Veterinary Service was confronted with a great number of serious problems that arose when, for the first time in the modern history of the Chinese military forces, proper attention was given to the care of the feet and shoeing of its animals (58, 59, 63). At about the time that they came under the sponsorship of the Allies in India and Burma and of the United States alone in China, the Chinese armies and divisions ordinarily had by far too small a number of horseshoers, and only 10 percent of their animals were shod. Neither the horseshoe-making equipment nor the horseshoes and nails were available to give any immediate assistance toward  

1On 1 November 1946, the Cavalry School was redesignated the Ground General School, the latter then becoming the Army General School on 1 January 1950. Although the Army had lost most of its animals since World War II and Cavalry was amalgamated into the armored forces, it is interesting to note that the Army School Catalog of 1949 made reference to an official course of training for Army horseshoers (Course 2-E-1).


improving the horseshoeing situation of the Allied Chinese forces. Under the conditions that these forces were to be trained and supplied, or otherwise prepared, to fight the Japanese in Asia, efforts were directed first in the training of Chinese personnel as horseshoers. By the fall of 1944, veterinary officers had given formal instructions to approximately 750 Chinese personnel in the training centers at Rāmgarh, India, and in China at K'un-ming, Ta-li, and Yen-shan. Others were trained in the unit horseshoeing shops which were supervised by veterinary officers and veterinary animal service detachments that were attached in a liaison capacity to the various Chinese armies and divisions. Instructional activities, as well as the establishment of the Chinese horseshoeing shops, were extraordinarily difficult owing to lack of horseshoe-making equipment, which had to be improvised; in fact, it was not until after May 1945 that limited quantities of such equipment of U.S. origin began to arrive in the China theater.

The horseshoe supply comprised another major problem in the horseshoeing situation of the Allied Chinese forces. While some shoes were available from local sources and were used, the increased military demands were largely satisfied through horseshoe factories established and operated by the Army Veterinary Service in Kuei-yang and Chih-chiang; these supplemented a larger factory that was established in K'un-ming. Eventually, they were turned over to the control of the Services of Supply, Supreme Headquarters, Chinese Army. This local development of the horseshoe supply had been made necessary under the condition that the requirements when first made totaled 250,000 shoes per month-a quantity that could not well be flown over the Himalayan Hump even if they had been requisitioned from the United States. Horseshoe nails, unavailable in the quantity or quality desired, were brought into the China theater in amounts totaling as much as 10,000 pounds per month by June 1945.


It must be understood that veterinary care and management was continuous for the horses and mules throughout their life of service in the Army. This was discontinued or terminated only with their death, their removal from active military service on account of age or physical disability, or other disposal when no longer needed by the Army. The deaths of Army horses and mules due to disease and injury have been referred to as "veterinary losses," which numbers included also the animals destroyed on account of their having, or developing, physical disabilities which had made them militarily unserviceable. During the war (for the years 1941 through 1945), such veterinary losses totaled 12,916 horses and mules which had died or were destroyed on account of disease and injury. Other animals were destroyed but for nonpathologic causes such as old age or as being temperamentally unfit. Destruction ordinarily was the prerogative of command and was accomplished under prescribed administrative procedures of I.C. (inspection and condemnation). I.C. animals, however, were not always destroyed because


they, as much of the other Army property and supplies which had become unserviceable, could also be sold or transferred. Another animal disposition procedure was that concerned with the transfer or sale of those which were surplus to military needs, as occurred in the dismounting of cavalry units during World War II. In the Zone of Interior only, disposal sales, aggregating 17,000 animals surplus to Army needs, were conducted at the Army remount depots during the war, and another 9,400 animals (including some previously transferred to the Coast Guard) were sold at the camps (64). Other thousands of animals that were not otherwise issued or transferred to Allied military forces in the oversea theaters were disposed of locally by sale or turnover to foreign governments, the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, or the Foreign Liquidation Commission.

The major veterinary considerations in the death, destruction, and other disposition of Army animals were: (1) The investigative study of the cause of death of any animal, (2) the sanitary disposal of cadavers, (3) the giving of professional opinion on the physical disabilities of sick or wounded animals, (4) the conduct of euthanasia or protective humane care over experimental animals, and (5) the certification of the physical health of animals being transferred from the military service.

Whenever an animal died or was destroyed, the method selected for the disposal of the animal cadaver was not only recommended but was also supervised by the veterinary officer. Where profitable, Army salvage plants could be operated or the cadavers could be removed by civilian contractors, the latter being expressly cautioned to comply with applicatory civilian regulations and to operate in a manner which would not disseminate infectious disease. Any animal, dying or destroyed because of anthrax, glanders, rabies, surra, or other disease of equivalent hazard to troop health or to animals, was burned or buried immediately, and this was followed by a program of veterinary disinfection and quarantine.

When animals became unserviceable, I.C. procedures were taken to remove them from the Army. Being a function of command, these procedures were performed by inspectors general or other specially designated officers of the Army. The latter could dispose of unserviceable horses and mules by transfer to another Federal agency, by sale, or by destruction. The disposition by destruction was mandatory under conditions where it would terminate suffering from disease and prevent contagion; or where the animal had an incurable disease or injury, was totally blind, or was too old; or for other good and sufficient reason; or where to sell it for work in the hands of irresponsible persons would be cruel and cause suffering to the animal. In these disposition procedures, the veterinary officer assisted the inspectors general in evaluation of the degree of liability an animal had become, frequently applied the I.C. brand to the animal being sold or transferred, and, more often than not, actually destroyed the animal. By regulations of the Army, this destruction was accomplished in a humane manner, preferably  


by shooting. The Army Veterinary Service supported these inspection and condemnation procedures to the extent that the removal of unserviceable animals was reflected in the improvement of the physical efficiency of the Army's horse and mule strength.

The disposition of I.C. animals was variable and changed from time to time. During World War II, inspection and condemnation procedures emphasized the removal of a large number of aged animals which were carried over from the preceding peacetime period when they could not be disposed of, though unserviceable, because of the lack of sufficient congressional appropriations to procure replacement animals. The wartime mounted units also required a more serviceable animal, and in the oversea theaters serviceability alone was not always adequate; a combat serviceable horse or mule was demanded, which meant that unusually stringent inspection and condemnation procedures were imposed. In the Zone of Interior, particularly, the Army made use of many unsalable I.C. animals in the feed supply for Army dogs, the animals being slaughtered under veterinary supervision. Others were sold.

The disposition of Army animals surplus to military needs came at an early period in World War II when the thousands of horses, which had been procured in the emergency periods, were not sent overseas from the Zone of Interior. The dismounting of Cavalry that began in the spring of 1942 and the later stress on more mule transport were the cause for conducting horse sales that eventually led to the closeout of the quartermaster remount depot at Front Royal by the middle of 1944. After the end of the war, Army mules became as much surplus as had the horses. An estimate of the numbers surplus to the military needs is possibly reflected in the downward trend of the entire Army's animal strength from an annual mean average of 44,696 for 1941 to 19,939 for 1945. The disposal of the surplus animals involved certain economic, public health, and political considerations, the one of veterinary importance being that no such animal would introduce or disseminate animal diseases into agricultural livestock populations, whether of the United States or a foreign country. Another consideration was that the animal would be physically healthy or serviceably sound so that no buyer or recipient of a surplus animal could complain about its lack of general usefulness.

During World War II, the animals were declared surplus to the Procurement Division, U.S. Department of the Treasury, and its wartime successor agencies, including the War Assets Administration, which actually conducted most of the dispersal sales in the Zone of Interior. The latter, during July 1947, expressly asked that only those animals examined and found to be sound by Army veterinary officers would be declared surplus for sale (65); the degree of soundness referred to an animal which was serviceably sound. However, the veterinary certificate of soundness was not to refer to a disease or injury which required microscopic, laboratory, or radiological


examination to determine its existence. About 7 months later, the War Assets Administration relaxed its requirements and announced that both sound and unsound animals could be declared surplus to that agency, each with a proper veterinary certificate (65). Since the Army could not reasonably be expected to supply to that agency those animals found to be unserviceable or unusable, regardless of the degree of unsoundness, these animals were disposed of pursuant to the existent military administrative procedures governing inspection and condemnation. Though the veterinary certificate of soundness had become the major criteria in the post-World War II disposals of Army animals, individual veterinary officers, however, continued to render veterinary health certificates on the animals just as had been accomplished with such satisfactory results against the spread of disease after World War I.


1. AR 40-2035, 15 Apr. 1922. 

2. AR 40-2035, 18 Dec. 1942. 

3. AR 40-2080, 20 Jan. 1940. 

4. AR 40-2090, 15 Sept. 1942. 

5. AR 40-2255, 5 Feb. 1934. 

6. AR 40-2235, 27 Nov. 1942. 

7. AR 40-2235, Changes No. 2, 16 Nov. 1942. 

8. AR 40-2090, 12 Nov. 1921.

9. AR 40-2090, 15 Sept. 1942.

10. Letter, Maj. H. F. Sibert, VC, HQ, Detachment A, 6835th Quartermaster Remount Depot, USFET, to The Surgeon General, 1 Nov. 1945, subject: Transportation of Animals.

11. Veterinary Health Certificate, U.S. Army Remount Service (Field), 6835th Remount Depot, APO 807, 25 July 1946.

12. Letter, Col. J. A. McCallum, VC, Veterinary Division, SGO, to The Quartermaster General, 26 July 1946, subject: Disposition of Animals on Arrival From Europe, with 1st indorsement thereto, 8 Aug. 1946.

13. Letter, Col. J. A. McCallum, VC, Veterinary Division, SGO, to Col. F. C. Sager, VC, Veterinarian, Front Royal Quartermaster Depot (Remount), 6 Aug. 1946, subject: Disposition of Animals on Arrival From Europe.

14. Letter, Col. J. A. McCallum, VC, Veterinary Division, SGO, to C. L. Gooding, Quarantine Division, Bureau of Animal Industry, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 12 Aug. 1946, subject: Disposition of Animals on Arrival From Europe.

15. Letter, S. O. Fladness, Chief, Field Inspection Division, Bureau of Animal Industry, U.S. Department of Agriculture, to Col. R. A. Kelser, VC, Veterinary Division, SGO, 2 July 1941.

16. Letter, Col. R. A. Kelser, VC, Veterinary Division, SGO, to Depot Veterinarians, Quartermaster Depots (Remount), at Front Royal, Va., Fort Reno, Okla., and Fort Robinson, Nebr., 7 July 1941, subject: Shipment of Animals to Bermuda.

17. Letter, Maj. A. J. Hastings, FA, Adjutant, Bermuda Base Command, to Commanding General, 2d CA, Governors Island, N.Y., 1 Aug. 1941, subject: Certificate on Shipment of Horses to Bermuda.

18. WD Circular No. 173,18 Aug. 1941. 

19. WD Circular No. 199, 23 Sept. 1941. 

20. WD Circular No. 186, 3 Sept. 1941. 

21. WD Circular No. 210, 6 Oct. 1941.  


22. Letter, Capt. E. L. Hogan, QMC, Office of the Quartermaster General, to The Surgeon General, 27 Aug. 1941, subject: Shipment of Horses to Peru.

23. Letter, Lt. Col. J. F. Crosby, VC, Veterinary Division, SGO, to Veterinarians at Front Royal, Va., Remount Depot, New York, N.Y., Port of Embarkation, Fort Riley, Kans., and Fort Sill, Okla., 22 Aug. 1941, subject: Shipment of Animals to Peru.

24. World War II History of the Army Veterinary Service, Central Pacific Area. [Official record.]

25. Letter, Lt. Col. R. H. Yager, VC, 18th Medical General Laboratory, to Commanding General, USAF, POA, 8 Mar. 1945, subject: Tick Piroplasmosis Investigation, APO 502. 

26. Smock, S. C., and Baker, J. E.: History of the Veterinary Service in Southwest Pacific Area. [Official record.]

27. Letter, 464th Coast Guard, to Office of the Quartermaster General, 16 Oct. 1942, subject: Forage for Horses Assigned to U.S. Coast Guard for Coastal Patrol.

28. Annual Report of The Surgeon General, U.S. Army. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1941.

29. Annual reports, Veterinary Division, SGO, 1942-45.

30. Letter, Office of the Quartermaster General, to The Surgeon General, 13 Aug. 1943, subject: Proposed Federal Specification for Feedstuff, Concentrated, with 1st indorsement thereto, dated 16 Aug. 1943.

31. Memorandum, Technical Division, SGO, for Veterinary Division, SGO, 17 Nov. 1944, subject: Federal Specification N-H-131 for Hay and Straw; (or) Bedding-revision, with 1st indorsement thereto, dated 25 Nov. 1944.

32. Memorandum, Technical Division, SGO, for Veterinary Division, SGO, 23 Nov. 1944, subject: Proposed Federal Specification N-H-121 for Hay; Feeding-revision, with 1st indorsement thereto, dated 25 Nov. 1944.

33. Memorandum, Technical Division, SGO, for Veterinary Division, SGO, 2 Oct. 1944, subject: Proposed Revision of Federal Specification N-F-211a for Foodstuffs, Concentrated, with 1st indorsement thereto, dated 6 Oct. 1944.

34. Memorandum, Technical Division, SGO, for Veterinary Division, SGO, 3 Oct. 1944, subject: Federal Specification N-G-651 for Grains, with 1st indorsement thereto, dated 12 Oct. 1944.

35. AR 40-2140, 3 Dec. 1921. 

36. AR 40-2140, 3 Aug. 1942. 

37. AR 40-2145, 10 Dec. 1921.

38. Annual Report of The Surgeon General, U.S. Army. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1926-28.

39. Office of the Quartermaster General, Circular Letter No. 2, 10 Jan. 1928, subject: Inspection of Forage. Reprinted, Army Vet. Bull. 21: 48-49, February 1928.

40. Beeman, H. N.: Grain Inspection. Army Vet. Bull. 12: 118-121, October 1923. 

41. WD Supply Bulletin 10-47, 4 Apr. 1944, with Changes No. 1, 9 Sept. 1944.

42. Dildine, S. C.: The Use of Chemical Warfare Agents on Animals. Army Vet. Bull. 28: 8-32, January 1934.

43. Taylor, C. L.: The Effect of Chemical Warfare Agents on Food Products. Army Vet. Bull. 29: 310-320, October 1935.

44. Mace, D. L.: Horses in Chemical Warfare. Army Vet. Bull. 34: 95-112, March 1940.

45. Chemical Warfare School Mimeo No. 180: Veterinary Considerations of Chemical Warfare. Chemical Warfare School, Edgewood Arsenal, Md., March 1943.

46. MacKellar, R. S., Jr.: World War II History of the Animal Service Branch, Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office.  [Official record.]

47. Letter, Veterinary Division, SGO, to HQ, SOS, 17 Oct. 1942, subject: Feed, Army Horse and Mule, Complete, with lst indorsement thereto, dated 17 Oct. 1942.


48. Letter, HQ, AGF, to 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Bliss, Tex., 8 Nov. 1942, subject: Test of Compressed Feed and Forage Ration.

49. Letter, HQ, AGF, to Mountain and Winter Warfare Board, Camp Carson, Colo., 13 Nov. 1942, subject: Test of Compressed Feed and Forage Ration.

50. Finley, G. S.: Reports of Field Test of Compressed Complete Horse and Mule Feed, by 1st Cavalry Division Board, Fort Bliss, Tex., with 4th indorsement, Col. H. L. Flynn, Cav., Cavalry Board, Fort Riley, Kans., to HQ, AGF, dated 16 Mar. 1943.

51. Anderson, B. C.: Report of Test of Compressed Feed and Forage Ration, Test 64, by Mountain Winter Warfare Board, Camp Hale, Colo., 8 July 1943, with 1st indorsement, dated 9 July 1943, HQ, AGF, to Development Branch, Requirements Division, ASF; and 2d indorsement, dated 9 July 1943, HQ, ASF, to The Quartermaster General, undated. 

52. Memorandum, Lt. Col. R. G. Prentiss, Jr., MC, Research Coordination Branch, SGO, for Veterinary Division, SGO, undated, subject: Review of Research and Development Project.

53. Memorandum, Research Coordination Branch, SGO, to Veterinary Division, SGO, 16 Aug. 1943, subject: Cancellation of Development Project V-4, Complete Army Horse and Mule Feed.

54. Letter, Lt. Col. C. M. Cowherd, VC, Veterinary Section, Chief Surgeon's Office, USASOS, SWPA, to Chief Quartermaster, USASOS, SWPA, 15 Jan. 1943, subject: Forage for Animals, Types of Hay, and Methods of Feeding.

55. Check Sheet, Veterinary Section, Surgeon's Office, HQ, USASOS, SWPA, to The Quartermaster General, 6 Mar. 1943, subject: Forage.

56. Check Sheet, Lt. Col. C. M. Cowherd, VC, Veterinary Section, Chief Surgeon's Office, HQ, USASOS, SWPA, to The Quartermaster General, 15 Apr. 1943, on basic letter, Col. J. A. Considine, QMC, Quartermaster Remount Depot, APO 922, 8 Apr. 1943, subject: Hay.

57. Letter, Lt. Col. C. M. Cowherd, VC, Chief Surgeon's Office, HQ, USASOS, SWPA, to Veterinarian, Office of the Surgeon, APO 924, 14 Apr. 1943, subject: Forage, Compressed.

58. The Veterinary History of the China Theater, 1945. [Official record.]

59. Mohri, Ralph W.: History of the U.S. Army Veterinary Service in the China­Burma-India Theater, World War II, 1942-45. [Official record.]

60. Report, Col. C. B. Perkins, VC, Veterinary Division, Chief Surgeon's Office, ETOUSA, 1945.

61. History of the Army Veterinary Service in the North African and Mediterranean Theater of Operations. [Official record.]

62. Reports, Veterinary Section, Public Health and Welfare Section, Internal Affairs and Communications Division, Office of Military Government for Germany, 1946-47.

63. Letter, Lt. Col. W. E. Jennings, VC, Veterinarian, HQ, Chinese Combat Command, USFCT, to Commanding General, HQ, Chinese Combat Command, USFCT, 12 June 1945, subject: Report of Inspection.

64. Remount Branch, Service Installations Division, Office of the Quartermaster General: Quartermaster Corps Accomplishments in World War II.

65. WD Memorandum No. 40-2235-1, 11 July 1947, 29 July 1947, 4 Feb. 1948, 19 Mar. 1948.