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Chapter VI



Supply and Equipment

The Army Veterinary Service was not a supply service in the sense that it purchased, stored, distributed, or otherwise handled professional veterinary equipment and supplies for the Army; it was a consumer. Nor was the Army Veterinary Service materially involved (that is, as final approving authority) in the planning for its own supply; however, some developmental studies were undertaken. These matters originated with the supply activities of the Medical Department as a whole. Individual Veterinary Corps officers and units requisitioned for their supplies in the same manner that the Medical Corps and Dental Corps obtained their supplies; their needs, such as for certain drugs, surgical dressings, and instruments, were often furnished from the same stocks of Medical Department supplies. In fact, the Army Veterinary Service had only little more to do with Medical Department supply than it had to do with the trucks, communications equipment, or weapons that were obtained and were used daily by each veterinary unit and detachment.

Medical Department supply activities, at the level of the Surgeon General's Office, were administered by the Finance and Supply Division-the latter being reorganized in 1942 into the Supply Service. This administrative office organization was assigned functions and had the same degree of responsibility with regard to medical supply that were comparable to those of the Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, regarding its supervision of professional veterinary services of the Army. On matters pertaining to veterinary supply, the Veterinary Division acted as adviser-in a capacity that was comparable to the advisory responsibilities, real or assumed, it had to the Personnel Division, Surgeon General's Office, with regard to veterinary personnel. Requirements planning, the professional opinions on the efficacy of supply items which were to be procured, and the recommendations on the distribution of medical equipment and supplies to veterinary detachments and units comprised the major advisory duties. In addition, the Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, cooperated with the Operations Service in developing equipment tables for field units and with a variety of agencies and service branches which were particularly concerned with equipment and supplies, research, and development. For example, there was veterinary officer membership on The Surgeon General's Medical Department Technical Committee; the Army Committee for Insect and Rodent Control; the Subcommittee on Biologicals, Drug Resources Advisory Committee of the Army?Navy Munitions Board; the Army Service Forces (later, War Department) Inspection Advisory Council; and the Provisions and the Feeds and Forage Technical Committees of the Federal Specifications Board, Bureau of Supply, 


U.S. Treasury Department. All of these were concerned in some manner or other with supply to the Army. The Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, also cooperated in the research and development of certain Quartermaster Corps and Chemical Warfare Service equipment and supplies. It must be mentioned, however, that no Veterinary Corps officer was detailed to full-time duty with the Supply Service, Surgeon General's Office, although at least one such assignment was made in World War I, and after that time mobilization planning prior to World War II had projected such assignments. In 1940-41, however, two veterinary officers were trained, presumably for such an assignment, at the Army Industrial College, Washington, D.C.; one was eventually assigned to the St. Louis Medical Depot, St. Louis, Mo., (1) where nearly all Medical Department items peculiar to the Army Veterinary Service were stored and from which Army-wide distribution was made.

The costs of Medical Department materiel initially supplied to equip veterinary units which saw service in the oversea theaters varied: For a veterinary food inspection detachment, $109; for the veterinary evacuation hospital, $2,078; and for the veterinary general hospital, $9,013 (2). Station veterinary hospitals for the Zone of Interior could be equipped at costs in Medical Department materiel ranging between $1,770 for one of 10-animal patient capacity and $7,263 for a hospital of 150-animal patient capacity. Of course, if the total costs to initially equip these hospitals were to be considered, then one must add also the equipment and supplies which were furnished by the Chemical Warfare Service, Corps of Engineers, Ordnance Department, Quartermaster Corps, and Signal Corps.


At the onset of World War II, the actual procurement of Medical Department equipment and supplies was divided between the New York General Depot, N.Y., which had a Medical Section, and the St. Louis Medical Depot. A few items were purchased also by the medical depot sections of general depots which were located in San Francisco, Calif., and San Antonio, Tex. Of these, St. Louis, was, and continued to be, throughout the war, the central location for handling materiel solely classified for veterinary use (that is, class 8).

Undeniably, shortages in Medical Department materiel were encountered by the Army Veterinary Services in the Zone of Interior, particularly during 1940-42, but, temporary as they may have been, there was no report that professional veterinary food inspection and animal services were seriously affected. Overseas, in certain theaters, shortages in Medical Department materiel existed which did affect the Army Veterinary Service.

Throughout the Medical Department supply system-from procurement districts through the depots to the camp medical supply officers-routinely, there was no real veterinary activity. The veterinary detachments and units  


made their needs known, by requisitions, to the local medical supply officers and were only responsible, pursuant to the regulations of the Army, for submitting the requisitions, properly caring for the property which they received, and for practicing supply economy. At various times, their requisition demands were processed through the Medical Department supply system to the Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, for review before procurement and distribution were effected. The latter situation occurred whenever the requisitions called for new (or nonstandard) items or for seemingly unusual quantities of items which were already being handled by the Medical Department supply system. These demands arose when veterinary detachments and units were expanded into new areas of activities; for example, the care and treatment of Army dogs and signal pigeons. Actually, only a few requisitions concerning the professional care and treatment of these animals were favorably reviewed within the Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, because there were so few items specifically required for which standard items could not be substituted.


Nearly all of the equipment and supplies professionally used by the Army Veterinary Service were provided by the Medical Department in the same manner that professional supplies came into the hands of Medical Corps and Dental Corps officers. In fact, after 1921 when the separate veterinary supply tables were discontinued, many items in common use by these three professional corps were grouped together for procurement, storage, and distribution.

One class of Medical Department equipment and supply items (class 8) was procured, handled, and issued for the use of the Army Veterinary Service only. Its 164 items (as of the January 1941 edition of the supply catalog) were those that had no other Medical Department use. The cataloging of the veterinary class of equipment and supplies was not greatly changed during World War II; a few items were deleted and some others were transferred as the responsibility of the Quartermaster Corps to supply, but, on the whole, nothing new of major importance was added. This revealed that the supply planning in peacetime generally was such that actual veterinary supply was not adversely affected or delayed, as had occurred in World War I, when studies on requirements and on an up-to-date compilation of a veterinary supply table were not begun until after war mobilization had started.

Small Unit Assemblies

In order to facilitate their handling and issue, a great many of the individual items were assembled into kits and chests. Some of these small  


unit assemblies were intended for supply to veterinary personnel and facilities operating in the Zone of Interior and to units deployed in the communications zone of a war theater. A number of other small unit assemblies were developed for veterinary field service. The weight, size, and cost data of these are shown in table 15.

TABLE 15.-Weight, size, and price data of veterinary small unit assemblies  

Item number






Cubic feet

8 019 000

Case, hypodermic tablets, veterinary




8 020 000

Case, mallein test




8 021 000

Case, meat and dairy hygiene inspection




8 023 000

Case, pocket, veterinary




8 024 000

Case, post mortem, veterinary




8 029 000

Chest, clipping




7 794 000

Dispensing set, veterinary




9 713 000

Kit, veterinary officer's




9 712 500

Kit, veterinary noncommissioned officer's 




9 805 000

Case, instrument, veterinary noncommissioned officer's




9 713 500

Kit, veterinary private's 




9 805 700

Case, instrument, veterinary private's 




9 802 000

Case, dental, veterinary




9 803 000

Case, foot, veterinary




9 804 000

Case, forceps, hemostatic, veterinary




9 805 000

Case, general operating, veterinary




9 806 000

Case, stomach and rectal, veterinary




9 807 000

Chest, MD No. 80




9 808 000

Chest, MD No. 81




9 812 200

Chest, veterinary pack A




9 812 500

Chest, veterinary pack B




9 814 000

Chest, restraint, veterinary




9 815 000

Chest, restraint, veterinary, supplemental




9 816 000

Surgical dressing set, veterinary




9 815 400

Gas casualty set, veterinary




Sources: (1) Army Service Forces Catalog, MED 3, 1 Mar. 1944. (2) War Department Supply Bulletin, SB 8-1, 9 Nov. 1944.

In parallel with the development of a medical kit for testing the Army's water supplies for possible contamination by chemical warfare agents, the Medical Research Laboratory, Chemical Warfare Center, Edgewood Arsenal, Md., in December 1944 initiated a project on a field kit which could be used for similarly testing the Army's food supplies. By February 1945, the kit assembly was approved (or standardized) by Headquarters, Army Service Forces; during May 1945, it was included as an item of regular Medical Department supply and was made available to a large number of military units, including those of the Army Veterinary Service. It consisted of the


FIGURE 6.-Food testing kit for detecting chemical warfare agent contamination of foods.

kind of reagents that were useful in conducting simple tests for the detection of mustard gas, nitrogen mustards, cyanogenic agents, and the arsenical smokes and blister gas contamination in foods (fig. 6).


The procurement and distribution of biologicals by the Medical Department supply system were closely supervised by the Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, probably to a more exacting degree than any other group of Medical Department materiel used by the Army Veterinary Service. During 1942, the Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, entered into regular meetings of the Subcommittee on Biologicals of the Drug Resources Advisory Committee, Army-Navy Munitions Board. At these meetings, that part of the Nation's industry which produced biologicals was surveyed as to its capacity to satisfy military requirements for biologicals; later, this planning was conducted in cooperation with the Army Veterinary School, Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C., on request of the Requirements Division, Army Service Forces. The actual procurement of biologicals involved both the output from Medical Department laboratories of certain items and the purchase of others from commercial sources. At the onset of World War II,  


the biological products itemized in the Medical Department Supply Catalog included:

From commercial sources through depots:

  Antianthrax serum  
  Anthrax spore vaccine (intradermic) 
  Tetanus antitoxin

From Army Veterinary School, Army Medical Center:

  Antigens: bovine infectious abortion, glanders, and equine infectious abortion (for complement-fixation tests)
  Mallein (intradermic ) 
  Tuberculin (intradermic) 
  Vaccine, equine strangles
  Vaccine, equine infectious abortion 

From corps area medical laboratories: 

  Vaccine, autogenous, veterinary

At this time, however, little use was being made of equine strangles vaccine, and it was soon removed from Medical Department supply; the same was true for the laboratory test antigen for bovine infectious abortion. There were several additional biologicals, some in common use in the Army, but they were not itemized until later. These included equine encephalomyelitis vaccine-improved, produced, and distributed by the Army Veterinary School after the late 1930's-and tetanus toxoid of commercial manufacture. The former, appearing first in the supply catalog in 1942, was used in the highly successful program to protect military horses and mules from equine encephalomyelitis which was occurring in enzootic form each year in the United States (fig. 7). The tetanus toxoid appeared in regular supply channels at the same time, but actually it was used earlier in 1939, in a new program to confer a permanent type of immunity against tetanus in a few selected Army animals. The toxoid, however, did not entirely replace tetanus antitoxin which was used whenever a serious wound injury was treated. During 1943, the diagnostic antigens for conducting the tube and the plate agglutination tests for bovine contagious abortion were added to the supply catalog.

The manufacture of a few veterinary biologicals by the Medical Department was continued or revitalized in World War II or whenever commercial or other sources could not fully satisfy Army requirements. Economy in production and distribution was a factor in these activities, but far more important than this was the training it offered veterinary laboratory officers. Certain production procedures which were covered by patent held by a manufacturer of equine encephalomyelitis vaccine were recognized by the Army Veterinary School in its production and improvement of that vaccinal biological for military use; the manufacturer granted license to the Army to use the patented techniques. Aside from the few mentioned, veterinary biologicals generally were procured from commercial sources.

Actually, there were many more kinds of biologicals needed and used by the Army Veterinary Service than were itemized as available through regular Medical Department supply channels. The itemized ones conceivably were


FIGURE 7.-Biological production, Army Veterinary School, Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C.

sufficient for the veterinary services with Army horses and mules, but many others were needed and were obtained for the professional care and treatment of Army dogs, signal pigeons, animal pets belonging to military organizations and personnel, military farm livestock, and the civilian animals which temporarily came under direct military jurisdiction. In regard to the civilian animals, it should be understood that the establishment of civil affairs and military government organization and of civilian aid supply was usually delayed and that the planning for these animals was conducted at levels of military administration (and with a degree of secretiveness) far removed from the veterinary services in the task forces where the civilian animal populations in liberated, captured, and occupied areas during World War II, particularly in the Pacific theaters, were first encountered. Therefore, the biologicals needed for these groups of animals were procured usually through local purchases made by depots and medical supply officers; sometimes they were actually obtained in foreign countries, if available and if the local situation was one of emergency. Among the biologicals most commonly needed were rabies vaccine, anti-canine-distemper serum and virus, pigeonpox vaccine, anti-hog-cholera serum and virus, and various biologicals for the diagnosis or control of the other serious diseases of livestock (not excluding brucellosis, erysipelas, blackleg, leptospirosis, and salmonellosis). In  


1943, camp medical supply officers in the Zone of Interior were authorized to procure biologicals for the protection of Army dogs against rabies and canine distemper.

Difficulties in the veterinary supply of biologicals were encountered with the short life of viable vaccinal agents; also, there were delays in receiving requisitioned supplies, but these delays more frequently arose when the supply depots or supply officers were not fully advised of the specific biological needed, the quantity (dose or vials), and the exact reasons for needing them. There is no doubt that veterinary requisitions were at times as badly written as the scribbled prescriptions handed into corner drugstores in civilian life. In their advisory relationship to Medical Department supply officers overseas, veterinary officers advised against the introduction of specific viable biologicals into areas which were free of the particular disease or which regulated against the importation or use of such agents.

Professional Books and Journals

Until 1943, there was little supply by the Medical Department of veterinary professional books and periodicals (or journals). A book allowance was established during 1942 for hospital libraries in the Zone of Interior, but the books were too few in number and generally were not of the subject matter more urgently needed by veterinary officers. Then, in July 1943, the Surgeon General's Office announced a procedure for the supply of 46 kinds of books to the offices of service command veterinarians, station veterinary detachments, veterinary laboratories and training schools, and to the Army Veterinary Service inside of depots, market centers, remount area headquarters, dog training centers, and ports; each facility was furnished the books that were most needed according to its activities.

Unit Equipment Assemblages

To facilitate the delivery of functional equipment to new veterinary organizations and units, particularly in their preparations for oversea deployment, their Medical Department and other technical service items of equipment and supplies were grouped together into unit assemblages. Earlier assemblages of Medical Department technical equipment and supplies were compiled from War Department approved tables of allowances and from tables of equipment for the specific units that were promulgated later. As of January 1941, the Medical Department Supply Catalog itemized six veterinary unit assemblages: Veterinary Dispensary Equipment (Zone of Interior), Veterinary Pack Equipment (Cavalry), Veterinary Convalescent Hospital (1,000-animal), Veterinary Evacuation Hospital (250-animal), Veterinary General Hospital (500-animal), and Veterinary Station Hospital (150-animal). In January 1942, on the basis of mobilization planning, the Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, recommended that the 13 assemblages for


veterinary evacuation, general, and station hospitals be packed and placed into storage at various places throughout the United States so that they would be available whenever and if these type units would be activated. During 1942, there were added to the six original ones, the unit assemblages for the separate veterinary company, the veterinary troop of a medical squadron (in a cavalry division), and the veterinary company of a medical battalion (in a mountain division); however, planning for these was transient, and the assemblages disappeared from regular Medical Department supply channels before 1943.

Eventually, the unit assemblages that were retained were described as to their component technical items in Medical Department equipment lists. Similar lists were developed for the Medical Department materiel-assemblages for veterinary infirmaries and station veterinary hospital organizations which were being established and operated at the Army camps in the Zone of Interior. During 1944, these several equipment lists were integrated into a new section of the Medical Department Supply Catalog and were regarded as a supplemental annex to War Department approved tables of equipment for veterinary units; that is, the Medical Department items of materiel, because of their great numbers, were enumerated for the units in these equipment lists rather than in the relevant approved tables of equipment which were already lengthy with their entries on other non-Medical Department equipment. Table 16 refers only to the Medical Department materiel authorized for a given unit by citation of the item number of the unit assemblage which was described in the lists.


The Medical Department supply of technical or professional materiel comprised only a part of the equipment and supplies which were used by the Army Veterinary Service. The latter also obtained items from the Chemical Warfare Service, Corps of Engineers, Ordnance Department, Quartermaster Corps, and Signal Corps. These military services procured, stored, and distributed certain supplies in about the same manner that the Medical Department procured, handled, and distributed medical supplies. Quantitatively for each veterinary unit, their supply greatly outweighed the Medical Department materiel and included gas masks, motor transport vehicles, as well as horses and mules, and armaments.

Protective Equipment Against Chemical Warfare

The supply of protective equipment which would safeguard military animals against chemical warfare agents was the responsibility of the Chemical Warfare Service. However, this equipment, which came into Army supply during World War II, was the result largely of the research and development studies that were undertaken by Veterinary Corps officers in cooperation  


with the Chemical Warfare Service. The onset of World War II found the Army without tested or proved equipment that might be used to protect horses, mules, dogs, and pigeons from such chemical warfare agents as were thought to have been developed in Europe during the last decade. There were certain horse gas masks available or left over from World War I, but little was accomplished during the succeeding peacetime years to improve them or to make them protective against the newer chemical warfare agents. In fact, throughout the 1930's (or until mid-1940, at least), the use of Army horses and mules to actually test the protective efficiency of chemical warfare equipment was prohibited.

TABLE 16.-Weight, size, and price data of Medical Department unit assemblages for veterinary units

Item number






Cubic feet


9 735 200

Veterinary infirmary, ZI




9 734 000

Veterinary dispensary equipment, CZ




9 735 500

Veterinary pack equipment




9 733 500

Veterinary convalescent hospital, CZ, 500-patient




9 734 500

Veterinary evacuation hospital, 150-patient




9 736 000

Veterinary station hospital, ZI, 150-patient




9 736 200

Veterinary station hospital, ZI, 100-patient




9 736 300

Veterinary station hospital, ZI, 50-patient




9 736 400 

Veterinary station hospital, ZI, 25-patient




9 736 500

Veterinary station hospital, ZI, 10-patient




9 736 100

Veterinary station hospital, CZ, 150-patient




9 735 500

Veterinary general hospital, CZ, 500-patient




9 733 700

Veterinary detachment, food inspection equipment, medical




Sources: (1) Army Service Forces Catalog, MED 3, 1 Mar. 1944. (2) War Department Supply Bulletin, SB 8-1, 9 Nov. 1944. 

During August 1940, studies were begun at the Chemical Warfare Center on a canister-type mask which would provide greater protection to animals and would be effective against the newer chemical warfare agents. The mask that was developed satisfied the requirements of field trials which were conducted by the Cavalry Board, Fort Riley, Kans., the First Cavalry Division Board at Fort Bliss, Tex., and the Field Artillery Board, Fort Bragg, N.C. Subsequently, on 20 February 1941, the War Department described the Horse Gas Masks M4 and M5 as standard equipment. About a year later, an  


expenditure order was issued by the Chemical Warfare Service on the procurement of 39,145 of these masks and, within a short period of time, a technical manual and motion picture films were prepared for training personnel in their use, care, handling, packing, transporting, and inspection. Issues of these masks were authorized for each horse and mule in a theater of operations, with additional numbers for veterinary units and hospitals having animal patients.

There were no major changes in protective equipment for Army horses and mules during the remainder of the war period; in fact, during April 1943, the Army Ground Forces-with its requirements apparently met-indicated that there was no need to continue developmental studies on the masks or on any other kind of equipment (including capes and leggings).

Studies, comparable to the research and development of horse gas masks, were conducted on protective equipment for Army dogs. In the fall of 1942, the Quartermaster Corps inquired into the availability of masks or other protective equipment for dogs which were then being used. This inquiry marked the beginning of studies on the effects of chemical agents on dogs, but it was not until 1944 that field trials with experimental models of dog masks were brought to a final stage. Eventually, the Dog Gas Mask M6-12-8 was approved and made available by the Chemical Warfare Service as an item of issue in the oversea theaters, on the basis of one for each Army dog.

Transportation Equipment

Vehicles and animals were a part of the unit equipment of most veterinary detachments and units which were deployed in the oversea theaters; these were used in the transportation of personnel and equipment, the collection of daily supplies (including rations), and the evacuation of sick and wounded animals. Until August 1942, all vehicles as well as animals were provided by the Quartermaster Corps but, after that time, the supply of motor transport was the responsibility of the Ordnance Department, while the Quartermaster Corps continued to supply the animals which were used with the veterinary leading apparatus and wagons or were used in pack animal transport and to provide the few wagons that were authorized in the larger veterinary hospitals.

There is little need to describe the veterinary leading apparatus because it was not used to any great extent, if at all, in the evacuation of animals during World War II. It was a Quartermaster Corps item of supply and was listed as costing more than $200 each, exclusive of the animals which were used to operate it (fig. 8). Actually, the lead line was impressed into uses other than that of evacuating animals; it was used also to move animals if they were not to be led or driven as a herd. Thus, at a port of embarkation in the Zone of Interior during World War II, a so-called floating picket line was improvised by stretching a sort of leading apparatus between two trucks. 

During World War II, the identity of the veterinary ambulance as a  


FIGURE 8.-Operation of the veterinary lead line.

specific kind of animal-drawn or motor-drawn vehicle and trailer was generally lost in the use of a variety of motor vehicles and semitrailers to transport sick and wounded animals. What was referred to as the Quartermaster Corps horse ambulance in 1940 soon became the two-wheel, two-horse trailer van (fig. 9), and the trucks specially fitted with stock-rack bodies were often replaced overseas with trucks that had no special sides to prevent animals from falling off or jumping over the sides of the truck body. In fact, almost any type of 2?-ton or a 4- to 5-ton truck could be, and was, used to transport animals to veterinary hospitals. In the Mediterranean theater during operations in mountainous areas, 6-ton semitrailers drawn by tractor truck were found to be particularly hazardous in the successful evacuation of the sick and wounded animals from pack trains of the Fifth U.S. Army, and these semitrailers were replaced by regular motor vehicles.


Overseas, the Army Veterinary Service obtained its equipment and supplies in much the same manner that it obtained them in the Zone of Interior; namely, by requisition demand on depots. Of course, there were occasions when the required supplies were procured by local purchase or when captured materiel was used. The depot system of supply by the Medical Department overseas was based upon the establishment and opera-  


FIGURE 9.-Quartermaster Corps horse ambulance, 1940. A. Sideview. B. Rearview.


tion of field medical branch depots and medical sections of general depots which were located in the combat or army areas and in the communications zone under the control of the theater's services of supply organization. Each depot included a Veterinary Corps officer (in the grade of major) who acted as a special staff assistant to the unit commander. At least 12 such depot units, each with its own veterinary officer, came into existence during the first few years of the war. During 1943, the depot unit just mentioned was removed from the list of approved tables of organization and was replaced by two new kinds of field or theater units. Neither of the new units was specially authorized a Veterinary Corps officer, but some few veterinary officers who had become experienced with their earlier assignments in the original units were retained or became unit commanders.

Medical Department Supply in the Oversea Theaters

By the end of World War II, the utilization of veterinary personnel on full-time duty in field medical depot organizations and operations was negligible. Matters relating to the equipment and supply of veterinary personnel and units in the oversea theaters were chiefly limited to liaison and to the advisory assistance given by theater veterinarians to the medical supply officers who were located in the various theater surgeons' offices. The needs for a particular item or kind of item more often comprised the urgency for veterinary advisory assistance to the theater medical supply officers. Except in two theaters and possibly in a third, the supply needs of the Army Veterinary Service were, in terms of quantity, quality, and time, satisfactorily met. At one time or another, shortages in supply were experienced, but these frequently were transient and were overcome almost as soon as they occurred. A factor contributing to such incidents was the deployment of Army dogs and signal pigeons into oversea areas where the Army Veterinary Service may have been totally unprepared and unequipped to render any kind of professional animal services. In other situations, captured animals were assembled, and local livestock industries were temporarily brought under military control so that there were demands for supplies that were not foreseen during the planning for a given military operation. This actually occurred in the European theater where considerable emphasis was placed on a policy in which the Army veterinary animal service was to be confined at the level of emergency first aid treatment in medical dispensaries and which favored the utilization of local civilian veterinary facilities and personnel. Actually, the policy had no value in any theater except in Europe and, even there, certain problems arose; for example, captured animals untested for glanders were used in depots, and sick or wounded guard dogs were evacuated to a British Army veterinary hospital.

The truly real shortages of veterinary equipment and supplies were experienced in the China-Burma-India and the Mediterranean theaters. In the latter, the unexpected and sudden use of large numbers of animals by


U.S. troops-first in the Sicilian campaign and then in the campaigns northward up the Italian peninsula-and the subsequent deployment of Italian Army pack trains and veterinary hospitals created demands for supplies which were not readily satisfied. Even at the end of 1944, the Army Veterinary Service with the remount organization that was supporting the Fifth U.S. Army regarded its medical supply situation as acute.

In the China-Burma-India theater, later divided into the separate India?Burma and the China theaters, the Army Veterinary Service experienced great difficulties in obtaining Medical Department equipment and supplies for its use, but this situation was no different from that for all of the U.S. forces in the theater. Actually, the difficulties were probably caused by the shipping distance and time from the Zone of Interior and by the relative low standing in priority of the theater to receive supplies until the war in Europe was won. One result of this shortage in supply was the hampering effect on the early instructional programs which were conducted for the Chinese military forces by Army veterinary personnel in training schools or centers and by those who were  assigned liaison duty with the Chinese field armies and combat divisions; however, local improvisation of training aids by the Army Veterinary Service prevented any serious delay of training. Significantly, self-supply was only a part of the Medical Department supply difficulties in the China-Burma-India theater; there were also the problems in the U.S. supply of veterinary materiel to the United States?sponsored Chinese Army in China and to other Chinese military organizations and in the British supply of veterinary materiel to the Allied-sponsored Chinese Army in India, which was reorganized and trained by the U.S. forces.

These supplies were separately identified as to their sources and recipients in the theater, until the fall of 1944, when the confusion and complexity of the supply procedures which were seen at ports and depots handling, storing, and distributing these different kinds of supplies were brought to an end; at this time, a unilateral U.S. supply for both the U.S. forces and Chinese armies was established. Before this time, in connection with the supply to the Chinese Army in India, British officials were primarily responsible, but the Army Veterinary Service was actually responsible for determining requirements and distributing the British supplies to the Chinese combat divisions. Unfortunately, the British sources did not deliver the kind and amount of materiel which was requisitioned nor were the deliveries effected without some delay. In the supply to the Chinese Army in China, difficulties were experienced with so-called Chinese defense supplies which were being provided by the United States on a lend-lease basis and were distributed by the Chinese National Health Administration. Eventually, this was modified so that greater amounts of the right kind of medical equipment and supplies would be obtained in China and more would be diverted to the military effort. In addition to these two Chinese forces, there was another  


one which was not Allied sponsored but was maintained by the Chinese government through its Ministry of War. It was supplied by a Chinese Services of Supply organization, comparable to the China theater's U.S. Services of Supply organization, and was also responsible for any local procurement of military supplies in China. The Chinese organization was provided Veterinary Corps personnel who were only partially successful in their attempts to develop a veterinary supply system in the Chinese forces that would have paralleled the Medical Department system of supply in the U.S. Army. Originally, their veterinary supply was administered as a separate activity of the Chinese Horse Administration, which maintained four veterinary supply depots.

Civilian Supply in Liberated and Occupied Areas

The brief references made previously to Chinese defense supplies comprised the only known instance in which the Army Veterinary Service was directly involved in the Medical Department's participation in the lend-lease supply of American medical materiel to foreign countries. This supply was undertaken by the United States in 1941 to provide aid to those foreign countries and their armies whose defense was considered as essential to its own defense (3, 4). There was also another program for supplying civilians, but this was limited to newly liberated and occupied areas. While the latter supply was conceived as being outside the sphere of military operations and more properly the concern of nonmilitary agencies of the U.S. Government, there was reason to believe that temporary relief should be afforded to civilian populations in liberated and occupied areas if for no other reason than that disease and civilian unrest, as might hamper military operations, should be kept to a minimum. It was to be a short-term program, operated by the Army only during the period of military operations, and was to be "phased-out" as postwar rehabilitation programs would come into existence. Planning for direct civilian supply by the Army during the period of liberation and initial occupation was undertaken in 1943, or after experiences in North Africa had shown that civilian agencies (including the Foreign Economic Administration and the Office of Foreign Relief and Rehabilitation Operations, U.S. Department of State) were powerless to act until the areas were militarily secured. Veterinary materiel was included in this civilian supply specifically to protect civilians and U.S. troops from indigenous animal diseases and to conserve the food and transport animal populations in these areas.

Planning for the civilian supply of Medical Department materiel was undertaken in the Surgeon General's Office by a specially created board of officers, in mid-1943. Their recommendations were channeled through Headquarters, Army Service Forces, and thence to the Combined (United States?British) Chiefs of Staff, located in Washington, D.C., which had established a Supply Subcommittee within its Combined Civil Affairs Committee.  


Actually, the original planning in the Surgeon General's Office overlooked veterinary materiel requirements of liberated and occupied countries, but this situation was corrected after December 1943 when the Subcommittee asked if there were studied requirements for veterinary materiel in this civilian supply. If not, the Army was requested to support the recommendations which had been made by U.S. State Department agencies who were to follow the Army supply with their own long-range, postwar programs for veterinary civilian supply in liberated and occupied countries. A veterinary officer was named at once on the Surgeon General's Civil Affairs Division Board and then to a newly formed Working Party on Veterinary Supplies for Liberated Areas, which operated within the jurisdiction of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, in Washington, D.C. (5).

The Working Party on Veterinary Supplies for Liberated Areas was made up of a United States component and a British component-the latter obtaining its views from London, England. The United States component, including Veterinary Corps representation from the Surgeon General's Office, formulated and, on 15 March 1944, reported a plan for civilian supply (6), and the British component's plan became available during April 1944. The British component's plan seemingly was one which was developed by United States and the British Army veterinary officers in England (7, 8, 9).1 Obviously, the two plans were not alike, but their differences were readily reconciled in a moderate revision of the U.S. plan which soon found acceptance with the Supply Committee, Combined Civil Affairs Committee of the Combined Chiefs of Staff. The Army's veterinary civilian supply was based on the procurement and distribution of four small unit assemblies of Medical Department materiel as follows:  

Number of items

CAD Basic Veterinary Unit: For the care and treatment of 20 percent of 25,000 animals for 3 months, in occupied areas during the period of military occupation


CAD Veterinary Surgical Unit: For the care and treatment of each 10 percent of 100,000 animals for 6 months


CAD Veterinary Laboratory Unit: For the establishment, or the rehabilitation, of simple food analytical and animal disease-diagnostic laboratories


CAD Biologic Reserve: For controlling enzootics, using on 20 percent of 25,000 animals:

Central Reserve


On need-be basis (for 6-month period)


1In England, a special Allied Post War Requirements Bureau was set up during the fall of 1944 to include representatives from various countries and one Veterinary Corps officer. Certain recommendations regarding veterinary supply were subsequently reviewed jointly by the British Royal Army Veterinary Corps and the U.S. Army Veterinary Service of the European theater. The latter's review eventually came into the hands of the Working Committee on Veterinary Supplies for Liberated Areas.


As of 9 June 1944, supply planning within the Combined Chiefs of Staff projected requirements for 3,496 basic, 224 surgical, and 77 laboratory units for distribution among 17 European countries during the initial 6 months of their liberation or military occupation; these quantities were increased later. Responsibility for their procurement was divided between the United States and the United Kingdom-the latter only had one-third of the total but was responsible for the supply of most of the biologicals. At this time, however, the fighting on the European Continent had begun so that the Allied (United States and British) forces resorted to the plan which had been developed in England until the basic, surgical, and laboratory units that were approved could be assembled and made available. Actually, the Allied forces found their civilian supplies being used at an earlier date and at a much more rapid rate than anticipated so that requisitioning by spot demand early became a commonplace procedure to bring veterinary civilian supplies into European countries. However, while spot demand requisitioning seemed to have initially brought the more urgently needed supplies into France, the civilian supplies became more readily available when the Allied armies liberated the other countries in Northwest Europe.

A civilian supply program for the Mediterranean theater, particularly Italy, likewise was developed by the Working Party on Veterinary Supplies for Liberated Areas. However, what was being accomplished was not fully known to that theater because, in June 1944, the latter submitted to the Combined Civil Affairs Committee in Washington, D.C., a list of veterinary materiel which it thought, supported by its study of the needs of Italian veterinarians during the previous 6 months, should be supplied to foreign countries having an agricultural economy comparable to that of Italy (10, 11). Obviously, the newly submitted list for veterinary civilian supply was critically at variance with the several small unit assemblies which had been developed in Washington, D.C., because the latter presumably were based on probable needs where American methods of disease control and treatment were employed. The Surgeon General's Office advised the Combined Chiefs of Staff's Civil Affairs Committee that their four small unit assemblies should not be changed (12), and this recommendation was eventually agreed to by the Public Health Subcommission, Allied Control Commission, in Italy. Then, as these supplies became available, the Public Health Subcommission, Allied Control Commission, transferred them to the Chief of the Italian Veterinary Service under the Ministry of Interior, who distributed them through the various provincial governments. Where these imported civilian supplies together with those available from the local Italian resources were inadequate, the more urgent requirements were partially met by requisitioning on the Army medical supply system within the theater or by requisitioning special items direct from the United States. 

Greece and Austria also were provided with veterinary materiel in this  


Army Medical Department's civilian supply program. However, their requisitions, particularly those from Greece, were necessarily reduced because some of the equipment and supplies so demanded were destined for use in long?term rehabilitation programs in these countries and thus were outside of the limitations which governed the Army's civilian supply program. In the Pacific and Far East areas, the United States was alone in the military supplying of civilians during the period of military liberation and initial occupation. These areas specifically included the Philippine Islands, Formosa, parts of China, the Netherlands East Indies, Japan, and Korea. However, the program was not fully developed for any particular area pursuant to original plans when Japan unexpectedly surrendered. Then, as happened in Europe, the Army responsibility in liberated areas was relinquished as soon as possible to the liberated governments who continued to obtain their needed supplies through civilian international agencies. Of course, in military occupied areas, the Army continued its civilian supply program long after the end of active hostilities.


1. Kelser, R. A.: Veterinary Service in the Preparedness Program. Vet. Med. 36: 12-18, January 1941.  
2. Army Service Forces Medical Supply Catalog, MED 3, 1 Mar. 1944. 

3. Public Law 11, 77th Congress, approved 11 March 1941.  

4. Yates, Richard E.: The Procurement and Distribution of Medical Supplies in the Zone of Interior During World War II (31 May 1946). [Official record.] 

5.  Memorandum, Combined Secretariat to Supply Subcommittee, Combined Civil Affairs Committee, 9 June 1944, subject: Veterinary Supplies for Liberated Areas: Report by the Working Party.

6. Memorandum, U.S. Members to Supply Committee, Combined Civil Affairs Committee, 15 Mar. 1944, subject: Veterinary Supplies for Liberated Areas.

7. Memorandum, Civil Supply Branch, International Division, Army Service Forces, for Special Planning Division, Surgeon General's Office, 19 Apr. 1944, subject: Veterinary Requirements in Occupied Countries.

8. Perkins, C. B., and Huebner, R. A.: World War II History of the Army Veterinary Service, European Theater. [Official record.]

9. Todd, Frank A.: History of the U.S. Army Veterinary Service With Civil Affairs/Military Government in the European Theater, July 1947. [Official record.]

10. Letter, Economics and Supply Division, G-5 Section, Allied Force Headquarters, 8 June 1944, to Combined Civil Affairs Committee, Combined Chiefs of Staff, 8 June 1944, subject: Veterinary Component Additions to CAD List.  

11. Letter, Col. R. W. Rushmore, VC, to Public Health Subcommission, Allied Control Commission, Italy, 18 July 1944, subject: Summary of Veterinary Activities for Period 1 November 1943 to 1 July 1944.  

12. Memorandum, Civilian Supply Branch, International Division, Army Service Forces, for The Surgeon General, 16 June 1944, subject: AFHQ Veterinary List. Memorandum in reply, Operations Service, Surgeon General's Office, 3 July 1944.