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Headquarters, Second Sanitary Train, Am. E.F.,
Germany, February 24th., 1919.
Report of Operations, Medical Department, May 31 to July 10, 1918.

From: Commanding Officer,
To: Commanding General, Second Division.
Subject: Report of Operations, Medical Department,
May 31 to July 10, 1918.
 

1. Regimental and Battalion Aid Stations were established with their respective headquarters as the troops moved into original or new positions. These were for the most part in stone buildings in abandoned villages or farm groups and did not offer much protection against enemy artillery though some were fairly well located when stone vaulted cellars could be found suitable. During the latter part of the operations, many of the Battalion Aid Stations were in the woods and some dugouts were constructed but these were only splinter proof at the best.

Each had one or more ambulances stationed with them or within call as conditions required. Supplies were delivered them from the Ambulance Companies or Ambulance Head by returning or special ambulances.

2. The Sanitary Train: No Sanitary Train Headquarters had been organized and each Section, (Field Hospital and Ambulance,) functioned under the direct orders of the Division Surgeon. These Sections, less 16th Field Hospital and 16th Ambulance Companies, (animal drawn,) arrived at MEAUX about 7 P.M., May 31, proceeding to their several immediate destinations the same night as follows: 1st and 15th Field Hospitals and 1st Ambulance Companies to VINCY. 15th Ambulance Co. remained bivouaced on the road near MEAUX, being unable to clear the Div. Truck Train, with which it was convoyed. 23rd Field Hospital and 23rd Ambulance Companies to a large Chateau in MEAUX. Here a hospital was established which, with the addition of 2 Bessonau tents gave a capacity of 150 beds. This received the patients from the main Sorting Station at the front and evacuated them to Evacuation Hospital No. 8 at JOUILLY. As the distance from various points on the front to Meaux was 40 to 50 kilometers and an additional 25 kilometers back to nearest Evacuation Hospital, this second sorting or relay Station was very valuable for redressing, resting, warming and feeding the wounded.

This company was joined here June 4, by 16th Field Hospital, the two companies continuing to operate the hospital until they were sent to more forward stations on June 9th and 11th, respectively.

 
Cases handled: Gassed Wounded Shell Conc. Injury Sick Total.
23rd Field Hosp. 41 797 20 22 88 968
16th Field Hosp. 250 2500 0 0 50 2800
Total 291 3297 20 22 138 3768
 

Owing to lack of Evacuation Ambulances the first few days, the Divisional ambulances were compelled to do the rear evacuation in addition to the very long haul from the front and were taxed to the utmost. This was supplemented by Sanitary and Supply Train trucks and touring cars.

3. Early the next morning, June 1, stations were assigned the organizations of the train and they proceeded to them immediately as follows:

1st Field Hospital and 1st Ambulance Company to BEZU-le-Guery.
Here 1st Field Hospital established a Sorting Station, (Triage) and operated same during entire stay of the Division in this sector. 1st Ambulance Company secured liason and established ambulance service for the troops on the right front, (9th and 23rd Inf.) but was ordered elsewhere that night.

15th Field Hospital to COCHEREL, where it remained until June 4. No dressing station was established, but 12 wounded passed through during this time.

15th Ambulance Company to DHUISY, where an Ambulance Dressing Station was established and ambulances and dressings dispatched to the troops of the left front, (5th and 6th Marines.) The following morning these ambulances brought in the first wounded of our service in this sector.

Great numbers of wounded continued to arrive. As they were all from the troops served by this company, and their evacuation covered such a great distance, the company ambulances were insufficient and additional ones were drawn from 1st Amb. Co.

The 23rd Ambulance Company, less 4 ambulances left at Meaux to serve that hospital, was also ordered to the front from Meaux, arriving June 2, at BEZU-le-Guery, where it remained until the Division was relieved.

June 3rd this A.D.S. at Dhuisy was closed and 15th Amb. Co. moved to COUPRU, thence to DOMPTIN June 5. At each place A.D.S. was established and the ambulance continued to serve the Marines on the left front.

June 11, this company was ordered to VILLERS, establishing an A.D.S. for Slightly Wounded for the right of the front line. This was operated until the Division was relieved.

4. 1st Ambulance Company left BEZU-le-Guery, before daylight June 2, for VENDREST where an A.D.S. was established and company ambulances distributed for station and service with B.A.S. of 23rd Infantry and auxilliary troops which, during the night, had been swung from their first position to this new position on the left front. A considerable number of wounded were dressed and evacuated through this station.

June 4th the company moved back to BEZU-le-Guery, where it remained during the stay of the Division in this sector.

The 16th Ambulance Company, animal drawn, having marched overland, did not arrive in the area until June 3, when they reached COCHERAL, bivouced and proceeded the following day to la SABLONNIERE, thence on June 6 to la LANGUE Fme., where an A.D.S. for Slightly Wounded was established at 7 P.M., same date. About 125 wounded were attended and evacuated that evening and night. The following day June 7, this station was moved 1/2 kilometer up the road to VENTELET Fme, to bring it nearer to the main road and more easily accessible to the walking wounded, who naturally drifted down this main road. Here it remained and operated until Division was relieved.

June 4 all 16th Amb. Co. ambulances, (9 animal drawn) were distributed and attached to Artillery Regiments, - 3 to each. This was done to give ambulance service to Battery positions not accessible to Motor ambulances and to accompany them on their frequent shifts of position. They remained permanently with these.

5. June 4, the 15th Field Hospital was moved to Chateau LA RUE on the main la FERTE-CHATEAU-THIERRY road and for three days functioned as auxilliary sorting Station with 1st Field Hospital at BEZU, thereafter functioning on alternate days with this Field Hospital at BEZU. This was tried with a view to resting the personnel of each hospital on alternate days, but resulted in too much dispersion of the sorting and evacuating forces, supplies, ambulances, etc., and not a commensurate conservation of the efforts of the personnel. This dual sorting was abandoned June 15, and on the 16th of June, the Company moved to LUZANCY where it remained until Sector was turned over by the Division.

 
 At Chateau LA RUE)
Treated by 15th F.H.)
Gassed Wounded Shell Conc. Inj. Sick. Total.
131 776 58 39 108 1112
 

6. The 16th Field Hospital, (animal drawn) arrived at MEAUX June 4, taking station and functioning with 23rd F.H. until June 11, when proceeded to LUZANCY where a building formerly used by the French as a hospital, was supplemented by tents to capacity of 800, and conjointly with 15th Field Hospital was operated as Division Hospital for Gassed and Sick.

 
Cases treated Gassed Wound Shell Conc. Inj. Sick Total:
15th F. H. 858 22 45 52 800 1777
16th F. H. 1500 0 0 0 40 1540
Total 2358 22 45 52 840 3317
500 of these were returned to duty without further evacuation.
 

7. June 6, one half the officers and enlisted personnel of 23rd Field Hospital were ordered to assist at the Sorting Station of 1st Field Hospital at BEZU. They remained here until June 10, when they and the remainder of 23rd F.H., which had been left with 16th F.H. at MEAUX, proceeded to LA FERTE-sur-Jourre. Here they secured two buildings which had been maintained by a Cathalic [sic Catholic] sisterhood as a City Hospital, and established a Surgical Hospital for Non-transportable. The hospital was well supplied with beds, mattresses, sheets and pajamas. An Xray apparatus was obtained and many instruments. Around these supplies and upon this experience was conceived the idea of continuing one Field Hospital of the Division as a Mobile Surgical Hospital. Within a few days enough extra officers to provide 6 surgical teams, and 18 American female nurses were secured. With the addition of 3 Bessonau tents, a total capacity of 125 beds was obtained. This hospital continued to function with from 2 to 5 Surgical teams until the hospital was turned over July 7 to the 26th Division. The nurses and extra surgical teams, together with the teams which had been previously definitely assigned to the Second Division, remained with the 26th Division on our departure, also the larger portion of the equipment.

 
Cases treated Gassed Wound Shell Conc. Inj. Sick Total.
  4 923 9 30 17 983
 

8. June 4, S.S.U. Unit 502 joined with 20 Ford ambulances. The Unit was stationed at the Ambulance Head in BEZU and was immediately placed on forward work, evacuating from Battn and Regt. A.S's., thereby liberating the majority of the larger ambulances, (G.M.C.,) for evacuation from Sorting Station to rear Field Hospitals and to Evacuation Hospitals. On a few occasions an additional S.S.U. Unit, or a part of one, was attached to our Division to assist during drives. They are very excellent for forward work on short hauls with roads good or fair.

9. July 1, in preparation for the offensive on VAUX, 1st Amb. Co. sent Amb. D.S. personnel and equipment to 9th Inf. to reinforce the R.A.S. An advance medical Supply dump was arranged forward of the R.A.S. on the route of evacuation from Battalion Aid Stations and returning ambulances utilized to carry these forward where needed.

An advance station in two large vaulted cellars in MONNEAUX was also prepared and supplied the night prior to the attack, for use as B.A.S. at such time as the attack had sufficiently progressed.

10. Division Medical Supply Unit arrived June 1 at MEAUX, where they immediately set up and began issue, the supplies being carried forward on returning ambulances. Supplies were obtained from the Red Cross in Paris, American Mission at Soissons and Medical Supply Depot at Coulommiers, but during first part of operations, there was an inadequacy of blankets, litters and pajamas for gas cases, etc. After the establishment of a Medical Supply Depot at LIEUSSANT, with an excellent system of truck service of distribution, less difficulty was met in securing supplies promptly.

June 9 the Medical Supply Unit was moved to La FERTE and distribution to forward organizations facilitated.

11. June 3 the Ambulance Head was established at BEZU-le-Guery and all ambulances pooled for service directly under the orders of the Director of Ambulance Companies. The location of the Sorting Station at this place also facilitated the coordinatio[n] and conservation of the ambulance service both forward and to the rear. During attacks in which the ambulances were inadequate for rapid evacuation of all wounded, the trucks of the Sanitary Train were utilized and if these did not suffice, trucks from the Supply train were called upon.

As all telephonic communications had to be in code a system of numbers was used to designate regiments, battalion or places. Each Regiment was given blocks of ten, so that the first regiment had 11 to 19, the second 20 to 29, etc. A simple telephone call "42 — three Jones," indicated that 4th Regiment, 2nd B.A.S. desired 3 ambulances.

An Advance Medical Supply Dump was maintained at Ambulance Head, and supplies needed at forward stations delivered by returning ambulances.

12. Ambulance Co. litter bearers were from the beginning sent to the front to supplement those of Regiments as the latter required them and the numbers available permitted. As many as 160 at one time were detached from their companies for this duty. These were usually sent forward in returning ambulances. Relay litter bearer posts were also established between B.A.S. and Ambulance Posts when litter haul was long and ambulances could not reach the forward stations.

13. The Sorting Station at BEZU occupied a church and an adjoining school building, the latter being used for dressing and rechaufment and the former for collecting and evacuating. In a small stone building in the same lot a Red Cross shower bath with 8 heads and heater was set up and with a well ventilated tent fly for undressing and a closed tent for dressing patients, an excellent group for treating gassed cases was maintained. This appeared a bit crude but could, and did, bathe and handle as many as 100 cases per hour.

14. June 15, Mobile Surgical Hospital No. 1, and a few days later Evacuation Hospital No. 7, at Chateau MONTANGLAUST, near COULOMMIERS, opened to receive our patients. This shortened our evacuation by 25 kilometers but still left one of 30 kilometers from our Sorting Station. This long evacuation was inimical to our dangerously wounded or severely shocked, many of whom were saved our own Divisional Surgical Hospital.

15. From June 15, until the Division was relieved no changes were made in location of our Sanitary Units and the system of evacuation was maintained as per attached diagram.

The initial long evacuation to Evacuation Hospital at JOUILLY is also shown.

 
2nd Sanitary Train map near Belleau The last page of this report is the map. Ed. 2nd Sanitary Train map near Belleau
(Sgd) E W Miller
E.W. Miller
Lieut. Col., Med. Corps, U.S.A.,
For Division Surgeon.
 
Records Of The Second Division (Regular) Volume 8; Operation Reports — War Diaries
Second Division Historical Section, The Army War College, Washington, D. C.
 
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