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WWII MEDICAL DETACHMENT attached to Infantry Regiment

(Submitted by Alain Batens)

This page last updated March 19th 2002

During WWII, the Rifle Regiment (Infantry) was entirely composed of INFANTRYMEN, the only exception being the attached medical personnel – responsible for treatment of wounded in the field and in the combat zone .

 General Mission : the “Medical Detachment” is thus an integral part of the Regiment ! The mission of the Detachment is to conserve the strength of the Regiment by preventive medical and sanitary measures, and appropriate medical, surgical, and dental treatment . Personnel belonging to the Medical Detachment evacuate the sick and wounded to Battalion or Regimental Aid Stations, where they are received, sorted, given temporary care, and such emergency treatment as its limited facilities will permit . Those cases requiring further treatment are evacuated by Collecting units of the Division Medical Services farther to the rear .

 Organization : the “Medical Detachment” is divided into a Headquarters Section and three Battalion Sections, designated respectively, 1st – 2d – 3d Battalion Sections . Each Section normally SERVES its designated Battalion in combat . However, in garrison or camp, the Regimental Surgeon may pool all Sections, and in combat he may, if necessary, reinforce any one Section from another …

 Headquarters Section/Detachment (1 X)

Consists of the “Medical Detachment” Headquarters and the Regimental Aid Station Group, While the Headquarters performs the interior administration of the Detachment, the Regimental Aid Station groups Medical and Dental Officers, their assistants, Aid Station personnel, chauffeurs, vehicles, and relevant equipment .

 Battalion Sections (3 X)

Each Battalion Section consists of Medical Officers, medical and surgical technicians, litter bearers, chauffeurs, vehicles and equipment  to operate a Battalion Aid Station, provide the necessary company aidmen, and furnish litter service . The Section is organized into 3 separate squads ; Aid Station Squad, Litter Bearer Squad ; and Company Aid Squad .

 Operation : in combat, 2 (or more) Company Aidmen of the Company Aid Squad are usually assigned to each Rifle Company to dress wounds and provide first aid . Each man is equipped with two canvas pouches containing first-aid packets, bandages, emergency medical tags, and other medical items necessary for administering first aid . An EMT is attached to the clothing of an injured man, on it the Company Aidman enters name, organization, brief description of injury and treatment given, the tag remains with the patient until he is ready for duty or reaches a Fixed Hospital . Litter Bearers carry wounded unable to walk to the Battalion Aid Station for further treatment by local personnel . They also maintain contact with the Companies in front of them, direct and assist ambulant sick and wounded to the Aid Station, assist the Aid Station Squad in moving and re-establishing the Aid Station, and, when necessary, administer first-aid treatment . The slightly wounded are sent back to their Companies . Aid Station lists are prepared giving data on casualties passing thru the Station and their disposition . Serious casualties requiring evacuation to Hospitals are held at the Aid Station site until picked up by Collecting Companies personnel or Ambulances of the Division Medical Battalion . Walking wounded are directed to Collecting Stations . Only emergency treatment is given at Aid Stations, i.e. hemorrhage is stopped, bandages re-adjusted, wounds re-dressed, if necessary, and emergency medical tags verified ! Items such as litters, blankets, and splints, which accompany evacuated casualties to the rear, are automatically replaced . When Ambulances or Litter Bearers from the Division unit return to the Regiment, they bring along items of equipment corresponding to the ones taken out on previous trips …

 Sources: FM 7-30 Infantry Field Manual, Service Company and Medical Detachment (Supply & Evacuation) Rifle Regiment, July 18, 1941 

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During WWII, the Rifle Infantry Regiment was entirely composed of INFANTRYMEN, the only exception being the attached medical personnel – responsible for treatment of wounded in the field, and in the combat zone

T/O 7-11 OCTOBER 1, 1940

Commissioned Personnel (10)

1 X Major (Regimental Surgeon)

5 X Captain (including 2 Dental Officer)

4 X First Lieutenant (including 1 Dental Officer)

Enlisted Personnel (96)

1 X Technical Sergeant

3 X Staff Sergeant

1 X Sergeant

88 X Private & Private, First Class (including record clerk, motorcyclist, chauffeur, litter bearer, basic aidman, medical technician, sanitary technician, surgical technician, and dental technician personnel)

Vehicles (17)

1 X Motorcycle with Side Car (to provide transportation for personnel engaged in reconnaissance, messenger service, and police operations)

2 X Truck, ½ Ton, Command & Reconnaissance (to provide transportation for staff officers in the field)

12 X Truck, ½ Ton, Weapon Carrier (to transport weapons, personnel and cargo)

2 X Truck, 1 ½ Ton, Cargo (to transport general cargo and personnel)

T/O 7-11 FEBRUARY 10, 1942

Commissioned Personnel (10)

1 X Major

5 X Captain (including 1 Dental Officer)

4 X First Lieutenant (including 1 Dental Officer)

Enlisted Personnel (96)

1 X Technical Sergeant

3 X Staff Sergeant

1 X Sergeant

3 X Corporal

88 X Private & Private, First Class

Vehicles (17)

1 X Morcycle with Side Car (to provide transportation for personnel engaged in reconnaissance, messenger service, and police operations)

2 X Truck, ½ Ton, Command & Reconnaissance (including 1 with front mounted power operated winch) (to provide transportation for staff officers in the field)

12 X Truck, ½ Ton, Weapon Carrier (including 6 with front mounted power operated winch) (to transport weapons, personnel and cargo)

2 X Truck, 2 ½ Ton, Cargo (to transport general cargo)

 

T/O 7-11 FEBRUARY 1944

Commissioned Personnel (9)

1 X Major (MOS=3500)

8 X Captain, or First Lieutenant (including 2 Dental Officer (MOS=3170) + 6 X General Duty Medical Officer (MOS=3100))

Enlisted Personnel (126)

1 X Technical Sergeant (MOS=673)

3 X Staff Sergeant (MOS=673)

1 X Sergeant (MOS=673)

3 X Corporal (MOS=673)

118 X Private & Private, First Class (MOS=405, 345, 657, 422, 409, 835, 196, 861, 521)

Vehicles (15)

7 X Trailer, ¼ Ton (to transport general cargo on land or through water)

7 X Truck, ¼ Ton (to carry personnel,primarily for reconnaissance, to transport light cargo, to tow 37-mm antitank gun)

1 X Truck, 2 ½ Ton, Cargo (to transport general cargo)

T/O & E 7-11 FEBRUARY 26, 1944 - Manpower distribution within Medical Detachment, i.e. 1 Headquarters Section + 3 Battalion Sections

HEADQUARTERS SECTION (X 1) (modification MARCH 1944, commissioned personnel is reduced to 1 X Major + 1 X Captain)

Commissioned Personnel (3)

1 X Major (Detachment Commander)

2 X Captain (i.e. 2 Dental Officer)

Enlisted Personnel (30)

1 X Technical Sergeant

1 X Sergeant

28 X Private & Private, First Class

Vehicles (3)

1 X Trailer, ¼ Ton (to transport general cargo on land or through water)

1 X Truck, ¼ Ton (to carry personnel, primarily for reconnaissance, to transport light cargo, to tow 37-mm antitank gun)

1 X Truck, 2 ½ Ton, Cargo (to transport general cargo and personnel)

BATTALION SECTION (X 3) (modification MARCH 1944 commissioned personnel is changed to 1 X Captain + 1 X First Lieutenant)

Commissioned Personnel (2)

2 X Captain (Section Leader)

Enlisted Personnel (32)

1 X Staff Sergeant

1 X Corporal

30 X Private & Private, First Class (including 12 litter bearers / section)

Vehicles (4)

2 X Trailer, ¼ Ton (to transport general cargo on land or through water)

2 X Truck, ¼ Ton (to carry personnel, primarily for reconnaissance, to transport light cargo, to tow 37-mm antitank gun)

REMARK

The Medical Detachment provided 3 aid men for the Regimental Antitank Company, 3 for the Regimental Cannon Company, 1 for the Regimental Headquarters & Headquarters Company, and 1 for the Regimental Service Company, 12 aid men were provided as follows – 1 per rifle platoon and 1 per heavy weapons platoon .

When talking about Collecting (3) & Clearing Companies (1), it should be noted that these units, were entirely staffed by medical personnel, since they were part of the Medical Battalion !

M.O.S. or Military Occupational Specialist (Serial Number) indicates occupational specialists designations, this is represented by identifying numbers which group military personnel engaged in specific activities – the numbers are used in conjunction with T/E (Table of Equipment) in order to establish the basis for issue of certain items of clothing or equipment

T/O & E 7 designation (Table of Organization & Equipment) belongs to Class 7 which identifies a Combat unit (and not a combat support unit, as one might think when considering the Medical Detachment)

It should be noted that some sources dealing with T/O, and T/O & E sometimes indicate different figures …

Sources: T/O 7-11 October 1 1940, T/O 7-11 February 10 1942, T/O 7-11 February 26 1944, 1944-45 Army Regulations AR 615-26, TM 12-250 Administration February 10 1942, TM 9-2800 Standard Military Motor Vehicles 1 September 1943 (all documents belong to the author’s private collection)

 

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