Medical Depots in the Zone of Interior

Photograph illustrating the packing room at the Medical Section of the Chicago Quartermaster Depot. Note the varying type of containers used to store supplies.

At the outset of World War II, the Medical Department was responsible for procurement, storage, and issue of approximately 4,500 items. By 1942, the number of items under medical cognizance had jumped to 6,000, and another 1,000 items were added by 1943. During mid-1942, some 700 contractors were serving the Medical Department, but within a year’s time, this had jumped to 2,500 contractors and the number of contracts had reached 25,000.

Aggregating more than 5.4 million square feet by July 1941, Medical Supply Depot space continued to expand after entry of the United States into the war. As more Medical Depots were built in order to accommodate the introduction of the 7,000 additional items required, more depots were opened in July 1942, making the total space available 7 million square feet.

Photograph showing medical supplies, packed in crates ready for shipment from a Medical Depot. Note the use of pallets here, and also the caduceus symbol painted on the crates to the rear, indicating medical supplies are contained within.

Additional space acquisitions increased storage facilities still further during the next 6 months; in July 1943, the peak of 13 million square feet was reached. From this time until the end of the war, the amount of space available was steadily dropping. This was partly as a result of the demand for storage area diminishing. Twenty Depots and Medical Sections had been occupied in July 1943. This number dropped to 17 in July 1944, and to 14 in July 1945. During the same period, the number of square feet occupied fell to 10,348,000 in 1944, and to 9,127,000 in 1945.

A complete outfit for a Station Hospital ready for shipment from a Medical Depot in the Zone of Interior.

The following list is a compilation showing the names and / or locations of the Medical Depots available, their dates of operation, and also their missions. The Medical Depots listed herewith were all based in the Zone of Interior; that is the continental United States of America. The list covers Depots of Medical Sections, General Depots and Medical Depots during the time of 1939 – 1946 (inclusive):

Name / Location Date of Activation Warehouse Storage Space (square feet) Mission(s)
Atlanta ASF Depot,
Medical Section, Conley, Ga.
1 November 1941 681,000
  1. Receive and store all supplies for Theater-of-Operations type Hospitals.
  2. Assembly of Theater-of-Operations type Hospitals
  3. In 1945, was changed to distribution to area served by Savannah.
  4. Record repository in July, 1945.
  5. Key Depot to receive and store trucks in August, 1945.
  6. Receive and store excess Medical Depot items in December 1945.
Binghamton Medical Depot, Binghamton N.Y. 9 January 1943 618,000
  1. Key Depot for special items (teeth, optical) for all Depots and Ports.
  2. Filler Depot for Brooklyn and New York Ports of Embarkation.
Chicago Medical Depot, Chicago, Ill.
(Medical Section, Chicago QM Depot).
April 1942
(Chicago Medical Depot; 10 December 1940)
576,000
  1. Distribution Depot for Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Service Commands.
  2. Key Depot for special items.
Columbus Medical Depot, Medical Section, Columbus,
Ohio.
Before 1939 282,000
  1. Assembly of medical maintenance units for Lend-Lease.
  2. Assembly of Civilian Aid defense supply.
Denver Medical Depot, Denver, Colo. 1 June 1942
(in 1945 was an ASF, Branch Medical Depot, Class IV for Rocky Mountain Area)
535,000
  1. Distribution Depot for Rocky Mountain area.
  2. Key Depot for drugs, chemicals, biological products, surgical supplies; laboratory, X-ray, dental, pharmacy, hospital and field equipment and supplies, special kits or assemblies for San Francisco and Los Angeles Medical Depots and Seattle Medical Section,
  3. Assembly of Zone of Interior Hospitals for western United States.
  4. Depot for returned material; Depot to operate a Medical Depot fifth-echelon shop for reclamation or repair of unserviceable Medical Depot property.
Kansas City Medical Depot, Kansas City, Kans. 1 February 1942 446,000
  1. Assembly of field equipment for tactical supplies for Zone of Interior or Theaters of Operations.
  2. Key Depot for selected biologicals; unit assemblies for all Depots and Ports.
Los Angeles Medical Depot, Los Angeles, Calif. 1 June 1942 225,000
  1. Distribution Depot for southern California and California-Arizona Maneuver Area.
  2. Filler Depot for Los Angeles Port of Embarkation.
Louisville Medical Depot, Louisville, Ky. 24 July 1943
(Holding and reconsignment point, 1942;
War Aid Depot, 1942; Quartermaster Depot, September 1942; Ordnance depot, 10 October 1942)
1,713,000
  1. Storage Depot for reserve medical supplies.
  2. Storage and issue of medical supplies for International Aid (Lend-Lease).
Marietta General Depot, Medical Section, Marietta, Pa. December 1941; closed March 1942 175,400 International Aid Depot.
New Cumberland ASF Depot, Medical Section, New Cumberland, Pa. Before 1939 138,000
  1. Storage and distribution of general supplies for First and Second Service Commands and State of Pennsylvania.
  2. Filter Depot and general supply for Brooklyn and New York Ports of Embarkation.
New York General Depot, Medical Section, New York Port of Embarkation, Brooklyn, N.Y. Before 1939 623,700
  1. Procured major portion of medical supplies and equipment before World War II and during early part of war.
  2. Distribution Depot for eastern seaboard.
  3. Moved to Bush Terminal in January 1941 and redesignated New York Medical Depot on 1 July 1941.
New York Medical Depot, New York, N.Y. (Brooklyn). 4 July 1941 1,964,000 To receive, warehouse, and ship Medical Depot supplies (see Binghamton Medical Depot for changes).
Ogden General Depot, Medical Section, Ogden, Utah. 15 September 1941 294,000
  1. 1942 – Assembly, storage, or issue of medical maintenance units for troops of Western Defense Command of various Pacific Theaters.
  2. A backup Depot for San Francisco and Los Angeles Medical Depots.
  3. To act as a collecting point for medical supplies and numbered shipments which, due to shortages, made it necessary to ship from other Depots.
  4. 1944 – changed initial issue to Communications Zone of tactical and hospital assemblies and backup for Port filler Depots.
Pueblo Ordnance Depot, Medical Section, Pueblo, Colo. 15 April 1943, and as a sub-depot of Denver, 20 September 1945 400,000 Storage Depot for reserve medical supplies
Richmond General Depot, Medical Section, Richmond Va. 1 June 1941 350,000
  1. Port filler Depot for Hampton Roads and Charleston Ports of Embarkation.
  2. Port filler Depot for New York Port of Embarkation for all items, for shipments passing through Philadelphia and all Ports south.
San Antonio Depot, Medical Section, San Antonio, Tex. Before 1939
(was a QM Depot in 1942)
306,000 Distributing Depot for Texas, excluding area by Denver.
San Francisco Medical Depot, Oakland, Calif. 1 July 1942
(in existence before WWII, about 1917)
714.800
  1. Distribution Depot, key Depot for west coast Ports and filler Depots.
  2. Distribution Depot for northern California.
  3. Key Depot for medical shortages on Port requisitions received y Los Angeles Medical Depot and Medical Section of Seattle ASF Depot.
  4. Port filler Depot for San Francisco Port of Embarkation.
Savannah General Depot, Medical Section; ASF in 1943, General Depot 16 May 1943 15 January 1941 (sub-depot of Atlanta Medical Section, 1945) 670,000
  1. Distributing Depot for Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
  2. Supervising operation of, and furnishing supplies for, Miami Medical Supply Point (Florida).
Schenectady ASF Depot, Medical Section, Schenectady, N.Y. Before 1939 227,000 Port filler Depot for Brooklyn and New York Ports of Embarkation for drugs, chemicals, biologicals, surgical dressings and supplies for field equipment and special kits.
Seattle ASF Depot, Medical Section, Washington. August 1941
(was a QM Depot with Medical Section established in May 1941)
300,000
  1. Distribution Depot for Washington, Oregon and Alaska.
  2. Also became a key Depot for Classes IV and V.
  3. Built Hospital assemblies, 1942 to April 1944.
  4. 1944 – Supply to troops in the Pacific.
Shamokin General Depot, Medical Section, Shamokin, Pa. 19 July 1941; closed February 1942 35,000 International Aid Depot.
Sharonville Engineer Depot, Medical Section, Sharonville, Ohio. 22 December 1942 345,000 International Aid Depot
St. Louis Medical Depot, St. Louis, Mo. 9 March 1943 (in existence in 1918 or before) 1,766,000
  1. Distribution Depot for Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Scott Field.
  2. Key Depot for Medical Depot supplies, drugs, chemicals, biologicals; surgical, laboratory , pharmacy, dental, X-ray, hospital, veterinary, and field equipment and supplies, special kits and assemblies, serving Binghamton and Chicago Medical Depots and San Antonio and Savannah ASF Depots of Zone of Interior.
  3. Key Depot for catalog-selected items, veterinary equipment and supplies, serving all Depots and Ports.
  4. Port filler Depot, New Orleans Port of Embarkation.
  5. Operated Training Schools (officers and enlisted men).
  6. Operated Medical Depot repair shop.
Toledo Medical Depot, Toledo, Ohio. Before June 1941
(lease executed 10 December, 1940)
854,000
  1. Receipt, inspection, and storage of Medical Depot supplies and equipment from industrial plants and other Depots.
  2. Export packing, assembling, and shipment of Theater-of-Operations type Hospitals.
Voorheesville General Depot, Medical Section, Voorheesville, N.Y. December 1941; closed March 1942 43,500 International Aid Depot.

This page was printed from the WW2 US Medical Research Centre on 13th November 2019 at 19:27.
Read more: https://www.med-dept.com/articles/medical-depots-in-the-zone-of-interior/