Medical Supply Catalogs

Medics treat battle casualties at a Field Hospital at the beachead of Utah Beach. Casualties are being issued with Life Preserver Belts in preparation for their evacuation to England. Taken on June 11th, 1944.

The US Army produced a number of documents during and after WW2 designed to categorize and list all of the items available to the Medical Department. This short article has been produced to offer some brief information about these Medical Catalogs, and the information which they contained. This article has been produced using information found in the Medical Supply Catalog dated 1 March 1944.

Medical Supply Catalog, 1 March 1944:

Illustration showing the cover to the Medical Supply Catalog of 1 March, 1944.


The Army Service Forces Medical Supply Catalog listed the items that were stored and issued by the Medical Department. It established the official item designation for use in the preparation of requisitions, records, reports and correspondence concerning medical supplies.

Sections of the Medical Supply Catalog :

MED 1 – Introduction:
This consisted of an explanation of all sections of the Medical Supply Catalog, including the sections published as separate pamphlets as well as those included in this volume (the Medical Supply Catalog of 1 March 1944).

MED 2 – Index:
The Index to the Medical Supply Catalog was a directory of the publications comprising the entire Medical Supply Catalog system.

MED 3 – List of Items for Troops, Posts, Camps and Stations:
This section superseded the Classes 1 to 9 inclusive, supplements thereto, and the Index of the former Medical Department Supply Catalog.

MED 4 – Allowances of Expendable Supplies:
This section was published as a separate pamphlet and superseded War Department Circular No. 26, Office of The Surgeon General. It prescribed the basic allowances of expendable medical supplies not otherwise authorized and supplemented the Tables of Equipment and Tables of Allowances for all arms and services.

MED 5 – Stock List of All Items:
No publication under this number was contemplated, as the information was already contained in MED 3.

MED 6 – Sets – Small Assemblies, Kits and Chests:
This section superseded the Appendix of the former Medical Department Supply Catalog and listed component items of sets, kits etc., issued by the Medical Department. Blank forms previously listed in the appendix were no longer included in this section. They were now listed in Section VIII, War Department Pamphlet No. 12-3, dated 24 March 1944, entitled “List of Forms Stocked by Adjutant General Depots”.

MED 7 – Organizational and Higher Echelon Spare Parts:
This section included a series of pamphlets listing spare parts, replacement parts, special tools, accessories, etc., requiring frequent replacement. These parts were furnished with or were available on requisition for certain major items of equipment as authorized for each echelon of maintenance.

MED 8 – Sets – Higher Echelon Spare Parts:
No publication was contemplated under this number, as this information was already included in MED 7.

MED 9 – List of All Parts:
This section consisted of a series of pamphlets listing all component parts of selected Medical Department items. Each pamphlet listed all the parts necessary for the assemblage and maintenance of a major item, and also indicated the authorized allowances of spare parts, tools, accessories, supplies etc., to be issued with or for the item. Illustrations were shown to identify the parts and indicate their relation to the complete assembly.

MED 10 – Medical Department Equipment Lists:
The pamphlets in this series listed the equipment of hospitals and other medical units. Because of the many items involved, it was not feasible to designate the component items in Tables of Equipment or other publications. Equipment lists for medical units of similar functions were be bound in one set, a separate set being published for each such group of units.

Army-Navy Catalog of Medical Materiel, July 1947:

Illustration showing the cover to the Army-Navy Catalog of Medical Materiel, July 1947

This index listed the Army-Navy stock number, the former Army stock number and the former Navy stock number. The Army stock number was that published in MED 3, War Department, Medical Supply Catalog, 1 March 1944, including changes. The Navy stock number was that one published in the Catalog of Navy Materiel, BuMed Section, July 1946 Edition.

Distribution of the Medical Supply Catalog:

The initial distribution of Catalogs and Catalog Changes to units and installations was automatic, in accordance with The Adjutant General’s standard procedure. Additional copies of the Catalog and its components were to be requisitioned as required from The Adjutant General in accordance with paragraphs 3 and 4, AR 310-200 and not, as in the past, from the St. Louis Medical Depot.

Instructions for the Use of Equipment Lists were issued automatically to all units entitled to any pamphlet in the MED 10 Series.

Explanation and use of MED 3:

The section MED 3, “List of Items for Troops, Posts, Camps and Stations,” superseded that portion of the former Medical Department Supply Catalog comprising Classes 1 through 9 inclusive, Supplements thereto, and the index. It will be observed that in effecting this change in the catalog system, some deviations from previous arrangement were adopted, notably cited below:

The supplemental drug items formerly listed in Class 1K and the biological stains formerly numbered from 15200 to 15440, inclusive, were subsequently renumbered as Class 1 or Class 9 items and placed in proper alphabetical sequence.

The items formerly designated as “Issue While in Stock” (IWIS) and catalogued in a separate section were either deleted by publication of official catalog changes or reclassified and reinstated in numerical order.

We have been able to assess that some recorded changes and/or modifications in the Catalog contents, were dated 7 June 1943, 16 January 1944, and 31 August 1944 respectively…


This page was printed from the WW2 US Medical Research Centre on 13th April 2024 at 19:08.
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