155th Station HospitalUnit History

Zone of Interior, Camp Roberts, San Miguel, California. Partial view of 155th Station Hospital personnel and ambulance vehicles. Picture taken 20 September 1941.

Introduction & Activation:

The 155th Station Hospital was activated by War Department Order on 15 May 1941 (other sources indicate 1 June 1941), with the assignment of 2 Non-Commissioned Officers from the CASC 1928, Medical Section, Camp Roberts, San Miguel, California (by order of Headquarters, Western Defense Command, under jurisdiction of Fourth United States Army, Office of The Surgeon, Presidio of San Francisco, California –ed). Two Medical Officers who were graduates of the Fifth Refresher Course, Medical Field Service Training School, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, were assigned in the early part of June 1941.
71 Selective Service men were received from the Medical Replacement Training Center, Camp Grant, Rockford, Illinois, on 4 July 1941. In general these men were of good quality and well-trained.

The organization was housed under canvas from 4 July 1941 until 5 October 1941. Health and morale of the men was excellent. A marked gain in weight was shown by most of the personnel.

Training:

A Training Program was at once instituted along the lines prescribed by the Medical Field Service School and was followed through until 7 October. At this time, 59 of the men were transferred to the 153d Station Hospital (activated 1 Jun 41, embarked for Australia 18 Feb 42, FIRST US Hospital to operate in Australia, 9 Mar 42 –ed), Camp Roberts, San Miguel, California (Infantry & Field Artillery Replacement Training Center –ed), and the strength of this organization was thus consequently reduced to 25 EM on the allotment of grades and ratings; however there were but 10 men remaining in this unit. The remaining personnel were instructed in first aid and other Medical Department functions and in the duties of NCOs.

An Athletic Program was started in the early part of July 1941 with a baseball team of high quality, which the men supported whole-heartedly. Boxing eliminations were also held. Basic Training equipment was not received in time to be of much value before the men transferred; however, they were trained with almost the same equipment in the Post Station Hospital, being rotated on the various hospital duties. No men were sent to Technical Schools as in most cases it was felt that more basic Hospital Training was necessary. After receiving Basic Training equipment, it was found to be satisfactory, but the lack of both Private and NCO Medical Kits was noted. They would have served well in training.
Both Training Films and Strips were used to full advantage, although they weren’t available until late in the year. The following list of Films and Strips were exhibited:

Training Films Film Strips
3-2 7-108 8-15
3-216 7-109 8-16
3-218 7-110 8-17
4-9 8-33 8-18
5-12 10-166 8-19
6-102 11-168 8-20
6-103 11-225 8-21
6-104 11-274 8-22
6-105 25-5 8-23

By December 1941 the unit was still stationed at Camp Roberts, California. Though only numbering 1 Officer and 10 EM, command was in the hands of Major Abby M. Dodd, MC.

By end February 1942, preparations were made for a possible expansion of the unit. A re-organization was begun with assignment of 10 men from Fort Ord, Monterey, California (AGF Training Area –ed). On 20 March 1942 the unit strength stood at 64 EM. On 13 April, the unit numbered 126 Enlisted Men. On 24 April 1942, the number of Officers was increased by assignment of 33 Officers from various parts of the United States, and Enlisted Men now numbered 390. The following Nurses reported for duty on 26 April: 2d Lieutenants Barkes, Barnes, Backus, Davis, Murphy, Pawlowski, Zurbrugg, Leys, McCulley, Joerg, Thoensing,and Krechniak, all ANC. Captain Harry G. Becker was appointed Major on 24 April 1942.

On 27 April 1942, Colonel J. M. Blank, MC, reported for duty and assumed command, relieving Major Abby M. Dodd. New assignments and promotions followed. Major Abby M. Dodd became the unit’s Executive Officer on 28 April. More Officers and Nurses joined the organization toward end of April, including 1st Lieutenant Margaret Harper, ANC, who was appointed Principal Chief Nurse (she had served as Assistant Chief Nurse at the Camp Roberts Station Hospital in California. 19 EM reported for duty on 30 April; they came from Camp Barkeley, Abilene, Texas (Medical Replacement Training Center –ed).

Preparations and training for overseas movement were now started in earnest. All work was directed toward supplying, equipping, and training Officers and troops for a fast overseas movement.

Overseas Movement:

Picture of the “West Point”. The ex-SS America, commissioned by the US Navy on 15 June 1941 sailed 436,144 nautical miles and transported 505,200 passengers between 1941 and 1946. Nicknamed “The Grey Ghost”, she crossed the Pacific 15 times and the Atlantic 41 times. The USAT West Point Commander was Captain Frank H. Kelly, USN.

On 3 May 1942, Major Carl F. Steinhoff, MC, was placed on DS per VOCO to the Port of Embarkation, Fort Mason, San Francisco, as Liaison Officer for material and troop movement. Arc Field Workers, Misses Sweezey, Northrop, and Finnegan, reported for duty on 7 May. There were losses too, as 138 EM had been transferred to other organizations on 24 April 1942.
The organization was ordered from Camp Roberts to Fort Mason, San Francisco, California, for staging and embarkation. From Camp Roberts a motor convoy consisting of 31 men commanded by 1st Lieutenant Earl R. Haight, MAC, and a train party, consisting of 32 Officers, 60 Nurses, and 240 EM, commanded by Captain Paul K. Dotson, MAC, left  at 1000, 9 May 1942. The groups reached   San Francisco at 1745 without mishap. Officers and troops were temporarily quartered in Livestock Pavilion, South San Francisco. The Nurses stayed at Hotel Carlton, San Francisco. Field rations were issued until everyone was ready for further movement. The Staging Area was left in the morning of 18 May, with the unit boarding the USAT “West Point” at Pier 37, Fort Mason Port of Embarkation. Boarding was finalized at 2200 hours. Officers, Nurses, and Enlisted personnel embarked with their individual equipment and personal baggage; no organizational equipment except unit records was taken.
The 500-bed 155th Station Hospital sailed at 1200 noon 19 May 1942 for an unknown destination.

The unit’s final destination overseas was to be Australia. The ship however arrived at Wellington, New Zealand at 1400 hours, on 31 May 1942. The reason for this was that the Japanese had launched a surprise attack with three midget submarines against Sydney (the 155th SH’s final destination –ed) that same day, causing a lot of confusion and disarray after hitting HMAS “Kuttabul” (21 sailors were killed –ed). After staying for less than 24 hours at Wellington, the “West Point” crossed the Tasmanian Sea reaching Sydney only on 4 June 1942.
Its current location in Australia would become Base Section No. 3, APO 923, Southwest Pacific Area. Allied troops served in its area were mainly those pertaining to the 32d Infantry Division. Base Section No. 3 was in Queensland, Australia, with Headquarters in Brisbane. Queensland was located in the far northeast area closest to New Guinea and its battle zone and divided into 2 separate sub-Sections. Base Section No. 3, established in January of 1942, was to serve 10,973 troops already in the area. By spring of 1943, it would control 2 General Hospitals – 2 Evacuation Hospitals – 2 Surgical Hospitals – 8 Portable Surgical Hospitals – 1 Medical Supply Depot, and the 3d Medical Laboratory at Brisbane (over 2,500 beds and nearly 1,800 patients –ed). The Base Sections were established to provide hospital care for the troops stationed in the area and for casualties of the fighting, and featured a system of Medical Supply Depots through which supplies received in the eastern ports reached the field forces. The number of Allied (medical) Forces stationed in Australia grew slowly but steadily, as it never could keep pace with the total increase in US Army Forces, for shipping priority went first to combat troops (and not service troops). Shortage was made worse by the unavoidable dispersion of medical personnel into the various Base Sections, to small units, and to bases in remote locations of the vast country. At the end of 1942, the majority of medical units in the SWPA were still operating below strength, and this would persist in 1943 (despite its increase in numbers).

Australia:

Pocket Guide to Australia. Booklet prepared by Special Services Division, Services of Supply, US Army, issued by War and Navy Departments, Washington DC, USA, Government Printing Office, 1943.

The 155th Sta Hosp arrived at Camp Pell, Royal Park, Melbourne, Victoria, on 4 June 1942 (it disembarked at 1630 hours), where it only stayed for a brief stop. The next move was from Camp Pell to Travancore Hospital (150-bed capacity), also Melbourne, where it set up on 8 June with the task to assume its operation (at the time there were 73 patients in the Hospital –ed). While at the Travancore Hospital various works were started including the building of a prison ward which opened in August. Major Harry G. Becker (XO > 155th Sta Hosp –ed) was moved to the 4th General Hospital (activated 13 Jan 42, embarked for Australia 23 Jan 42 –ed) suffering from jaundice. Several Officers were placed on DS to various other organizations. In total, 23 Officers, 60 Nurses, and 213 EM were assigned to the Travancore Hospital.

Organization – Duties – 155th Station Hospital (11 June 1942)
Colonel J. M. Blank, MC Commanding Officer (27 April 1942)
Major Harry G. Becker, MC Executive Officer
Major Norvil A. Martin, MC Chief EENT Service, Fire Marshal, Summary Court Officer
Major Carl F. Steinhoff, MC Chief Professional Services
Captain Joseph Biernoff, MC Neuropsychiatrist, Mail Officer, Censor
Captain Numa P. Breaux, MAC Adjutant, Intelligence Officer
Captain Lloyd M. Cox, DC Acting Chief, Dental Service, Asst. Registrar
Captain Paul K. Dotsen, MAC   CO Medical Detachment
Captain Benjamin F. Klauman, MC Medical Service
Captain Eugene R. Perez, MC Acting Chief, Surgical Service
Captain Herman R. Simpson, MAC Asst. Adjutant, Personnel Officer
Captain Lewis Specker, MC Registrar, CO Detachment of Patients, Custodian, Patients’ Clothing & Effects, Receiving & Disposition Officer
Captain Frank C. Strzynecki, MAC Medical Supply Officer
Captain Stanley D. Swiontkowski, MC EENT Service
Captain George D. Tsoulos, MC Medical Service
Captain William R. Warrington, MC Chief Laboratory Service, Medical Inspector
1st Lieutenant Harvey A. Boese, MAC Mess Officer, Post Exchange Officer
1st Lieutenant William J. Dvonch, MC Genito-Urinary Surgical Service
1st Lieutenant Thomas H. Grainger, Jr., SnC Laboratory Service, Asst. Medical Inspector
1st Lieutenant Earl R. Haight, MAC Asst. CO Medical Detachment, Transportation Officer, Utilities Officer
1st Lieutenant Neal F. Marshall, MAC  Unit Supply Officer, Asst. Medical Supply Officer
1st Lieutenant Alfred C. Meyer, MC Surgical Service
1st Lieutenant Sidney Rubenfeld, MC Chief X-Ray Service, Morale Officer
1st Lieutenant Maurice M. Steinberg, MC Chief Genito-Urinary Service, Asst. Fire Marshal
1st Lieutenant Margaret Harper, ANC Principal Chief Nurse
1st Lieutenant Delitha J. Collins, ANC Asst. Chief Nurse
Major Abby M. Dodd, MC Detached Service
Major Guy C. Gossard, DC Detached Service
Captain Stanton B. May, MC Detached Service
Captain Frank E. Lipp, MC Detached Service
Captain Joseph M. Moore, MC Detached Service
Captain John F. Konopa, MC Detached Service
1st Lieutenant William F. Kaiser, Jr., MC Detached Service

Subsequent changes in assignments and functions took place throughout the month of June.

On 4 July 1942, a dedication ceremony of the flagpole was held with the raising of the Stars & Stripes, a particular memorable day in the history of the 155th Station Hospital. Speaker was Major Kinney, Chief Chaplain General, USAFIA (United States Army Forces In Australia –ed).

Patient census on 11 July 1942 was 88.

On 23 August 1942, Movement Order # 19, Headquarters, Base Section No. 4, dated 16 August 1942, relieved the unit from its assignment at Travancore. Subsequent to this order, the organization entrained at 1335 hours at Spencer Street Station for Brisbane, Queensland. 25 Officers, 47 Nurses, and 241 Enlisted Men comprised the movement.

The 155th SH arrived at Brisbane, Queensland, on 25 August 1942 (after various stops at railroad stations Wangaratta, Albury, Sydney, Newcastle, and Taree –ed), at 0922 and was immediately transported by truck to Camp Doomben, Brisbane. The Nurses were transported to Southport, Queensland, and billeted at the “Sans-Souci” Hotel there, while both the Officers and EM remained at Camp Doomben, awaiting further orders.

On 2 September 1942, Colonel J. M. Blank, MC, 4 other Officers, and 8 Enlisted Men departed for duty at the Advance Base Section, APO 929. On 2 September, Major Carl F. Steinhoff, MC, assumed command of the 155th Station Hospital, replacing Colonel J. M. Blank, who received a new assignment.

14 September 1942, the 14th Portable Task Force Hospital (one of the many Portable Surgical Hospitals –ed) was activated with personnel furnished by the organization. Consisting of 4 Officers and 25 EM the unit departed for Papua on 18 September, where it was attached to 1st Battalion, 126th Infantry Regiment, 32d Infantry Division.

Aerial view of Camp Doomben, Brisbane, Australia (situated on the old race tracks).

The remainder of September was spent at Camp Doomben. During this period, the unit participated in all camp activities, furnished guard for the base the entire month, supplied firing squads, pall bearers, and bugler details for three military funerals, as well as daily work detachments of various kinds, including general and administrative work at Base Section No. 3 Medical Supply Depot of considerable importance. Sport events were organized for recreation and instruction programs held covering: drill, supply, chemical warfare, and transportation. 4 Officers attended the Chemical Warfare School in Brisbane.

On 1 October 1942, the 155th was still staged at Camp Doomben, Brisbane, Queensland awaiting   orders (since 25 August –ed). 5 MC First Lieutenants were assigned and joined the unit on 2 October, increasing Officer strength to 28. The next day, the organization received orders to immediately relieve the 10th Evacuation Hospital (activated 10 Feb 41, embarked for Australia 4 Mar 42 –ed) of its operation at Camp Redbank. This was officially accomplished at midnight, the same day, receiving 95 US Army patients. 4 October 1942, the Base Section No. 3 Surgeon, ordered the unit to also immediately relieve the 28th Surgical Hospital (activated 10 Feb 41, embarked for Australia 4 Mar 42, later re-designated 360th Station Hospital 28 Oct 42 –ed) at Camp Cable, and again this was accomplished without delay on 6 October, receiving 141 US Army patients. Meanwhile considerable instruction was accomplished in gas warfare, VD, and first aid, with courses on the function of medical units under combat conditions. The Nurses quartered at Southport rejoined the unit for duty.

On 21 October 1942, the Surgeon, ordered the Hospital section at Camp Redbank closed with immediate transfer of the remaining patients and duty personnel to the 155th SH at Camp Cable, and this was successfully completed the same day.

The 155th Station Hospital unit was now located at Camp Cable, Tamborine (approximately 35 miles SW of Brisbane), Queensland (Base section No. 3), where it was to remain until moving on to a new site on 28 January 1944. The Camp itself was built on some high ground above the Albert River with lots of timber and undergrowth in the area. There were several wards (6 of permanent wooden construction), including Surgical, Dental, and Medical wards, Laboratory, X-Ray Service, Operating Rooms (12 wards under tentage), a Barber Shop, a Mess and Dining Hall (3 mess halls), a Kitchen, a Post Exchange, Stores, a Motor Pool, A Hot Water Boiler House, Separate Nurses’ Quarters (in buildings), a Tennis Court, Recreation Halls, and a Sewage Treatment Plant. Commissioned and Enlisted duty personnel were housed in tents. Total bed capacity was 432; the Camp held a population of approximately 20,000. It was originally constructed by the Australian Civil Construction Corps, with further modifications and improvements added by US Army Engineers. Two fairly good roads for motor transportation and a single narrow-gauge railroad to Brisbane were available.

The Hospital at Camp Redbank closed on 21 October and 23 USA patients were transferred to Camp Cable, accompanied by the Officers, Nurses, and Enlisted personnel on TD there. Equipment and supplies also moved to Camp Cable. Current strength was 30 Officers, 54 Nurses, and 226 Enlisted Men. Expansion of the current medical facilities could easily be accomplished on short notice (Camp Tamborine was renamed Camp “Cable” in honor of Sgt. Gerald O. Cable, Service Company, 126th Infantry Regiment, 32d Infantry Division, who died 25 April 1942, when the Liberty Ship he was traveling on was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine on its way from Adelaide to Brisbane –ed).

By end November 1942, five mess buildings formerly used by the 107th Medical Battalion (32d Infantry Division –ed) were occupied by the unit, permitting the placing of many Hospital departments indoor, leaving only Officers, EM, and certain patients and supplies under tentage.
During the month of November the unit was exceptionally active with a steady increase of the patient census: 313. Besides the routine hospital work, much planning and organizing was accomplished. On 30 November 1942, unit strength totaled 27 Officers, 54 Nurses, and 225 EM.

On 16 December 1942, preparations were made for the expected inspection of the unit by the Commanding Officer, Base Section No. 3, on 19 December. In the meantime, the 32d Infantry Division (US Army) had mostly been transferred to another station (14 December –ed) and the 1st Marine Division occupied the local area, formerly occupied by the 32d Infantry Division and other miscellaneous units from 10 December 1942 to 7 January 1943. Coincident with the transfer, the Hospital already admitted 6 litter and 40 ambulatory Marine patients on 13 December, all suffering from malaria (2 patients died; 1 soldier on 10 December, and 1 Marine on 15 December).
A rapid and necessary expansion of hospital facilities to care for the sudden increase of patients was completed on 17 December. Patient census was 269 Army, 142 Marine, and 7 Navy cases.
On 19 December 1942 the expected inspection took place, and it was carried to the satisfaction of the CO, Base Section No. 3. Patient census consisted of 248 Army, 275 Marines, and 16 Navy cases. With the rapidly increasing census, thirty ward tents were now in operation. 8 additional Nurses from the 28th Surgical Hospital were attached to the 155th for TD. All medical essentials, such as beds, linen, medicines, and supplies were sufficient. Long and hard days spent by all personnel have been highly commendable. Patient census: 241 Army, 251 Marines, 20 Navy. On 22 December the census was 227 Army, 410 Marines, and 22 Navy. On 22 December it reached 227 Army, 410 Marines, 22 Navy. On 23 it totaled 231 Army, 457 Marines, 25 Navy. On 24 December 1942, it was decided to transfer 84 Army Enlisted patients to other Hospitals in order to provide more room for Marine patients who could then be more rapidly admitted.

Map of Camp Cable (ex-Cp. Tamborine), Brisbane, Australia. Brisbane was the major city in Queensland, Base Section 3, Australia. Courtesy of Peter Dunn.

The Yuletide found the 155th in the second year of conflict, far from home and family with a firm, unflinching determination to do its small part in a big way toward bringing the war to an early successful conclusion. It was still commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Carl F. Steinhoff, MC (promoted 1 Dec 42).
On 25 December, another 50 Army Enlisted wounded were transferred to other medical units. Patients remaining numbered 51 Army, 595 Marines, and 29 Navy.
On Christmas Day, overall strength of the organization consisted of 32 Officers, 50 Nurses, 219 Enlisted Men, and 8 civilian personnel. The Enlisted strength was augmented from 25 to 29 December by 50 men (+ 1 Officer) from the 28th Surgical Hospital and by 96 men (+ 5 Officers) from the 135th Medical Regiment (non-divisional unit which primarily served the 49th Fighter Group and miscellaneous American units in Base Section 1, Northern Territory –ed) from 29 December 1942 to 3 January 1943.

12 more Army patients were transferred, and coupled with the return to duty of most cases, this action allowed the organization to provide more room for Marines being admitted with malaria. On 27 December 1942, many malarial cases were being returned to duty (52 in total), and patients remaining now totaled 21 Army, 725 Marines, and 29 Navy. On 29 December, the patient census was 18 Army, 770 Marines, and 27 Navy. On 31 December 1942, patient census read 17 Army, 745 Marines, 31 Navy.
The 155th SH strength at the end of 1942 was: 30 Officers, 50 Nurses, 219 Enlisted Men, with the shortage of Enlisted personnel continuing to be a problem.

Reasons for the large influx of Marine Corps patients admitted during the month of December 1942: the 1st Marine Division had been recently engaged in the Solomon Islands and almost all of them were afflicted with some form of malaria, the most common type being the malignant Tertian form; and the most common causative agent; the Plasmodium Falciparum. Marines also went on a deficient diet; lots of canned rations, mainly corned beef and crackers; neither fresh meat nor vegetables; no fruit; and this over at least a four-month period. Following several attacks, some of the men collapsed in battle while under fire, and had to be removed to a hospital. Moreover, there was very little pure water, so men suffered from dehydration, which combined with severe diarrhea and vomiting led to many cases of upset acid-base balance and in some cases to profound vaso-motor disturbances, and finally death. Quinine was scarce and Atabrine was substituted with reasonably good results. Some soldiers developed a pigmentation of the skin, often mistaken for jaundice, although jaundice also persisted among the men.
The general picture was that of young Marines, markedly malnourished and underweight, with multiple evidence of vitamin deficiencies, dehydrated, hot dry skin, reddened eyes, chills one moment, burning fever the next, drenched with sweat, complaining of severe headaches and back pains, which came in groups, all in dire need of immediate medical attention. Complete sets of routine orders for the treatment of malaria were published in order to facilitate rapid treatment of so many cases (diets, smears, plasma, whole blood, glucose, saline injections, IV fluids, anti-malarial drugs, anti-spasmodics, Sulfaguanidine, Quinine-dihydrochloride). The results of the various treatments became apparent soon, with temperatures falling, loss of combat tension, better appetite, and improved morale.

Personnel Roster (incomplete)
Officers:

Lt. Colonel Carl F. Steinhoff – Commanding Officer
Major Harry G. Becker – Executive Officer
Major Guy C. Gossard Captain Casper Folkoff 1st Lt. Earl R. Haight
Major Louis N. Kerstein Captain William F. Kaiser 1st Lt. Thomas S. Jackson
Major Carlyle Morris Captain John F. Konopa 1st Lt. Theodore A. Klocke
Major Eugene R. Perez Captain George D. Tsoulos 1st Lt. Leonard Krause
Major Karl L. Sicherman 1st Lt. James J. Coughlin 1st Lt. Earle A. Sylva
Captain William A. Baloch 1st Lt. Mark Dale 1st Lt. Jay D. Mann
Captain Joseph Biernoff 1st Lt. Herbert Eisler 2d Lt. Kenneth K. Atkina
Captain Paul K. Dotson 1st Lt. Thomas H. Grainger Jr. 2d Lt. John J. Leary
Major Robert B. Lewy (attchd) Captain Alexander Wolf (attchd) Captain Leo J. Brennan (attchd)

Army Nurse Corps:

1st Lieutenant Margaret Harper – Principal Chief Nurse
1st Lieutenant Delitha J. Collins – Assistant Chief Nurse
Gretchen F. Allen Gertrude L. Jaworsky Margaret M. Murphy
Ila L. Armsbury Frances G. Joerg Blanche V. Nezavdal
Ruth A. Barlowe Agnes M. John Mary H. Nolloy
Norma J. Barker Thelma Karshen Cunegondes Przybilla
Irene C. Bofencamp Mary L. Kennedy Madie S. Reitzel
Berenice D. Brandt Mary F. Kolch Mercedes M. Ryan
Virginia E. Crook Isabelle Krechniak Leontina M. Savage
Catherine T. Donahue Ruth Lee Hazel R. Sims
Theodosia E. Dutton Sophia R. Leys Virginia M. Sullivan
Lucille I. Fowler Sophia R. Lutz Minnie Tester
Eleanor L. Goerl Rose B. Maras Virginia L. Titus
Velma V. Harper Margaret S. Marx Mary F. Tripp
Martha O. Harvey Jeanette McCulley Lucy A. Wells
Kathleen M. Hays Marjorie Mochinskey Evelyn B. Willian
Dorothy H. Hicks Margaret M. Moeser Audrey I. Williams
Wilma D. Holmes Gladys S. Moore Mary E. Zurbrugg

Attached:

Mary E. Clothey Marion N. Hartman Rosalie O’Neil
Lillian Fine Ann M. Leonard Louise O’Sullivan
Katherine Glynn Frances MacDonald

Non-Commissioned Officers:

F/Sgt Wallace G. Geske Sgt Albert A. Ferency Cpl George G. Lay
M/Sgt Fletcher R. Cox Sgt Louis L. Jackson Cpl Ray F. Landon
T/Sgt Lenard E. Cragg Sgt Marlin Jones Cpl John E. Lund
T/Sgt Glen T. Dietz Sgt James S. Main Cpl Protasio N. Magdael
T/Sgt Robert B. Maxwell Sgt Max E. Marwitz Cpl Lawrence J. Manning
T/Sgt Richard H. Willetts Sgt Paul W. McKisson Cpl Ruben O. Matthias
S/Sgt Frank Borg Sgt Chauncey C. Mosher Cpl Frank A. Meyer
S/Sgt Vernon H. Dryden Sgt Eugene J. Petersen Cpl Axel A. Niemi
S/Sgt Gory J. Gerto Sgt Arthur O. Pritchard Jr. Cpl Tommy M. Palmer
S/Sgt Benjamin G. Harrison Sgt John P. Scnitzius Cpl Eugene J. Pluskota
S/Sgt Marshall W. Hanft Sgt Sam A. Stacy Cpl Roy Rabun
S/Sgt William M. Fallis Sgt Robert L. Swarm Cpl Louis C. Ramsay
S/Sgt James H. Fox Sgt Ben E. Wetzler Cpl George J. Robertson Jr.
S/Sgt Robert E. Jones Sgt Horace B. Wilson Jr. Cpl Harry L. Ryan
S/Sgt Charles D. Phillips Cpl Andrew J. Bassar Cpl Dudley B. Shean Jr.
S/Sgt George Prock Cpl Murray L. Baxley Cpl Stanley M. Szezosniak
Sgt Isadore Ash Cpl Stephen Bilinovich Cpl William H. Timm
Sgt Ralph D. Bolingbroke Cpl Luigi G. Bisio Cpl August S. Varca
Sgt Roy C. Brenden Cpl Stanley Clay Cpl Howard J. Warren
Sgt Frank G. Casciaro Cpl Gus Curry Cpl Oscar R. Wallenberg
Sgt Frank Chang Cpl Elizardo R. Delgado Cpl Edward F. Wandell
Sgt William G. Drulias Cpl Elmer W. Green Cpl Roger C. Williams
Sgt Jess F. Esque Cpl Robert I. Jackson Cpl John C. Wilson
Sgt Rolf J. Erickson Cpl Virgil Johnson
Sgt Herbert Feinberg Cpl Paul H. Klocker

Enlisted Men:

Pfc Alfred R. Antles Pfc John R. Wardlaw Pvt George L. Jennings
Pfc John H. Aubert Pfc Walter F. Zeug Pvt Clarence D. Johnson
Pfc Edward R. Bakke Pvt Matthew J. Abrl Pvt James J. Johnson
Pfc Benjamin Baka Pvt Karl L. Alder Pvt Luther E. Johnson
Pfc Joseph Bartolatto Pvt Harold F. Anderson Pvt Alois T. Klappa
Pfc Frank Boresani Pvt Frank W. Anthony Pvt Bert M. Kovack
Pfc Dominic Bartolomea Pvt Elman Bacher Pvt Frank E. Kozicki
Pfc Lloyd E. Bronson Pvt John F. Barnes Pvt Jofus C. Lanier
Pfc Paul V. Clark Pvt Leroy A. Beaudry Pvt Anton M. Laznik
Pfc Frank C. Coffee Pvt Paul Bereza Pvt Michel Leszkiewicz Jr.
Pfc William Crank Pvt Mark A. Brandon Pvt Max Lewis
Pfc Marcelino De La Cruz Pvt Robert R. Brock Pvt Robert A. Liles
Pfc Charles F. Edwards Pvt Clyde D. Brown Pvt Clark P. Lindsy
Pfc Robert B. Elder Pvt Robert Brown Pvt Arthur S. Longo
Pfc Ronald E. Fors Pvt Jean F. Buechler Pvt Bernard A. Maloney
Pfc Clotus F. Gehringer Pvt John F. Burke Pvt Carl Macukat
Pfc Mike Habas Pvt William W. Burkey Pvt Woodrow J. Matt
Pfc Palmer R. Hagen Pvt Edward J. Butler Pvt Alvio H. Maxwell
Pfc Arvo A. Hannu Pvt Clive W. Byerley Pvt Francis B. McFarland
Pfc Clarence C. Hockert Pvt Mike Cantor Pvt William E. McMahon Jr.
Pfc Joseph F. Hoelscher Pvt Gerald L. Casey Pvt Howard B. Moorehead
Pfc Earl P. Hoscheid Pvt William P. Casey Pvt Francis B. Morrison
Pfc Leonard D. Johnston Pvt Richard J. Coon Pvt Joseph A. Neighman
Pfc Joseph Jung Pvt Henry L. Czajkowski Pvt John W. Norris
Pfc Henry J. Kaliobo Pvt Uranous W. Deyton Pvt Mark O’Shea
Pfc James C. Kelly Pvt James A. Donnelly Pvt Joseph J. Oldroyd
Pfc Joseph S. Koenig Pvt Chester E. Dolaney Jr. Pvt John L. Oliverio
Pfc Claude E. Larson Pvt Albert J. Ensz Pvt Harlow P. Pease
Pfc Ray Livermore Pvt Robert L. Evans Pvt Edmund A. Perse
Pfc Frank R. Lynch Pvt Clayton E. Ferrell Pvt Raymond A. Piotrowski
Pfc Thomas H. Morgan Pvt Carl Ficarro Pvt Bueford R. Popp
Pfc Herman A. Moser Pvt Alfred P. Fisher Pvt Alfred J. Reynolds
Pfc Francis E. Nichol Pvt Ernest W. Flor Jr. Pvt Pilar C. Rodriguez
Pfc Johnnie E. Nickles Pvt Ivan W. Frasher Pvt Johhn P. Roncevich
Pfc Harley F. Osterhout Pvt Mike E. Freno Pvt Joseph P. Russ
Pfc Don H. Parke Pvt Otto W. Gewalt Pvt William V. Ryan Jr.
Pfc Richard L. Peoples Pvt Lawrence L. Gonzalez Pvt Louis S. Salerno
Pfc Charles L. Robertson Pvt John J. Grobschmidt Pvt Clyde O. Sims
Pfc Raymond Santhuff Pvt Lloyd G. Groh Pvt Walter L. Stewart
Pfc Sam Slivick Pvt Joseph K. Gryzlo Pvt Jesse B. Tilton
Pfc Harry Struck Pvt Robert Hays Pvt Frank E. Webb
Pfc Walter C. Stachowicz Pvt William S. Hartley Pvt Robert A. Weingarten
Pfc George Swedberg Jr. Pvt Raymond A. Henderson Pvt Dale C. West Jr.
Pfc John Swierz Jr. Pvt Ray O. Hulderman Jr. Pvt Loyse J. Wilson
Pfc Raymond L. Tetting Pvt Richard J. Hummel Pvt Arthur L. Zastrow

January 1943:

There was no change in the location of the 155th SH. The Marines which moved into the area of Camp Cable formerly occupied by the 32d Infantry Division, near the Hospital, on 13 December 1942, started evacuating the area en masse early January.
On 7 January 1943, there were 789 patients in the Hospital, mostly Marine Corps personnel suffering from malaria. On or before January 7, all Marines, except 21 patients were evacuated, leaving 48 patients remaining. On 16 January they increased to 114. Subsequent to the evacuation of the USMC personnel from the area, certain units of the 32d Infantry Division re-occupied it, and US Army patients were again being admitted, their number gradually increasing from day to day so that on 31 January, there were 397 patients in the Hospital. Among them were a considerable number of battle casualties. During this influx of wounded cases an average discharge of patients was maintained.

Guadalcanal, November 1942. US Marines take a break in the jungle. These fresh troops belong to the Second US Marine Division.

Some medical personnel were transferred to other units, such as the 41st Infantry Division, the 174th Station Hospital (activated 29 Mar 42, embarked for Australia 18 May 42 –ed), while some new military and ARC staff joined the organization.

February 1943:

On 31 January 1943, there were 401 patients in the Hospital, with total admissions for January numbering 777, dispositions 586, and 592 patients remaining.

Construction of a Clinic, Surgery, Mess and Kitchen building was begun on 10 February and by 28 February 1943 the foundations were practically completed by the civilian contractor. 205 patients were housed in semi-permanent wards and 37 ward tents were in service to handle the balance. Pyramid tents were used as nursing stations, one for each three ward tents. Clinics, laboratory, OR, X-ray, messes, and offices were in buildings, and supply was housed in one building and seven storage tents. Nurses had permanent quarters; 50% of the Officers were housed in small wooden huts and the others under canvas; all the Enlisted Men slept in tents.

57 EM were assigned and joined the unit on 12 February, filling some acute vacancies. 5 Medical Officers joined for duty on 13 February. Some Officers and Nurses continued to work on DS with other units, such as the 42d General Hospital (activated 20 Apr 42, embarked for Australia 19 May 42 –ed), and Base Section No. 3.

March 1943:

During the month of February 1943, the Hospital continued to function with an approximate 800-patient census. On 28 February 592 patients remained in the installation. Improvements were introduced and continued in all departments; and upon completion of the building program, the facilities would be able to properly function as an 800 – 1,000-bed Station Hospital.
The malaria epidemics improved to a considerable degree.

26 new EM were assigned and joined the unit on 3 February. Chaplain McCracken joined the unit from the 5th Replacement Depot on 25 February 1943. 3 EM were transferred to the Detachment of Patients, 105th General Hospital (activated 20 Apr 42, embarked for Australia 19 May 42 –ed). One Officer returned to the San Francisco Port of Embarkation on 4 February.
At the end of the First Quarter of 1943 the maximum bed capacity stood at 855, with 61% occupancy. 1910 medical, 1254 surgical, and 86 neuro-psychiatric cases had been admitted.

April 1943:

There was no change in location for March 1943. The Marines who moved into the area formerly occupied by the 32d Infantry Division, near the 155th Sta Hosp, evacuated the area, and were replaced by some units of the 32d Infantry Division, with more divisional units returning during February and March 1943 until the Division was complete.

1942 picture illustrating some of the living quarters of USMC personnel while on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands.

During March, the daily average number of patients was 765, with a peak daily number reaching 857. Both admission and disposition rates were reasonably active. The number of battle casualties was relatively low.

Upon completion of the new General Mess building, a ward-type building now being used as an Officers and Nurses Mess, was altered to house the other Officers still under canvas. Enlisted Men were all quartered in tents. Two large buildings (Clinics and Surgery + Mess and Kitchen) were rapidly nearing completion. Enclosed essential ramps were also being built to connect all central buildings.

Medical Supply was satisfactory considering the local circumstances. Water Supply was adequate, and food was never short. All measures to check the spread of disease which were necessary were duly taken.

May 1943:

During the month of April 1943, all Hospital departments accomplished a great amount of work, having an approximate daily patient census of 750. The 14th and 23d Portable Surgical Hospitals (Portable Surgical Hospitals would play a substantial role in Papua, being used as supplementary Aid Stations and Holding Stations for malaria cases –ed) joined the Hospital for training (also attached for quarters and rations –ed) which progressed satisfactorily. 10 Nurses were requisitioned, but no further personnel were deemed necessary.

A number of personnel were either transferred or joined the organization. Some Officers were transferred to the 105th General Hospital, others were assigned to the 155th Station Hospital, coming from the 17th Station Hospital (activated 16 Mar 42, embarked for Australia 18 May 42 –ed) and the 81st Air Depot, Fifth Army Air Force. One Enlisted Man was transferred to the 3d Medical Laboratory and 10 other EM went to the 9th Medical Supply Depot. One Private went AWOL and deserted on April 28.

The General Mess building was completed (except for some utility installations). Clinic and Surgery were nearing completion, with the connecting ramps already effectively installed.

June 1943:

Since 1 April 1943, no new construction of Hospital buildings was started; however, an outdoor theater consisting of a large enclosed stage, plank seats for approximately 1,000, and projection booth were completed. Tents housing Enlisted duty personnel were properly winterized. The new Mess building was being used to very good advantage.

Navy Corpsman tends a wounded Marine in the jungle.

Overall bed capacity for the Second Quarter of 1943 was 1250, with 76.38% occupancy. In total 3220 medical, 1389 surgical, and 79 neuro-psychiatric cases were admitted.
Only 6 battle casualties were received for this period.

July 1943:

A series of promotions were confirmed during the month of July. The Commanding Officer, Lt. Colonel Carl F. Steinhoff, MC, was promoted full Colonel 20 July 1943. During the last half of the year, 2 Majors were promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, 3 Captains to Major, and 13 1st Lieutenants to Captain. The promotions were adequate and to everyone’s general satisfaction.

September 1943:

Between 1-3 September 1943, the 155th Station Hospital was visited by an inspection team. An informal report on medical services was filed by a Lt. Colonel J. M. Hayman, Jr., MC, Headquarters, United States Army Services of Supply (USASOS), Office of The Surgeon, APO 501.

At the time, bed capacity was 1260, and 896 patients were in the Hospital, of which about 70% were medical cases.  Ward rounds were made with all Officers on Medical Service, Laboratory, Pharmacy, Diet Kitchen visited. Clinical and Field Medical records inspected. Conferences were held with the Commanding Officer, the Chief of Medicine, the Ward Officers, and the Chief Nurse.

Eight (8) Officers received negative reports, and a number of recommendations were suggested. The following observations were made and reported to the CO and the Base Surgeon.

(The occasionally requested chemical determination is unsatisfactorily performed in the Laboratory. Time is wasted in keeping duplicate copies of routine reports. Inadequate care is taken in giving anti-malaria drugs. Too many patients are diagnosed and treated for malaria without a positive smear. Vitamines and ferrous sulphate are given irrationally by some ward Officers. There is unnecessary delay in evacuating General Hospital cases. Clinical records are unnecessarily voluminous. There is no Officer with psychiatric training and NP patients are not recognized. Rehabilitation programs only consist of indoor and outdoor fatigue, at which patients are only kept busy, there is no drill. There is a fairly good supply of medical books, but no journals. A better Chief of Medicine should be assigned. All histology should be sent to the 8th Medical Laboratory. An Officer with psychiatric training should be assigned to the unit as soon as one is available).

October 1943:

Total bed capacity remained at 1250 with about 77% occupancy. Medical cases numbered 2689, surgical cases were 1197, and neuro-psychiatric cases totaled 74.

November 1943:

Lt. Colonel M. Jane Clement, Director, ANC, visited the 155th Station Hospital on 23 November 1943 and reported the following:

(The 155th Sta Hosp is a 500-bed organization which can be expanded to 1,300 beds. The Hospital installation is comprised of 5 buildings and 52 tents. At present (23 Nov 43 –ed) the census is 203 patients. A new surgical building is nearing completion. There is a comprehensive training program for EM in surgery; the Enlisted Men scrub for all operations and training is supervised by the Chief Nurse of Surgery. Kitchens are in excellent condition, the food is well prepared and of good variety. The Nurses’ quarters are adequate and attractively decorated. The number of Nurses is adequate, services are excellent, and morale is high. The rating of the nursing service is excellent).

Troops pertaining to the 32d Infantry Division cross a stream on their way to Saidor Airstrip, New Guinea.

(at time of the visit, the Chief Nurse was 1st Lieutenant Delitha J. Collins, ANC; and the number of Nurses active at the installation totaled 67 (155th Station Hospital) and 7 (3d Field Hospital) –ed).

December 1943:

The Hospital installation was visited on 18 December 1943 by Colonel Henry M. Thomas, Jr., Medical Consultant, MC. His findings were as follows:

(Based on a 500 T/O the normal bed capacity is in the neighborhood of 1,000. The census now is 498 which is the lowest in months. Tent wards have functioned satisfactorily up to the present but several are showing wear and one blew down in the storm the previous night. There are 5 cantonment-type ward buildings, one of which is occupied by the Medical Service).

The personnel of the Medical Service consists of:

Colonel Carl F. Steinhoff Commanding Officer
Lt. Colonel Eugene R. Perez Chief of Service, General Surgery
Major M. H. Clifford Chief of Medical Service
Major B. L. Trelstad Asst. Chief of Medical Service
Captain Mark Dale Asst. Chief of Medical Service
Captain M. J. Blotky Asst. Chief of Medical Service
Captain Leo J. Brennan Asst. Chief of Medical Service
Captain S. F. Tabbatt Asst. Chief of Medical Service
Acting Chief of Neuro-Psychiatric Section
Captain I. A. Frankel Asst. Chief of Medical Service
Captain Thomas S. Jackson Asst. Chief of Medical Service
Chief of Genito-Urinary Section
Venereal Disease Treatment Section
1st Lieutenant Thomas H. Grainger, Jr. Chief of Laboratory Service

(The Chief of Medical service (formerly of the 105th General Hospital) is a well-trained internist and an extremely conscientious, hard-working Officer. If the Hospital assumes again the large volume of work it did previously, the addition of 2 well-trained young Medical officers will be essential. The moral of the Officers is satisfactory, with some evidence of fatigue. Nursing appears to be good, diets could be improved with help of a Dietitian. The unit needs replacements; a Neuro-Psychiatric Officer, a Laboratory Officer, and one or two Medical Ward Officers).

Quarterly Reports 1944

Report 15 January 1944:

The topographical and meteorological conditions were favorable to the operation of a Hospital in the present location, where it has been stationed since 6 October 1943. The drawback was that practically no transportation facilities, except motor vehicles, has been available, which has been disadvantageous. Although located on a slope, drainage of the grounds was excellent.

Services rendered from January to October 1943, mainly involved the 32d Infantry Division, and since October, numerous units stationed in the Brisbane area. Because of the large influx of patients, particularly many suffering from malaria, the daily patient census ranged from 1100 to 1200, consequently the 107th Medical Battalion belonging to the 32d Infantry Division operated a Clearing Station in order to lessen the number of cases being admitted to the 155th. Following its closing, frequent evacuation of considerable numbers of patients were made to the 153d Station Hospital for a short period until the 155th SH could properly handle all admissions. For the year 1943, it can be stated that the 155th Station Hospital functioned as a 1000-bed unit with a basic 500-bed organization. Frequent and often rapid changes in the Medical Department duty personnel caused perturbations and were of course disadvantageous; however, very satisfactory and proper care for the large number of patients was furnished at all times. This accomplishment resulted mostly from the loyal, willing, and arduous work continually performed by the duty personnel. An increased T/O would have had its advantages.

No civilian personnel were ever employed. Quite a number of transfers into and out of the unit were effected; however, none in the form of groups. The situation did affect the organization and was a big handicap during nearly all of the year.

Cartoon illustrating and underlining the importance of “Malaria”. This was intended for the troops fighting in tropical surroundings advising them to “Don’t get your Malaria education the hard way!” This cartoon page was distributed by Malaria & Epidemic Disease Control, SOPAC, # 43.

Many of the EM were not only well qualified to perform their hospital duties, but, in addition, several were skilled in construction, utility work, motor maintenance, and some other fields. They constructed very substantial and serviceable buildings for headquarters, hospital exchange, outdoor theater, partially even completed a building for supply, made many alterations and repairs to existing buildings, and accomplished landscaping of the Hospital grounds on an extensive scale.

A relatively satisfactory library of Medical publications was available, and in addition considerable magazines, studies, bulletins, treaties, and other publications were privately procured by the Officers. Staff meetings and section reunions, lectures and discussions were maintained on a weekly schedule for the benefit of all.

The procurement and suitability of medical equipment and supplies was satisfactory. The men serviced and kept in good repair all equipment and improved much. Water supply was adequate, it was pumped and chlorinated from the nearby river to storage tanks in the Hospital area, and piped by a standard distribution system. Because of the availability of water, bathing facilities were ample, though personal laundry was handled by commercial laundries in the city.

Tents were provided with wooden floors and frames for both patients and Enlisted personnel, with Officers and Nurses quartered in semi-permanent buildings or huts. The necessary utilities were available and adequate. Hospital bed capacity was 1250 with 33.76% occupancy. The total number of cases for the Last Quarter of 1943 was 875 medical, 866 surgical, and 69 neuro-psychiatric cases.

The most prevalent disease was still malaria, usually vivax, occasionally unclassified, rarely clinically without laboratory confirmation. The majority came from varied sources; residue of the 32d Infantry Division, Replacement Depot casuals and soldiers on furlough in the area. In the last three weeks a considerable group of interesting cases appeared from the 41st Infantry Division units on amphibious training. The next most interesting group of patients were those suffering from atypical pneumonia. Intestinal parasites were only a minor problem, as a policy of checking a stool specimen on all patients coming in from New Guinea had been instituted. There were quite a few cases of skin diseases, which after treatment produced good and speedy results.

In total, 5915 admissions were treated by the Surgical Service, including 296 cases with appendicitis; 2 cases with perforated ulcers; 91 cases with burns; and many cases with varicocoele, and gynecomastia. In all 1109 cases were admitted to the Septic Surgery section, 198 cases with hemorrhoids and 31 cases with pilonidal oyst. There were 1617 admissions to Orthopedic Surgery, mainly for fractures and miscellaneous injuries. Of 1217 admissions to the Genito-Urinary Surgery section, 434 cases were diagnosed with gonorrhea; there were 21 cases with syphilis; 39 cases with chancroid; and 156 circumcisions were carried out. The tropical climate in the forward areas had a far greater incidence on fungus external otitis and on malarial eye affections than anticipated.

The Operating Rooms’ set up at the Hospital was in charge of a 1st Lieutenant Surgical Nurse, with a 2d Lieutenant Nurse-Anesthetist as assistant. These were the only women in the OR and their duties were primarily training and supervising the Enlisted Men. The latter served as scrub-nurses, second surgical assistants, and circulating nurses.  A typical OR consisted of 2 doctors, 1 scrub-nurse, 1 man serving as second surgical assistant, another 1 functioning as a circulating nurse, and 1 anesthetist. The plan to use men in the OR was introduced in the early uncertain days when it was not possible to take Nurses in forward areas. The number of NP cases diminished markedly since the 32d Infantry Division left the area, with a constant number of 6 to 10 cases in the Hospital. Unfortunately there was no Medical Officer with psychiatric training, so emphasis was put on determination of the duty status. Regular lectures and movies were used to properly educate the men about VD. Welfare, social services and recreation were all available. Athletic equipment, a tennis court, a baseball diamond field were provided; three movies and one stage show were programmed every week; frequent dances and parties were held. The three ARC workers were on duty, providing considerable service to the patients, with occupational therapy, lectures, handwork, shopping, etc.

In addition to the operative procedures recorded, a large consultation and outpatient clinic service was maintained. 10677 clinic visits were thus recorded.

Report 15 April 1944:

A new CO was now in charge of the 155th Station Hospital, Lt. Colonel Harry G. Becker, MC, who took over command on 5 April 1944.

On 28 January 1944, the 155th Station Hospital moved from its former location, Camp Cable, Tamborine, Queensland, Australia, to a new site on Ekibin Heights, Brisbane, Queensland.
This was a newly constructed, previously unoccupied, semi-permanent installation, situated on the upper slope of a hill, about three miles southeast of Brisbane. After a prolonged stay in the comparative isolation of the old location, it introduced members of the unit to an entirely new life in the way of material convenience and improved facilities, both for work and diversion.
Movement, by organic transportation, involved a trip of some 35 miles over an unimproved road system, which was completed by 28 January 1944.

Soldiers taking their regular Quinine tablets …

The new location was well-chosen from the point of view both of sanitation and convenience. The Hospital would be near enough to transportation centers to ensure easy admission and transfer of patients, yet far enough removed from the noise, confusion, and dirt of a large city as Brisbane, to provide the salubrious atmosphere conducive to rapid recovery of patients. Drainage was excellent, the presence of a constant light breeze, coupled with the absence of objectionable smoke stacks or other installations in the area, provided a pleasant setting.

Very few patients were received in January, because of the move to the new location. By the first of February, the organization was ready to receive patients, and since then miscellaneous troops were hospitalized from Base Section No. 3. Large numbers came from both the 42d and the 105th General Hospital for domiciliary care while awaiting transportation to the Zone of Interior in the United States.

The physical set-up of the 155th Station Hospital provided housing facilities in semi-permanent buildings for quarters of Enlisted Men and Officers, as well as for the entire Hospital proper. This was a tremendous improvement over the tent hospital operated in the former location. All main buildings were connected by roofed and partially enclosed ramps. Electric current was available throughout the organization.

The present physical plant allowed accommodation of 750 patients with ease. Considerable change in administration and professional personnel required some re-organization, which did not affect efficiency and quality of work.

No civilian personnel were employed. Requisitions were however periodically submitted for 2 civilian stenographers, because of a shortage of trained clerical personnel. Civilian operators handled the local Telephone Exchange during day, while Enlisted Men operated the switchboard at night.

Training continued for all ranks. In the training of Officers, emphasis was continuously placed on their responsibility for uninterrupted training of the Enlisted personnel of their particular Department. This, plus a 4-week course in medical attendance for 10 EM at a time, comprised the main source of technical training. Weekly drill periods for all members of the Detachment of patients constituted part of their practical training.

Medical Equipment and Medical Supplies necessary for the efficient functioning of the Hospital were available, and Storage and Preservation facilities satisfactory. Environmental sanitation was eminently satisfactory; water supply was adequate, with tap water used both for drinking purposes and for hot and cold showers. Laundry was handled by commercial industries in Brisbane, none of which fulfiled the exacting requirements. Food Rations were issued by the Quartermaster, with supplementary items purchased from the Hospital Fund (in order to maintain a suitable patient diet –ed). Messing arrangements were very good, with two separate Messes in use, one for patients, and one for medical personnel (with division into EM and Commissioned sections –ed). A Sewage Disposal system was operational, garbage and other waste material was removed daily by truck to dump grounds, the former by a civilian contractor and the latter by a detail of the Hospital’s own personnel.

Total bed capacity was 1250, with overall occupancy being 29.8%. During the First Quarter of 1944, there were 779 medical cases, 673 surgical cases, and 231 neuro-psychiatric cases. During this same period, the most prevalent disease was invariably malaria. A decrease did however take place, and out of 408 regular admissions, only 206 were discharged as malaria cases. Other diseases were dysentery, dengue fever, and one case of endemic typhus was diagnosed with laboratory confirmation at the end of March 1944. Psycho-neurosis and Psychosis cases were limited to 28 and 1 respectively. The assignment in March of a Medical Officer markedly interested in Psychiatry was therefore greatly appreciated. With the low volume of work during the First Quarter, the Hospital was selected to conduct the treatment of acute Gonorrhea with Penicillin. 30 such cases were treated and cured and returned to duty in a very short time. Only one case failed to respond, and it was transferred to the 105th General Hospital where chronic cases were treated. Rehabilitation of patients was greatly aided by the presence of 4 active ARC workers, who provided ample entertainment, occupational therapy, and assistance in individual problems.

Welfare, Social Service, and recreation kept morale high. Athletic and social activities were plentiful, and tennis, volleyball, golf, baseball were available, with participation in intra-Base Section competition. Dances were held in Brisbane for the Enlisted Men, with girls provided with help of the ARC, and costs paid from the Hospital Fund. Three movies a week were shown on the Hospital grounds, and the Theater was used for USO Camp Shows. An Information and Education Officer was appointed to provide facilities for troops to take advantage of Army Institute correspondence courses.

Report 14 July 1944:

On 30 June 1944, the 155th Station Hospital completed its third movement in Australia. It now moved from Ekibin Heights, Brisbane, Queensland, to Unit 2, Holland Park, Brisbane. Actual movement commenced on 22 June, when all assigned Nurses were transferred to the 42d General Hospital (Unit 2) for quarters and rations and TD. Preparatory actions prior to that date consisted in evacuating all patients by 21 June, survey of the task of physical move, and the initiation of boxing and crating activities. All equipment and supplies were securily packed before moving, as VO indicated a period of staging only at the new location. Reference for this action was Movement Order No. 295, Headquarters, Base No. 3, USASOS, dated 27 June 1944. With the help of only two trucks from Base Motor Command, the organization’s own transportation shouldered the burden of movement, which involved a trip of approximately 2 miles. No other outside help was enlisted. Movement was completed on 30 June, with the exception of 3 Officers and 25 EM who remained at Ekibin for policing and guard duty (in fact the 155th Sta Hosp was non-functional since 22 Jun 44 –ed).

Medical personnel treating a casualty on New Guinea.

The unit presently occupies 18 buildings of Unit 2, Holland Park, including 5 for storage of supplies, 2 for administrative offices, and 11 for quartering of all personnel. In April 1944, 93 patients, predominantly psychiatric patients, were admitted from the 42d General Hospital, awaiting evacuation to the United States. On 17 May, two wards were set up for the reception and treatment of Enlisted WACs. The WAC Officer personnel were cared for in the Nurses’ Infirmary (only 22 WACs were admitted in total –ed).

As a 500-bed T/O unit, the Hospital could accommodate 750 patients, and the highest census for the past Quarter was 394 patients.

Military personnel changes were numerous. On 2 April 1944, Colonel Carl F. Steinhoff was transferred to 22d Port Headquarters, APO 929 (he had assumed command since 2 Sep 42 –ed). On 5 April 1944, command was turned over to Lt. Colonel Harry G. Becker (former XO –ed) who had been originally assigned from the 172d Station Hospital (activated 20 Mar 42, embarked for Australia 19 May 42 –ed). On 28 April 1944, Lt. Colonel Clyde H. Frederickson assumed control of the 155th. On the same date, Lt. Colonel George E. Martin joined the organization and was appointed Executive Officer the following day (29 Apr 44 –ed).

On 15 May 1944, Colonel Alfonso M. Libasci was assigned and placed on TD with USASOS, APO 501, Brisbane. On 16 May 1944, Lt. Colonel George E. Martin was transferred to 23d Port Headquarters, APO 713. Other personnel changes included: 5 Nurses who returned to the United States under the rotation system; 14 Nurses were attached and joined from the 251st Station Hospital from 7 to 21 June 1944. 8 Officers were assigned, 7 were transferred, 4 Officers were held on sustained periods of DS. 2 Officers and 12 EM were attached from the 704th and 778th Medical Hospital Ship Platoons for approximately two weeks. Chaplain Stephen J. Dzirnis, ChC, was promoted to Captain on 19 April 1944, and 2d Lieutenant John J. Leary, MAC, to 1st Lieutenant on 24 April. 2d Lieutenant Lucy A. Wells, ANC, and 2d lieutenant Mercedes M. Ryan, ANC, were both promoted to 1st Lieutenant on 3 May 1944. Also 32 Enlisted Men received promotions during this period.

Commissioned personnel attended Unit Staff and Section meetings weekly, and periodic lectures and discussions initiated by the organization. Ward Officers were assigned readings in current literature each week with presentation of a paper at the weekly Staff meetings. 16 Medical Officers further attended the weekly Malaria School courses, Base No. 3, APO 923, during the past 3 three months, and gave lectures at this course.

A Central Surgical Supply system was introduced to conserve supplies, eliminate waste, and arrange for an efficient flow to meet any emergency. There was now a Base Quartermaster Laundry service, but EM still had to rely upon commercial facilities and personal transactions with local civilians (unwarranted expense, low quality, long delays –ed).

A program for the conservation of fat was initiated. Practical results of this program were a large increase of bakery products. No disease-bearing insects or vermin were present. However, a malaria control detail worked regularly within a radius of one-half mile of the Hospital proper.

Bed capacity was 500 with overall occupancy of 61%. Total cases were as follows: 897 medical, 822 surgical, 1858 neuro-psychiatric. During the Second Quarter of 1944, the 155th diagnosed and treated 1009 cases. Included were 382 cases of malaria, 224 cases of upper respiratory infections, 81 cases of gastro-intestinal disturbances, 21 cases of Psychoneurosis, and 6 cases of Psychotis. There was only 1 death, a case of acute Yellow Atrophy of the Liver. Malaria cases now showed a gradual decline. Psychotics cases were transferred within 24 hours to a General Hospital. There still was no Psychiatric Officer and a trained Roentgenologist was not available either. Excellent results were obtained with Penicillin in the treatment of Gonorrhea. Surgical Service admitted 795 patients during this same period.

Report 24 October 1944:

Important changes took place in the Third Quarter of 1944:
1 August 1944: the 155th Station Hospital was attached to Sixth United States Army.
21 August 1944: the Hospital was attached to XI Corps.

With respect to locations, there were four (4) important phases, which can be subdivided as follows:

Phase I – 1 July 1944 to 4 September 1944, the unit staged at Holland Park, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Phase II – 5 September 1944 to 14 September 1944, as per Marching order No. 338, Headquarters, Base No. 3, USASOS, APO 923, dated 5 Sep 44. On 3 September, approximately two-thirds of the organizational equipment, with an advance Detachment of 2 Officers and 15 EM, left Brisbane, enroute to Ataipe, New Guinea, aboard the Dutch vessel “Van Swoll”, arriving there 19 September 1944. On 5 September, the entire unit plus the remainder of the equipment, departed Brisbane on the “USS Comfort” (US Navy Hospital Ship AH-6 –ed), reaching Ataipe 14 September 1944. A small amount of equipment (chiefly small vehicles and trailers was left at Brisbane due to lack of space aboard the ship).
Phase III – 14 September 1944 to 23 September 1944, the entire unit staged at Ataipe, New Guinea.
Phase IV – 24 September 1944 to 30 September 1944, on 24 September, 9 Officers and the Medical Detachment (less 11 men), with basic housekeeping equipment, departed Ataipe via LST, arriving at Morotai, NEI, 30 September 1944. On 27 September, all supplies were transhipped to the Liberty Ship “B. F. Irvine” at Ataipe, for departure to Morotai Island, Netherlands East Indies. On board were 15 Officers, and 11 EM who arrived at Morotai 10 October 1944. One Medical Officer, 41 Nurses, the Hospital Dietitians, the Physical Therapist, and ARC workers remained in the staging area at Tumleo Island, Ataipe, New Guinea.

Aerial view of the US Navy Hospital Ship AH-6 “Comfort”. Picture taken in 1944.

The unit staged during July and August, and was en route to a new location during September 1944. Throughout the staging period, Officers and a Detachment averaging 80 Enlisted Men were on duty at the 42d General Hospital.

The following personnel changes took place:
Colonel Alfonsi M. Libasci was relieved of assignment 9 August 1944.7 Officers and 6 EM were transferred as found unfit for tropical service; 5 Officers and 24 EM were transferred to the 17th Replacement Battalion, APO 923; and 6 Nurses were transferred out of the organization. 6 Enlisted Men departed on furlough to the United States.
3 Officers and 8 EM were assigned and joined the unit; 10 Officers were placed on TD at the 42d General Hospital during the staging period at Holland Park, Brisbane. There was still a shortage of 10 Officers, 4 Nurses, and 24 Enlisted Men. 7 Nurses and 24 EM received promotions.
Major Guy G. Gossard, Chief of Dental service, was relieved of assignment and transferred to the Rotation Detachment, 17th Replacement Battalion, APO 923, on 5 September 1944 (he was replaced by Captain Lloyd M. Cox –ed).

As far as training was concerned, 6 Officers attended Sanitary School, APO 923, with 1 Officer following Tropical Medicine and Hygiene School courses, APO 927. During the staging period, personnel followed an extensive training program, including drill, hikes, athletics, demonstrations, and lectures.
Special classes were arranged for clerical personnel and dealt with forms and their practical application for an efficient Hospital Administration. Motor Vehicle Maintenance and Mess Equipment courses followed also.
Many items were short, being delayed in shipment due to the unit’s movement.

Report 14 December 1944:

The 155th was still located on the Cape Gila Peninsula, Morotai Island, NEI. The Base area consisted of approximately 37 acres of very low, flat ground, partially shaded by coconut trees. The earth was prone to muddiness when wet, and dustiness when dry. Drainage was poor due to numerous low level areas, comparatively high ridges immediately bordering beaches, and the destruction of natural drainage slopes by bulldozers used in clearing the entire area. Drainage ditches were constructed to alleviate this condition. Weather was usually fair, interrupted by frequent rains, and occasional torrential downpours.
After construction of the Hospital (October 1944 –ed), the organization started receiving patients as from 1 November 1944, and ever since started serving troops belonging to XI Corps, 31st Infantry Division, Thirteenth Army Air Force, base service units, and during the latter part of December, personnel from the 33d infantry Division. Small numbers of the Fifth Army Air Force, US Navy, Royal Australian Air Force, Netherlands East Indies Forces, Royal Australian Navy, and natives were admitted. Average strength of the Base itself was 50,000. Medical facilities of the organization were supplemented by the 174th Station Hospital (250-bed installation –ed).

Housing conditions consisted of 5 pre-fabricated buildings (20 x 54 feet) with cement floors; one for the X-Ray, the EENT, and Dental Clinic, and two for Surgery. Framed ward tents with coral sand floors provided space for Headquarters, Receiving, Dispensary, Registrar’s Office, Pharmacy, and Laboratory. A lack of construction material prevented adding more space for surgery functions, such as sterilizing, scrubbing, preparation of surgical supplies and instruments, and efficient operation of the Central Surgery Supply. A canvas covered, framed building (30 x 60 feet) with cement floor was constructed and used as a Chapel, with generous assistance of the Seabees (CB, Construction Battalions –ed), neighboring Engineer units, and the persistent activity of the Hospital Chaplains.
A single screened ward tent, earlier provided for kitchen was inadequate and was supplanted by a framed screened kitchen (36 x 50 feet) with corrugated iron roof and cement floor. Mess storage was foreseen at the rear of this building by a framed ward tent. One framed ward tent for Officers, and another two for Enlisted Men provided dining space for all patients and duty personnel.
There were 14 wards, consisting of three ward tents and one pyramidal tent in line. Nurses of the 155th and the 174th Station Hospitals were housed in a common area, enclosed by a screen with separate latrine, bathing, and washing facilities provided. Pyramidal tents on frames with wooden floors accommodated the Nurses, except the Principal Chief Nurse, who had a separate small wall tent. Detachment and other Officer personnel were housed in pyramidal tents, framed with rough timbers, and with coral sand floors. In the week ending 11 November, fixtures were put in for showers, and electrical wiring installed in 4 wards.

Critical shortage of personnel handicapped the organization during the entire past Quarter. Until 14 December, the unit had no qualified Neuro-Psychiatrist, no qualified Dermatologist, and no EENT specialist. Some assistance was tentatively provided by Officers of neighboring medical units, but remained inadequate. Losses included 2 Officers and 8 EM transferred to the Rotation Detachment, Base G, Hollandia, New Guinea. 2 Nurses and 10 EM were evacuated. Gains remained minimal, as only 4 Officers and 12 EM were assigned to the unit.

The damp climate affected surgical instruments, plating became effaced and rust set. Tentage rapidly deteriorated in the tropical climate; leaks were frequent, waterproofing paint was used to protect the canvas, but there was only a small amount of it. There was a general shortage of electrical sockets, wiring, and bulbs.

Partial map illustrating New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Part of Australia is also shown with the Northern Territory (Base Section No. 1), with Darwin, and Queensland (Base Section No. 2), with Townsville.

Insufficiency of T/E allowances, primarily in vehicles accentuated evacuation and transportation problems. Motor vehicles were considered insufficient to meet the needs of a 500-bed organization under local condition. Furthermore, a number of authorized vehicles, 3 ¾-ton Ambulances, 1 ¾-ton Command & Reconnaissance Car, 1 Mobile Refrigerator Truck, 1 Wiles Cooker, were left in Brisbane because of lack of shipping space. Although scheduled to follow on first available transportation, they did not arrive. A deficiency of 1 ¼-ton Truck (aka Jeep) with ¼-ton Trailer, authorized for Chaplains, and 1 250-Gallon Water Tank trailer could not be corrected at this Base.

Quite a number of important shortages affected daily operation of the Hospital. Especially serious was the shortage of IV solutions such as Normal Saline, 5% and 10% Dextrose Solution, Distilled Water, Boric Acid, Liquid Petrolatum, Vitamines, and Foot Powder. Also Rubber Gloves, Alcohol, Surgical and Razor Blades, Gauze, Dental Products, Beds, Mattresses, Pillows, Folding Canvas Cots, Soap, Laundry, Lye, Kerosene, Ice-Making Machine, Ice Cream Machine, Coca-Cola Dispenser, PA System, decent Generators, X-Ray tubes and cables…

During October-November 1944, water supply remained inadequate and of questionable quality. Water had to be hauled by two 250-Gallon Water Tank Trailers, and individual GI Watercans from the wells to the Hospital. Water was chlorinated at the source. Drinking was distributed by Lyster bags. Handling water necessitated a 16-hour hauling detail, often inadequate to meet all Hospital needs, and with a high risk of gross contamination.
Late November, a water supply system was built by the Engineers, consisting of wells and pumps, water mains to two 8,000-gallon storage tanks, adjacent to the Hospital, and a pipe reticulation system to the Hospital area. The system supplied both Station Hospitals and neighboring units with water. Laundry service was provided by the 178th Quartermaster Laundry Platoon (shortage of detergent soap –ed).

The general food ration was unvaried and monotonous as there was infrequent issue of fresh meats, (only obtained twice in Dec 44) eggs (four occasions in past three months), butter, and total absence of fresh vegetables and fresh fruits. Fruit juice was however available. Bakery products were of inferior quality.
Sewage and waste disposal were handled in a satisfactory way, with garbage and kitchen waste being dumped at sea. Although rats and mice were numerous in the area, they were kept under control by proper garbage control, screening of foods, elimination of cocoanut palm debris, and by a vigorous campaign of extermination.

Bed capacity during the period was 630, with an overall occupancy of 70%. Maximum patients census was 576, and average patients load 458. The following cases were treated during November-December 1944: 1443 medical, 1188 surgical, and 185 neuro-psychiatric. Tropical diseases treated consisted mainly of malaria fever and skin ailments, no typhus was discovered. Only 165 battle casualties were treated at the 155th. 15 amputations were done. There were 260 cases of respiratory infections, including 12 cases of pneumonia, and 6 of pulmonary tuberculosis. 169 cases of gastro-intestinal diseases were handled. The Dental Clinic only opened on 13 November 1944, although a success, it was hampered by lack of sufficient electricity, water, and dental supplies.

Report 1 January 1945:

After having been relieved of its attachment to Sixth United States Army on 12 October 1944, the organization was attached to Eighth US Army the same date. On 4 November 1944, the 155th was attached to the 31st Infantry Division, pertaining to XI Corps. Upon arrival on Morotai Island, the unit camped in a semi-cleared area, west of a road near the military Base of the Cape Gila Peninsula. Living conditions were very poor, but gradually improved over the following two weeks. Engineers cleared the area on 3 October, allowing all personnel to be housed in ward tents. A temporary kitchen was set up, but meals had to be eaten in a standing position. A temporary tent dispensary was erected to treat minor ailments, while the neighboring 99th Evacuation Hospital (activated 14 Aug 42, embarked for New Guinea 15 Jun 44 –ed) admitted the more serious cases. Air raids were frequent, resulting in abbreviated night rest for all personnel. The area was only a temporary camping ground until the 1180th Engineer Construction Group (active on Morotai since 15 Sep 44 –ed) commenced work in the designated Hospital area. Bulldozers cleared a large space day and night and staked out 14 different ward emplacements. Coral sand was hauled from the beach to construct floors, wooden frames were erected, tents and tarpaulins prepared, latrines dug, and showers set up. Works were gradually terminated in the week ending 11 November, with personnel moving in. First patients were received 1 November 1944.

American litter patients, regrouped and waiting for evacuation through the difficult jungle terrain.

9 Officers and the Medical Detachment (less 11 men) arrived with basic housekeeping from Ataipe, New Guinea on 30 September. A group of 15 Officers and 11 EM reached the site on 10 October with the remaining supplies. 1 Officer and 41 Nurses, and the remainder of the female personnel remained in the staging area at Ataipe until 6 November, when they arrived on Morotai Island.
Since the organization was located in a combat zone, and in the absence of a functioning Evacuation Hospital, the 155th in part assumed the role of the latter type of organization, evacuating 747 patients to APO 920.

Among the various tropical diseases, malarial fever (157) and skin diseases (245) dominated the number of cases. Quinine was often more employed and proved most valuable. The incidence of malaria remained moderate, and there was no evidence of primary disease on the island. Skin diseases were often of fungoid origin. Resistant skin infections were treated with Zephiran and systematic use of Penicillin.
165 battle casualties were operated at the Hospital, resulting in only one death. 15 amputations were done. A total of 185 NP cases were observed; 260 cases of respiratory infections; and 169 cases ofgastro-intestinal diseases. 58 cases of dental prosthetic cases had been completed by December 1944.

Report 1 April 1945:

The 155th Station Hospital was still assigned to USASOS (United States Army Services of Supply –ed). Its new base now was the Cape Gila Peninsula, Morotai Island, Netherlands East Indies.
12 October 1944: the Hospital was attached to Eighth United States Army.
12 January 1945: attached to Eighth United States Army Area Command.
4 November 1944: attached to 31st Infantry Division.

Personnel of a Portable Surgical Hospital on the move. Litters are being used for carrying some of the equipment load. Such type of Hospital was intended to accompany small troop concentrations in jungle terrain in order to provide any emergency medical care to frontline casualties. Their basic bed capacity was limited to 25 patients, and the units operated exclusively with male personnel.

On 1 January 1945, admission of routine cases from the 31st Infantry Division was discontinued; all patients being diverted to the 174th Station Hospital. Troops served in the area included Headquarters, Thirteenth Army Air Force and subordinate commands, NEI personnel, and Merchant Marine, natives, and non-Divisional Service units, as well as smaller numbers of Royal Australian Army; Royal Australian Air Force, and Royal Australian Navy personnel. A small number of evacuees, ex-Allied PWs, and Guerrillas from the Philippine islands were hospitalized.

The unit was re-organized, effective 1 March 1945, under T/O 8-560 (500-bed Station Hospital) dated 28 October 1944, as per General Order No. 45, Headquarters, USASOS, dated 11 February 1945. This change affected authorized strength substantially as follows:

Old T/O New T/O
MC Officers 18 16
MAC Officers 9 11
Enlisted Men 261 253
Chaplain 2 1

(figures for Station Hospitals in Comz, ETO, were different – T/O 8-503 dated 15 June 1941, indicated a total strength of 50 Off & 150 EM; T/O 8-560 dated 22 July 1944, and corrected as per 10 July 1944, listed an aggregate of 42 Off & 150 EM –ed).
Being a 500-bed Station Hospital, this unit functioned with an actual bed capacity of 630. It partly assumed the functions of an Evacuation Hospital, evacuating 585 patients to APO 920 during the Last Quarter.

Shortage of personnel, both Officer and Enlisted, continued to be critical due to evacuation for illness, large rotation losses, and relatively meagre replacements. 3 Officers, 5 Nurses, and 33 EM were transferred to the Rotation Detachment, Base G, Hollandia, New Guinea. 5 Nurses and 8 EM were evacuated. 2 Officers and 8 EM were assigned and joined the 155th. Shortages were still present: 4 MC Officers; 5 MAC Officers; 14 ANC Officers; and 38 EM. Assignment of 1 EENT Officer and 1 Dental Officer in January 1945 was very helpful. Shortages were accentuated by personnel on TD in the ZI (5 Nurses & 18 EM –ed). ANC shortages were relieved by the attachment of 10 Nurses from the 162d Station Hospital on 6 February 1945.
A number of promotions took place, involving MC and ANC personnel.

No regular training program was in effect at the beginning of 1945. During the month of February the Phillipine Training Program was initiated for all personnel and early in March 1945 a training plan was instituted, designed to affect least the functioning of any Department and consistent with the limited personnel present. Enlisted personnel were divided into 4 equal Platoons with 25% of personnel of each Department or Service in each Platoon. The First Platoon received one hour of training on Monday – Wednesday – and Friday afternoons; the Second Platoon on Tuesday – Thursday – and Saturday. The following week, the Third and Fourth Platoons received the same instruction.

Portable Surgical Hospital. Some of the men are installing their bivouac.

Procurement of Hospital equipment and medical supplies improved, yet, continued to be problematic. Although requisitioned (between December 1944 and February 1945) items such as 15 KVA Generators (2), Mobile Reefers (1), Ambulances (2), and X-Ray equipment remained pending. Unavailability of glass-cased batteries and lamp bulbs for mobile Operating lights prevented proper use of 4 Operating Lamps in the Operating Rooms. Plaster of Paris rolls of Chard Laboratories, Lansing, Michigan, remained unsatisfactory (poor plaster quality & too tight rolls –ed). Particularly pressing was the condition of the pyramidal tents, all of which were second-hand on receipt. Replacement were not available (23 tents were unserviceable and 49 in very poor condition, due to holes, tears, rips, and rotten fabric –ed). The pronounced dampness had an increasing deleterious effect on metallic instruments and equipment, much of which could not be held in check by frequent care and oiling. Medical supplies maintained by the provisional Medical Supply Depot run by the 31st Infantry Division were insufficient for the needs of local hospitals, the Divisional and other medical units. Receipt of an ice-making machine in January 1945 proved a great help, as it enabled the unit to furnish ice to the 174th Station Hospital and the 106th Medical Battalion (31st Infantry Division –ed). Water supply was adequate and safe (chlorinization & bacteriological tests were effected regularly –ed). Laundry service was satisfactory, being rendered by the 178th Quartermaster Laundry Platoon.
General Rations were improved, with an increase in the issue of fresh meats and butter. Nonetheless, there was a notable lack of fresh eggs, vegetables, and fruits.

Overall bed capacity was 500 with an overall occupancy of 55.53%. Expansion capacity was available up to 750 beds. The maximum census obtained was 442 and the average patient load was 305. There were 1349 medical cases, 1200 surgical, and 247 neuro-psychiatric cases.
During the First Quarter, the Medical Service handled 1596 cases of which the largest group of diseases consisted of skin infections and ailments (377 cases), although about 50% of these were discharged in January. Respiratory problems were next (333 cases), followed by intestinal diseases (127 cases). Of tropical diseases, there were 145 cases of malaria and 1 one of dengue fever. 58 cases of unknown fever were discharged, but no cases of typhus or filiariasis were discovered. 20 cases of gonorrhea were treated as well (requiring large amounts of Penicillin). At the beginning of the Quarter, only a few battle casualties were admitted. The bombing of one of the native villages resulted in 55 casualties which were received for primary treatment. In total, 585 patients had one or more surgical procedures. Out of 186 neuro-psychiatric cases discharged, 27 were Psychotic. Dental activities were plentiful, though at times less efficient because of repeated electrical power failure and a critical shortage of laboratory supplies. 137 emergency and 539 routine admissions, 934 examinations and consultations, 2265 sittings, and 427 patients placed in Class IV. 745 X-Rays were taken. The Prosthesis Section turned out 79 Dentures and Denture repairs, 13 crown and bridge repairs, 6 bridge and 23 inlays and acrylic crowns during the same period.
Outpatient demands were steadily increasing and started including Dutch and Australian Army and Air Force, Army Transport, Merchant Marine, US Navy personnel, and natives, besides the usual US Army personnel.

Report 10 July 1945:

The 155th Station Hospital was now assigned to USAFWESPAC (United States Army Forces, Western Pacific, including Australia, the Philippine Islands, the Netherlands East Indies, except Sumatra, and New Guinea –ed) and attached to:
12 January 1945: attached to Eighth United States Army Area Command.
12 April 1945: attached to 93d Infantry Division.

Native (Papuan) litter bearers are waiting to get started with evacuating casualties. Local tribesmen were recruited for their endurance, ability, and knowledge of the terrain, and one of their many tasks consisted in carrying litter casualties to evacuation points and rear hospitals.

Its base was still located on the Cape Gila Peninsula, Morotai Island, Netherlands East Indies. During the past three months, the Hospital served personnel of the Thirteenth Army Air Force, the 93d Infantry Division, and US Army maintenance and service units, the Merchant Marine, the Royal Australian Air Force, Dutch civilian Administration officials, natives, USO entertainers and even Japanese PWs. Also, with the closing of the 174th Station Hospital on 11 May 1945, the 155th Station Hospital was the only American hospital remaining on the island.
The organization continued to operate under T/O 8-560, dated 28 October 1944 with the following authorized strength:

MC Officers 16
MAC Officers 11
SnC Officer 1
DC Officers 3
Warrant Officer 1
Chaplain 1
Enlisted Personnel 253
ANC Officers 42
HD Officer 1
PT Officer 1

Shortages of personnel continued to be critical among Enlisted Men and Army Nurse Corps personnel. Officer personnel were strengthened to T/O level, but averages existed in MAC Officers and shortages of an EENT, a Dental Officer, and a Bacteriologist. Services were obtained three times weekly from an Officer pertaining to the 2/5 Australian General Hospital.

There were several changes in the command of the 155th Station Hospital. Colonel Clyde H. Frederickson, former CO of the organization was evacuated through medical channels to the United States. Lt. Colonel Milton H. Clifford, then Chief of Medical Service, assumed command on 20 April 1945, but was released from assignment after receipt of initial re-adjustment quota for June for return to the Zone of Interior. Major Frederick M. Jacobs, present Commanding Officer, assumed command per Paragraph 3, Special Orders No. 138, Headquarters, 93d Infantry Division, dated and effective 19 June 1945. Rotation and Re-Adjustment quotas were the reasons for other losses of Officers. 2 Officers were on TD in the United States for the purpose of rest and recuperation.
ANC shortage was very acute, as the unit was relieved of practically their entire ANC staff for return to the ZI on the June Rotation Quota. A total of 15 Nurses returned in June, leaving only 2 Nurses on duty, 1 Hospital Dietitian, and 1 Physical Therapist. 5 other Nurses were on TD in the ZI. Rotation and Re-Adjustment also caused shortages and losses in Enlisted personnel. Total shortage reached 53 EM.

Total gains included 17 Officers assigned; 1 WO assigned; 1 HD assigned, 1 PT assigned; 23 EM assigned. Total losses consisted of 3 Officers, 4 Nurses, and 26 Enlisted Men transferred to the Rotation Detachment, Base G, Hollandia, New Guinea. 5 Officers, 15 Nurses, and 7 EM transferred to Disposition Center, Base G, in Hollandia. 1 Nurse transferred to Schick General Hospital, Clinton, Iowa, United States; 1 Hospital Dietitian transferred to the 80th General Hospital. 2 Officers, 1 Nurse, and 7 EM evacuated; 1 Enlisted Man Honorably Discharged to accept a Field Commission. After all, the shortage still comprised 1 MC Officer, 1 DC Officer, 1 SnC Officer, 35 Nurses, and 56 Enlisted Men.

Ambulance-jeeps were often the only means of transporting the wounded through marshy terrain and dense foliage. These vehicles equipped with wooden or steel racks could hold up to four litters, and continuously shuttled between the frontlines and the clearing stations.

A total of 14 Officer promotions were carried out, with one recommendation for promotion pending.

With the completion of the Philippine Training Program, a physical training program was started to discourage accumulation of body fats and to help provide muscular tone and physical wellbeing. A general improvement in the procurement of hospital supplies was noted. The 2 15KVA Generators were still pending, and a number of Medical Department items were still to be supplied (sodium citrate, mercury bichloride, skodian, diedrast solution, x-ray tubes, thuamine hydrochloride, resercinal, petrolatum, sodium nitrite, and normal saline and sterile distilled water). Other items of a more general nature were also still expected (axes, mattocks, motor vehicle tow chains, shovels, electric bulbs, nails, paint, paint brushes, galvanized sheet iron, etc.). Supply of Plaster of Paris continued to be unsatisfactory (setting up due to moisture and dampness, and poor quality packing –ed). Use of sealed metal containers like used for Plasma could be a solution. X-Ray films also deteriorated because of tropical climatic conditions.

Little was done in securing new pyramidal tents, although a few new ones were obtained, efforts were made to patch and waterproof the well-worn tents, but with little success. Owing to a change of seasons, dampness was not as prevalent during the past Quarter. A large and efficient incinerator was built in an appropriate area for burning garbage. Due to the heavier rainfall, the mosquito population increased, but constant spraying of pools, daily collection and disposal of coconut and palm debris kept these insects under control. Fly control was satisfactory, due to the DDT spraying of latrines, effective garbage disposal, and the wide use of fly traps.

Bed capacity was still 500, with an overall occupancy of 55%. The maximum patient census reached 357 with an average patient load of 270. There were 1685 medical, 1325 surgical, and 231 neuro-psychiatric cases. Outpatient consultations increased numbering 450 medical, 786 surgical, 608 dental, and 1768 EENT cases. During the Quarter, the Medical Service handled 1562 patients, of which 20% were evacuated to General Hospitals, and 77% returned to duty. There were 3 deaths in the same period. A Japanese Prisoner of War was admitted with marked edema of both legs and hands. He had on physical examination, marked pitting edema, ascites and peripheral neuritis. This was the first case of beri-beri, but the patient healed. Rapid and highly cooperative air evacuation continued to be a benefit to all concerned.
On 11 May 1945, the 174th Station Hospital ceased operating on the island. On that date, a mass transfer of all medical and surgical cases to the 155th was effected. In addition, the servicing of personnel of the 93d Infantry Division was assumed. Subject changes resulted in increasing both outpatient and inpatient census.

A total of 10 Japanese PWs was received for primary surgical treatment. They suffered of multiple major wounds. After treatment and healing, they were moved to the PW enclosure. The established evacuation policy was 30 days. Traumatic cases requiring prolonged hospitalization were kept under observation a sufficient period to assure freedom from any early complications. There were comparatively few battle casualties during the period. Most of the injuries were of the type ordinarily seen in Garrison and Training Center areas. 41 burns were observed and treated, most of these being accidental or resulting from aircraft crashes. 51% of surgical cases returned to duty, 24% were evacuated to General Hospitals for further care. During the same period the Surgical Service received and handled 1159 cases, and performed 4078 operations.

Report 13 October 1945:

The 155th Sta Hosp was still assigned to USAFWESPAC, and attached to Army units as per Eighth United States Army orders.
12 April 1945: attached to the 93d Infantry Division.
12 September 1945: attached to Southern Islands Area Command.

The unit’s Base was the one located on the Cape Gila Peninsula, Morotai Island, NEI. The 155th continued to serve the same troops as indicated previously. However, toward the close of this period, and due to the cessation of hostilities, there was now a large influx of Japanese Prisoners of War who came in for treatment and hospitalization, as the unit was the only American Hospital on the Base.

Absence of an adequate number of replacements during the previous Quarter caused many administrative problems. There existed a total shortage of 53 Enlisted Men and in the last three months 48 more were lost through Re-Adjustment and medical evacuation. Only 40 replacements were assigned to the unit in that same Quarter. Nearly 53% of the assigned strength became eligible for release in the near future, reaching their ASR critical score. Without more replacements this would certainly have a material effect on an already critical personnel situation. Officers’ shortage included EENT, Bacteriologist, Dental Officer, General Surgery Officer, and a number of ANC Officers. 5 Officers were momentarily eligible for Re-Adjustment.

Losses included 1 MC Officer, 1 PT Officer, 1 HD Officer, 1 ANC Officer transferred to the 133d General Hospital, APO 72; 1 Officer transferred to the 314th General Hospital, APO 75; 4 ANC Officers transferred to the 120th General Hospital, APO 1011; 3 Officers transferred to the Rotation Detachment, Base G, Hollandia, New Guinea; 1 Officer evacuated, and 1 Nurse transferred to the Disposition Center, Base G, Hollandia. Further losses covered 3 Nurses and 2 EM evacuated; 26 EM transferred to the Rotation Detachment, Base G, Hollandia; 4 Nurses and 19 EM dropped from rolls while on TD in the Zone of Interior. Gains only included 1 Officer, 44 Nurses, and 40 EM. By the close of October 1945, there was still a shortage of 2 MC Officers, 1 DC Officer, 1 SnC Officer, 2 ANC Officers, and 64 EM.

15 Officer promotions were confirmed, with 13 more pending.

Drainage of the Base area was satisfactory, ditches were cleaned out at regular intervals by Sanitation details and additional ones dug when needed. Water remained adequate. The construction of 2 new incinerators aided considerably in the disposal of waste and garbage. With the greater number of incoming Japanese PWs it became necessary to construct additional latrines, showers, and washing facilities to segregate the enemy patients from regular US Army personnel. Laundry service continued to be rendered by the 178th Quartermaster Laundry platoon (attached to the Hospital –ed). Though an adequate number of squad tents were supplied to replace the worn-out pyramidal tents in the Detachment area, they were withheld from issue since the duration of time in which the organization was expected to remain in this site was very short.

Bed capacity was 500, with an overall occupancy of only 31/4%. The maximum census reached was 208, and the average patient load 157. There were 1630 medical cases, 682 surgical cases, and 234 neuro-psychiatric cases. Outpatient consultation was high, reaching 2685. During this Quarter of 1945, there were 948 admissions and 1017 dispositions in the Medical Service, with 1% being evacuated to General Hospitals, 2% transferred to the Surgical Service, and 77% returned to duty. The Japanese patients were in exceedingly poor shape, suffering from malnutrition, anemia, and beri-beri. Many of them would ordinarily have been evacuated if they had not been transferred to jurisdiction of Australian Forces. As air evacuation in this period was irregular, it increased the average hospitalization days for general hospital cases.
Surgical consultation service was provided for all American personnel stationed on Morotai Island. Only a few battle casualties were admitted the last three months. The incidence of finger injuries increased since the ending of hostilities. Attributed to the athletic programs instituted by all units, and was termed as “baseball finger”. Total admissions numbered 699, with 345 operations being performed.

As far as equipment shortages were concerned, the Generator 15KVA, the Mobile Reefer, and 1 ¾-ton Ambulance did finally arrive and brought some improvement in the operations. The plaster of Paris rolls improved somewhat, but many bandage rolls still had to be discarded. A considerable amount of time was devoted to cleaning, packing, crating, and preparing for possible shipment those supplies and items of equipment not in use.

A course in Army Administration was made compulsory for all clerical personnel. With the cessation of war hostilities, an Educational Training program was inaugurated for Officers and Enlisted Men. The program was conducted by Officers and EM with considerable knowledge of the many subjects offered. Weekly medical meetings were held by the Hospital’s professional staff. Medical officers from other organizations, including those of the Royal Australian Armed Forces, were invited to attend.

Another means of evacuation was by waterways and rivers. Loading casualties on landing craft was another way to safely transport the wounded from one coastal site to another or from one island to another.

During the past Quarter, the 155th Station Hospital was awarded a “Meritorious Service Unit” Plaque by the Commanding General, 93d Infantry Division, APO 93, General Order No. 77, for superior and outstanding devotion to duty from 5 April 1944 to 26 July 1945 at its present location.

Report 15 January 1946:

The 155th Station Hospital was assigned to USAFWESPAC, and attached to the following Army units, as per Eighth United States Army orders:
12 September 1945: attached to Southern Islands Area Command.
26 October 1945: attached to 214th Antiaircraft Artillery Group, APO 926.
13 November 1945: attached to Base K, APO 72, Tacloban, Leyte, Philippine Islands.
26 December 1945: attached to Base X, APO 358, Manila, Philippine Islands (Movement Order No. 1, Headquarters, 785th Antiaircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion).
5 January 1946: attached to Base X, APO 358, Manila, Philippine Islands (Headquarters, Base X, USAFWESPAC).

The unit’s Base was still on the Gila Peninsula, Morotai Island, Netherlands East Indies. Extensive work was accomplished in connection with dismantling 12 of the 14 hospital wards incident to the anticipated movement and sale of subject Hospital to the Netherlands East Indies Government, as authorized by USAFWESPAC Headquarters, reference Contract W-S-(WESPAC)-NEI-1-a. Being the sole American Hospital on the island, the organization served the following units and personnel:

93d Infantry Division
13th United States Army Air Force
214th Antiaircraft Artillery Group and attached units (on Morotai since 15 Sep 44)
491st Quartermaster Battalion
Allied Personnel and Royal Australian Air Force personnel
US Merchant Marine Personnel
US Navy Personnel (and Naval Base Morotai Island, which closed 1 Nov 45)
Japanese Prisoners of War

Although the patient load of the Hospital decreased progressively during the Last Quarter of 1945, constant loss of personnel without adequate replacements created a trying situation. Compared to the authorized T/O 8-560, unit strength as of 31 December 1945 stood at:

Current Unit strength Authorized T/O strength
MC Officers 6 16
MAC Officers 6 11
DC Officers 1 3
SnC Officers 1 0
ANC Officers 42 8
HD Officers 1 0
PT Officers 1 0
Warrant Officers 1 0
Chaplain 1 0
Enlisted Men 253 87

Subsequent to 31 December 1945, the unit lost an additional 3 MC-MAC-DC Officers, 8 Nurses, and 18 EM through Re-Deployment and Re-Adjustment, further emphasizing the current shortage of Hospital personnel. 11 promotions were confirmed and 3 remained pending.

Malaria control of the Hospital area was conducted by the 5th Malaria Control Unit until its inactivation 8 November 1945 (task taken over by 155th personnel –ed).

The Station Hospital’s bed capacity remained 500, with an overall occupancy of 4.4%. The maximum patient census reached 95, and the average patients load was only 22. There was a total of 118 medical cases, 134 surgical cases, and 12 neuro-psychiatric cases. Outpatients numbered 741. During this Quarter there were only 118 admissions and 139 dispositions. The 5 remaining patients were subsequently transferred to the 2/9 Australian General Hospital on Morotai Island. The largest group of diseases were of the skin, 38%, followed by respiratory diseases, 28%. A total of 108 operations were performed.

Food procured during the same period included a higher than normal volume of fresh meats and vegetables, due to reduction in island personnel, and cooperation of the US Navy Base.

Port of Embarkation personnel and girlfriends read the good news: “Japan Gives Up”. The Japanese finally announced their intention to accept unconditional surrender terms from the Allied Nations.

Practically all supplies and unit equipment were packed, crated, and sold to the NEI Government by authorized contract, with the few remaining items being packed and crated for movement to Manila, Philippine Island (Base X –ed).

Due to constant loss of experienced and skilled personnel (also Medical & Surgical Technicians and Clerks –ed), a continuing program of on-the-job training was followed with good results reflected by maintaining of a high level off operating efficiency. Physical training, athletics, and Special Services activities continued during the final Quarter of 1945. All ANC personnel were relieved of assignment with the exception of 1 Nurse. Low-point ANC Officers were transferred to General Hospitals in the Philippines and others returned to the United States. An overall Hospital inspection was conducted by Colonel Phillips, US Commander, Morotai Island, on 19 November 1945. The unit’s observed its fourth Thanksgiving Day overseas; of the original personnel, only 2 Officers and 15 EM were still with the 155th, as all the others had already departed for home. On 6 December 1945, all US personnel on Morotai were vaccinated against influenza (approximately 1,000 men).

The 155th Station Hospital ceased all operations at 1400 hours, 25 December 1945. Remaining patients (13) were then transferred to the 2/9 Australian General Hospital on the island.

On 27 December 1945 the Hospital boarded US Navy LST 894 at 1530 for authorized movement to Manila, Philippine Islands. The sailing time was 0100 hours, 28 December 1945, and after an uneventful trip, the 155th Station Hospital under command of Lt. Colonel Frederick M. Jacobs, MC, reached Manila 1 January 1946, where it was assigned to Base X.


We are truly indebted to Cindy Entriken for having provided us with the original Monthly Reports of Activities of the 155th Station Hospital. Cindy is the great-niece of 1st Lieutenant Ila L. Armsbury, ANC (ASN:N-732002) who served with subject Hospital in Australia and the Pacific Theater during World War 2. The MRC Staff are still looking for some more original photographs of the Hospital Staff and installations.

 

This page was printed from the WW2 US Medical Research Centre on 23rd June 2018 at 20:01.
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