30th Evacuation Hospital Unit History

Greetings card from Camp Berkeley, Texas, the founding place for the 30th Evacuation Hospital.

Greetings card from Camp Barkeley, Texas, the founding place of the 30th Evacuation Hospital.

Introduction & Activation:

The 30th Evacuation Hospital was officially activated as a 750-bed Semi-Mobile Evacuation Hospital on 15 July 1942 as per General Orders Number 56, Headquarters Third Corps Area, Baltimore, Maryland (dated 10 July 1942 –ed) at Camp Barkeley, Abilene, Texas (Armored Division Camp and Medical Replacement Training Center; total acreage 69,879; troop capacity 3,192 Officers and 54,493 Enlisted Men –ed). It was initially supplied with professional personnel from the 30th Surgical Hospital, a unit affiliated with the University of Texas, but never activated! At the time of activation, the unit lacked any personnel, except a core staff which had been drawn from the unit’s sponsor, the University of Texas (Galveston, Texas). In order to fill the positions required of such an organization, verbal orders were issued to the Commanding Officer of the 11th Evacuation Hospital to send a cadre consisting of 47 Enlisted Men to the new unit at Cp. Barkeley. This cadre, consisting of three (3) Sergeants, three (3) Technicians 5th Grade, six (6) Privates First Class and thirty five (35) Privates, reported for duty at 1130 hours on 20 July 1942. In the days that followed, a number of Officers were also assigned to the unit, occupying various positions in the higher echelons of the outfit. Major Vernon. J. Erkenbeck assumed command of the 30th on 1 August 1942. Additional positions of authority were assumed as follows:

1st Lt. R. B. Johnston, ChC – Chaplain (3 August 1942)
Capt. William L. Faul, MC – Training Officer (14 August 1942)
1st Lt. Robert J. Deering, MC – Detachment Commander (14 August 1942)
1st Lt. Clair M. Rice, Jr.MC,, O-1687067 – Unit Personnel Officer (14 August 1942)
1st Lt. Sol Wilner, MC, O-1689738 – Supply Officer (14 August 1942)
1st Lt.Vincent E. Ragaini, DC, O-487516 – Dental Officer (18 August 1942)
1st Lt. Morris Eckhaus, DC – Assistant Dental Officer (19 August 1942)
2d Lt. Oscar B. McGuire, Jr., QMC – Supply Officer (19 August 1942)
Capt. Alex Olenikoff, MC, O-1687088 – Adjutant (27 August 1942)

General view of the Station Hospital facility at Camp Barkeley, Texas where many of the staff of the 30th trained during its early phase.

General view of the Station Hospital facility at Camp Barkeley, Texas where many of the staff of the 30th trained during its early phase.

On 29 August 1942, 22 Enlisted Men joined the unit from the Fitzsimons General Hospital, and 3 from the Letterman General Hospital, bringing the unit’s total strength to 10 Officers and 77 Enlisted Men. In the weeks that followed, additional hospital personnel were received from both civilian enlistment and transfer from nearby medical units. Motor transport and other vehicles steadily began to arrive at the facility, and on 3 September 1942 the unit was reorganized and redesignated as an Evacuation Hospital, Motorized, 400-bed (per letter WD AGO dated 23 September 1942, subject: Redesignation and Reorganization of Evacuation Hospitals –ed). A further 108 Enlisted Men joined the unit on 5 October from Medical Replacement Training Center (MRTC –ed), Camp Barkeley, Abilene, Texas, upon completion of 8 weeks basic training. These men were immediately placed upon a training schedule for a further 5 weeks of specialist training.
Major Vernon J. Erkenbeck was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 10 October 1942.

The months that followed were spent preparing all hospital duty personnel for their work within a military hospital. As many as possible were assigned to the Station Hospital at Cp. Barkeley and occupied roles within the Laboratory, Surgical, Medical, Pharmacy and X-ray services.
An additional 100 Enlisted Men were received from the Reception Center, Fort Niagara, New York, and 40 Enlisted Men from the Fort Sheridan Reception Center in Illinois on 26 October 1942, bringing the total unit strength to 360 Enlisted Men. This created an over-strength of 112 Enlisted Men, and orders were immediately issued for the transfer of 99 EM to the 32d Evacuation Hospital.


During November and December 1942, intensive training schedules were conducted. A basic 13-week program was carried on for 47 Enlisted Men while the balance of the Detachment completed their 13 week basic course and went into unit training. Shortages in training equipment hampered these programs, but by borrowing equipment from the nearby MRTC and other units on the post, and by improvising certain items, it was possible for the entire organization to conduct a thorough program of training.
Additional personnel were selected to receive specialist vocations in various departments at the Station Hospital, and several changes were made to the Officers’ cadre of the unit throughout December.

A member of the 30th Evac Hosp during gas mask training.

A member of the 30th Evac Hosp during gas mask training.

Louisiana Maneuvers:

Although the training of personnel was incomplete and medical equipment reportedly deficient, the unit was notified that it would participate in the Louisiana Maneuvers starting the latter part of January 1943. Accordingly, packing and movement plans were completed and on 23 January 1943 the unit departed by convoy to the Louisiana Maneuvers area with Company A, 34th Medical Ambulance Battalion, which had been attached for movement. All personnel and house-keeping equipment was transported by ambulances and 2 ½-ton trucks, while the organizational and medical equipment was transported in box cars via railroad. After an overnight bivouac at the American Legion camp (located in Terrell, Texas –ed), the convoy arrived at Pleasant Hill, Louisiana at 1700 hours on 23 January. All personnel immediately entered bivouac at a CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps –ed) camp where adequate buildings were available for all staff. The organization would be participating in the Louisiana Maneuvers from 20 January 1943 to 16 June 1943, which provided the entire command with valuable training in the operation and movement of a hospital. During the period showdown inspections were held for serviceability and shortages of both individual and organizational equipment, and any missing items replaced.

On arrival at the CCC camp, the erection of a hospital was commenced and the first patients were received on 26 January, although the maneuvers did not begin officially until 1 February. A mobile erection of the 11th Medical Supply Depot was attached to the 30th Evac and aided considerably in procuring the necessary medical supplies. A Platoon of one Ambulance Company was also attached to the unit at all times throughout the maneuvers and was found invaluable in the evacuation of patients to other hospital units and in assisting in the transportation of personnel and patients.
Shortages in organizational equipment were requisitioned and procured from local supply agencies as rapidly as they were available. At this time, Nurses and Medical Officers were attached, bringing the staff sufficiently near the required T/O strength in order for the unit to function efficiently.

Bandaging and splinting demonstrations during training in the Zone of Interior.

Bandaging and splinting demonstrations during training in the Zone of Interior.

During the period 1 February to 28 March, the unit engaged in active maneuvers, with the mission of providing medical services to the 77th Infantry Division and attached Army Service units. Eight moves were made during this period and nine sites were occupied. The average distance moved was 39 miles and the average length of any stay at each site was 6 days. Maneuvers took place normally in two echelons (forward and rear) with the rear echelons following in approximately 24 hours. The unit attained a degree of proficiency in moving whereby each echelon could either pack and load or unpack and set up in 2 to 4 hours. There was also a frequent turnover in the Temporary Duty Officers, resulting in frequent reassignments and change in positions. On 16 February 1943, 26 ANC Officers were assigned and joined the 30th Evacuation, following their transfer from Camp Wolters, Mineral Wells, Texas (Infantry Replacement Training Center –ed), and Fort Sill, Lawton, Oklahoma (Field Artillery School and Replacement Training Center –ed).
The full contingent of Nurses was finally completed by the end of March, and a mobile section of the 10th Medical Laboratory was attached and soon proved to be invaluable in the performance of cultural procedures and Kahn tests. Organizational and medical supplies were approximately 75% complete by the end of March, and effective from 12 March 1943, the 30th was officially redesignated; 30th Evacuation Hospital, Semi-Mobile, 400-bed in accordance with T/O & E 8-581 (dated 8 January 1943 –ed).

At the end of the month it had been decided by higher headquarters to use the 30th Evacuation Hospital during the second period of maneuvers starting 12 April. During this rest period, the unit bivouacked at a site near Simpson, Louisiana. Short leaves, furloughs and three-day passes were authorized for all personnel, and the facilities were found to be more than adequate during the unit’s stay.
The period of Third United States Army No. 2 Louisiana Maneuvers extended from 12 April to 16 June 1943 and the unit was given the mission of providing third echelon medical service to the 85th Infantry Division (and attached units). During April 1943, 12 MC Officers, 1 DC Officer, and 18 ANC Officers joined the organization, thus gradually bringing the assigned Officer strength to full T/O requirements.
On 16 June, all personnel less the Nurses complement (which was authorized to travel on Detached Service), and less Officers and Enlisted Men on furlough and leaves, with all medical and organizational equipment were moved by train from Camp Polk, Leesville, Louisiana (Armored Division Camp –ed) to Camp Barkeley, Texas, arriving the following day.

Preparation for Overseas Movement:

Photograph showing the main entrance gate to Camp Stoneman, California.

Photograph showing the main entrance gate to Camp Stoneman, California, which acted as the final staging location for the 30th Evacuation Hospital before it was moved overseas to the Pacific Theater.

Immediately upon arrival at Cp. Barkeley, orders were issued to make the unit ready for preparation for overseas movement by 1 July. Every effort was directed at once to the task of conducting show down inspections, requisitioning and procuring of shortages and the packing and crating of all equipment. At the expiration of the period, the work was still about 5% incomplete. However, the readiness date was extended and full preparations were completed. After boxing and crating had been done, all equipment except that designated TAT (To Accompany Troops –ed) was loaded on three boxcars and sent to the Oakland Army Terminal (San Francisco Port of Embarkation –ed) in advance of the personnel. 1st Lt. Edward A. King (Supply Officer) and 1st Lt. William J. Bolt (Personnel Officer) preceded the unit to Fort Mason, San Francisco, California as an advance party to handle supply matters.

On 15 August, the full T/O personnel and TAT equipment were loaded on a special troop train and departed for Camp Stoneman, Pittsburg, California (Staging Area San Francisco Port of Embarkation; total acreage 3,242; troop capacity 2,604 Officers and 35,607 Enlisted Men –ed), arriving 17 August where final staging was completed. On 27 August the unit was loaded on a river boat and proceeded to Oakland, California, where it embarked on the USAT President Johnson. The ship did not weigh anchor due to engine trouble and on 3 September the unit returned to Cp. Stoneman until the problems could be resolved. The ship’s technical troubles were finally repaired on 7 September, and all personnel were once again loaded onto the vessel. It was at this point that the 30th Evacuation Hospital was informed of its first overseas movement – Australia.


Partial view of USAT President Johnson which transported members of the 30th Evac Hosp to Australia as part of a larger convoy, departing

Partial view of USAT President Johnson which transported members of the 30th Evac Hosp to Australia as part of a larger convoy, departing the United States on 7 September 1943.

On 3 October 1943, the USAT President Johnson docked at Brisbane, Australia where the 40 Nurses assigned to the 30th Evac Hosp debarked and proceeded to Holland Park Staging Area, Brisbane for detached service (in accordance with Secret Movement Order No. 50, APO 923 dated 5 October 1943 –ed). The balance of the unit remained aboard the ship which set sail the following day heading northward in convoy, and finally dropping anchor at its temporary destination in the harbor of Townsville, Australia. Upon arrival in the dock at Townsville, all personnel were instructed to remain aboard ship.
The ship once again set sail on 10 October 1943 with a large convoy and strong escort in a northeast direction. She eventually reached her final destination Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea at approximately 1630 on 14 October 1943.

Papua New Guinea:

All personnel debarked after the USAT President Johnson dropped anchor in Milne Bay, and immediately proceeded to a staging area approximately 1½ miles east of the port where, upon arrival, all personnel were housed in Pyramidal Tents. At the time, the number of tents used by the organization consisted of:

  • 46 pyramidal tents
  • 3 storage tents (with fly)
  • 4 hospital ward tents
  • 1 large wall tent
  • 2 small wall tents (with fly)
  • 9 large wall tent flys
  • 7 latrine screens
  • + 5 paulins

The unit did not remain at the staging area for long however, and on 21 October 1943 it was once again moved approximately 1½ miles to the K. B. Mission area, into a well developed, well drained site in a coconut grove which had been previously occupied by Sixth Army Headquarters. Housing was provided partially in tentage and partially in thatched, pre-fabricated buildings with cement floors.
During the period of 1 October to 31 December 1943 the unit did not operate an active hospital, with hospitalization being furnished by the sick bay aboard ship and by the adjacent Station Hospitals at Milne Bay. Much of the time since landing at Milne Bay had meanwhile been spent in tracing equipment and supplies and requisitioning shortages from Base Medical Depot. The time was spent preparing for combat loading and in giving additional training to the Medical and Surgical Technicians.
On 27 October, orders were received permitting the attachment of the following personnel to the 30th Evac Hosp: 29 MC Officers, 2 DC Officers, 6 MAC Officers, 1 ChC Officer, 1 Warrant Officer, 40 Nurses and 217 Enlisted Men for a total of 296 attached personnel.

Sgt. Seely Phillips of Slate Hill, N.Y., gives quinine pills to Cpl. Hugh Mereille of Eureka, Mo., a member of the 163d Infantry Regiment, 41st Infantry Division, who is suffering from malaria at the 7th Portable Surgical Hospital on Soputa, Papua New Guinea.

November and December were spent preparing the attached personnel for their duties within the unit, and in readying all supplies for immediate opening. However, as 1 January 1944 arrived, the unit was still stationed at the K. B. Mission and awaiting movement orders to join the Backhander Task Force at Cape Gloucester, New Britain. On 6 January 1944, the entire Hospital personnel and equipment loaded aboard the SS Augustus Thomas and departed for Oro Bay, Papua New Guinea, to await shipment to New Britain.

At Oro Bay, an advance party of 2 Officers and 2 Enlisted Men departed on 11 January for New Britain in order to locate and prepare an area for the unit to occupy. The balance of the unit loaded on LST 66, LST 168 and LST 204 and arrived at Cape Gloucester, New Britain on 30 January 1944. The unit unloaded rapidly and moved by convoy to its location on the beach road, about half way between Target Hill and the airstrip. The site selected for the hospital was heavily wooded with tall shade trees and covered with dense jungle undergrowth. On arrival the battle for Cape Gloucester had already been won and there was only occasional patrol activity, with few battle casualties. For a short time after opening, patients were evacuated by LST. Air evacuation was then begun and was much more desirable since it provided efficient and rapid evacuation as well as greater comfort to the patient. The hospital was therefore erected in a semi-permanent manner and in greater detail than would normally have been the case. Areas were cleared for tents and pathways, log tent frames were erected and road construction was begun.

Exterior view of a ward at the 1st Field Hospital. Photograph taken at Milne Bay, New Guinea in 1943.

Exterior view of a ward at the 1st Field Hospital. Photograph taken at Milne Bay, New Guinea in 1943.

The facility officially opened on 6 February with a bed capacity of 80. Expansion took place gradually as the situation required and reached a peak of 440 beds on 2 March. The unit furnished third echelon medical service to units based in the area. A shortage of personnel was experienced due to the fact that the Nurses’ complement was detached prior to entering the combat area, and no Enlisted replacements were obtained. This shortage was felt most in the operating section and on the medical service in the care of a large number of typhus cases. When 155 casualties were admitted during February-March the nursing problem was partially solved, temporarily, by the attachment of 28 Technicians from the 135th Medical Regiment.
The 30th continued to render medical aid to the nearby units until 27 May 1944, when the facility was finally closed. At the termination of the period, 1,462 patients had been admitted, 699 returned to duty, 594 evacuated, 17 had died of wounds and there remained 15 patients.

General view showing an Operating Room in full use at an Evacuation Hospital somewhere in the Pacific.

General view showing an Operating Room in full use at an Evacuation Hospital somewhere in the Pacific.

The main body of the unit, complete with all hospital equipment was loaded on the SS Koondooloo on 27 May, and sailed for Finschhafen, New Guinea, arriving the next day. An advance party of 2 Officers and 25 Enlisted Men had preceded the main body in order to select a suitable station for the unit. The rear echelon of the 30th sailed from Cape Gloucester on the SS San Pablo on 30 May 1944, and arrived the next day at Finschhafen, New Guinea. The Hospital was bivouacked in the Kelabach and complete staging was immediately begun.
The staging process was finally completed by mid-June, and on 20 June 1944, the main body of the Hospital departed from Finschhafen, New Guinea aboard the USAHS Maetsuycker, arriving on 22 June 1944 at Aitape, New Guinea. Debarkation was begun immediately on the island of Tumleo. The location for the erection of the Hospital was changed to an area on the mainland 1½ miles northwest of the mouth of the Nigia River near the beach. The Hospital was not in operation during the month of June.

The move of all equipment and personnel was finally completed on 1 July and the unit immediately opened to receive its first battle casualties. Initially, the facility was utilizing only 40 beds, but within a matter of only a few days the patient census required an increase in the bed-count to 400. The increase in admissions made it clear that the location was not suitable for an Evacuation Hospital of this size to operate efficiently and on 4 July 1944, the installation was moved approximately 200 yards northwest to a more suitable location.

This new station was once again only temporary, however. On 19 July, due to minor enemy penetration, the 30th Evacuation Hospital was dismantled and moved six miles to the rear to a new location near Pima Creek at Aitape, Papua New Guinea and opened there on 20 July 1944 with 200 beds. This figure was increased to 440 beds in order to handle the influx of new admissions and on 3 August the facility reached a peak load of 411 patients. The Hospital was erected near the main road, about 4 miles from the airport, and ¼ mile from the beach. This area was by far the best as it was located in a coconut grove with good drainage.

Photograph showing x-ray procedure at the 1st Field Hospital, Milne Bay, New Guinea

Photograph showing x-ray procedure at the 1st Field Hospital, Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea

Soon after the Hospital was erected, construction was started on a Patients’ Mess which was completed by the Engineers within a week. Other construction consisted of a screened Surgery and a road net throughout the Hospital area. There were some shortages of medical supplies that were unobtainable at the base, however they did not affect the operating of the facility. The unit furnished third echelon medical services for all troops in the area. Patients were forwarded to the Hospital from Division and Corps Clearing Stations and Portable Surgical Hospitals by ambulances. Another Evacuation Hospital (200-bed section of the 54th Evac Hosp –ed) was located nearby to handle any overflow of patients.

On 24 August 1944, the Aitape operation was officially closed but the 30th continued to provide medical service to troops in the area. Its activities continued into September and October. The Hospital remained at the same location throughout the period. The bed capacity was 400 beds at all times, however several hundred beds could have been added in a short time if it had been necessary. The tentage for wards consisted of eight (8) double ward tents each having a capacity of 50 patients. In addition there were 20 beds available in the evacuation tent. The replenishment of medical supplies was slow due to a shortage of shipping facilities, resulting in the lack of some items for short periods of time. Adequate storage facilities were available and no supplies were destroyed by exposure to the weather. The food supply was adequate in quantity and quality and was palatably prepared. Fresh meat and eggs were issued at fairly frequent intervals.
Evacuation by air to APO 322 and APO 713 functioned very smoothly and satisfactorily at all times and was preferred to evacuation by ship. The only objection encountered to air evacuation was the constant depletion of litters, blankets and pajamas, which resulted from the lack of a property exchange system.

General view of the 54th Evacuation Hospital. Photograph taken during the unit's time in Papua New Guinea.

General view of the 54th Evacuation Hospital. Photograph taken during the unit’s time in Papua New Guinea.

Finally, on 4 November 1944, the unit’s Nurses returned from detached service and were immediately placed on duty to handle the numerous pre- and post-operative tasks associated with a facility of this size.

The winter of 1944 / 1945 was spent at Aitape, and orders were received for the facility to be closed on 8 January 1945. At this time, it was not certain where the unit would be heading, but the evacuation of all patients made it clear that it would not be a short distance move this time around. All patients were evacuated to surrounding medical units, or returned to active duty over the following week.
Orders were issued two days later indicating the 30th Evacuation Hospital (less its Nurses) would be moved to Leyte, Philippine Islands within the next few days.

On 14 January 1945 all personnel and equipment (less Nurses) were loaded at 1500 hours aboard SS James D. Doty, and departed Aitape, Papua New Guinea at 0530 the next day. The ship arrived at Hollandia, Papua New Guinea at 1450 the same day. After lying in harbor for two days awaiting further orders, all Enlisted Men were disembarked and sent to Casual Camp No. 3, to await further loading of the ship. The troops were reloaded onto the ship on 19 January, and the vessel sailed at approximately 1500 hours the same day for the Philippine Islands.

Philippine Islands:

The 30th Evacuation Hospital arrived at Dulag, Leyte, Philippines on 26 January 1945, and was bivouacked in the area where it remained for the entire first quarter of 1945. From the time of arrival, the Hospital had been inactive and went into an intensive staging period awaiting its next assignment.
Movement Orders were finally received on 12 April 1945, and the 30th Evacuation Hospital, except a small rear echelon, was loaded onto LST 705 and LST 699 at Red Beach on Leyte and pulled into the bay to join the task force convoy headed for Mindanao Island.

Interior shot of the Laboratory at a Station Hospital in Leyte. Photograph taken on 23 December 1944.

Interior shot of the Laboratory at the 165th Station Hospital at Dulag, on Leyte. Photograph taken on 23 December 1944.

The initial plan was for the 30th Evacuation Hospital to arrive on the beachhead on Mindanao Island on D+1; establish the Hospital in support of the 24th Infantry Division with the least practical delay, and to relieve the 656th Medical Clearing Company and the Portable Surgical Hospitals that had beached on D-Day. The unit was to remain at this location for a period of ten days to two weeks, when it was to be replaced by the 99th Evacuation Hospital. Upon arrival of the 31st Infantry Division, the 24th Infantry Division was to be relieved and to reform and reload for another amphibious landing in the vicinity of Davao on the Davao Gulf. The unit was scheduled for this same operation in continued support of the 24th Infantry Division.

On 18 April 1945, the unit arrived on Mindanao Island with the rest of the task force but did not disembark until 1200 hours the following day. By 1900 the Hospital’s personnel had the facility set up with 100 beds in tents and had an Operating Room ready to receive casualties. This location at Parang, Mindanao Island was only occupied for a few days. Unfortunately the complex was on the windward side of the main highway to Kabacan, and the dust became unbearable. On 22 April the Hospital moved a quarter of a mile north of Parang to a hillside area overlooking Polloc Harbor where 365 beds were established. The Engineers were employed to use a bulldozer to assist in leveling and clearing the new area. The work continued for several weeks with very few casualties encountered, largely due to the relatively low resistance offered by the Japanese.

On 12 May, 18 Nurses from the 90th Field Hospital were temporarily attached to the 30th Evacuation Hospital, which greatly improved the quality of bedside care. On 23 May, when the facility was closed at Parang in preparation for an amphibious move to Davao, they returned to their assigned organization.

30th Evacuation Hospital Supply Area signpost. Photograph taken during the unit's time in the Philippines.

30th Evacuation Hospital Supply Area signpost. Photograph taken during the unit’s time in the Philippines.

On 25 May 1945, the majority of unit equipment, with five trucks and 131 personnel, was loaded on six separate LSMs (Landing Ship Medium –ed) for transportation to Davao. The following day the remainder of the equipment and personnel set out in a truck convoy for the same destination over land. The LSMs arrived at Taloma, Mindanao, south of Davao on the following day, were unloaded, and the organization immediately started moving to the new location at the Davao City Hospital. The area was overgrown and the old hospital building was in need of extensive repairs. It was for the most part unroofed, and those few partially intact parts looked like a sieve. The water level was extremely close to the ground surface and the drainage was very poor. The next few days were given to clearing out the area so the unit could furnish a presentable Hospital to its future patients. Engineers were brought in to repair roofs and buildings and to construct roads. The Hospital’s own detachment was put to work cleaning out buildings and erecting structures necessary for the operation of the unit.
The Hospital was scheduled to open at its new location at the Davao City Hospital on 1 June 1945 but due to the tactical situation it became necessary to open on 31 May 1945.

The Hospital operated for 22 days during the month and furnished third echelon medical service to all units in the area and received patients from Army and Navy units. In addition, it served as a clearing post through which patients treated at other hospitals in the interior were sent for further treatment and evacuation. Evacuation was solely by air from an airstrip 10 miles up the coast, to which point the patients were transported by small ship and the service was adequate at all times. No litter equipped liaison planes were used for evacuation.
Towards the end of the period a 15-day policy was adopted in preparation to clear the area of the more seriously ill and to facilitate early rapid movement of the unit.

Two unidentified members of the 30th Evac Hosp pictured in front of the unit's tentage on the Philippines.

Two unidentified members of the 30th Evac Hosp pictured in front of the unit’s tentage in the Philippines.

The 30th continued to provide medical aid from Davao well into July. However, at the beginning of the month, the 52d Field Hospital moved from Taloma to Davao and into the buildings and grounds immediately adjacent to the 30th Evacuation Hospital. On 23 July the two Hospitals began receiving patients on alternate days to reduce the patient count and work load on each organization. The sources of admission were direct, from Battalion Aid Stations, Clearing Stations and Portable Surgical Hospitals.
The operation in this manner continued for the first 16 days of August until the 30th Evacuation Hospital was closed following the unconditional Japanese surrender the previous day. All patients were transferred to the 52d Field Hospital and all unit equipment was packed and crated for the next change of station.

The 30th Evacuation Hospital received orders on 21 August 1945 to proceed to Leyte. The following day, all Hospital equipment was moved to Taloma Beach where it was loaded onto numerous ships for immediate dispatch to Leyte. All personnel and equipment had arrived at Red Beach, Leyte by 26 August 1945, and were immediatelt unloaded. The staging area was a ¼ mile north of Terraguna, Leyte, Philippine Islands, and about nine miles south of Dulag. The area was cleared and tents were pitched. During this short period, the 30th Evac Hosp was attached to IX Corps, Eighth US Army.
The stay at Leyte was short-lived however, and additional Movement Orders were soon received. On 1 September 1945, the 30th Evacuation Hospital was made ready to move to Japan.

General view of USS Fayette (APA-43). Photograph taken on 21 October 1943.

General view of USS Fayette (APA-43). Photograph taken on 21 October 1943.

Additional orders were not received for almost a month. However, on 25 September instructions were sent for the 30th to load onto USS Fayette (Navy transport, APA 43 –ed) at Red Beach, and four days later all personnel, hospital equipment and vehicles were loaded onto the transport ready for the next move.
While aboard the ship, Lt. Colonel Henry I. Sigmond assumed command of the 30th Evacuation Hospital (per General Order 53-45 dated 30 September 1945 –ed).
Since the war had ended the unit was depleted of both Officers and Enlisted Men, and required considerable reorganization. Lt. Col. Sigmond began the appointing of new Officers to head the various departments vacated by higher-point Officers. The Hospital’s strength was now down to 14 Officers and 145 Enlisted Men.

Commanding Officers – 30th Evacuation Hospital
Major Vernon J. Erkenbeck, MC, O-19304 (1 Aug 42)
Major Henry I. Sigmond, MC, O-253267 (2 Apr 43) temporary absence of CO
Lt. Colonel James S. Norman, MC (21 Apr 43) temporary absence of CO
Lt. Colonel Vernon J. Erkenbeck, MC, O-19304 (8 May 43)
Lt. Colonel Jesse G. Heard, MC, O-403474 (27 Jul 45)
Lt. Colonel Henry I. Sigmond, MC, O-253267 (30 Sep 45)
Major Donald M. Paton, MC, O-294808 (23 Oct 45)


The 30th Evacuation Hospital, arrived at Otaru, Hokkaido Island, Japan on 10 October 1945, and headed by train to Sapporo which was about 24 miles east. The loaded trucks traveled by road to Sapporo the same afternoon. The unit was assigned permanent quarters at the Sapporo City Auditorium. However it was deemed unfit for a Hospital and on 25 October the facility then moved into the Hokusei Girls’ School which was vacated by the 77th Infantry Division. The building appeared to be desirable in every respect. Adequate space was contained in the main building for the establishment of 20 steam-heated wards to house 375 patients, with easy expansion to 500 bed capacity if needed. Besides this, space was available for offices, PX, and hospital and detachment mess in the main building. Toilet facilities were deemed easily adequate.
On 25 October, the unit began moving the clinics, operating rooms and offices into the main school building. Within 48 hours all departments were in complete readiness for the treatment of patients and conduct of business, except where additional plumbing facilities were required.

Between 23 October and 1 November, all of the 35 year old Enlisted Men with 2 years’ service and 38 year olds (16 Enlisted Men) were ordered to the United States for discharge. Four Officers and 80 Enlisted Men (all with ASR scores between 70 and 80) were detached from the unit to be returned to the United States for discharge. As a result of this, Major Donald M. Paton assumed command of the unit on 23 October 1945, after Lt. Col. Sigmond was returned to the ZI for discharge.

Due to supply issues, Japanese medical items captured on Leyte were distributed across units stationed in Japan. Here, an Officer examines the newly received items at an Evacuation Hospital.

Due to supply issues, Japanese medical items captured on Leyte were distributed across units stationed in Japan. Here, an Officer examines the newly received items at an Evacuation Hospital.

On 29 October, 147 men from the 154th Engineer Combat Battalion arrived to begin the work of converting the school buildings into a working Hospital. The work consisted mainly of repair to plumbing, heating and lighting facilities, and doing a small amount of carpentry. Pre-fabricated houses were planned for the laundry, motor pool workshop and generators, and to house additional Enlisted personnel should the detachment be brought up to strength. Small, enclosed buildings were also planned for pit latrines necessary for the Enlisted Men. The Engineers were temporarily housed on the third floor of the main building as were the men of the attached laundry unit. The Enlisted personnel were temporarily placed in the Red Cross room on the second floor and in the clinics and offices on the first floor.

The first two weeks of November were spent waiting for the Engineers to get the school building ready to operate as a Hospital. This was partly delayed due to the shortage of building materials. Finally after 14 November things improved greatly. The plumbing in the main building was fixed and the central heating units were put in working order. Most of the work on the detachment building was completed. The clinics, operating room and wards were rapidly nearing a workable stage by 20 November. Classes in English were arranged for 20 Japanese nurses. These nurses had been hired through local hospitals to work in the wards because sufficient Army personnel were unobtainable. The living quarters for the attached laundry personnel were completed and the men were moved in. During the last ten days of the month about 50 Enlisted Men arrived to join the unit. Many of these men had received previous training in some phase of hospital work.

December marked the unofficial opening of the Hospital, but also a slow time for the facility as its official assignment began to wind down. The building was still not completed but certain wards were ready for patients. The facility was finally opened on 17 December 1945, and a few days later all of the wards were ready for occupancy. Further construction work in and around the Hospital made slow but steady progress during the month. The personnel problem was extremely acute during the month; there were several times when more Japanese than Enlisted Men were on the payroll. The departure of the Engineers from the building almost precipitated a complete breakdown in the mess, which was saved by hiring a number of Japanese cooks. About 25 Enlisted Men were added from the 76th Field Hospital and 15 more from IX Corps. Twenty-four (24) men were relieved from assignment based on their ASR score, and 9 were assigned in their place.

During the month of January 1946, the Hospital carried about a 75% capacity patient load. There were 257 medical patients and 114 surgical admitted, making a total of 371.
The 30th Evacuation Hospital was formally closed on 1 February 1946, with all patients being turned over to the 29th Evacuation Hospital. All remaining staff were immediately returned to the Zone of Interior for discharge, representing the end of a 3½ year journey across the Pacific.

Personnel Roster: (incomplete)


Barnett, Gordon P. (Capt O-50024)
Neblett, Robert A. (Maj O-311319)
Bolt, William J. (Capt O-1542638)
Nester, Charles R. (Capt O-332075)
Campbell, Joseph L. (Capt O-484654)
Olenikoff, Alex (Capt O-1687088)
Chandler, Edwin A. (Capt O-249301)
Paton, Donald M. (Maj O-294808)
Cohen, Hyman H. (Capt O-1687219)
Perkins, Perry C. (Capt O-512753)
Correll, William C. (Maj O-384763)
Poetter, Henry W. (Capt O-496896)
Deering, Robert J. (1st Lt)
Price, Robert L. (1st Lt O-500089)
Eckhaus, Morris (1st Lt)
Ragaini, Vincent E. (Capt O-487516)
Erkenbeck, Vernon J. (Col O-19304)
Rau, Stanley C. (Capt O-1690508)
Falls, John B. (Maj O-511571)
Rice, Clair M., Jr. (Capt O-1687067)
Faul, William L. (Maj O-486829)
Robbins, Jacob C. (Maj O-331522)
Finkelhor, Howard B. (Maj O-442250)
Roughan, John B. (CWO W-2113379)
Goldowsky, Seebert J. (Capt O-1696203)
Salinger, Alfons (Capt O-512252)
Haycock, Robert W. (2d Lt O-1541731)
Salter, Hiram P. (Capt O-2954496)
Heard, Jesse G. (Lt Col O-403474)
Shapoff, Stanley R. (1st Lt O-1542925)
Jones, William A. (Capt O-331399)
Sigmond, Henry I. (Lt Col O-253267)
King, Edward A. (1st Lt O-1542478)
Slataper, Eugene L., Jr. (Capt O-517465)
Lockhart, William E. II (Capt O-493660)
Snelling, William R. (Maj O-302660)
Markey, Robert C. (Capt O-1693633)
Strashun, Mat E. (Capt O-404198)
McMillan, Harry S. (Capt O-311490)
Tierney, John J. (Capt O-1543146)
Munroe, Warren H. (2d Lt O-2047757)
Wilner, Sol (Capt O-1689738)
A group of unidentified Enlisted Men of the 30th Evacuation Hospital pose for the camera in front of their barracks building at Camp Barkeley, Texas. Photograph taken during the early phases of the unit's training program in the Zone of Interior.

A group of unidentified Enlisted Men of the 30th Evacuation Hospital pose for the camera in front of their barracks building at Camp Barkeley, Texas. Photograph taken during the early phases of the unit’s training program in the Zone of Interior.

Enlisted Men:

Aasmundstad, Palmer O. (Cpl) Kistler, Harold F. (T/4, 38425705)
Adlam, Robert B. (Pvt, 36241893) Kovacs, Joseph J. (Pvt, 35219674)
Aeikens, George A. () Krieger, Clifford H. (Pvt, 37373477)
Alderman, Ernest (Pvt) Kujanson, Arne F. (Pfc, 37302087)
Anderson, William F. (Pvt, 37459156) Laasko, Isaac W. (Pvt)
Angel, Delbert (Pvt, 37350663) Lee, John H. (T/4, 33369025)
Applin, Leo J. (Pvt, 32472604) Lilley, Leroy D. (T/4, 32628490)
Armstrong, John H. (Cpl, 38425477) Lipinski, Leonard A. (Pvt, 36251932)
Arp, Don H. (Sgt, 38425611) Lisser, Leo J. (T/5, 36252196)
Aschenbrenner, Harold V. (Pvt, 19006289) Loftin, Iva P. (T/4, 34432200)
Atkinson, Kester K. (T/5, 35264986) Lozer, Bill (T/5, 38021113)
Bage, Floyd R. (Pvt) MacQuuarrie, Neil (Pvt)
Bailey, Thomas H. () Mack, Lloyd L. (Pvt, 32473082)
Bamsey, Bernard B. (T/5) Magnuson, Bernard (Pvt, 39096380)
Barker, Ronald R. () Major, Edward P. (Pvt, 32551144)
Barry, Thomas J. (T/4, 39709597) Marchi, Guido (Pfc, 35415233)
Baumann, Edward R. (T/5) Mark, Erevil W. (Pvt)
Bazzacco, Tony M. (T/5, 35331719) Martin, Frank J. (Pfc, 39095577)
Beaty, William A. (T/4, 38305725) Mask, Warren R. (T/5)
Beck, Claude L. (S/Sgt, 33021296) Masters, Milton R. (Pfc, 38185812)
Belflower, Daniel D. (T/5, 34197510) Matheson, Charles J. (Pfc, 38118831)
Benston, Harry L. (Pvt, 39313573) Maue, Harold B. (T/5, 35122424)
Bergman, Herbert E. (Pvt) Mazurek, Anthony J. (Pvt)
Bernhagen, Robert L. (Pvt, 17107558) McCormick, Stewart J. (Pvt)
Bjorklund, Leroy A. (, 16022425) McLain, Johhn B. (Pfc)
Blanscet, Gerald E. (S/Sgt) McNellis, Earl J. (Pvt)
Bliler, Clyde A. (Pvt, 36264901) McWilliams, Hodges (T/5, 33094572)
Block, John H. (Pfc) Melton, Alvin L. ()
Boeckerman, Gilbert N. (Pvt) Mercer, William E. (M/Sgt)
Boldt, William W. (T/4, 20905869) Meyer, Edward O. (Pvt)
Bos, Arthur (T/5, 36186807) Micheli, Louis V. (Pfc)
Boyer, Max A. (Pvt, 39676609) Middleton, Gerard M. (Pvt, 32477578)
Brems, Michael F. (Pfc, 39831143) Miller, Aaron P. (Pvt)
Bretschneider, Harold (Pfc) Minter, William E. (Pfc)
Brice, Daniel (Sgt, 39157370) Morgan, Billy L. (T/Sgt, 06272994)
Brooks, Ernest W. (Pvt) Morrison, Orlan J. (Pvt)
Brooks, Johnnie L. (Pvt, 34167714) Moses, Henry A. (Pvt)
Brown, Vernon M. (S/Sgt, 31000679) Muffeletto, Joseph L. (Pvt)
Brown, Wyatt (Pvt, 38209003) Nelson, Johnnie M. (T/5)
Bruckschlager, Walter F. (Pfc) Niles, Roland A. (Pvt)
Bunde, Gerbert M. (S/Sgt, 37078465) Nunnally, Byron L. (T/5, 14080935)
Bynum, Thomas H. (Pvt, 38141420) O’Neal, Henry M. (S/Sgt)
Callahan, Harry H. (Pvt, 38180169) Ocepek, Frank (T/4, 35388860)
Cannon, , Jr. (T/5) Olson, Harley W. (T/5)
Caraway, John W. (T/5) Olson, Merlyn J. (T/5)
Carmichael, Frederick V. (T/5, 35355322) Orling, Folke V., Jr. (Pvt)
Carpenter, Alton M. (Pvt) Pace, John W. (Pvt, 39183414)
Caywood, Delmar E. (1/Sgt) Paterson, Laino J. (Pvt)
Clark, David R. (Pvt) Paul, Raymond F. (Pfc)
Clifton, George F. (Pvt) Pavan, Corrado E. (Pvt)
Cochran, John C. (Cpl) Petti, Nicholas V. (T/Sgt, 32749220)
Cole, Everett C. (Pvt, 18000495) Pierson, Gene D. (Pvt)
Connors, Thomas A. (T/Sgt) Pitlos, John (Pvt, 36398917)
Cooper, Abel J. (Pvt) Plyer, Wilfred W. (Pvt, 36271437)
Corbett, William J. (T/5) Pohlman, James C. (Pvt, 32551165)
Cornish, Carter C. (T/5, 35453662) Porter, Aaron B. (Pvt, 39027793)
Wearing his wool overcoat,

Wearing his wool overcoat, Tec 4 Lester C. Scott (32472719) poses for the camera in front of his barracks building at Camp Barkeley.

Craven, Robert V. (T/4) Press, William L. (Pvt, 32472753)
Creuse, Albert L. (Pfc) Quarstad, Harold M. (pvt)
Cummings, William (Pvt, 37121917) Radcliff, Sam J. (Pvt, 36232039)
Cunningham, Robert A. (Pvt) Ragghianti, Fernando J. (Pvt, 39095181)
D’Aulerio, Anthony R. (T/5, 33169836) Randall, Wallace K. (Pfc, 16048348)
Dannecker, Alfred W. () Randall, William H. (Pvt)
Darby, Russell R. (Pvt, 39098299) Ray, Harold A. (T/4, 3627054)
Darst, Edward F. (Pvt, 39098039) Reynolds, Albert W. (Pfc, 32378590)
Derrough, Freddie L. (T/3, 38266595) Richardson, Theodore G. (Pvt)
Dimech, John (T/5, 32611805) Riley, John J. (T/4, 37107581)
Dodwell, Willis L. (Pfc, 34335099) Ritchey, Homer E. (T/5)
Doyle, Maurice J. (pvt) Rock, Gilbert C. (T/4, 37050800)
Drakes, Ben (Pvt) Rodda, George D. (Pfc, 33417817)
Durnal, Elmor (Pvt, 38179486) Rude, Robert L. (Pvt)
Elder, Samuel E. (Pvt) Ruttenber, Clyde I. (Pvt, 32551439)
Eng, Henry (T/5, 32517898) Ryals, Hal L. (T/4)
Erickson, Walter (Pfc, 37167780) Sallivan, Timonthy W. (Pvt)
Espinora, Leo M. (Pvt) Sanchez, Max (T/5, 38014452)
Evett, Glen E. (Pfc, 38045322) Sangster, James D. (T/5, 39131975)
Farge, Pierre J. (T/5, 38164861) Saver, Raymond L. (Pfc)
Fellwock, Howard W. (Pvt, 36272671) Schulte, Carl O. (Pfc, 00248416)
Finn, Marshall B. (T/4, 06580396) Schultz, Alvin W. (Pvt)
Fitzpatrick, John J. (T/5, 32335030) Schwartz, Bertrand (Pvt, 38193295)
Flynn, Hugh W. (Sgt, 39481619) Scott, Howard M. (T/5)
Fogle, Richard D. (Sgt) Scott, Lester C. (Pvt, 32472719)
Frappier, Charles E. (S/Sgt, 31148849) Searcey, Donald M. (T/5, 39391522)
Freeman, J. (Pvt) Serio, Alphonse C. (Pvt, 38172145)
Fritz, Wilhelm N. (T/5) Seward, Frederick B. (Pvt, 32144249)
Fry, Joseph L. (Pfc) Shatus, Paul F. (Pvt, 36324284)
Garaventa, Robert (Pvt) Shouse, Gerald E. (T/4)
Gatlin, Allen M. (Pvt, 38141295) Sinton, Kermit S. (Pfc, 33624026)
Geasl, Jacob G. (Pfc, 37313432) Skovbroten, Wilmer C. (, 36251519)
Geuscher, Thomas E. (Pfc) Small, Ted (T/4, 36665089)
Giovando, Joseph H. (T/5, 37134803) Smith, Gulbert R. (Pvt)
Glery, Joseph S. (Pfc) Smith, Herbert H. (Pvt)
Gonzales, Manuel (Pvt) Smith, James (Cpl, 32682333)
Goodman, Seymour (Pfc) Spann, Jack O. (Pfc)
Goodson, James V. (Pvt) Spence, Perry G., Jr. (Sgt, 38425744)
Gould, Charles F. (T/4, 39003493) Staats, Henry L. (Pvt, 36187681)
Grabove, Gaston H. (Pfc, 34806290) Stanley, Tad E. (Pvt, 39527080)
Gregory, Woodrow J. (Pfc) Staples, James C. (Pvt, 35669206)
Gummersall, Jay T. (T/5) States, Alfred A. (Pvt, 32477699)
Gunn, Robert S. (Pvt) Stokes, Thomas J. (Pvt)
Hagen, Elmor C. (T/5) Storr, Thomas M. (Pvt)
Hanak, Emil A. (Pfc, 37606968) Thomason, John D. (S/Sgt, 37005116)
Hanna, George I. (T/5, 32477503) Tisoncik, Steven J. (Pvt)
Hanson, Carl D. (T/5) Tivio, John B. (Pfc, 39095649)
Harrington, Kenneth A. (Pfct) Uhrich, John D. (T/5, 35077658)
Harris, Nathan (Pfc, 38304079) Valone, Orazio A. (Pvt, 32550771)
Hartley, Robert L. (T/5) Van Allen, Clifford E. (Pvt)
Hartman, Clifton L. (Pfc, 18054215) Vanderbailt, Robert G. (Pvt)
Harvey, Francis B. (Pfc) Vraney, Milton C. (, 16093837)
Heckman, Edwin F. (T/5) Walker, Robert M. (T/5, 6379269)
Five unidentified members of the 30th Evacuation Hospital, while the organization was attached to the Eighth United States Army.

Five unidentified members of the 30th Evacuation Hospital, while the organization was attached to the Eighth United States Army.

Hill, Howard (Pfc, 39226604) Wall, Thomas E. (T/4, 38305915)
Hill, Leslie W. (T/5, 39081281) Walsh, Thomas F. (Pfc)
Hinman, Charles V. (Pvt) Wanamaker, Robert C. (Pfc, 36251786)
Hopkins, Lee F. (Cpl) Warns, , Jr. (Pfc, 33007424)
Hullinger, Henry H. (T/5, 35252378) Washabaugh, Norman C. (T/5, 33278967)
Inglis, Willie (Pvt) Weinstock, Leonard (Pfc, 31381988)
Innis, Floyd L. (T/5) Weller, Victor C. (Cpl)
Jackson, Charles J. (Pfc) Wiitanen, Toivo B. (Pvt, 36403339)
Jesse, Eugene L. (T/4) Wilkes, Kenneth L. (Pvt, 39312514)
Johnson, James P. (Pvt, 06297693) Williams, George E. (Pvt)
Johnson, William (Pvt, 06429401) Williams, Guy A. (Pvt)
Kahan, Maurice J. (Pvt) Wimbush, Albert C. (Pfc, 37622243)
Kasmarek, Bernard J. (T/5, 36252034) Wornom, James W. (, 39452276)
Kehoe, Herman (Sgt, 31422093) Yanchek, Arthur (Pvt)
Kelley, Thomas R. (T/5) Yandell, (, 18018992)
Kelly, Thomas F. (T/5, 32908601) Yansen, Leslie M. (Pfc, 39182668)
Kennedy, John E. (T/5) Young, Carl B. (T/4, 37167654)
King, James A. (Pvt, 07005730)
Kingsley, Curtis N. (Pvt, 38118242)

Commendation – 30th Evacuation Hospital
Commendation, signed by Lt. General Robert L. Eichelberger, Commanding General, Eighth United States Army, dated 2 August 1945:
It is with great pleasure that I commend the 30th Evacuation Hospital for its superior performance and outstanding devotion to duty during operations against the enemy from 20 April 1945 to 30 June 1945. The untiring effort and high degree of professional skill evidenced by all Officers and Enlisted Men have contributed materially to the alleviation of suffering of the wounded, and the survival of many who were critically wounded.
The inspiring manner in which the 30th Evacuation Hospital has carried out its mission reflects great credit upon the Medical Department and the military service as a whole.

Meritorious Service Unit Plaque – 30th Evacuation Hospital
By direction of the President, under the provisions of War Department Circular Number 345, dated 23 August 1944, the following unit is cited by Maj. General Franklin C. Sibert, Commanding General, X Corps, General Order No. 104, dated 8 August 1945:
30th EVACUATION HOSPITAL, SEMI-MOBILE – For superior performance of and outstanding devotion to duty in the execution of an extremely difficult mission from 17 April to 30 June 1945 on Mindanao, Philippine Islands. During this period the unit operated in close support of combat troops under especially trying conditions caused by isolation from supplies and continuous torrential rains. Within six hours after its arrival in the objective area, this Hospital was set up and taking patients. At all times, this organization successfully maintained a smoothly functioning Hospital, frequently operating at fifty percent above its rated capacity. Throughout the entire campaign the personnel of this unit approached their duties with enthusiasm and exhibited superior discipline and morale while establishing a record of outstanding performance. The areas occupied by this Hospital proved models of cleanliness and orderliness. Personnel were at all times neat in appearance, courteous, meticulous, and helpful. All operating equipment, through intelligent and painstaking care, was maintained in excellent condition despite unfavorable weather conditions. The 30th Evacuation Hospital, by its superior performance of duty, contributed materially to the successful completion of the operation.

Philippine Presidential Unit Citation – 30th Evacuation Hospital
Awarded by the Department of the Army, Washington 25, DC, with General Order No. 47, dated 28 December 1950

The MRC staff would like to extend their most sincere thanks to Darryl Andrews who was able to furnish them with a complete collection of After-Action Reports and other period documents which have enabled the editing of this Unit History. Thank you for your precious assistance. We would also like to extend our thanks to Maria Lambert (President, Southside VA Chapter, MOAA) for kindly providing us with numerous original documents and photographs from the estate of Tec 4 Lester C. Scott (ASN:32472719).
We are still searching for a complete Roster of ANC personnel who served with the 30th Evacuation Hospital, and would be grateful of any additional information our readers might be able to provide. 

This page was printed from the WW2 US Medical Research Centre on 20th May 2024 at 21:06.
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