45th Portable Surgical Hospital Unit History

Group picture of the 45th Portable Surgical Hospital taken at Cp. White, Medford, Oregon in 1943.

Introduction & Activation:

The 45th Portable Surgical Hospital was activated as of 7 June 1943, per Letter, AG 322 (5-26-43), OB-I-SPMOU-M, Subject: Constitution and Activation of Portable Surgical Hospital, dated 31 May 1943, at Camp White, Medford, Oregon (Division Camp, 49,638 acres; troop capacity, 1,884 Officers & 35,557 Enlisted Men –ed), comprising 4 Officers and 33 Enlisted Men (full strength achieved 4 Oct 43). Captain Carl G. Whitbeck was assigned and joined the unit, assuming command under the provisions of AR 600-20 on 19 June 1943. He was assisted by First Lieutenant Michael J. Dardas, First Lieutenant Frank S. Mainella and First Lieutenant Bernard H. Rosenberg. The 33 EM assigned joined the unit 25 June 1943. While waiting for the training program to start, the 45th was temporarily attached to the 83d General Hospital for rations and quarters.
T/O 8-508-S-SWPA (derived and amended from T/O & E 8-560, 22 Jul 42, std. 25-bed Sta Hosp –ed) dated 31 October 1942 authorized the following personnel for the Portable Surgical Hospital: 3 Surgeons – 1 Anesthetist – 29 Enlisted Men, including clerks, cooks, drivers, 11 Medical Technicians, 2 Surgical Technicians, 1 Dental Technician, and 1 Sanitary Technician. The unit, with a 25-bed capacity, was designed as a light mobile, highly portable and self-contained medical unit (without Nurses and without organic vehicles when used in a Task Force role) to furnish definitive surgical care in areas where terrain features were such as to make wheeled transportation impractical or impossible, and where large Evacuation and Surgical Hospitals could not be used. To ensure the organization’s mobility, all unit equipment, inclusive medical and surgical supplies was to be transported by the men, with, depending on circumstances, the use of pack-animals. Portable Surgical Hospitals were developed in Australia and later adapted to provide skilled surgical care in jungle fighting. These units could be attached to a Regiment, a Division, an Army, or a provisional Task Force, depending on field circumstances. T/O & E 8-572S dated 4 June 1943 indicated an aggregate force of 4 Officers and 33 EM.

Picture showing Captain Carl G. Whitbeck, CO, 45th Portable Surgical Hospital.


A comprehensive Training Program was started on 26 June 1943, with physical training from 0430 to 0600 and technical training at the Post Station Hospital from 0800 to 1700. Hospital training was discontinued after one month to allow the unit to begin field training, including classes taught by Medical Officers. Total training consisted of three and one half months of field work with professional training given by unit Officers and Station Hospital staff of Camp White. Literature and training aids were made available by the Station Surgeon.
The unit completed the Infiltration Course 20 July 1943, followed by training in use and nomenclature of small arms.

On 25 August 1943, the organization was alerted, and after some preparation, the 45th’s medical equipment was shipped to the Port of Embarkation Staging Area the next day. Lieutenant M. J. Dardas was detached to accompany the equipment to its destination, departing for Los Angeles POE on 31 August.
Lieutenant B. H. Rosenberg was meanwhile transferred to the 36th Field Hospital, Fort Lewis, Tacoma, Washington (Army Ground Forces Training Camp –ed). The unit received a final inspection which took place from 4 to 7 September 1943. Some of the previously assigned NCOs got transferred to the 44th Portable Surgical Hospital and the 42d Portable Surgical Hospital, while fillers were received from both these units. Additional Technicians were in the meantime assigned and joined from Fitzsimons (Denver, Colorado –ed) and Billings General Hospitals (Ft. Benjamin Harris, Indiana –ed). First Lieutenants M. J. Dardas and F. S. Mainella were promoted to Captain 10 September 1943.

Pictures of Captains Michael J. Dardas and Frank S. Mainella, taken in the field while serving in Burma.

Pictures of Captains Michael J. Dardas (L) and Frank S. Mainella (R), taken in the field while serving in Burma.

Captain M. J. Dardas departed for an overseas destination from LA POE on 23 September 1943. The EM left on furlough 7 October 1943 returning to the unit 21 October. On 27 October 1943, the 45th Ptbl Surg Hosp left Camp White, Oregon for Camp Anza, Arlington, California (Staging Area for Los Angeles POE –ed).

Overseas Deployment:

After receiving its marching orders, the unit left Camp White, Oregon, by bus at 0500 hours 27 October 1943 for its Staging Area. It transferred from bus to train at Dunsmuir, California, and after another bus ride it arrived at Camp Anza at 1445 the next day. During its stay at this station, temporary APO # 4826 was assigned, and orientation lectures, boat drill, physical examinations conducted, with the unit being processed for overseas movement. Climbing rope netting, abandon ship exercises, were part of the extensive drill. Living conditions and recreational facilities at the Staging Area were very good, climate was pleasant and the food of the best quality. A new type of gas mask was issued with the necessary instructions, which later turned into somewhat of a joke as the masks were always stored in the rear echelon when the unit moved into combat areas.

The 45th embarked on the USS “Hermitage” (AP-54), a troop transport at 1030 hours, 9 November 1943, but did not sail until 1000 hours, 10 November 1943 from Wilmington. Being a fast ship (ex-Italian liner –ed) it sailed alone and not in a convoy. The “Hermitage” carried approximately 7,000 troops consisting of Officers, WACs, ARC workers, Enlisted Men, and some 200 civilians employed by the Standard Oil Company.
The 45th (unit code 9201V –ed) was quartered on the starboard side of “C” deck at the bow of the ship, with Officers and female personnel (WACs, ARC) housed on “A” and “B” decks. Troops were given 2 meals per day, plus one package of cigarettes and a candy bar. Due to the large number of troops aboard, the messing facilities were rather poor and to get two meals a day meant almost continually standing in line. Five men pertaining to the organization were detailed to work in the storeroom and two men were sent to help in the dispensary. General Quarters was called every night and the ship entirely blacked out. No smoking was allowed on deck after General Quarters. Recreation was limited although chess and checker tournaments were held throughout the trip.

Picture of the USS Hermitage (AP-54), former Italian Liner with a capacity of approximately 7,000 troops.

The troopship crossed the Equator on 16 November 1943, and most of the troops were initiated into the “Order of shellbacks” by King Neptune and his aides. After the ceremony, all were issued an official certificate.

After a pleasant cruise the “Hermitage” anchored at Bora-Bora on 20 November. Engine problems and refueling required a stop at the island (South Pacific), and troops were allowed to go ashore each day to swim, buy souvenirs, and roam the island. Thanksgiving dinner was served on board, after which the “Hermitage” sailed for Perth, Australia on 26 November 1943 (where the vessel was joined by another ship). Upon arrival at Fremantle Harbor, 11 December 1943, a small percentage of troops were allowed to go into Perth, with the remaining men going to the nearby beach to swim and play volleyball.

Both ships then sailed for Bombay, India on 14 December 1943. Christmas dinner was served aboard ship with extra cigarettes, fruits and candy, being distributed by the Red Cross workers. The menu included turkey, cranberries, with all the necessary trimmings.


The USS “Hermitage” docked at Bombay (India) on 26 December 1943. After debarkation, personnel entrained for Calcutta, which was reached on New Year’s Eve. The train journey was one of the slowest and uncomfortable yet. Coaches were Third Class and already partially infested with lizards, bugs, and flies. Rations were furnished by the British and of the poorest quality. Numerous stops were made in small villages and towns with troops allowed off the train for a quick walk around. Priority was apparently very low as much time was spent on sidings letting everything from trains with gravel and mail go by. Calcutta was reached on 31 December 1943. The Hospital personnel spent the night on a railroad siding and was only transferred the next morning to Camp Kanchrapara where it set up. Being a new camp, there was practically nothing in the way of running water, latrines, mess and recreational facilities. Everyone moved into tents on 1 January 1944.
During the 2 months spent there, the 45th pulled various details such as dispensary, quartermaster, guard, unloading, construction, and building the camp. The unit thus set up its own mess, built a baseball diamond, installed washing and showering facilities, constructed a permanent mess hall, and erected latrines. Since Calcutta was only 30 miles away, personnel spent most of their off duty hours there.

On the Move:
At 0900, 1 March 1944, the organization moved from Kanchrapara to Chabua by motor convoy, train, and riverboat. After a few hours the men arrived at a railhead where they boarded a train at 1700 hours the same day. They arrived at Pabna (Bengal) 2 March and stayed overnight at an Indian Army camp (again with British rations). The 45th then transferred on a riverboat called “Mahlong” and moved toward Tistamukh (Assam) which they reached 3 March. After staying overnight, the journey continued via another riverboat “Sikh” which took the group to Pandu (Assam), where they arrived on 6 March 1944. After debarkation and regrouping, the 45th Ptbl Surg Hosp entrained for Chabua where it arrived on 8 March. It was then assigned to “Y” Force (comprising 27 Divisions –ed). By mid-1944, Chinese forces benefited from US medical support in the form of 3 Field Hospitals and 10 Portable Surgical Hospitals. Chabua also held the 111th Station Hospital.

One of the means of evacuation was by air. A Chinese soldier is being evacuated from the frontlines by way of a light liaison aircraft.

Upon arrival, the organization was billeted at the Hump Staging Area, and again performed such details as digging drainage ditches while awaiting equipment. .30 caliber carbines and ammunition were issued, and the necessary training for familiarization of weapons and target practice was given. At this period of time, the military situation around Kohima and Imphal grew serious and troops were ordered to carry gas masks and weapons when leaving the area. Equipment and individual baggage were weighed and crated for over-the-Hump shipment and personnel weighed, manifests prepared, and equipment shipped to Kunming, China. Some men became sick and had to be hospitalized for a short while. A few days prior to shipping (over the Hump, and into China –ed), orders were again changed, and the unit drew some vehicles to move to the Chinese Training Center at Doom-Dooma (Assam) in India. 1 ¼-ton truck, 2 ¾-ton weapon carriers, and 1 2 ½-ton truck were issued the unit. Initial orders were cancelled when the fighting in Burma created a need for more medical/hospital service. Meanwhile, the 47th Portable Surgical Hospital went over the Hump, while the 45th, the 58th, and the 60th Portable Surgical Hospitals were ordered to Doom-Dooma.

The unit left Chabua on 7 April 1944 by motor convoy. It arrived at Doom-Dooma (Assam) about six hours later, late at night with everyone crowding into the few tents that were already up. Some extra tents were erected the next day and the area fixed up as far as possible.
Major duties were to process, clothe, equip, delouse, and inoculate Chinese troops newly arrived from China. Three 8-hour shifts were organized and everyone went to work in a nearby tea warehouse. The 45th was now assigned to the Northern Combat Area Command, APO 689, as per official orders dated 23 April 1944. After completion of this mission, which amounted to process about 2 Chinese Divisions, the Hospital moved to Ledo (Assam) and began preparations for movement into the combat area. All chemical warfare equipment, personal belongings, and hospital equipment not considered essential was either turned in or stored before departure. The personnel left their station at Doom-Dooma by motor convoy on 15 May 1944 and arrived at Ledo the very same day, setting up under tentage, erecting latrines and a mess hall. Captain Samuel D. Clark was assigned to the unit coming from the 48th Evacuation Hospital. Ledo was an important medical hub with a concentration of American Hospitals, including the 14th Evacuation – 20th General – 48th Evacuation and 73d Evacuation Hospitals. Between March 1943 and January 1945, important works took place involving the construction of a new land route from India’s Assam Province through the northern Burma jungles to a junction with the old Burma Road (an incredible and remarkable feat of engineering in the midst of war and in the face of an active enemy and a hostile surrounding, with a labor force consisting of thousands of Americans, Chinese, and Indians –ed).


The Hospital unit left Ledo (Assam) by truck convoy on 24 May 1944 with destination Shaduzup in Burma. One night was spent at Tincha, Shimboyang, Walabum, before arriving at Shaduzup 29 May. After breaking down the equipment for individual and section loads, the unit moved into position on the right Allied flank near Warazup, supporting the 64th Infantry Regiment, Chinese 22d Division. During the first three days while operating at this location, the high number of casualties compelled the men to work day and night. At night, candles, lanterns and flashlights often had to be used, and luckily drew no enemy artillery fire. Bad road conditions prohibited adequate supply of food and evacuation of patients, therefore both the patients and the unit had no food for three days except some Indian coffee without neither sugar nor milk. At this point everyone was very disgusted and irritable although work continued. Moreover, the monsoons were well under way and the deep mud around the area made it difficult to move around – during the heavier rains there would be 2 or 3 inches of water in the OR.

Partial view of tented personnel and hospital area around Myitkyina, Burma, taken in July 1944. After its capture by “Merrills Marauders” on 3 August 1944 (5307th Composite Unit, Provisional), the following medical units took over treatment of the numerous casualties; the 42d and 58th Portable Surgical Hospitals and the 896th Medical Clearing Company (Major Gordon S. Seagraves’ Field Hospital).

The next mission was to set up at Pakren-Sakan after the Japanese were cleared out. The first Jap patient was brought in a few days later; he was suffering from a shrapnel wound in the left shoulder all covered with maggots. The wound was cleaned and the prisoner then operated. After surgery, he was put in the ward with the Chinese patients, too bad for him – so, he was eventually evacuated for his own safety. Another Jap PW was received with a big wound in his back and a bayonet wound through the left cheek, and died about a week later. On 23 June 1944, the unit moved across the river by boat to Kamaing, Burma. Instead of supporting the Chinese, the 45th now took care of Orde Wingate’s “Chindits”. They were in bad shape after living in the jungle for almost 5 months subsisting on field rations, and walking out or floating out on the river. One foggy morning, six Japanese planes flew over dropping supplies to their troops which they thought were still occupying Kamaing, but the Chinese had pushed them a considerable distance back.

On 15 July 1944, an advance guard for the unit moved into Mogaung, Burma. They were the first Americans to enter the town after its capture by Chinese forces. At the time the 45th Portable Surgical Hospital was assigned to the Chinese 38th Division. Although all supplies for this campaign were airdropped, there was never any difficulty or delay in recovering them. The capture of Mogaung enabled the Allies to make use of the railway corridor connecting Rangoon to Mandalay, Myitkyina, and Lashio, with rail evacuation becoming another means to supplement air evacuation (in hands of the 803d MAETS –ed). Five days later, the remainder of the 45th moved in and set up in an old rice mill, which became living quarters for the men. The worst case at the mill resulted when an explosion (Chinese soldiers were drying mortar powder) occurred at 1920 with 4 Americans and 3 Chinese suffering third degree burns. Each patient was given 6 bottles of blood plasma and received the best of care. All efforts were to no avail, even though the medical personnel worked until 0430 hours in the morning. All the patients died, except one, who was evacuated to the 13th Medical Battalion; he was then flown out by cub plane (usually L-1 or L-5 aircraft –ed) to the 20th General Hospital where he unfortunately died six days later. Another unit, the 151st Medical Battalion, operated an Air Clearing Station for British and Chinese casualties at Sahmaw, shuttling them to India. The unit was also instrumental in setting up a complex of fixed Hospitals and Battalion Aid Stations around the Ledo Base area. The Hospital went on part-time duty because the monsoon rains had brought the fighting to a standstill. During this lull medical work consisted of sick call for American and Chinese military, and Burmese civilians, with an average of about one single operation per day. As the number of war casualties decreased, the Hospital provided increased medical care and treatment for injuries, sicknesses, and other medical problems suffered by the local population.

Central Burma Campaign. Forces in the field often had to rely on air supplies. C-47 cargo planes dropped rations, medical supplies, ammunition, and other equipment which sometimes fell into enemy hands or could not be recovered because of the difficult terrain features.

American Mobile Hospital Units supporting Chinese Forces
28th Portable Surgical Hospital
32d Portable Surgical Hospital
34th Portable Surgical Hospital
35th Portable Surgical Hospital
36th Portable Surgical Hospital
40th Portable Surgical Hospital
42d Portable Surgical Hospital
43d Portable Surgical Hospital
44th Portable Surgical Hospital
45th Portable Surgical Hospital
46th Portable Surgical Hospital
47th Portable Surgical Hospital
48th Portable Surgical Hospital
49th Portable Surgical Hospital
50th Portable Surgical Hospital
53d Portable Surgical Hospital
58th Portable Surgical Hospital
60th Portable Surgical Hospital

American and Chinese forces were reorganized as General J. Stilwell prepared his troops for the next operation. Mid-October, the British 36th Infantry Division advanced, strengthened with Chinese elements medically supported by the 45th and 60th Portable Surgical Hospitals and elements of the 13th Medical Battalion. Climate, terrain, priorities, tactical changes, made combat operations extremely difficult. The main Chinese forces moved out with support of three other mobile units.

On 23 October 1944, the Hospital was relieved from duty with the Chinese 38th Division and moved down Mandalay Railway with the Chinese 50th Division to Hopin, Mohnyin, and Mawlu, Burma. Some jeeps were used for the move. The organization departed Mawlu on an 11-day march to Shwegu together with the 148th Regiment, Chinese 50th Division arriving 29 November. Because of the loss of pack horses and mules on the previous march, it became impossible to travel further, so the men were flown back to Mawlu, Burma, on 4 December 1944.
As all sanitary precautions had been taken, there was very little sickness among personnel of the command during the Burma Campaign. The malaria rate remained low although upon leaving Burma and stopping suppressive treatment, some cases broke out and Atabrine had to be continued. Overall physical condition and morale remained good despite the fact that there were no social services or recreational facilities. No VD prevailed during the period, and pro-kits were available at all times. Food and messing facilities were good considering the local conditions under which the 45th was operating. Garbage and other waste were burned.

On 22 December 1944, the Hospital unit was assigned to the Chinese Combat Command (Provisional) and moved by air to Kunming, China (APO 627). Allied military operations would later successfully reopen the Ledo Road (later redesignated Stilwell Road) in February 1945, including portions of the old Burma Road running north of Lashio, with an American truck convoy assembled at Myitkyina, Burma on 27 January rolling across the Chinese border in late January.
With additional British forces advancing in the south, a general collapse of the Japanese in Burma was under way.


The 45th Ptbl Surg Hosp arrived at Kunming, China, on Christmas Eve staying on a mountain side for several hours because of a Japanese air raid alert. The Officers and Enlisted personnel were quartered and messed at Hostel # 8, a few miles outside of the city proper. The place was at that time a General Staff School for Chinese Officers and an Infantry Training Center, and one American medical unit; the 95th Station Hospital. The Hospital only stayed approximately one month, during which time they processed about a Division of Chinese Trainees at Hostel # 9. Their stay was uneventful although Jap bombers raided the area some nine times. Some limited rest and recuperation were most welcome.

Chinese casualties are being transferred onto a C-47 aircraft for evacuation.

The Hospital left Kunming by train on 26 January 1945, moving toward Chanyi, China. Upon arrival at Chanyi, the equipment was loaded onto trucks and a few days later left for Hsing-Ren where the unit was attached to the Chinese 57th Army. The trip itself took about one week as snow and bad weather made traveling slow and hazardous. The men immediately set up a number of squad tents upon arriving; 1 tent was destined for supplies, 1 for a mess hall and kitchen, and 3 for living quarters. Stoves were a must because of the cold weather, with extra winter clothing and blankets issued to all personnel. The food consisted mostly of rice and some vegetables purchased from the Chinese, alternatively supplemented by Vienna sausages and spam. After the weather cleared, the EM built a baseball field for recreation.

The 45th departed from Hsing-Ren by motor convoy on 19 March heading for Whang-Ping. During the trip, personnel stayed overnight at Annan, Anshun, Kweiyang, and Chenyuan, finally reaching destination on 23 March 1945. At this new station, the unit was attached to the Chinese 94th Army. The men set up medical facilities in a School consisting of four large buildings; with quarters, kitchen, mess hall, operating room, dispensary, 4 medical and 3 surgical wards for Chinese soldiers, and 1 extra ward for personnel pertaining to F Company, 475th Infantry Regiment flown into China on 14 March (part of 5332d Brigade, Provisional, designated Mars Task Force and activated in Burma 26 Jul 44 –ed). Daily sick calls were run for both Chinese and American patients, and some twenty operations performed. In addition to caring for military personnel and civilian patients, the mission also called for training personnel of a Chinese General Hospital. Malaria cases and malnutrition problems numbered among most of the daily admissions. Water was procured from a nearby river and food consisted of B-rations supplemented by rice and greens. 13 May 1945, became a “special” day with personnel receiving their first beer ration since arriving in China – 4 bottles. The same day the unit was relieved by a Hospital Platoon from the 27th Field Hospital.

A further move took place to Tsing-Hsien, where 5 squad tents and 1 pyramidal tent were erected for living quarters, mess, and supply. The road from thereon was impassable, having been blown up by the retreating Japanese. In only one week, the road was filled with gravel and rocks and repaired by hundreds of Chinese coolies so that L-5 liaison planes could land. This allowed for evacuation of eight patients to Kweiyang.

Home of the 45th Portable Surgical Hospital at Kweilin, China, July 1945.

On 6 July 1945, 3 Medical Officers and 13 Enlisted Men departed by foot and pack animals with the Chinese 94th Army on the campaign for the recapture of Kweilin, China. Road conditions were very difficult and numerous times had to be abandoned for mountain trails, river fords, and rice fields, only known to the Chinese. After walking over 200 miles, the surgical team reached Lung-Shen where an OR was installed. A heavy influx of Chinese battle casualties was encountered, and with three operating tables set up, the team performed over 200 operations. The plaster supply was exhausted after only two days, resulting in a request for emergency airdrops of medical and food supplies. After operation, all Chinese patients were turned over to Chinese medical installations for further treatment. Leaving Lung-Shen on 9 August, the team walked another 100 miles before reaching Kweilin on 12 August. Although most buildings had been demolished the team succeeded in finding a house that was more or less intact and moved in there. Jungle hammocks were strung from the beams and brick stoves built for cooking. The Japs retreated at night, and somewhat later Major C. G. Whitbeck (CO) was told by a Chinese interpreter that the fighting had been over for four or five days. After receiving confirmation of the Japanese surrender on a field radio a week later, a small celebration party was initiated. The 45th then regrouped and moved to a part of the airstrip cleared of mines, waiting a day for a transport plane to arrive. The Hospital unit departed the airstrip at Kweilin, China, on 23 August on a C-47 and arrived at Luichow the same afternoon. The remainder of the unit having moved by truck, only rejoined the 45th on 31 August 1945. Upon arrival at this new station, all weapons and field equipment was turned in. While in Luichow, a typhoid epidemic with a high civilian death rate broke out, with many dead lying on the streets as the greater part of the city had been evacuated and there was no one to care for them.

Early September, the Commanding Officer and 2 other Medical Officers, plus 10 Enlisted Men received orders to return to Kunming for processing prior to being returned to the Zone of Interior. All other Portable Surgical Hospitals, except the 45th Portable Surgical Hospital, were relieved from assignment to the Chinese Combat Command, APO 627. One Officer, Captain Charles F. Browne, MC, was assigned to the unit as a replacement (he would later assume command –ed).
The remaining personnel left Luichow on 22 September 1945 by C-54 and arrived in Shanghai late that same day. The men were set up at the “Cathay” Hotel, sleeping on folding cots in the hotel lobby. The next day, they were billeted at the “Hamilton House”, with all medical supplies and equipment stored at a US Navy warehouse. Coca-cola was obtained for the first time in 2 years and enjoyed by everyone. The organization, expecting to return to the United States on a Hospital Ship, was instead assigned to the Chinese 70th Army Liaison Team. One Officer was transferred out of the outfit, and 3 transferred in; with 2 Laboratory Technicians being assigned from a Field Hospital. The group left Shanghai on 8 October 1945, traveling on a Navy LCI and arriving at Ning-Po, four days later. The vessel remained anchored at Ning-Po awaiting troops of the Chinese 70th Army for transportation to Formosa.

After an uneventful crossing, the LCI docked at Kirun, Formosa, 17 October 1945. No enemy resistance was encountered.

45th Portable Surgical Hospital supply tent set up under Chinese winter conditions.


The US Navy ferried ROC forces to Formosa on 25 October 1945 (now Taiwan –ed) to occupy the island and accept formal surrender of the Japanese occupation troops at Taihoku (now designated Taipei –ed).
Upon arrival at Kirun, Formosa, the supplies were loaded onto a train and taken to Taihoku along with the unit’s personnel. A School compound was requisitioned and everything set up for American personnel. One week after arrival, a first shipment of Penicillin was received from Shanghai. The first new drug ever received by the unit came in by C-47. The Hospital was now assigned to the Formosan Liaison Group, APO 879, under Shanghai Base Command, APO 879, and under jurisdiction of Headquarters United States Forces, China Theater (USF-CT). The Commanding Officer (up to Dec 45) was Captain Charles F. Browne, MC.

Nine EM were transferred to Shanghai (mainland China) for redeployment on 5 November 1945, leaving only 4 Officers and 15 Enlisted Men in the 45th.
A short time later, another 3 EM were returned to the ZI. Later, 2 Officers and 6 Enlisted Men were attached to the Chinese 62d Army and departed for Tainan, Formosa. A medical dispensary and ward were set up there in a building formerly used by the Japanese. The other 2 Officers and remaining Enlisted personnel maintained the Hospital unit at Taihoku. The team on DS at Tainan returned to Taihoku on 5 December, and the same day, 2 Officers and 4 EM were returned to Shanghai, China, for redeployment.  During their stay and up to 7 December 1945, the Portable Hospital treated 15 patients, of whom 12 returned to duty and 3 were evacuated by C-47 to Shanghai on the mainland.


The 45th Portable Surgical Hospital was the longest active such unit in the CBI Theater during WW2. It was awarded several citations by the Chiang Kai-shek Government and the Chinese Army, and received 3 bronze battle stars for participation in three major campaigns; Central Burma – China Defensive – China Offensive.

Remark: during WW2, a total of 103 Portable Surgical Hospitals were activated, 18 of which served in the CBI Theater, China, and the India-Burma Theaters. The current T/O & E 8-571 was amended after WW2 to reflect the 60-bed capacity Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) becoming T/O 8-571 dated 23 August 1945.

Roster: (incomplete)

Charles F. Browne
Samuel D. Clark
Michael J. Dardas
Jack H. Gilliom
Ludo Katzenelson
Frank S. Mainella
Bernard H. Rosenberg
Carl G. Whitbeck
Enlisted Men:
Homer Bartram
Frederick E. Burkett
Ed Farrington
Dominick Ferrara
Anthony Galucci
Vernon T. Geist
Warren R. Goldstein
Herbert Green
Gurney W. Hansen
Raymond Hosek
Charles A. Hunt
Donald Jarvis
Harry E. Kimball
Peter E. Lavelle
Gordon Lavigne
Albert Lind
Robert Maine
Kenneth L. Mellum
Norman J. Milito
James S. Monroe
Joseph Norton
Lawrence P. O’Conner
James Perez
Fred J. Perry
Rodolfo Quintanilla
Frank J. Sirianni
Leonard E. Stabenow
Herbert N. Still
Paul Theobald
Charles A. Vinicky
Frederick Werner
Clifford J. Williams
Ewald F. Zeeb
Donald Zellmer

Signpost indicating the unit’s installations, somewhere in China, 1945.

Our sincere thanks go to Lynn F. McNulty who once more provided the MRC Staff with Annual Reports relating to the 45th Portable Surgical Hospital, which were a great help in editing the above concise Unit History.


This page was printed from the WW2 US Medical Research Centre on 19th June 2024 at 06:39.
Read more: https://www.med-dept.com/unit-histories/45th-portable-surgical-hospital/