91st General HospitalUnit History

Partial view of one of the ward buildings of Schick General Hospital, Clinton, Iowa. The Hospital was named after 1st Lt. William Rineheart Schick, MC, (1940-1941) and operated from 12 Feb 43 until 25 Feb 46.

Activation:

The 91st General Hospital was activated on 20 June 1943 at Schick Hospital, Clinton, Iowa, (designated General Hospital by WD GO 64, dated 24 November 1942, bed capacity 2,014, first patient received 12 February 1943, specialties general medicine, syphilis, general and othopedic surgery, psychiatry –ed) pursuant to authority contained in Paragraph 10, Special Orders No. 151, War Department, 1943. Colonel Lester M. Dyke, MC, O-16943, assumed command under the same orders. The CO had already served in the Infantry during WW1, and entered the Medical Department in 1926. Colonel L. M. Dyke not only specialized in General and Orthopedic Surgery, he was furthermore an Instructor in Operative Surgery at the Army Medical School from 1932 to 1934.

Five (5) Medical Administrative Corps Officers and one (1) Warrant Officer joined the unit on the day of activation and preparations were immediately started for the reception of additional Officer and Enlisted personnel. A cadre of one (1) Officer and thirty (30) Enlisted Men arrived on 21 June 1943 from the 50th General Hospital, Cp. Carson, Colorado Springs, Colorado (Division Camp –ed). The first EM arrived on 30 June and by end July the unit was almost at full T/O strength for Enlisted personnel (T/O 8-550, dated 1 April 1942, EM strength was 500 men).

Training:

The unit trained at Schick General Hospital from June 1943 to the later part of January 1944. The training itself was instituted as soon as sufficient EM were assigned to the organization and progressed rapidly over the fall months. Excellent opportunity for actual hospital training was afforded by Schick General Hospital. MTP 8-10 Mobilization Training Program was completed in late November 1943 and the unit then embarked on a program of extensive Field Training until it received its movement orders on 26 January 1944. Up to this time only one (1) Medical Officer had been assigned to the unit, but early in December 1943, more began to arrive for duty and by early January 1944, the number of Officers prescribed by T/O 8-550, dated 1 April 1942 had almost been reached (Officers’ strength 57 men, excluding ANC personnel). On 3 January 1944, 85 Nurses reported for duty, among them Captain Frances Kasmark, ANC, who was appointed Principal Chief Nurse. A few additional Nurses were needed to bring the unit up to its full strength in this Department (T/O 8-550, dated 1 April 1942, provided for 105 Nurses).Included among the Nurses were three (3) Hospital Dietitians and two (2) Physical Therapy Aides.

Organization Chart of the 91st General Hospital, 1944.

The second week of January 1944, the organization began two full weeks of intensive Field Training combined with class instruction. The program included an all-day bivouac, with pitching of heavy tentage, and a 6-mile hike on the east flats of the Mississippi River. Weather conditions were severe and tent stakes had to be driven through frozen earth. During the previous summer and early fall, Field Training was accomplished in ideal warm weather, now all individuals in the unit had an idea of road marches, bivouacs, and tent pitching in all types of weather. Various types of problems under varying conditions were simulated. Courses included instructions in map reading, extended order drill, heavy tent pitching, gas drill, and scouting and patrolling.

On 12 January eighty-one (81) Nurses were on leave. On 18 January the unit went on another bivouac required in the completion of the training period. This one was a combined foot and motor march utilizing a shuttle system. The Hospital was divided into three groups and convoyed to the bivouac area, with part of the distance covered on foot and part by truck. While bivouacking, extensive drill was accomplished in scouting and patrolling and map reading. Officers from Seventh Service Command inspected the unit after closing the training period. The inspection included several field problems, and also a complete inspection and review of records, equipment, and supplies.

Preparation for Overseas Movement:

On 26 January 1944, the 91st Gen Hosp received its movement orders for the New York Port of Embarkation. An advance party composed of Lt. Colonel Adolph R. Mueller, 2d Lieutenant Harold G. Ferris, and 3 Enlisted Men departed on 12 February 1944 for Ft. Hamilton, New York. From 12 to 17 February, last minute checks were made and the entire unit prepared for movement. At 2000, 17 February, the first two troop trains left Clinton, Iowa, for Cp. Kilmer, Stelton, New Jersey (Staging Area for the New York Port of Embarkation –ed). Upon arrival, processing was initiated and special clothing issued to all personnel. During this period another training course was given in gas decontamination, life boat drill, train loading, and in various field problems, up to road marches. Lectures were not forgotten, and training films were shown with special emphasis on conduct aboard ship. On 13 March 1944, the 91st departed Cp. Kilmer, New Jersey, for the New York P/E.

United Kingdom:

At exactly 2000 hours, 13 March 1944, the organization embarked on the “HMS Aquitania” with destination the European Theater. The ship sailed out of New York harbor at 0930 the next morning. The Medical Staff of the 91st maintained medical service for all troops aboard ship for the entire journey across the Atlantic.

General view of the installations of the 91st General Hospital, near Oxford, England. The facilities consisted of permanent brick buildings and Nissen Huts,
British EMS plants transferred to USAFBI, United States Army Forces in the British Isles.

On 21 March 1944, it was 1800 hours, “HMS Aquitania” dropped anchor in Greenock harbor, Firth of Clyde, Scotland, after a pleasant and totally uneventful crossing. Everyone remained aboard until 23 March, when all personnel debarked by tender to Gourock. The Hospital unit then entrained, proceeding by two trains to Llandudno, North Wales, and were met after arrival by the advance party who had arranged for temporary quarters in private homes throughout the town. Additional room was secured for office space and the unit assumed the necessary liaison with Staging Area Headquarters and Western Base Section, Communications Zone, United Kingdom.
In compliance with Headquarters, Western Base Section directives, a Training Program was set up for all unit personnel. It mainly consisted of numerous field problems, training films, and indoctrination lectures. Included in the program were several inspections by representatives from Headquarters, European Theater of Operations (ETO).

On 12 April, an advance party of ten (10) Officers, ten (10) Nurses, and twenty-five (25) Enlisted Men left for Oxford, England, to take over the medical plant operated by the 2d General Hospital (activated 31 Jan 42, embarked for England 1 Jul 42 -ed). On 24 April, the second party departed for Oxford, and on 29 April, the third and last group arrived. On this day, 29 April 1944, the 91st General Hospital officially took over operation from the 2d General Hospital at 0001 hours (at this time there were 630 patients in the Hospital). This Hospital, also called “Churchill Hospital”, located in Headington, Oxford, England, was an existing British medical installation (dedicated in January 1942 –ed). The Hospital Plant was owned by the British Government and was built largely with funds donated from America and supplemented by financial support from Britain. It was staffed by civilian Doctors, Nurses, and Technicians who came over to help England in her hour of need during the “Blitz” of London. Immediately after the United States’ entry into the war (after the 7 Dec 41 attack on Pearl Harbor –ed), the Hospital was turned over to the US Army for a military hospital and was taken over by the 2d General Hospital in June of 1942 (this was the unit sponsored by the Presbyterian Hospital of New York City –ed).
The Post was located four miles from the center of Oxford, and occupied a plot of 29 acres directly across from the British Wingfield-Morris Orthopedic Hospital. Installations comprised forty-one permanent brick buildings (built by the Ministry of Health) and one hundred and seven Nissen huts, (built by the Ministry of Works) with a bed capacity of 1,070 supplemented by 570 tented expansion beds making a total of 1,640 beds. The permanent structures were only completed in May 1942, the temporary buildings in December 1942, and the tented expansion in April 1944. Final bed capacity rose to 1,800 on 23 December 1944.

Phase I Operation “Roundup”
Operation “Roundup” was the invasion plan codename for the initial cross-channel attack. During the United States Military troop build-up program in the British Isles (Operation “Bolero”), it had been agreed between the US and Great Britain to provide additional hospital facilities for the US Forces arriving in the UK. Five (5) current EMS constructions (EMS – Emergency Medical Services –ed) had been agreed upon, such as Musgrave Park – Ebrington Barracks – Churchill Hospital – Mansfield – American Red Cross Hospital (Harvard University Unit), however, more hospital bed requirements were necessary. Phase I of the new requirements consisted of 39,835 beds (basic requirements) and 40,240 provisions (the latter including transfer of British Military Hospitals, expansion of British Military Hospitals, expansion of British Civilian Hospitals, transfer of EMS Hospitals, expansion of EMS Hospitals, construction of Military Hospitals in Northern Ireland, construction of 2 new 1,000-bed Nissen Hut Hospitals, and construction of 35 new 750-bed Nissen Hut Hospitals –ed). The figures included Army and Army Air Forces personnel expected to arrive in the United Kingdom.

Partial view of similar hospital installations near Bristol, England. A large number of the existing British Emergency Medical Services (EMS) plants were transferred to US Forces, while more were constructed by British civilian contractors (working for the British Ministry of Works) using British designs and specifications modified to meet American requirements.

The mission of the Hospital was to provide efficient, expert medical care for United States Armed Forces stationed in the European Theater of Operations; to receive, treat, rehabilitate, clothe, feed, administrate, provide for physical, mental, and spiritual needs of the patients and upon their recovery or completion of hospitalization to return them to duty through the Army Ground Forces Reinforcement System or to evacuate them to the Zone of Interior for further definitive treatment.
Organization of the unit was based on the amended T/O & E 8-550, dated 3 July 1944 which provided for a 1,000-bed unit, expandable to 1,500 or 2,000 beds, and staffed with 55 Officers, 1 Warrant Officer, 83 Nurses, 450 Enlisted Men, and equipped with 20 trucks and 8 trailers.

Between 29 April 1944 and 6 June 1944, the 91st General Hospital spent a large part of its time in improving the physical plant and developing practices and procedures for handling receptions and evacuations on a large scale, such events being sure to appear after the Invasion of the continent. In this period when Services of Supply (Communications Zone) in the United Kingdom were concerned with mounting the Cross-Channel operation, the organization was called upon many times to furnish Officers and Enlisted personnel to be placed on DS with other medical units critically pressed for manpower. From a total of twenty-one (21) Officers and EM on Detached Service during the second week of May, the total was increased to fifty-nine (59) the first week in June, and to sixty-six (66) during the first week in July. During many weeks, this total was made up largely of mess, transportation, and ward personnel, causing a considerable hardship at times. The difficulties were met by increasing working hours of all personnel and reducing and consolidating work where possible. In August a large number of DS personnel were returned to the unit, but there was always an average of ten (10) to fifteen (15) Enlisted Men on DS at all times. To try and counter-balance this, the 91st also received help from other organizations, which was certainly welcome following D-Day when the patient census increased rapidly.
During the third week of June 1944, 8 Nurses were assigned, but the last week of July their number increased to 76 ANC personnel, and in the first week of October, it fell back to 26 Nurses.
On 26 August, the Hospital received the first group of Limited Assignment personnel from the Army Ground Forces Replacement System under the plan to replace General Assignment personnel in service units with Limited Assignment personnel and retrain the GS men for Infantry combat. The plan enabled the unit to replace fifty-one (51) men.

Training courses continued to be attended by a number of Officers of the unit, which took place at special Schools or at other Hospitals. Such courses and lectures included various topics such as; Mess Management, Chemical Warfare Medicine, Passive Air Defense, various Basic Medical and Technical subjects, Standard Courses for Nurses, and Closed Ward Administration (some of the places were the American School Center, the Basic Medical Field Service School, and the 36th Station Hospital).

Conservation of supplies, materials, and facilities was stressed continually through constant supervision, charts of water consumption, reminders in daily reports and publications, posters and announcement on bulletin boards and by the highly effective corrective action of personnel on the spot. Critical items including conservation of water, food, communication facilities, and electricity were closely monitored. Another highlight during the Hospital’s operation was a low VD and non-effective rate record. Only 7 VD cases occurred since activation, and the unit had the 8th non-effective rate among 34 Hospitals. Official statistics revealed that the average patient was white, protestant, male, enlisted, battle casualty, aged between 20 and 26, received surgical treatment, remained in hospital for an average of 19 days, and then returned to duty. Sixty-four (64) percent of all patients were discharged and back to duty either direct or through Replacement Depots. Deaths were 1 per 352 patients admitted.

1944 Operations:

In the later part of March and April 1944, several ambulance convoys were received. No special problems were encountered and the patient census continued to average lower than in November and December of 1944.

1 May 1944 – the first mass evacuation of patients was accomplished. In this operation 286 patients were evacuated to the 82d General Hospital. The evacuation was carried out in record time indicating that personnel of all Departments were fully trained and prepared to solve all problems developing from such a movement. The first week of May, the 91st underwent numerous inspections covering all Hospital Departments, both professional and administrative, from Southern Base Section, United Kingdom, and Headquarters, ETOUSA. Brigadier General Thrasher (CG > Southern Base Section, United Kingdom) and Colonel Thomas (Surgeon > Southern Base Section) made the inspections.

3 June 1944 – the second mass evacuation was accomplished. This one involved 214 ambulatory patients and 40 litter cases which were again evacuated to the 82d General Hospital. All deficiencies noted in the first evacuation were corrected with improved administrative procedures developed. On 6 June 1944, the first news of the Invasion was received. Shortly afterwards, on 10 June, the Hospital received its first casualties from France.

View of the orthopedic ward of the 91st General Hospital. Traction in action, July 1944.

10 June 1944 – a first Hospital Train arrived with 311 patients, of which 254 were litter cases. The first of these patients reached the receiving office from the railhead at 1755 hours and the last one was sorted through at 1940 hours. The entire process of, receiving, triage, and movement to appropriate wards was accomplished smoothly and with a minimum of confusion. The wounded consisted largely of paratroops, infantry, engineers, glider flying personnel, landing craft crews, and some regular ground forces. Among these patients were also a few US and British Navy personnel. Reception of these casualties marked the accomplishment of the ultimate primary mission of this organization exactly 10 days short of the first Anniversary of its activation.

20 June 1944 – the second Hospital Train with battle casualties came in. It carried a total of 280 patients, of which 240 were litter cases. A number of them were evacuated to the 217th General Hospital. The complete process was accomplished in one hour and forty-five minutes.
On 20 June, the 91st General Hospital was one year old (a true Anniversary party was held in the Officers’ Club with dinner and dance).

24 June 1944 – a third Hospital Train arrived at the railhead. It brought 292 patients of which 228 were litter cases. In this group were also 19 wounded German PWs. Reception was concluded in one hour and forty-seven minutes.

During this period (i.e. from D-Day onward) there were several inspections of the 91st General Hospital, as well as visits from numerous War Correspondents, USO entertainers, and distinguished British visitors. Among the Officers who inspected the installations were Major General Norman T. Kirk (The Surgeon General), Major General Albert W. Kenner (Medical Representative on the Staff of General Dwight D. Eisenhower (CG > SHAEF), Major General Harry F. Hazlett (CG > XV Corps) and Major General Henry B. Saylor (Chief Ordnance Officer > ETOUSA). On 29 June, Lieutenant General James H. Doolittle (CG > Eighth Air Force) visited the Hospital.
Among the numerous Allied War Correspondents who visited during May and June 1944, were Mr. G. Gammack (Des Moines Register), Mr. Peterman (Chicago Daily News), Mr. Weller (Philadelphia Inquirer), Mr. Youngman (Omaha World Herald), Mr. Carlisle (Detroit News), Mr. Lytle (Reader’s Digest), Mr. Tully (Boston Traveler). Also among this group were Bebe Daniels (BBC), and Charlie Shaw (CBS) who put on numerous radio shows from the Hospital featuring wounded patients.

July 1944 – a fourth Hospital Train arrived at the 91st installations with a large batch of patients, all having been evacuated from the continent.

18 July 1944 – Major General Norman T. Kirk, and Major General Paul R. Hawley (Chief Surgeon > ETOUSA) inspected the unit. During this tour, General N. T. Kirk was conducting an inspection of all medical installations in the European Theater. During his visit of the plant all Departments were thoroughly inspected. After his visit, he complimented the unit highly on its achievements and the fine job that was being done.

22 July 1944 – the fifth Hospital Train (since D-Day) arrived from the 110th Station Hospital. This Train transported 292 patients, who were all speedily and efficiently sorted and placed on the different wards.

25 July 1944 – a sixth Hospital Train followed with a few hundred casualties reached the railhead, situated approximately four miles from the Hospital. Upon arrival they were immediately transferred on to ambulances and transported to the Hospital where they were processed by professional triage in the Receiving Section. Ambulances and litter bearers were often pooled to empty the arriving railcars.

26 July 1944, was an eventful day for the 91st. On this day, H.M. Queen Elisabeth accompanied by her Lady-in-Waiting, the Honorable Mrs. Geoffrey Bowlby visited the organization. The Queen was accompanied by Lieutenant General John C. Lee (Deputy to General D. D. Eisenhower and CG > Communications Zone, ETOUSA), and Major General Paul R. Hawley (Chief Surgeon > ETOUSA). The Royal Party arrived at 1500 and proceeded on a tour covering many places, such as the mess halls, O.R. theaters, EENT clinic, various wards, and the patients’ recreation room. Her Majesty talked with numerous patients, one of whom presented her with an orange to take to the Princesses. After inspection, the Royal Party retired to the Officers’ Mess where tea was served and the Queen met all Officers and Nurses serving with the unit. During the visit Lieutenant General C. H. Lee conducted a separate inspection of the Hospital and Detachment of Patients area. The event was covered by numerous War Correspondents, British and American Press representatives and cameramen. Two days later, Mrs. Bolton, US Congresswoman from Ohio, arrived to spend several days at the Hospital. Mrs. Bolton was responsible for much of the legislation affecting Women in the Armed Forces and was involved for Army Nurses receiving Officer commissions. She not only toured the installations but also interviewed patients and was accompanied by Mr. Baylor (Radio Station WGAR, Cleveland, Ohio) and British Representatives of ACME News Service.

Partial view of the operating room of the 91st General Hospital. Illustration of one of the operating tables, July-August 1944.

2 August 1944 – the seventh Hospital Train arrived from the 110th Station Hospital, carrying 296 patients, of which 220 litter cases. The entire reception was handled rapidly and efficiently.

August – September 1944 – during the two months, several more Hospital Trains were received.

23 September 1944 – the 91st General Hospital was now incorporated as part of the 15th Hospital Center (arrived in Britain March 1944, established in May at Cirencester to control Hospitals clustered in the Western Base Section, and around the HC Headquarters –ed). Shortly afterwards, several convoys of ambulances arrived with patients transferred for ‘specialized’ treatment. The unit had indeed been designated as a medical organization for special treatment of neuro-surgical and orthopedic conditions as well as one of the units in the Hospital Center for the hospitalization of female patients.

30 September 1944 – the tenth Hospital Train arrived at the railhead, and after receiving, triage, and distribution the patient census jumped from 929 to 1,542, in just a period of three days. The rapid expansion was however handled smoothly as a result of experience gained earlier. Two days later, the highest census was attained, 1,549 patients on 4 October. The organization was now operating at 95% of its top capacity.

Statistics – 91st General Hospital
Number of battle casualties admitted (6 Jun 44 – 15 Oct 44) 2,963
Number of battle casualties in Hospital (15 Oct 44) 937
Number of battle casualties transferred to other Hospitals 189
Number of battle casualties returned to the Zone of Interior – direct 23
Number of battle casualties returned to the Zone of Interior –via Holding Hospitals 514
Numbers of battle casualties transferred to Rehabilitation Centers 549
Numbers of battle casualties (included 6 dead on arrival) 10
Numbers of battle casualties returned to duty 741

1945 Operations:

9 January 1945 – the patient census reached a high with 1,681 cases.

27 March 1945 – preparations were begun for the construction of a prisoner stockade for housing German Prisoners of War. On 11 April, 200 PWs were received and put to work as a Labor Battalion. Plans had been completed for their utilization in various capacities throughout the Hospital installations and an efficient guard system was established with unit personnel who had previously received instruction and training in arms at PWE # 1. An extensive perimeter guard system was established in addition to the stockade with guard towers.

23 April 1945 – the first group of RAMPs arrived, 64 of them came in by air from the continent. They were followed by another group of 250 on 24 April. 260 on 25 April; 157 on 26 April; and 103 on 27 April. They were all suffering from malnutrition and were infested with lice. Upon admission they were processed through decontamination facilities where they were dusted with delousing powder and were given hot baths and scrub under medical supervision. Procedures were then discussed and instituted for special diets, complete immunization, and thorough physical examination on WD AGO Form No. 63 (Officers), which were completed on al RAMPs. A strict quarantine of sixteen (16) days was observed and completion of War Crimes questionnaires accomplished. Shipments of 150 each were made of RAMPs, except those boarding for the Zone of Interior, to the ex-PW Detachment immediately upon completion of the quarantine period.

Memorial services for President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) at Lincoln Cathedral, England. Official services were held throughout Great Britain and in the European Theater on 12 April 1945 to honor the memory of this great American leader.  

March 1945 – a program was begun to prepare an Information and Education (I & E) program for the unit. Upon the disbandment of the Rehabilitation Program, the Rehabilitation Officer was turned into an I & E Officer and an active program was instituted in conjunction with the 15th Hospital Center. Situation maps were erected in the main corridors showing the European and Pacific battle areas in detail and were kept up-to-date each day.
Several construction projects were completed on the Post in addition to the PW stockade. A new Post Theater with a seating for three hundred (300) was built with sound, movie, and stage equipment. A Navy Galley Hut was erected to house the Sergeant’s Club and a Red Cross writing room was prepared for the patients. A central vegetables preparation room for the three Messes and a Utilities work shop were built. All these projects were accomplished by the unit’s personnel and without recourse to Engineer or other construction agencies.

Awards of Purple Hearts and Oak Leaf Cluster by Headquarters 91st General Hospital
(29 April 1944 – 7 July 1945)

Under the Provisions of AR 600-45, dated 22 September 1943, and pursuant to the Authority contained in Paragraph 4, Section 1, Circular 32, Headquarters, ETOUSA, dated 20 March 1944, the PURPLE HEART is awarded to the following named Officer and Enlisted Men for wounds received in action in the European area on the dates specified.

Ronald C. SPEIRS Captain, Infantry O-439465 6 June 1944
Adolfo F. VARGAS Private, Infantry 39033496 6 June 1944
Vertal E. STEELE, Jr. Staff Sergeant, Infantry 35579330 15 July 1944
Zannie C. REED Private First Class, Infantry 33659257 1 September 1944

… the OAK LEAF CLUSTER to the PURPLE HEART is awarded to the following named Enlisted Man for wounds received in action in the European area on the date specified.

Victor KIRSCH Private, Infantry 14192171 3 January 1945

(above Awards were officially distributed by General Orders No. 30, Headquarters, 91st General Hospital, APO 518A, U.S. Army, dated 7 July 1945).

Redeployment and Inactivation:

On 17 August 1945, the 91st was inspected by Officers from the Inspector General’s Department, United Kingdom Base and pronounced ready for Redeployment to the United States as a Category II unit. However, the plan was not carried out and shortly thereafter the shifting of personnel began again. The transfer of high-point personnel continued to such an extent that by 17 September, only 1 MAC Officer and 3 Medical Officers (one of whom was the CO > Colonel Lester M. Dyke), remained with the unit. On this date, the unit received marching orders transferring it from England to the Continent, Liège, in Belgium. These orders had the effect of immediately stopping the flow of outgoing personnel and instead created an influx of Officers, Nurses, and Enlisted Men. On 25 September 1945, the 91st General Hospital had a strength of 41 Officers, 78 Nurses, 711 EM, 1 Dietitian, and 2 Physio-Therapists.

On the Move:

The Hospital left its Cirencester location at 0200 hours, 26 September 1945, by train. Destination was Southampton, with the unit traveling in two sections. After arrival they sailed at 1000 the same day crossing the English Channel and arriving at Le Havre, France, on the S/S Exchequer. The unit reached Le Havre harbor at 2000 hours on 26 September, and was met by the advance party consisting of 5 Officers, 50 EM, and the organization’s vehicles, who had left a few days prior to 25 September. The bulk of the organization took up temporary quarters at Camp Philip Morris (one of the Cigarette Camps around Le Havre –ed) to await the necessary transportation to Liège, Belgium.

Belgium:

Finally 32 Officers and 400 Enlisted Men left Le Havre, France, for Liège, Belgium by train, departing at 1600. 3 Officers were left behind to act as escorts for the Nurses who were to follow by separate convoy and to administer the affairs of the 261 EM who were to be transferred from the unit.
The main party arrived at Liège the next afternoon and were taken by truck to the Citadelle which was the site then occupied by the 15th General Hospital. The remainder of the assigned personnel rejoined the 91st at Liège at 0001 hours, 6 October 1945, at which time the Hospital assumed command of US Army Hospital Plant 4345.
On 5 October 1945, the unit’s Commanding Officer, Colonel Lester M. Dyke, MC, who had been with the 91st General since its activation, received orders transferring him to the Zone of Interior for emergency reasons and Lt. Colonel Robert N. Donnell, MC, assumed command.
Transfer of the Hospital Plant was uneventful as was the rail and water movement by the organization from the United Kingdom to the Continent. A few weak spots in personnel were bolstered by additions from the 15th Gen Hosp and although certain people received a heavier work burden no great difficulty was experienced in operating the Hospital in a creditable manner.

Several changes in command followed. Lt. Colonel Baxter assumed command on 17 October 1945, and held this position until Colonel John B. Bachman (previous CO > 15th Gen Hosp) took over on 29 October. For the remaining period of operation no particularly important events were recorded.
The Hospital at all times had a large outpatient service running up to and above 200 patients / day. As evidenced by the records the Hospital always had a large number of patients suffering from VD. The unit also did many physical examinations for Enlistees into the Regular Army.

Finale:

Over the period of operation various Officers were assigned, transferred, or put on Detached Service at other medical installations. However, the following named Officers were kept as members of the working staff throughout: Captain Renato E. Cassani (Prostho-Dentist), Captain Melvin Fox (Dental Surgeon) and Captain Frederick J. McNulty (Dental Surgeon), as well as Captain Walter C. Curalnick (Acting Chief of Dental Service & Oral Surgeon). Lt. Colonel Oliver P. Lewis (Chief of Dental Service) took over the Dental Clinic at the Citadelle (Liège) on 6 October 1945. On 24 October, he was transferred to the 89th Infantry Division and replaced by Captain W. C. Curalnick. (There were no records of other commissioned personnel in the original reports –ed).

Photo of a special V-E Day double-decker bus in London. Photo taken by one of the members of the 91st General Hospital, while on leave in London, early May 1945.

The 91st General Hospital finally relinquished operations to the 12th Field Hospital at 0001, 1 December 1945.

Official Inactivation – 91st General Hospital

1. PAC Letter, Army Service Forces, New York Port of Embarkation, Brooklyn, N.Y., File SPTAA 322 GM (CAD) (46-879), dated 28 January 1946, Subject: Inactivation of Certain Units, the following Units are inactivated, effective 2359 hours, 1 February 1946, and transferred in an inactive status to the control of the War Department:

91st General Hospital (1000 Bed)
667th Field Artillery Battalion (Motorized) (155mm How, Tractor Drawn)

2. a. Personnel will be transferred by this Headquarters to appropriate Reception Stations and/or Separation Centers as prescribed in RR1-6 for disposition.

2. b. No personnel will be reduced in grade as a result of this action. Excess on grades resulting there from will be absorbed through normal attrition and the application of the provisions of AR 615-5, dated 30 June 1943, as amended.

3. Equipment will be turned in to the Area Commander as prescribed in Section VII, RR1-6, and by the Area Commanding Officer.

4. Personnel records will be prepared and processed under the supervision of the Area Commanding Officer in accordance with provisions of Paragraph 11, RR1-6.

5. Unit funds and physical property thereof will be disposed of as prescribed in Section IV, RR1-6, and by the Chief, Fiscal Branch, of this Headquarters.

6. Records of the inactivated Units will be disposed of and reported to this Headquarters by the Area Commanding Officer in accordance with 1R 15-15, dated 20 September 1945, and as prescribed in Section VII, RR1-6.

(above General Orders No. 102 were distributed by Army Service Forces, New York Port of Embarkation, Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, dated 1 February 1946)


The authors would like to express their sincere appreciation to Lynn F. McNulty, son of Captain Frederick J. McNulty (ASN:O-526873), Dental Officer, who served with the 91st General Hospital in the European Theater during World War 2, for having provided them with a number of original reports related to subject Hospital.

 

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