Military Organization > United States > Medical Detachment, U.S. Army Armored Inf Bn (1943-45) 

Medical Detachment, U.S. Army Armored Inf Bn (1943-45) 

By Alex Valsamidis, Contributing Writer

The following was the organization of the Medical Detachment of an Armored Infantry Battalion of the U.S. Army from September 1943 through to the end of World War II. It provided medical services to the Battalion and transferred the wounded to the Division's Armored Medical Battalion.

The next level up was the Armored Infantry Battalion, which consisted of 1 HQ & HQ Company, 3 Rifle Companies, 1 Service Company and 1 Medical Detachment (this)

Contents:

  1. Organization

    • Before August 1944

    • After August 1944

  2. Discussion

  3. Sources

Organization (before August 1944)

  • Type: Mechanized Medical Unit

  • Origin: U.S. Army (United States)

  • Personnel: 3 Officers and 33 Enlisted

→ ¼ ton Truck (1 Officer and 1 Enlisted)*

  • 1× Battalion Surgeon, First Lieutenant (OF-1) to Captain (OF-2)

  • 1× Medical Technician (Driver), Technician 5th Grade (OR-4)

*One SCR-510 radio on board.

→ 3× M3 Half-Track Ambulances (4 Enlisted each)*

  • 1× Surgical Technician, Technician 5th Grade (OR-4)

  • 1× Half-track Driver, Technician 5th Grade (OR-4)

  • 1× Surgical Technician, Private (OR-1) to Private First Class (OR-2)

  • 1× Litter Bearer, Private (OR-1) to Private First Class (OR-2)

*Two are attached to Rifle Companies. One is held in reserve and tows a 1-ton trailer.

​→ Battalion Aid Station (2 Officers and 20 Enlisted)

  • 1× Medical Administrative Officer, First Lieutenant (OF-1) to Captain (OF-2)

  • 1× Dental Officer, First Lieutenant (OF-1) to Captain (OF-2)

  • 1× Medical Sergeant, Staff Sergeant (OR-6)

  • 1× Medical Corporal, Corporal (OR-4)

  • 2× Surgical Technicians, Technician 3th Grade (OR-6)

  • 2× Surgical Technicians, Technician 4th Grade (OR-5)

  • 1× Dental Technician, Technician 5th Grade (OR-4)

  • 1× Medical Technician, Private (OR-1) to Private First Class (OR-2)

  • 9× Litter Bearers, Private (OR-1) to Private First Class (OR-2)

  • 3× Basic Duty, Private (OR-1) to Private First Class (OR-2)

Organization (after August 1944)

→ ¼ ton Truck (1 Officer and 1 Enlisted)*

  • 1× Battalion Surgeon, First Lieutenant (OF-1) to Captain (OF-2)

  • 1× Medical Technician (Driver), Technician 5th Grade (OR-4)

*One SCR-510 radio on board.

→ ¼ ton Truck (2 Enlisted)

  • 1× Surgical Technician, Technician 4th Grade (OR-5)

  • 1× Surgical Technician (Driver), Private (OR-1) to Private First Class (OR-2)

→ 3× ¼ ton Trucks (2 Enlisted each)*

  • 1× Surgical Technician, Technician 5th Grade (OR-4)

  • 1× Surgical Technician (Driver), Private (OR-1) to Private First Class (OR-2)

*Attached to Rifle Companies.

→ ¾ ton Ambulance Truck, KD (3 Enlisted)

  • 1× Ambulance Driver, Technician 5th Grade (OR-4)

  • 2× Litter Bearers, Private (OR-1) to Private First Class (OR-2)

→ ¾ ton Truck, WC (1 Enlisted)

  • 1× Light Truck Driver, Private (OR-1) to Private First Class (OR-2)

​→ Battalion Aid Station (2 Officers and 20 Enlisted)

  • 1× Medical Administrative Officer, First Lieutenant (OF-1) to Captain (OF-2)

  • 1× Dental Officer, First Lieutenant (OF-1) to Captain (OF-2)

  • 1× Medical Sergeant, Staff Sergeant (OR-6)

  • 1× Medical Corporal, Corporal (OR-4)

  • 2× Surgical Technicians, Technician 3th Grade (OR-6)

  • 1× Surgical Technicians, Technician 4th Grade (OR-5)

  • 1× Dental Technician, Technician 5th Grade (OR-4)

  • 1× Medical Technician, Private (OR-1) to Private First Class (OR-2)

  • 10× Litter Bearers, Private (OR-1) to Private First Class (OR-2)

  • 3× Basic Duty, Private (OR-1) to Private First Class (OR-2)

 
 

Discussion

The Medical Detachment was attached to the Armored Infantry Battalion. It manned the Battalion Aid Station, treated casualties, transported them from the Companies to the Aid Station and from the Aid Station to one of the Medical Companies of the Armored Medical Battalion. The detachment contained 36 medical personnel and was led by the Battalion Surgeon, who was either a First Lieutenant or Captain.

 

In terms of vehicles the Detachment experienced a large change in August 1944. Before, the Detachment had a ¼ ton Truck (Jeep) and 3 M3 Ambulance Half Tracks. After, the Detachment had five ¼ ton Trucks and two ¾ ton Trucks, one of which was a Weapons Carrier and the other was an Ambulance. Due to the Geneva Convention rules on medical personnel, they were not given weapons. The Detachment relied on the Headquarters Company and any units it was attached to for supply and maintenance, since it could not sustain itself.

 

The Battalion Surgeon and a Driver rode on a ¼ ton Truck, which carried a SCR-510 radio. The Battalion Surgeon was responsible for the technical service of the Detachment, ensuring health and sanitation measures were properly carried out and keeping medical records. He also decided which patients got evacuated to the Medical Company

 

Originally, the Detachment had 3 Ambulance Half-tracks, which were crewed by 2 Surgical Technicians, a Litter Bearer and a Driver. Two of these were attached to Rifle Companies, while one was held in reserve. The one in reserve towed a 1-ton trailer. After August 1944, these were replaced by four ¼ ton Trucks, which were crewed by 2 Surgical Technicians. Three of these were attached to Rifle Companies, while one was held in reserve. The attached units provided first aid to casualties and transport them to the Aid Stations.

 

The Detachment had an additional vehicle for the sole purpose of transporting the wounded. That role was initially filled by the reserve half-track, but after August 1944 a dedicated ambulance was added. It was a ¾ ton Ambulance Truck, which was crewed by a Driver and 2 Litter Bearers. The Ambulance helped transport the wounded to the Aid Station and helped bring the wounded to the Medical Company by transporting them to the rear, where they were picked up by ambulances from the Medical Company.

 

The Battalion Aid Station treated the wounded and facilitated their evacuation to the Medical Company. Initially, it included a Medical Administrative Officer, a Dental Officer, a Medical Sergeant, a Medical Corporal, 4 Surgical Technicians, a Dental Technician, a Medical Technician, 9 Litter Bearers and 3 Basic Duty Privates. After August 1944, a Litter Bearer was added and a Surgical Technician was removed. A ¾ ton Weapons Carrier truck was added, along with a Driver. It was used to carry supplies after the 1-ton trailer was erased.

 

Sources

"The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious."

      - Marcus Aurelius

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