MEDICS prev contents next





It almost seems impertinent to write about the Medics.  It is certainly difficult to do them justice.  They were undoubtedly the unsung heroes of the War, and perhaps only the wounded can fully appreciate the quality of their devotion to duty.

With Combat Medics, heroism is a necessity.  The wounded are more than often those farthest advanced, and the unarmed Medic must brave fire to get to his man.  The 385th Medical Detachment as a whole, received more awards and decorations in proportion to its strength than any other unit of the Regiment.  That is only fitting and proper.

The Detachment was divided into four sections, a Headquarters section and a section with each of the Battalions, all under the command of Major White.

Although the Headquarters section was never committed to the terrific conditions of the Battalion sections, its men saw plenty of action, for they were called on as a reserve to fill vacancies in the Battalions, and usually at the most critical and harrowing times.  Privates and Tec 5's were called on without warning to move directly out into the thick of things, and praise cannot be high enough for the men who went out without hesitation no matter what the mission, and served heroically.

The 1st Battalion section, under Capt. Brunhofer, set up its first station in a large pillbox just across the Sauer.  Here there were unbearably difficult days of carrying litter cases down the precipitous cliffs, over dangerous terrain and through slippery mud.  And it was only the beginning of the trying days to come as the Regiment advanced.  The Section is proud that they had no casualties within their ranks, which speaks well for the quality of their training and discipline.

The 2nd Battalion section, under Capt. Whitson was no less heroic under no less trying conditions . The Battalion went into action initially near Echternacherbrück, and here the Section cared for more than 125 cases in three days.  A remarkable record.

The 3rd Battalion Section was under command of Capt. Sallquist and was also pushed rudely into the thick of things along the Sauer, setting up an aid station in the basement of a ruined hunting lodge in the midst of the Siegfried pillboxes.  The Section was the first Division Medical Service across the Rhine, and beyond the Rhine had busy days at Camberg where an aid station had to be set up in a ditch alongside the road, and in Merzhausen where the only inhabitable house in the town had to be used to care for men wounded at Usingen.  And at Grosslittgen, the medical jeep was driven into the town when our Infantry controlled only seven houses.

These were the Medics then, always in the front, up where the going was toughest because that is where the casualties occurred.  Words cannot describe the values of their services.  These services being the saving of human lives.


Major Noland W. White







next prev contents prev to start PERSONNEL  /  THE CHAPLAINS