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Wherry/Amphibious Medical Chests

Fri Mar 28, 2008 00:17

Hello all!

My first post here, I can thank (or blame) Ben for that. :wink: While I was looking at a historical review of medical supply in the ETO AMEDD Link, I found a reference to something called a Wherry box. It was produced by the Wherry luggage company as a waterproof medical chest. According to Chpt 9, 10000 were ordered in Feb 1944. In chpt 5, page 173 of the same doc AMEDD Link mentions something called an amphibious box. It sounds very similiar to the Wherry box, hinged with a waterproof gasket. Chpt 5 says 72000 were ordered.

Has anyone heard of either a Wherry box or an amphibious box? Does anyone have a copy of Annual Report, Supply Division, Office of the Chief Surgeon, ETOUSA, 1944 or Bulletin US Army Medical Dept, Oct. 1945 in their library? Both documents were footnoted in the document.

Thanks,
Peter
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Sun Apr 20, 2008 18:00

Changed the subject so that I can find it again.
Peter

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Thu Sep 18, 2008 03:50

Actually I have two of these boxes. I have never seen the notations /makers mark of "Wherry" anywherry (:0) on it, so I have what is the 'amphibious box". I had a WW2 36 ID Medic refer to it as a "landing box" once. One of mine came from a an air corps crash rescue boat and contained "emergency blankets" or so said the stencils and the story that came with the box. The chest looks like a footlocker with 10 hasps, (by the way very strong hasps that keep the lid very tight) and has a rubber gasket inside.The lid completely lifts off and the bottom is a solid "pan" type construction. The lid is stencilled with instruction on sealing properly.
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Unit 2 Amphibious Angle.jpg
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Sat Dec 20, 2008 00:33

DocDean -

Thanks for the photos and info. Now I realized I have a trunk exactly the same. The inside of the lid has the same caution text. Mine was used as luggage to ship stuff home. I'll have to see if I can find the photos, but I think the caduceus and red corners can be seen under a couple layers of paint. If I can find the pics, I'll get them posted.

Anybody else have one of these boxes or the reports?
Peter

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Thu Jan 15, 2009 22:49

One step closer ....

Who would have thought that a report written by the Army would have wrong information in it? Not me! :roll:

Turns out that it wasn't the Wherry Luggage company but the Wheary Luggage company from Racine, Wis. I was looking for something else and found a pic of a parts case for the AAF manufactured by Wheary. I realized the error and found some info about Wheary including this magazine ad from 1945. I apologize for the image quality, I got it from another website. If you look carefully at the ad, it says Wheary produced Ambulance Crash Chests for the Air Force and trunks, bino cases, field equipment and lockers. Looks like Wheary suffered the fate of so many private business over the last 40 years and closed up in the '60s. There might still be something as the town's holiday lights are called KIWANIS-WHEARY HOLIDAY OF LIGHTS FOUNDATION. Still need to work on finding out whether the amphibious chest and Wheary Chest are the same or different.

Anybody from the Racine area?
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Fri Jan 16, 2009 00:13

Hi Peter,
Thanks for keeping us posted on how your research is coming along. I surmise that it was not actually the Army that had made the spelling / typographical error, but the software that had been used to digitse the Article you had read (assuming, of course that it was in fact a document on the computer)? For example, you can easily see how an 'A' could be read as an 'R' by such a piece of software.
Unfortunately, I don't have any information relating to this company, but as you indicate, it's a step closer to determining more about the box, and the company that produced it.
Regards,
Ben 8)
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Fri Jan 16, 2009 04:34

Well at least the Garage Sale Geezers that sold me one of mine probably weren't spinning a tale when they said it was off an air corps crash boat. That would make sense if they made "Ambulance Crash Chests for the Air Force"....
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Re: Wherry/Amphibious Medical Chests

Sun Mar 22, 2009 05:02

Here is a photo of the box Doc Dean posted from my stuff - except unrestored.

Image

If you look at the top right corner, you can see it was painted red at some point. If you look under the right hasp, you'll see what's left of a caduceus. I'm not sure what, if anything, was in the dark box. It could have been a shipping label.

This fall I'll try to carefully strip the paint to the original layers.
Peter

'43 Dodge WC54
piles of smelly green stuff
a couple of band-aids

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