I am extremely grateful for this site containing such valuable history of Medical Units in operation during WWII in the ETO.
My late uncle was a Stretcherbearer, and saw action in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. I believe he was attached
to the 42nd Field Hospital, but I haven't been able to confirm this because the return addresses on mail he sent home
varied from time to time. For example: Pvt. Reuben H. Field, 36268278, 422 Medical Collection Company, Camp Carson,
Colorado; Pvt. Reuben H. Field, 36268278, 422 Coll. Co. 168th Med. Bn. APO #183 c/o Postmaster, Los Angeles, Cal.;
(same name and serial #, 422 Med. Coll. Co. , Camp Cooke, Calif., (same name and serial #) Company H & S, 31st Medical
Regiment, Camp Barkeley, Texas; (same name & serial #) 422 Med. Coll. Co. (Sep) APO #403 c/o Postmaster, New York, NY.
My Uncle went to basic training at Camp Barkeley in Texas, then went to Camp Cooke in California for more training, and
then to Camp Carson, Colorado where the 42nd Field Hospital was activated on 15 July 1943 (during the time my Uncle
was there). As I have been unable to locate any information the 422 Medical Collection Company, I have a suspicion that
Reuben wrote the number this way rather than "42nd," that is, the second "2" was his designation for "nd." After Camp
Carson, Reuben departed the U.S. for England (?) on a Troop Transport out of the port of Boston. I have been copying
hundreds of my Uncle's letters to his mother and family for transfer to a disc format.
I am interested to know more about the training Stretcherbearers received. Were they trained in First Aid technique?
Were they allowed to give first care to the wounded to stop bleeding, etc., or to administer morphine? Did they work
in Field Hospitals as needed? Just how extensive were their duties? If anyone can help me in learning more about the
experiences of Stretcherbearers in WWII, I would be most grateful. My uncle received The Bronze Star for valor, The
Victory Medal, The American Theatre Ribbon, The European-African-Middle East Theatre Medal with three bronze stars,
and the Good Conduct Medal. If is ironic that after he returned home after serving during and surviving several major battles without a scratch, he drowned in a fishing accident in 1950.
in Europe without a scratch