A Thumbnail Sketch of the 95th Evac

Click hear to listen to helicopter mission of wounded soldier.

In 1928 the Office of the Surgeon General constituted a group of surgical hospitals. These were large hospitals with the primary mission of providing surgical support for a field Army. One of these hospitals, the 95th, existed only on paper until 1 June 1941 when the unit was activated at Fort Francis C. Warren. On 25 August 1942, the 95th was reorganized and redesignated as the 95th Evacuation Hospital (Motorized)

On 19 February 1943, the hospital was again reorganized and redesignated the 95th Evacuation Hospital (Semimobile) . The first overseas mission was to set up a 400 bed hospital at Ojuda; French Morocco in support of units of the Fifth U.S. Army. On 5 July the hospital moved to Ain—et-Turk where it acted as a receiving hospital for casualties from the invasion of Sicily. In August 1943, the 95th began training for the assault landing on the Continent and on 9 September 1943, it became the first U.S hospital in Europe in World War II landing on the Salerno beachhead at noon of D—day.

The hospital returned to the United States and was deactivated at Camp Kilmer, N.J. on 3 December 1945.

Because of the build—up in Vietnam, the 95th was reactivated 26 March 1963 at Ft. Benning, Georgia and alerted for overseas movement. On 26 March 1968 the 95th Evacuation Hospital (Smbl) arrived in the Republic of Vietnam to carry on in the outstanding tradition of its predecessors.

The Advanced party arrived at the proposed site of the hospital; a sandy beach called “Red Beach” with no access road on the 20th of March 1968. By the time the ship (USS Geiger)arrived with personnel and TAT equipment on the 26th of March 1968, an access road had been started, the site plan completed and Sea Bees were assigned to assist. The initial phase of construction was the preparation of defensive position, perimeter wire and tentage for billets. During the initial phase the unit provided its own mess, electrical power, potable water and hospital laundry facilities.

By the 1st of April the vertical construction was initiated consisting of two by four frames for tent wards. Incorporated in the initial construction was the use of parts of the “MUST: unit to provide proper conditions for traumatic surgery in the tropics. There was some uncertainty that the “MUST” unit would arrive in time, so by conserving on available construction resources the unit was able to construct a tropical structure suitable for air-conditioning.

The construction for the first 100 beds was completed by the l0th of April which had been set as a tentative date of opening, however the vessel with the general cargo of the unit had not arrived in port. By the time that the general cargo arrived on the l4th off April 1968, additional work had been competed and the first 100 beds was reported operational on the 28th of April. By the 30th of April the hospital was 99% filled, additional beds were rapidly being added so that on 8 May, 300 beds were reported operational. The 27th day of May saw a 400 bed hospital with a census of 240 and an experience of a total of 320 medical patients, 941 surgical patients and 1058 outpatients, with a total of 1261 admission and 1021 dispositions. Seven hundred and fifty-nine of these patients were not from transfer by direct admissions. It was obvious to the staff that this evacuation hospital must continue to improve its procedures because it was to a great extent operating as a Surgical Hospital as well as an Evacuation Hospital. The hospital personnel soon adapted to the situation and found that combined operation of a tent Evacuation Hospital and a “MUST” operating room or complex was feasible.

During the following month (May) the unit was continually harassed by enemy action in the nearby areas requiring the personnel to put in arduous 12 hour shifts of patient care and then sleep or stand watch on the perimeter the other 12 hours. To a man and woman without exception, they all did their assigned tasks in an orderly uncomplaining manner. By the end of June the hospital had experienced an additional 1215 admissions and 1188 outpatients for a total of 2476 admissions in the first 63 days of operation. During the preceding time, a new site was being constructed for the hospital some eight miles distance away at the foot of Monkey Mountain.

Not only was it necessary for the staff to build and run the tent hospital, they were also required to use that spare time they had to visit the new site and offer needed advise and plan for the future move of their respective sections onto the new site. Plans were carefully laid and the move was scheduled to start by the 4th of July.

By the last week of June personnel of the operating hospital on Red Beach were cut to a minimum and worked daily at the new site in preparation for the move without interrupting patient care at either site. Patient census was reduced as low as the situation would allow and the actual move began with one third of the staff moving to the new site on the 4th and 5th of July 1968.

In July, the remainder of the staff moved with approximately 60 patients and by the evening of the 7th of July the hospital reported 323 beds operational. In a period of 71 days the personnel of the 95thEvacuation Hospital built one 400 bed “tent” hospital from the ground up on Red Beach, incorporating the use of parts of a “MUST” unit, operated it under combat conditions and moved completely to another location without interruption of its mission, providing its own mess, electrical power, water supply and hospital laundry.

As of this date the 95th Evacuation Hospital (Smbl) continues its mission of taking care of the sick and wounded under more pleasant conditions. The present hospital is a 320 bed air conditioned facility offering area medical support to US Military units without organic medical support in the Da Nang area. The hospital also provided medical care to the Free World Military Assistance Forces and Civilian war Casualties. Hospitalization is provided for all classes of patients within the Lintits of available specialties. Selected patients are prepared for further evacuation to medical facilities providing specialized treatment not available at the 95th Hospital.

The organization includes four full time dispensaries serving outlying units in the Da Nang Area. The wide range of professional capabilities available has made the 95th Evacuation Hospital a referral center for difficult and sophisticated cases in Northern Military Region I. Neurology, Dermatology, Special Radiologic Procedures, Oral Surgery, Psychiatric Consultations, Orthopedic Surgery, Neuro—Surgery, General surgery are some of the many specialties that have made the hospital the major medical treatment facility in this region. Active “on the job” training in all specialties of medicine is constantly being performed by medical corps officers and Vietnamese physicians as well. Medical, surgical and consultative assistance is provided to the Duy—Ton and Provincial Hospital of Da Nang on a regular basis.

A future program is anticipated to train Vietnamese enlisted men technical skills in laboratory, radiology, pharmacy and ward procedures. The 95th Evacuation Hospital was closed down on March 31st 1973 and abandon in place.

Some of our veterans have toured Da Nang in recent years and all findings are that the unit is no longer at its fixed site. The unit was used for many years as military barracks for the North Vietnamese Army. At this time a four lane roadway runs from the base of Monkey Mountain to Marble Mountain, this road runs North South where the 95th Evacuation Hospital was situated.

For all our veterans who served at the 95th Evac, you did good, and for all the soldiers civilians and others who were treated by the staff at the 95th Evacuation Hospital, glad you made it home, at least you can view this web site and enjoy the history and photographs.

Terry Caskey

95th Evac Hospital Website  |  Administrated by Mick Caskey  |  mickthec@hotmail.com
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