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Army Medical Depots (Com Z)
Communications Zone

Looking for more information from military/civilian personnel assigned to or associated with the U.S. Army in Germany from 1945 to 1989. If you have any stories or thoughts on the subject, please contact me.

COMZ Main Page

Croix Chapeau Med Depot

Einsiedlerhof Med Depot

Fontainebleau Med Depot

Fuerth Med Depot

La-Roche-sur-Yon Med Dep.

Rhine Med Depot

Vassincourt Med Depot

Vitry-le-Francois Med Depot

Related Links

Croix Chapeau Medical Depot

Croix-Chapeau Army Hospital and Depot (Bing)

Croix-Chapeau Army Hospital and Depot (US Army)

Croix Chapeau Medical Depot installation map (planned), 1952

Croix Chapeau Medical Depot installation map (actual), 1960 (Thierry Ilansandes - Flickr)
(Source: STARS & STRIPES, Jan 10, 1956)
The construction of a medical depot at Croix-Chapeau, France () has recently been completed and the depot has been turned over to Col Richard W. Pullen, the commanding officer of the installation. The project was supervised by the Joint Construction Agency.

The depot includes a main warehouse with cold storage compartments, an administration building, shop maintenance and motor pool buildings, as well as two smaller storage buildings which will house inflammables and gas cylinders. .
A rail spur, additional roads and three utility systems have also been added.

Ground has also been cleared for the construction of a 1,000-bed hospital which is scheduled for 1957.

The medical supplies that previously have been stored at La Roche Sur Yon will be transferred to the new depot.

(Source: USAREUR Medical Bulletin, May 1963)
The 70th Medical Depot is one of the major bulwarks of the medical service mission in USAREUR.

The depot provides logistical support in the form of medical material and maintenance for medical treatment facilities and tactical medical units throughout France, Germany, Italy and the Middle East. The depot contributes to another vital aspect of the USARUER medical mission by participating in a vast medical assemblage program for use in time of war or disaster.

The hub of the depot operation is the Storage Division, which is housed in a modern, well-designed physical plant ideally suited for the operation of a huge supply complex. On the pallets and shelves in the warehouse can be found over 4,000 different items of medical equipment, which, together with material at 14 off-site storage points, are valued at over 11 million dollars.

In support of the Storage Division is the Stock Control Division, which is equipped with the latest electrical accounting machines to process all receipts, issues, and other documentation, and the Maintenance Division, which has the capability for repair and reconditioning of the most complex medical equipment. These are operations that daily save time and money, and get deadlined items back to the user.

Another segment of the depot is the Optical Division, which, with its modern machines and skilled technincians, can fabricate the most difficult lense prescriptions. It normally receives orders for an average of 3,500 pairs of spectacles a month from Army personnel and dependents in France and Italy, and from the Air Force in England and Spain.

All of the false teeth used by the US Army in Europe are requistioned by dental units through the 70th Medical Depot. Some 2,477 different types of shades and molds of artificial teeth, facings, and backings are available for dental use.

The 70th Medical Depot recently celebrated its 18th year as a unit of the United States Army. Activated in Oran, Algeria, in August 1944, and assigned to the North African Theater of Operations, the unit subsequently participated in the campaigns of Southern France and the Rhineland; after a period of inactivation, it was assigned to the US Army Communications Zone, Europe, in September of 1960.

The 70th Medical Depot is located in southwestern France, near the historic port city of La Rochelle. It is a subordinate command of the 4th Logistical Command, and is located at Croix Chapeau Sub-Installation, a part of the US Army Port Area Command.

Key military personnel include Colonel Robert N. Read, MSC, Commanding Officer; Lt. Col. T. J. Fullam, Jr., Executive Officer; Major Leo Lynch, Comptroller; Major Jack Wilson, Chief of Optical Division; Major Ronald Smith, Adjutant; Capt. David Sightler, Chief Storage Division; Capt, Jack Gallof, Chief Stock Control Division; Capt, Marion Rutkowski, Chief Depot Property; Capt, Joseph R. Muglia, Complement Commander; 1st Lt. John Gridley Jr., Chief Shipping and Receiving; and CWO Carl D. Wheeler, Chief Maintenance Division.

The 70th Medical Depot has an enviable reputation as a top outfit. In recognition for its superior efficiency and achievement, it was cited by General Bruce C. Clark, former USAREUR Commander in Chief, as one of the two outstanding supply depots in Europe. With the continued effort of its hard-working officers and men there is no doubt that it will continue to be one of the most dependable and vital units of the medical service in USAREUR.


Mothballed US Army transportation vessels in the harbor of Rochefort
(Source: STARS & STRIPES, Jan 31, 1965)
The Army maintains a mothball fleet of tugs, barges, landing craft and work boats and holds them ready in case of a major emergency.

Most of these vessels are maintained in storage basins at Rochefort and La Pellerin, France. Both sites fall under the command of Maj Dale Ogden, CO of the Croix Chapeau Depot Activity.

There are four soldiers and 21 civilian workers assigned to the Le Pellerin storage site (actually located in a canal near the village of La Matiniere, just west of Le Pellerin). At the Rochefort storage site (close to the commercial harbor), two soldiers and 21 civilians maintain the vessels stored there. Maintenance consists primarily of chipping, brushing, priming and painting (marine gray) the vessels hulls. Occasionally, a boat is pulled out for an overhaul. Each storage site maintains one tug in working order to help shift the craft.

Dehumidifying equipment is installed to keep the interiors of the vessels dry and enclosed spaces are sealed with tape to preserve engines and interior compartments.
If you have more information on the history or organization of the Croix Chapeau Medical Depot, please contact me.

Fontainebleau Medical Depot

Entrance to the Fontainebleau Depot, France, in the early 1950s

Vassincourt Medical Depot
US Army Medical Depot Vassincourt ().

Early 1960s

Vassincourt Medical Depot, 1961 (aerial photo courtesy IGN)
If you have more information on the history or organization of the Vassincourt Medical Depot at Vassincourt, please contact me.

Vitry-le-Francois Medical Depot

Former Vitry-le-Francois Medical Depot (Bing)

Vitry-le-Francois Medical Depot, 1959 (IGN)

Vitry-le-Francois Medical Depot, video by S.R. Payton (YouTube)
(Source: USAREUR Medical Bulletin, August 1962)
Located in the heart of the battlefields of World War I and World War II is a key installation of the medical network of the U.S. Army in Europe - the U.S. Army Medical Depot, Vitry-le-Francois ().

The Vitry depot is somewhat unique in that it was built as a medical installation. It was constructed to accommodate a large hospital facility and a medical depot. The 77th Medical Depot (ComZ) operates the depot, and provides support for other units stationed there and quartered in the hospital buildings. Among these are three other medical units. A segment of the 16th Field Hospital operates the dispensary at Vitry, providing medical service for the installation and also for two nearby garrison activities at Brienne-le-Chateau and Chalons-sur-Marne. The 591st Medical Ambulance Company has headquarters at Vitry. It provides evacuation services for all installations in eastern France. The 505th Medical Holding Company trains at Vitry. The 70th Transportation Company (Medium Truck) also operates out of the Vitry installation.
The Vitry installation is located on the Paris-Strasbourg highway, 112 miles east of Paris and two miles east of Vitry-le-Francois, a city of 12,000 located in the Marne Valley. Vitry-le-Francois has been a transportation and communication center for centuries. It is nicknamed the "Crossroads City", and sits astride the main supply route from French ports to 7th Army units.

In November 1954 the medical depot was established in Fontainebleau, as the Fontaineblau Medical Depot. It was moved to Vitry-le-Francois in April 1957. In September 1960 the depot was reorganized as the 77th Medical Depot (ComZ). The 4th Logistical Command has designated the 77th Medical Depot a subordinate command with installation status.

The 77th Medical Depot performs most of the normal depot supply missions. The principal mission is the building of Major medical assemblages, and their storage. These assemblages have recently been reconstituted with new stocks and modern equipment. This insures that supplies and equipment issued to medical units in emergencies will be the very best available and "ready to go". A large percentage of the assemblages are being stored in dispersed areas. The depot has the responsibility of inspecting these assemblages and keeping them up to date and ready for use. In addition to supplying medical activities. this depot has the capability of establishing an optical shop and blood distribution center if such additional services are required.

The Medical Maintenance Division of the depot supports hospitals and dispensaries in the eastern section of France, including the Paris and Fontainebleau hospitals. Maintenance support includes visits to the medical facilities for inspection, repair or installation of equipment. There is also a repair and return to user service in the depot shops. During inspection visits the teams assist operators in preventive maintenance, make minor repairs and offer advice concerning care and eventual replacement of equipment.

The shop inspects and repairs items from the depot stocks at regular intervals or at time of shipment. Medical technical items are routinely inspected to insure that they will function when received by the requisitioner.

Colonel Henry D. Roth, MSC, commands the 77th Medical Depot. He is assisted by Lt Col George H. Wilson, Executive Officer.

The 77th Medical Depot enjoys an excellent record of service and performance. It is an integral link in the USAREUR Medical Service.

If you have more information on the history or organization of the Vitry-le-Francois Medical Depot or the Army Hosptal at Vitry-le-Francois, please contact me.

Related Links:
  Chinon APO 256 - Larry Randall's website features US Army hospital, Chinon and Chinon Army Depot.