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USAH Frankfurt
7th Medical Command

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.


USAH Frankfurt History (1945-19..)

24th Gen Disp

122nd Med Det (DS)

MP Det

Newspaper articles




 
USAH Frankfurt History
1945-46
97th General Hospital
(Source: USAREUR Military History Office - Online Medical Histories, 2002)
97th General Hospital DUI

When the 97th General Hospital arrived in Frankfurt in July of 1945, it found a German hospital, completed in 1941, which was quite well equipped to take care of injured and ill Luftwaffe personnel -- and occasionally a captured American airman. An architect's mural which still stands near the main entrance of the hospital indicates the sweeping landscapes and decorative gardening which had been planned. The leisurely, oval approach to the main entrance, the curved foyer and hidden courtyards, the long unsymmetrical ward buildings and the expansive parks which surrounded the hospital were the materials from which the Luftwaffe was going to mould an impressive institution.

Originally, the hospital consisted of a main building seven thousand and seventy nine square meters in size, with five floors, four wings, a basement and sub-basement; an isolation building seven hundred and ninety square meters in size, with three floors; a utilities building two hundred and ninety square meters in size, with two floors; a generator building and a transformer building. When the Americans took the hospital for an installation of their own, several temporary buildings were constructed for additional facilities. Fourteen hospital Nissen-type hutments were added for convalescent wards; an enlisted men's recreational center was built with a bar and dance floor; three rectangular buildings were built for utilities work shops; a Red Cross building for patients' recreation was erected, as well as a timber type dining room being added to the official mess.

Approximately two hundred and thirty apartments were added to the hospital installation when a neighboring block of apartment buildings was assigned to the hospital for use in October of 1945. Between these apartment buildings and the hospital itself was a large gardening area which also became the property of the United States Army and later provided food and flowers for the use of the hospital. Altogether the installation covers almost twenty acres of land.

During the period 1 August 1945 to 31 May 1946, the 97th General Hospital admitted more than 14,000 patients to the hospital, some 13,000 being US Army personnel and approximately 1,300 being non-US. At the same time, 87,910 patients were treated at the outpatient dispensary. At one time the hospital had 980 of its authorized 1,000 T/O beds occupied.

The 97th General Hospital is one of the best equipped US Army hospitals in Germany. Its facilities compare favorably with hospitals of similar capacity in the States. Because of its central location, it has been designated as a special treatment center, being capable of caring for all types of cases normally treated in an overseas theater. Recently a pediatric section has been added to the many specialized sections of the hospital, including gynecological, pre-natal and post-natal clinics, and the hospital is completely prepared to handle all admissions and treatments of this type.

Since September 1945, the 97th General Hospital has been commanded by Colonel Stewart G. Smith, MC, who is ably assisted by Lt Col T.M. Carow, MC, his executive officer, and a well qualified professional staff. While redeployment has taken a heavy toll of specialists and presented many problems, the 97th General Hospital maintained a staff comparable to its facilities. As of 15 June 1946, the Medical Service was headed by Major S.S. Altshuler, MC, while Col Edmund Horgan, MC, was enroute to replace Capt O.R. Beusing, MC, as Chief of Surgical Service. The Dental Service was headed by Lt Col C.M. Farber, DC, and the Nursing Service, by Lt Col Doris E. Medlin, ANC; the Laboratory Service by Capt M. Kuschner, MC, and the X-Ray Service by Capt S.P. Barden, MC. Serving under the chiefs of services are specialist in gynecology and obstetrics, orthopediatrics, neuropsychiatry, dermatology, neuro-surgery, diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat, and other branches of medicine and surgery, completing a team competent to give American soldiers the best medical service of any Army in the world.


(**) Mural at 97th GH? Click on image to view high res.
1945-1950s
(Source: USAREUR Military History Office - Online Medical Histories, 2002)
UNIT HISTORY OF THE 97TH GENERAL HOSPITAL

In July, 1923, General Hospital No. 97 was constituted in the organized Reserves in the State of Florida. The unit was redesignated as the 97th General Hospital in June, 1929, and on 25 June 1943 it was ordered into active duty at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

On 23 March 1944, the 97th General Hospital set sail aboard the USS Argentina for what the troops considered parts unknown.

On 3 April 1944 the unit docked at Greenock, Scotland and walked onto British soil on the way to a new home at Wheatley, England, six miles from Oxford. On 22 April 1944, the 97th General Hospital officially took command of hospital plant 4143 and began furnishing fourth echelon medical care for troops in the European theater of operations.

As was expected, the invasion of the continent and the bloody push up the Normandy peninsula by the allied armies, sent the 97th into high gear. Six days after D-Day, the 97th unloaded its first train load of injured, and by 2 August 1944, 1,449 battle casualties reached the 97th General Hospital.

With a sense of satisfaction in a job well done, the 97th General Hospital began preparations for another move in early spring of 1945.

On 29 March, the 385th Armored Battalion captured a huge hospital plant constructed by the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) in the battle for Frankfurt/Main, and held it until 15 April when the 180th General Hospital occupied the building and grounds -- in time this was to be the permanent station of the 97th General Hospital.

The 97th departed Wheatley on 30 June 1945 and headed for France. Four days later they arrived at Le Havre, France where for twenty days the troops waited. On 30 July, 400 days after the units activation, the 97th General Hospital formally took up residence at Army Hospital Plant 4377 in Frankfurt/Main, Germany.

Upon arrival at the 97th General Hospital in Frankfurt, all personnel worked diligently and tirelessly to solve the many problems initially encountered in the new facility. With the influx of dependents to Europe after 1946, it was necessary to accommodate to the new nature of the patient load. One of the big accomplishments was the construction of three additional wings (F, G and H) in 1952 followed by construction of an emergency room, chapel, library, mess hall, officers' club, and a theater.

The 97th was selected for special service to aid in the Berlin air-lift in 1948-49; for its support of the operation, it was awarded the "Army of Occupation Medal with the Berlin Air-Lift Device".

On 1 January 1954, the hospital was redesignated US Army Hospital, Frankfurt operated by the 97th General Hospital with a total expandible bed capacity of 1,000.

The 97th General Hospital and the Frankfurt Army Regional Medical Center (FARMC) is the largest and busiest in Europe. Comprised of 11 troop medical clinics, 22 dental clinics, 3 veterinary detachments and numerous other field and TO&E units spanning a 100 mile radius. The 97th General Hospital is authorized an operating bed level of 330 plus 30 remaining overnight beds for evacuation patients. The hospital functions as the medical evaluation center for patients being evacuated to the United States. It also operates a regional neonatal intensive care unit for the dependents of US Army Forces in Europe. The hospital provides specialized treatment in 22 areas to include: allergy, audiology, cardiology, dermatology, gastroenterology, internal medicine, dentistry, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics, pediatrics, pulmonary disease, psychiatry, rheumatology and urology. The 97th General Hospital and the Frankfurt Army Regional Medical Center continues to function as the home of concerned care.
 
If you have more information on the history or organization of the 97th Gen Hosp/USAH Frankfurt/FARMC, please contact me.

1954

Christmas Menu (includes hospital roster)

MOTOR POOL, 97th GH
1956-57
(Source: Email from Jim Gibson, 97th Gen Hosp -- see also email 34th Hospital Train)
I was assigned to the Utility Section at the 97th Gen Hosp from April 1956 to August 1957

Motor Pool
97th Gen Hosp

 

1. The motor pool area (KB)

2. H-13 air ambulance helos (KB)

3. Utility Section (KB)


4. Trash truck (KB)

5. Tractor used for mowing grass (KB)

6. Tractor (KB)
 

7. Utility Section personnel (KB)

8. Motor pool personnel (KB)

9. Duty drivers (KB)
 

10. Utility Section work shop (KB)

11. (KB)

12. (KB)
 

13. Carpenter Shop (KB)

14. Carpenter Shop (KB)

15. (KB)
 
 
ADDITIONAL PHOTOS

Additional
97th Gen Hosp

 

1. H-13 (KB)

2. H-34 (KB)

3. Air Rescue (USAFE) H-19 (KB)


 
1956-57

Motor Pool
97th Gen Hosp

 

Special Order #155, Oct 1956 (KB)

Operational Order #37, Nov 1956 (KB)

Operational Order #5, Mar 1957 (KB)


1. The motor pool area (103 KB)

2. (94 KB)

3. Cadillac ambulances (129 KB)


4. Side view (112 KB)

5. (95 KB)

6. (118 KB)
 

7. (97 KB)

8. (139 KB)

9. (116 KB)
 

10. (126 KB)

11. (64 KB)

12. (78 KB)
 

13. (124 KB)

14. (140 KB)

15. (104 KB)
 

 
24th General Dispensary
1984
(Source: Email from Eric Vega, 24th Gen Disp, 1984)

24th Gen Disp
Pendleton Bks, Giessen

 

1. (KB)

2. (KB)

3. (KB)


4. Bundesbahn ticket (KB)

5. Giessen Bus ticket (KB)
   

 
122nd Medical Detachment (Dental Svc)
1963
(Source: STARS & STRIPES, May 1963)
122nd Med Det Boasts Care of 32,000 Dentures

FRANKFURT (Special) -- The 122nd Medical Det, which includes the largest dental clinic in Europe, is responsible for the care of more than 32,000 persons in the Frankfurt Medical Service Area.

To do this job, the 122nd has the help of 37 Dental Corps and civilian dentists, 19, enlisted men and 35 civilian employes who operate its four clinics.

The largest clinic, located in downtown Frankfurt, has 25 dental chairs and the smallest, located at Hoechst, only five chairs. The Darmstadt clinic with 16 chairs is second in sire to Frankfurt. The fourth, at Edwards Casern, Frankfurt, is run entirely with 7th Army personnel.

The Frankfurt clinic, under the direction of Lt Col Charles R. Schroeder, cares for patients of all military services, DACs and dependents.

It also, stresses preventive dentistry through films, lectures and programs in the schools and for American community groups and troop units.

This program, which claims a good deal of time after normal duty hours, is credited with a substantial drop in dental disorders in the 122nd's area in the past year.

The more than 130,000 individual procedures performed by the unit last year included, in addition to the more routine cleaning and cavity filling, many of the specialty treatments available under' the Dental Corps program.

The Frankfurt clinic, for instance, has specialists in periodontia (treatment of gums and tissue surrounding the teeth), prosthodontia (dentures, fixed bridges and crowns), endontia (removal of tooth pulp) and oral surgery.

As Lt Col John Watkins, 122nd CO, notes, "The 122nd's variety and quality of treatment is typical of the Army Dental Corps which celebrated its 52nd year in March."

 
Military Police Detachment
1955
(Source: Email from John Henderson)
I stumbled across your web site while looking for old comrades from my time in Germany (1955 - 1957).
 
I think my unit was some kind of an orphan.  I was in a military police detachment assigned to the 97th General Hospital in Frankfurt.  We were basically security guards manning three gates and a prison ward.  We patrolled the grounds of the hospital and the enlisted barracks area as well as the many halls and passageways within the hospital.  We also collected the payroll for the personnel from the I G Farben building.  I never asked what unit we were detached from.  Some thought it was the 709th  but I am not sure.  I know the 709th boys looked down their noses at us.  They busted a couple of drunken types down near the Bahn Hoff but were nice enough to drop them off without writing them up.
 
I played football one season with the NACOM Black Knights (1956 season).  I was on TIDY for about 6 months practicing and then playing about 14 games.  The team was undefeated and was named USAREUR champs.  The enlisted men on the team were billeted in a barracks near WAC Circle.  The officers had better quarters but the WAC Circle quarters were pretty good.
 
A lot of odd ball types came through the WAC circle compound.  Entertainers of every ilk = I remember that two of Bin Crosby's sons were there.  They hung out with the players a lot.  I never knew what they did but they had been drafted and the Army used them in some kind of show.  Lot's of dance bands came through.  And then there was the flood of Hungarian men dressed in army ODs without insignia - refugees from the failed "Hungarian revolution" who had volunteered to join the US armed forces.  They were shuttled off somewhere for training.
 
The football team was rewarded for a successful season with a 10 day holiday in Garmish - all expenses paid.  We were the pets of one major general.  He liked to hang out with jocks.  The rumor was a lot of betting between commanders on the games. 

It's amazing what you start remembering when you just try.

 
Newspaper Articles
 
(Source: MEDCOM Examiner, August 1982)
Frankfurt Army Regional Medical Center DUI

FARMC: Home of concerned medical care


By Ruth Hamill
Editor's note: This is the third in a series of articles highlighting 7th MEDCOM facilities. Future issues of the MEDCOM Examiner will feature each of the MEDDACs, MEDCENs and other MEDCOM treatment facilities in a series of articles designed to further acquaint readers throughout 7th MEDCOM with each facility.

City life may not be for everyone, but for those assigned to the Frankfurt Army Regional Medical Center, it does have its advantages. Frankfurt is a major financial, industrial, commercial and transportation center of Europe and offers many opportunities not as readily available in a smaller, less centrally located community.
 
The Frankfurt Army Regional Medical Center (FARMC) is located on Clarke Kaserne . It is one of 7th MEDCOM's two Regional Medical Centers (the other is in Landstuhl) and consists of the 97th General Hospital in Frankfurt, plus 10 outlying health clinics in Darmstadt, Aschaffenburg, Gelnhausen, Fulda, Giessen, Bad Hersfeld, Dexheim, Hanau, Oberursel and Mainz. An eleventh clinic in Butzbach is temporarily closed for renovation.

Although FARMC provides primary medical care to more than 100,000 eligible people in the Frankfurt area of responsibility, it also serves as a referral center for members of the Armed Forces and their dependents stationed throughout Europe. In addition to many other specialty services, the 97th General Hospital has the only high risk obstetrics service and the only neonatal intensive care nursery among 7th MEDCOM's facilities in Europe.
The building, now housing FARMC and the 97th General Hospital, was originally constructed between 1938 and 1944 and at that time was one of the most modern in Germany, having such uncommon features as elevators. Upon approval from Hitler, architect Professor Bonatz approached the design of the "Hermann Goering Luftwaffe Hospital" as if it were a factory, with the end product being the operation. It was designed to hold 300 beds in peacetime, with expansion capabilities to 600 beds without any structural changes. An unusual characteristic in the construction was the use of steam pipes which served both as heating elements and as reinforcement for the cement walls and ceilings. The method was used to economize steel which was needed for the armament industry. Construction was completed in time for the invasion of Poland and the arrival of the first casualties.

Americans in the middle
During the hospital's occupation by the Germans it was used as a 350-bed luxury Luftwaffe hospital. The A-wing was occupied by patients with a prolonged recovery period and by Allied prisoners needing hospitalization. The French prisoners were kept on the ground floor, the Americans on the second, and the British on the third. Supposedly this pattern developed because the Germans had some respect for the French, less for the Americans and least of all for the British; hence, any bombings would inflict the greatest casualties on the upper floors where the British were hospitalized. (The hospital received no damage from air attacks during World War II). The Germans are believed to have had more respect for the French because they did not participate in the air raids which destroyed many German cities.

On March 29, 1945, the 385th Armored Battalion of the U.S. Army captured the hospital plant in the Battle for Frankfurt/Main and held it until April 15 when the 180th General Hospital occupied the building and grounds. It became the permanent station of the 97th General Hospital on July 30, 1945, just 400 days after the unit's reactivation for World War II. Prior to arriving in Frankfurt, the 97th furnished fourth echelon medical care to troops in the European theatre from Hospital Plant 4143 in Wheatley, England, eight miles from Oxford.

97th Gen Hosp DUI
 
Participated in Air Lift
Shortly after World War 11, the 97th General Hospital was awarded the "Army of Occupation Medal with the Berlin Airlift Device" for its special service in the Berlin Air Lift in 1948 and 1949.

Dependents began arriving after 1946 and additional construction was necessary to accommodate the increased patient load. Three wings were built in 1952, followed by the construction of an emergency room, chapel, library, mess hall, officer's club and theater.

And 32 years later FARMC is again being renovated to meet the patients needs. The $52 million renovation and construction project will include a new wing housing the emergency room, intensive care unit and surgery-intensive care. Some clinics and wards are also being upgraded and there will be a new central materials section and some additional office space. A second portion of the project is a utilities upgrade beginning tentatively on Sept. 1 and lasting four and one half years. One reason for the utilities upgrade is to comply with the standards set by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals. FARMC was surveyed and accredited in November 1980 and was recently resurveyed this summer.
Currently the hospital has 310 beds, with expansion capabilities to 1,000. It is the air evacuation center for MEDEVAC flights to the States and maintains an additional 30 beds for MEDEVAC patients who stay there overnight before flying to CONUS. In March, there were approximately 39 admissions per day with the average length of stay slightly longer than six days. About 238 beds were occupied each day. The 97th averages six live births daily. There are more than 1,800 daily clinic visits to the 97th and all outlying clinics. In addition to the 97th General Hospital and the clinics, FARMC includes the 110th Medical Detachment (Veterinary Services) commanded by Lt. Col. Max E. Coats, Jr. The Frankfurt DENTAC, commanded by Col. Allen W. Brown, is co-located with FARMC. There are 22 outlying dental clinics operated by the three dental detachments which make up the Frankfurt DENTAC.

Location offers much
Col. John F. Taylor, MC, has commanded FARMC since his arrival from the Ft. Knox MEDDAC in August 1980. While discussing the command at FARMC he said, "Frankfurt is different from other locations and that is a mixed blessing. Because it is a large metropolitan community there is a traffic problem. It can also be difficult to find economy housing. On the other hand, it is a major air and rail terminus which gives our people a greater opportunity to travel in Germany and Europe. In such a large, bustling community there are many possibilities for both the single soldier and the soldier here with a family."

As of July, there were more than 2,000 people working at FARMC, the Frankfurt DENTAC and all of the outlying health and dental clinics. Of the 323 officers, 76 belong to the Medical Corps, 48 to the Medical Service Corps, nine to the Army Medical Specialists Corps, 83 to the Army Nurse Corps, 97 to the Dental Corps and four to the Veterinary Corps. There are also two Warrant Officers and four Chaplains. There are more than 1,000 enlisted people and upwards of 650 civilians.

In addition to the high risk obstetrics and neonatal intensive care facilities, FARMC also has the only eye laser available in the Army's facilities in Europe. According to Col. Charles Daily, MC, chief of the Eye Clinic, the laser is used to treat various types of eye problems, for example, diabetics suffering from retinal detachments or tears to the retina. He sees three to five people daily on a referral basis.

FARMC also has a thriving Nurse-Midwifery Service headed by Maj. Jeri Graham. Since July 1978 the service has been providing care for normal mothers and their newborns in collaboration with the FARMC Department of Nursing and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. A Board Qualified Obstetrician is appointed to provide medical direction for the Nurse-Midwifery Service and an obstetrician is accessible for consultation with the nurse-midwifes in the clinical setting. The service is currently handling about one-third of the vaginal deliveries at the hospital.

EHIS Prototype
According to Col. Jack Story, Jr., executive officer at FARMC, the MEDCEN also has plans to expand its computer capabilities. The 97th is the prototype site for the European Hospital Information System (EHIS). Although the hardware is installed and Story anticipates the first program will be on line by September, it will take at least three years before all remaining programs are on line.

So in spite of its rich past, FARMC, like Frankfurt, has its eye on the future. Dr. Taylor said that the new equipment at FARMC is better than what many doctors had available in their residencies. He added, "But it's not only the equipment, it's the people who make this place. This is the finest group of people I have ever worked with."

Although FARMC is offering high quality care in an up to date facility today, tomorrow will see many improvements both in the facilities and in the services provided by this fine metropolitan medical center.

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