69th MEDICAL DEPOT CO.
SOS USF in IBT
15 January 1945
THE FOLLOWING IS THE HISTORY OF THE 69TH MEDICAL DEPOT CO.
On the 20th day of January 1943, three (3) Officers and Thirty eight (38) Enlisted Men, then known as Section 1, Advance Section Platoon, 7th Medical Supply Depot, left Camp Anza, California to embark for Service in India. This organization arrived in Ledo, Assam on the 17th day of March 1943.
At that time no Medical Supply Depot existed at Base Section #3, and these Officers and Enlisted Men, within a few months time were serving approximately 30,000 troops. The CMS Depot operated in Margherita and the AMS operated in Powaii, Assam.
In the early part of November 1943, one (1) Officer and two (2) Enlisted Men left the main Medical Supply Depot at Ledo, Assam, to set up an Advanced Medical Supply Depot at Naungyang, Burma, to service combat troops then fighting in the Hukuang Valley. This was done because the troops in the forward area could not be quickly supplied from such a great distance as it was from Ledo. These depots moved forward rapidly as the fighting progressed and the Ledo Road opened. On 5 December 1943 the depot moved from Naungyang to Tigap, Burma where the number of enlisted men was increased to four (4), the depot remained here until 18 January 1944 at which time it was moved into the Hukuang Valley at Shingbwiyang, Burma, where it was joined by four (4) more enlisted men from Ledo, which now made a total of one (1) Officer and eight (8) enlisted men. The depot remained at Shingbwiyang and operated mobile depots forward of that point at both Maingkwan, and Shadazup, Burma until 6 June 1944, at which time the permanent depot moved from Shingbwiyang to Warazup, Burma. After the fighting was reduced to a minimum in the Moguang Valley, the depot was moved to Myitkyina, Burma on 4 August 1944, at this point three (3) enlisted men were rotated to Ledo.
These depots were set up as close as eight (8) miles from the actual fighting. The conditions under which the men lived were for the most part, no better than that of the fighting man in the front lines. All buildings and furniture were constructed of bamboo and salvaged crates by the officer and the men operating the depot, under such handicaps as knee deep mud, continuous rain and no lighting facilities. At one depot a narcotic vault was constructed by the men, of logs criss-crossed and wired together and covered on the outside by a woven mat of bamboo, and later when materials were accessible by road, it was lined with sheet metal on the inside which made the vault almost as sound as a concrete structure.
On many occasions the men were completely cut off from the base due to road and bridge washouts, at which time, telephone communication was useless and food and supplies had to be air-dropped.
On occasions the depots were under enemy fire and personnel were forced to stay in fox-holes because of bombing attacks, then go back to work, building or readying supplies to be sent to the front lines.
All supplies sent to the front lines had to be moved by truck, boat, plane and sometimes horseback or porter. These supplies had to be boxed or crated and the wood and nails had to be salvaged by the men repeatedly for reuse. Full use was made of empty bottles and tin cans salvaged from the Mess halls, for shipping small quantities of items, because containers were never available.
Because of these Advance Depots, the Medical Installations were able to furnish the wounded with the finest medical attention with the least practicable delay.
On or about 1 April 1944, Captain Frederick Miller, who was then Commanding Officer, was relieved of his Command and was replaced by 1st Lt. Warren R. Lee, and the two Depots in the base were consolidated and operated out of Tikkak, Ledo.
On the first day of June 1944, the organization was redesignated as Section 1, Advanced Depot Platoon, 69th Medical Depot Company, with a strength of two (2) Officers and Thirty-two (32) Enlisted Men. The organization operated independently and had no known higher headquarters.
On the 14th day of August 1944, 1st Lt. James W. Anderson, Snc, was relieved of assignment with the organization and transferred to the 20th General Hospital, Ledo, Assam. At this time 2nd Lt. George J. DeBroeck, MAC., was transferred into the organization.
On the 8th day of July, 2nd Lt. Glenn E. Randleman, MAC., (Lt. Lee's replacement) arrived, and joined the organization.
On the 15th day of September 1944, Captain Lee was returned to the Zone of Interior under the rotation policy and 2nd Lt. George J. DeBroeck, who was then operating a depot at Myitkyina, returned to the base and assumed command.
On September 18, 1944, the organization received orders to leave India with station at Kunming, China. The organization left India on the 13th day of October 1944 and arrived in Kunming, China the 13th of October 1944 with two (2) Officers and Thirty (30) enlisted men. Upon arrival at Kunming, China, the organization was reactivated and redesignated as the 1st Storage & Issue Platoon, 69th Medical Depot Company, with an authorized strength of two (2) Officers and Twenty-Five (25) Enlisted Men.
On the 16th day of October 1944, one (1) Officer and ten (10) Enlisted Men left Kunming to set up an Advanced Depot at Yunnanyi, China.
General Orders No. 162, Hq. SOS, USAF, CBI, APO 885, dated 10 October 1944, the 69th Medical Depot Company, (Less Maintenance Platoon and 1st Storage & Issue Platoon) is activated with strength of six (6) Officers, one (1) Warrant Officer and seventy-six (76) Enlisted Men and is assigned to Intermediate Section No. 2, with station at APO 629. Effective 10 October 1944, Medical Detachment No. 2, (Supply) is disbanded. This personnel was absorbed into the 69th Medical Depot Company. Paragraph 3, SO 291, Hq. SOS, USAF, CBI, APO 885, dated 19 October 1944, assigned Major Paul E. Clemens, 0248098, as Commanding Officer of the 69th Medical Depot Company.
On the 23rd day of October 1944, 1st Lt. Gornall (now Captain) and 12 Enlisted Men of the 14th Medical Depot Company who were on DS at China, were transferred into the 2nd Storage & Issue Platoon of the 69th Medical Depot Company with no change of station.
In its operations as part of Intermediate General Depot No. 2, there has been allocated approximately 106,375 square feet of warehouse space, with warehouses located at SOS Staging Area (3), Nudwa (8), Chabua (11), and North Blaijan (6).
Since the activation of the Hq. and 3rd Storage & Issue Platoon, the Section has handled 695.3 tons incoming and 491.7 tons outgoing.
A new Depot Area has been authorized at North Balijan which will give the Section 135,000 square feet. Company area will house Fifty (50) Enlisted Men and six (6) Officers with Mess hall, showers and tentage to serve the Company.
/s/ P. E. CLEMENS,
/t/ P. E. CLEMENS,
A TRUE COPY
/s/ JOSEPH F. BOLAN,
Asst. Med. Supply O.