Disaster on Green Ramp: The Army s Response is based largely on oral histories and primary documents obtained by the Army history team and myself during research trips to Fort Bragg and Fort Sam Houston in 1994 and 1995. I also conducted several more interviews, in person and by telephone, with participants in the Army's response.
The emergency preparedness plans of Womack and Brooke Army Medical Centers and the San Antonio area casualty reception plan helped me to understand mass casualty strategy. The 82d Airborne Division's casualty status reports and miscellaneous casualty information documents were invaluable in providing statistics on the medical status, extent of burns and injuries, and dates of hospital admissions and departures for each casualty. The sequence of events in the response, including the decision-making process, and recommendations for future crises were best gleaned from the division's redline messages, its crisis action committee minutes, and G-1 historical log, as well as from the after-action reports and briefing slides of participating organizations. The most noteworthy after-action reports came from the XVIII Airborne Corps, Womack Army Medical Center, 57th Medical Company (Air Ambulance), Fort Bragg garrison, 23d Medical Squadron, Brooke Army Medical Center, and U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research. Capt. James B. Rich's essay, entitled "Memories," and Capt. Gerald K. Bebber's memorandum, together with the numerous oral histories and printed articles, provided vivid accounts of personal actions on Green Ramp and of individual experiences during treatment and recovery.
Printed articles also contributed rich stories of the Army's response at Fort Bragg and Fort Sam Houston. The most frequently cited newspapers were Army Times, Charlotte Observer, Fayetteville ObserverTimes, Fort Sam Houston News Leader, Korus Monthly, News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), Paraglide (Fort Bragg, N.C.), Philadelphia Inquirer, San Antonio Express-News, and Tiger Times (Pope Air Force Base, N.C.). I also used Soldiers magazine.
The oral histories are part of the collection of the U.S. Army Center of Military History, and the copies of the primary documents and newspaper and magazine articles are also housed here at the Center. Footnotes, therefore, do not include any repository. Each source is cited in full at first mention in each chapter, and subsequent references in the same chapter are shortened.