THE ROLE OF THE ARMY MEDICAL SERVICE IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC CRISIS OF 1965
Darrell G. McPherson
Captain, Medical Service Corps
Office of The Surgeon General
Department of the Army
THE HISTORICAL UNIT, UNITED STATES ARMY MEDICAL SERVICE
COL ROBERT S. ANDERSON, MC, USA, Director
CHARLES J. SIMPSON, Executive Officer
HAZEL G. MINE, Chief, Administrative Branch
ERNEST ELLIOTT, Jr., Chief, Editorial Branch
RODERICK M. ENGERT, Chief, General Reference and Research Branch
ROSE C. ENGELMAN, Ph.D., Chief, Historians Branch
GERALDINE B. SITES, Acting Chief, Information Activities Branch
LTC JOSEPH ISRAELOFF, MSC, USA, Chief, Special Projects Branch
The ability of the Army Medical Service to react quickly in cases of extreme international emergencies was graphically illustrated during the Dominican Republic crisis of 1965. The sudden commitment of a large force to counter a threatened Communist takeover brought with it a number of medical problems. The solutions to these problems again demonstrated the need for continued emphasis on sound planning and constant readiness, in order that the Army Medical Service mission of conserving the fighting strength can be accomplished with a minimum of difficulty.
The medical situation in the Dominican Republic was noteworthy in many respects, especially in the extensive and highly successful phase of civilian care, which offered immediate and effective treatment to more than 50,000 Dominicans in dire need of expert medical care. Medical personnel, too, gained significantly from the realistic training opportunities created during this critical operation.
The success of our medical mission must be measured by more than the lives saved and the treatment provided. The lessons learned from this experience will be beneficial in future planning when similar contingencies are encountered.
LEONARD D. HEATON,
The Surgeon General.
The most valuable contributions to the preparation of this monograph were made by the actual participants in the Dominican Republic operation. Before and after writing got underway, frank discussions about the medical activities of the operation were held with many of the officers and men of the Surgeon's Office, XVIII Airborne Corps; the 307th Medical Battalion and the Surgeon's Office, 82d Airborne Division; the 55th Medical Group and affiliated units; the Surgeon's Office, USCONARC; and the Office of The Surgeon General.
Special thanks are due for the valuable assistance provided by LTC Foster C. McCaleb, Jr., MC, Surgeon, XVIII Airborne Corps; MAJ Howard D. Smith, MSC, Medical Operations Officer, XVIII Airborne Corps; MAJ Quitman W. Jones, MC, Surgeon, 82d Airborne Division; CPT Robert E. Steward, MC, Acting Surgeon, 82d Division; 2LT John T. Lane, MSC, of the Surgeon's Office, 82d Division; LTC Charles Anistranski, MSC, Commanding Officer, 307th Medical Battalion; CPT Robert F. Elliott, Commanding Officer, of Company D, 307th Medical Battalion; 2LT Joseph Palumbo, MSC, of Company C 307th Medical Battalion; COL Peter S. Scales, MC, Commanding Officer, 55th Medical Group; LTC Richard F. Barquist, MC, who succeeded COL Scales; LTC William L. Richardson, MC, Commanding Officer, 15th Field Hospital; LTC Donald G. McLeod, MC, another Commanding Officer, 15th Field Hospital; MAJ Kent E. Gandy, MSC, Commanding Officer, 54th Medical Detachment (Helicopter Ambulance); CPT Francis A. Sunseri, MC, of the 42d Civil Affairs Company; Mr. Morris Bradley O'Bryant, entomologist with the Pan American Health Organization; COL L. E. Sharpe, MSC, and LTC James D. Davenport, Jr., MSC, of the Surgeon's Office, USCONARC; Dr. Brooks E. Kleber, Chief Historian, USCONARC; and Arthur R. Turner, M.D., Chief Medical Intelligence Coordination Officer, Office of The Surgeon General.
Others who furnished information by mail or in person during trips by Historical Unit personnel to the Dominican Republic, Fort Bragg, Fort Monroe, Fort Meade, Office of The Surgeon General, and elsewhere are too numerous to mention, but the courtesy and helpfulness of all was much appreciated.
A history of the operation prepared by LTC McCaleb was a primer, source for this monograph and for much of the factual material, the flavor and the historical evaluations. Other information contained in this monograph, not derived from interviews or from the documents cited in footnotes, came from general sources, such as newspapers and reference books.
A special note of appreciation is due the author, CPT Darrell G. McPherson, MSC, who not only gathered all the reference material and evaluated it, interviewed key personnel, both in the continental United State and in the Dominican Republic, but also organized and carried through to
completion the overall preparation and writing of this monograph. During a very successful and productive tour of duty with the Historical Unit, CPT McPherson's additional achievements included co-authorship of the History of Physical Standards in World War II and the completion of a chapter in Volume VIII of the History of Preventive Medicine in World War II. He departed this unit on 11 May 1966 to activate and assume command of the 27th Military History Detachment.
ROBERT S. ANDERSON
Colonel, Medical Corps,
Director, The Historical Unit.
PREVENTIVE MEDICINE-CIVIL PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIVITIES
Public Service Functions
Garbage Collection and Disposal
Extent of Medical Treatment Provided Dominican Civilians