Guide to Federal Records

Records of the Office of the Surgeon General (Army)


(Record Group 112)
1775-1987 (bulk 1818-1987)

Overview of Records Locations

Table of Contents

  • 112.1 Administrative History
  • 112.2 Central Office Records 1775-1959
    • 112.2.1 Correspondence
    • 112.2.2 Issuances and reports
    • 112.2.3 Records relating to military personnel
    • 112.2.4 Records relating to fiscal matters
    • 112.2.5 Records relating to medical property and supplies
    • 112.2.6 Records relating to hospitals
    • 112.2.7 Reference aids
    • 112.2.8 Records of the Historical Unit
    • 112.2.9 Miscellaneous Records
  • 112.3 Records of Subordinate Administrative Units 1873-1951
    • 112.3.1 Records of pre-World War I units
    • 112.3.2 Records of World War I and later units
    • 112.3.3 Records of the United States of America Typhus Commission (USATC)
    • 112.3.4 Records of the Psychiatry and Neurology Consultant
    • 112.3.5 Records of the Directorate of Professional Services
  • 112.4 Records of Army Medical Examining Boards 1862-96, 1901
  • 112.5 Records of Medical Department Field Installations 1859-1955
    • 112.5.1 Records of Army and Navy General Hospital, Hot Springs, AR
    • 112.5.2 Records of Letterman General Hospital, San Francisco, CA
    • 112.5.3 Records of the U.S. Army Hospital, Fort Benjamin Harrison, IN
    • 112.5.4 Records of Kirk Army Hospital, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD
    • 112.5.5 Records of the U.S. Army Hospital, Fort Devens, Ayer, MA
    • 112.5.6 Records of the Murphy Army Hospital, Waltham, MA
    • 112.5.7 Records of the Army General Hospital, Fort Bayard, NM
    • 112.5.8 Records of Dunham Army Hospital, Carlisle Barracks, PA
    • 112.5.9 Records of Valley Forge General Hospital, Phoenixville, PA
    • 112.5.10 Records of the Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, TX
    • 112.5.11 Records of McDonald Army Hospital, Fort Eustis, VA
    • 112.5.12 Records of Kenner Army Hospital, Fort Lee, VA
    • 112.5.13 Records of the U.S. Army Hospital, Fort Monroe, VA
    • 112.5.14 Records of Walter Reed General Hospital, Washington, DC
    • 112.5.15 Records of miscellaneous hospitals and medical facilities
    • 112.5.16 Records of medical depots
    • 112.5.17 Records of miscellaneous installations
  • 112.6 Cartographic Records (General)
  • 112.7 Sound Recordings (General) 1952-75
  • 112.8 Still Pictures (General) 1918-72

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112.1 Administrative History

Established: In the War Department by an act of April 14, 1818 (3 Stat. 426), regulating the staff of the army.

Predecessor Agencies: Surgeons and mates serving at posts or with regiments under the orders of individual post or regimental commanders (1789-1818).

Transfers: To the War Department General Staff (WDGS), 1939; to Services of Supply (SOS) as an operating division (later redesignated a supply service), effective March 9, 1942, by Circular 59, War Department, March 2, 1942, as part of a War Department reorganization authorized by EO 9082, February 28, 1942; to Army Service Forces (ASF, formerly SOS) as a supply service (later redesignated a technical service) by General Order 14, War Department, March 12, 1943; to War Department, as a technical staff, effective June 11, 1946, upon abolishment of ASF by Circular 138, War Department, May 14, 1946, in War Department reorganization authorized by EO 9722, May 13, 1946; to Department of the Army in the National Military Establishment, as a technical staff, by Circular 1, Department of the Army, September 18, 1947, implementing Circular 225, War Department, August 16, 1947, issued pursuant to a reorganization of the armed services under the National Security Act of 1947 (61 Stat. 495), July 26, 1947; with Department of the Army to Department of Defense (formerly National Military Establishment), pursuant to the National Security Act Amendments of 1949 (63 Stat. 579), August 10, 1949; to Army Staff (collective designation for General Staff, Special Staff, Administrative Staffs, and Technical Staffs), Department of the Army, 1950.

Functions: Administers the Army Medical Department. Provides advice and assistance on medical matters to the Secretary of the Army, the Chief of Staff, and other elements of the Department of the Army. Exercises general oversight and control of all aspects of army health services.

Finding Aids: Patricia Andrews, comp., and Garry Ryan, rev., "Preliminary Inventory of the Textual Records of the Office of the Surgeon General (Army)," NM 20 (1964); supplement in National Archives microfiche edition of preliminary inventories.

Security-Classified Records: This record group may include material that is security-classified.

Related Records: Record copies of publications of the Office of the Surgeon General (Army) in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government.

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112.2 Central Office Records
1775-1979

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112.2.1 Correspondence

Textual Records: Letters and endorsements sent, 1818-89, with indexes, 1871-89. Letters received, 1818-89 (530 ft.), with registers, 1822-89, and indexes, 1862-89. Correspondence relating to Army Medical Examining Boards, 1831-98. Telegrams sent, 1868- 89. General correspondence, 1890-1917 (512 ft.), with indexes and record cards (540 ft.). General correspondence, 1917-46 (595 ft.). Correspondence with military installations, commands, and units, and with civilian organizations, 1917-49 (2,637 ft.). Correspondence relating to persons and firms, 1917-37.

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112.2.2 Issuances and reports

Textual Records: Orders and circulars, 1818-1905. Orders, circular letters, memorandums, and bulletins, 1917-49. Sanitary and inspection reports, 1890-99, 1914-16. Annual and monthly reports of sick and wounded, 1867-1917. Annual reports of divisions of the Surgeon General's Office, 1942-59, and of components of the Army Medical Department, 1940-59. Essential technical medical data files, 1943-53.

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112.2.3 Records relating to military personnel

Textual Records: Lists of applicants for appointment to the Medical Department, 1816-54. Lists of medical officers, 1775- 1892. Military service cards of medical officers, 1775-1917, and dental surgeons, 1911-17. Strength returns, 1899-1917, and efficiency reports, 1898-1917, of army nurses. Registers of military service, 1856-87, and other records, 1862-1914, of hospital stewards and hospital corpsmen. Case files of applicants for appointment as dental surgeons, 1900-17, and as nurses, 1898- 1917. Lists, reports, and other records of volunteer medical officers, 1861-65, 1898-1902; medical reserve officers, 1908-18; dental reserve officers, 1917-18; and National Guard medical and dental officers, 1896-98, 1915-17. Personal data cards, reports, and other records relating to contract surgeons, 1862-1915; contract dental surgeons, 1901-16; and contract nurses, 1898- 1939. Records relating to clerks and laborers, 1878-1914; and to matrons, cooks, and laundresses, 1893-1904.

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112.2.4 Records relating to fiscal matters

Textual Records: Estimates of funds, 1871-1918. Requisitions for funds, 1864-1917. Ledgers, registers, and abstracts of disbursements, 1822-1928. Money accounts, 1864-1919. Daybooks of claims, 1822-1900. Registers of approved claims, 1849-1914. Claims, 1898-1900. Registers of contracts, 1871-85, 1907-14.

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112.2.5 Records relating to medical property and supplies

Textual Records: Registers and abstracts of property returns, 1818-1903. Registers and returns relating to sales and transfers of medical property, 1871-1917, 1921-25.

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112.2.6 Records relating to hospitals

Textual Records: General headquarters records of U.S. Army hospitals,1919-67. Registers of hospital staffs and lists of hospitals, 1861-70. Registers of construction and repair of post hospitals, 1875-1917. Register of hospital construction projects, 1919-26.

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112.2.7 Reference aids

Textual Records: "Policy and Precedent File," 1887-1948. Unit history cards for Army Medical Department components, 1940-49.

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112.2.8 Records of the Historical Unit

Textual Records: Records of the Administrative Branch consisting of weekly activities reports, 1957-71; manuscript history of the Historical Unit of the Army Medical Department, 1974; and general adminstrative files, 1956-79. Records of the Historian's Branch consisting of manuscript and correspondence on the history of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center ("Borden's Dream"), 1936-77; manuscript and background materials for the history of United States Army preventive medicine in World War II, 1959; autobiographical manuscript and background files of Under Secretary of the Army Tracy S. Voorhees, 1945-77; background materials for the history of the United States Medical Service Corps, 1957-59; background materials and monograph of the Army Medical Department in the Dominican Republic crisis in 1965 and 1966; manuscript and background materials on the history of the medical support of the United States Army in Vietnam from 1965 to 1970, 1973; and background materials for the history of the 85th Evacuation Hospital in Vietnam, 1965-75. Records of the Reference Branch consisting of inventory of medical unit annual reports, 1940-69; medical unit annual and general reports, 1950-69; command health reports for United States Army units in Vietnam, 1964-69; general subject files, 1941-69; biographical background files, 1950-74; program reports of the Army Medical Department, 1960-74; annual reports of divisions of the Surgeon General's Office, 1941-74; minutes of the Surgeon General's early morning conferences, 1947-69; files of Medical Education for National Defense (MEND), 1950-70; publication files, 1940-74; newsletters from medical field units in Vietnam, 1966-69; telephone directories and rosters of United States Army personnel, 1965-69; medical tables of organization and equipment, 1928-60; historical files of army medical specialist training classes, 1949-78; reports and records of Operation Homecoming, 1970-74; and records, including slides, showing Army Medical Department activities in Vietnam, n.d.

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112.2.9 Miscellaneous Records

Textual Records: Refiles, 1942-53.

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112.3 Records of Subordinate Administrative Units
1873-1987

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112.3.1 Records of pre-World War I units

Textual Records: Letters sent, registers of and indexes for letters received, registers and record cards for general correspondence, and miscellaneous registers and reports of the Finance Division, 1873-91; Property Division, 1873-94; Finance and Supply Division, 1883-1918; Sanitary and Disbursing Division, 1884-1906; Supply Division, 1884-1913; Hospital Corps Division, 1894; and Personnel Division, 1906-15.

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112.3.2 Records of World War I and later units

Textual Records: General correspondence, issuances, subject files, diaries, reports, and miscellaneous records of the Organization Division, 1917-25; Hospital Division, 1917-20, 1940- 50; Nursing Division, 1918-33, 1951; Purchase Division, 1932-45; Medical Statistics Division, 1940-50; Military Personnel Division, 1941-45; International (Supply) Division, 1942-47; Legal Division, 1942-47; Technical Information Division, 1942-45; Training Division, 1942-45; Medical Consultants Division, 1942- 47; Women's Health and Welfare Unit, Professional Administrative Service, 1942-44; Inspection Branch, Mobilization and Overseas Operations Division, 1943-45; Operations Service, 1943-45; and Office Service Division, 1944-46.

Architectural Drawings (5,200 items): Hospital Division blueprints of hospitals and medical buildings, 1917-50.

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112.3.3 Records of the United States of America Typhus Commission
(USATC)

Textual Records: Correspondence, reports, and research materials dealing with efforts to control and eradicate typhus fever, 1942- 46.

Photographic Prints and Lantern Slides (1,370 images): Activities of the USATC in Europe, North Africa, and the South Pacific, including scenes of infested areas, people, and corrective measures; laboratory tests on animals; notable figures, such as Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the Surgeon General, and the Undersecretary of War; and V-E Day in Paris, 1942-46 (T, 1,343 images; TS, 27 images). See also 112.8.

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112.3.4 Records of the Psychiatry and Neurology Consultant

Textual Records: Subject files, studies, and correspondence dealing with POW/MIA topics, 1971-77.

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112.3.5 Records of the Directorate of Professional Services

Textual Records: Correspondence, memorandums, and reports concerning medical fitness standards, 1911-87; and proposed changes to physical standards regulations, 1923-71.

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112.4 Records of Army Medical Examining Boards
1862-96, 1901

Textual Records: Letters sent and received, proceedings and minutes, reports of examinations, and lists and rolls of candidates of boards convened in Washington, DC, 1862-65, 1901; Cincinnati, OH, 1863-65 (in Chicago); New York, NY, 1865-96 (in New York); San Francisco, CA, 1874-75 (in San Francisco); and Chicago, IL, 1891-92.

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112.5 Records of Medical Department Field Installations
1859-1966

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112.5.1 Records of Army and Navy General Hospital, Hot Springs, AR

Textual Records (in Fort Worth): Register of applications for admission, 1887-89. Registers of patients, 1887-1906. Muster rolls, 1887-98. Case files, 1890-1912. Monthly returns, 1898- 1912. Annual reports, 1930-39.

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112.5.2 Records of Letterman General Hospital, San Francisco, CA

Textual Records (in San Francisco): Letters sent, 1898-1906. Registers of letters received, 1898-1906. Registers of correspondence, 1906-9, with gaps. Correspondence, name lists of patients, and other records relating to the San Francisco earthquake and fire, 1906. Issuances, 1900-4. Registers of patients, 1898-1907, with name indexes. Case files, 1898-1913 (385 ft.).

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112.5.3 Records of the U.S. Army Hospital, Fort Benjamin Harrison, IN

Textual Records (in Chicago): Correspondence, general orders, lists of candidates, minutes of meetings, and reports, 1954-63.

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112.5.4 Records of Kirk Army Hospital, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD

Textual Records (in Philadelphia): General orders, 1952-66. American Red Cross narrative activity reports, 1955. Organization planning files, 1953. Unit history files, 1953-55.

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112.5.5 Records of the U.S. Army Hospital, Fort Devens, Ayer, MA

Textual Records (in Boston): General orders, 1951-62. Organization and planning files, 1961-62. Organizational history files, 1951-57.

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112.5.6 Records of the Murphy Army Hospital, Waltham, MA

Textual Records (in Boston): General orders, 1951-57. Hospital regulations, 1951-57. Organization and planning files, 1953-57. Administrative procedural guides, 1953-57. Professional procedural guides, 1954-56. Annual report, 1952. American Red Cross narrative and statistical reports, 1953. Quarterly operations reports, 1956. Monthly analysis reports of hospital services, 1956. Monthly reports of workload data and personnel utilization in Conus hospitals, 1956. Monthly professional staff programs, 1956-57. Surgeon's daily (medical) diary, 1955-56. Proceedings of a symposium on military medicine, 1952. Emergency, disaster, and civil defense plans, 1956-57. Correspondence relating to faculty closure, 1957. Organizational history files, 1951-57.

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112.5.7 Records of the Army General Hospital, Fort Bayard, NM

Textual Records (in Fort Worth): Letters sent, 1899-1903, 1905-6, with indexes. Letters received, 1900-6, with register, 1906. General correspondence, 1906-12, with registers and indexes. Issuances, 1902-12. Monthly returns, 1903-12. Registers of patients, 1899-1907. Case files, 1900-12. Case histories, 1901-4.

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112.5.8 Records of Dunham Army Hospital, Carlisle Barracks, PA

Textual Records (in Philadelphia): General orders, 1960-63. Annual reports, 1951-56. Standard operating procedures, 1957.

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112.5.9 Records of Valley Forge General Hospital, Phoenixville, PA

Textual Records (in Philadelphia): General orders, 1950-65. American Red Cross narrative activity reports, 1953-57. Annual reports, 1950-57. Circulars, 1962. Medical daily diaries, 1956. Newspapers, 1950-65. Operating program progress report files, 1957-64. Operations planning files, 1961. Professional research papers, 1955. Professional staff programs, 1952-65. Regulations, 1954-61. Research and experimental files, 1953-59. Unit history files, 1951-57.

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112.5.10 Records of the Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, TX

Textual Records: Classified miscellaneous records, 1951-63.

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112.5.11 Records of McDonald Army Hospital, Fort Eustis, VA

Textual Records (in Philadelphia): General orders, 1952-66. Manuals, 1952. Operating procedure files, 1953.

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112.5.12 Records of Kenner Army Hospital, Fort Lee, VA

Textual Records (in Philadelphia): General orders, 1957-66. General correspondence, 1955. Annual reports, 1950-57. Medical daily diaries, 1951-62. Operating procedure files, 1951. Organization planning files, 1951-57.

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112.5.13 Records of the U.S. Army Hospital, Fort Monroe, VA

Textual Records (in Philadelphia): General orders, 1960-65. Requisitions, 1961.

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112.5.14 Records of Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Army Hospital, Washington, DC

Textual Records: Annual reports, 1911-19. Case files, 1909-12. Administrative records, 1939-51. Administrative records of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, 1944 and 1949. General records of the Army Medical Service Graduate School, 1949-51. Test files of the Medical Research and Development Board, 1948-51. Classified miscellaneous records, 1951-63.

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112.5.15 Records of miscellaneous hospitals and medical facilities

Textual Records: Case files, medical returns, and other records of General Hospitals 1-43; other general hospitals in the United States and Manila; and U.S. station hospitals and infirmaries, 1912-41. Records of hospitals aboard U.S. Army Transports, 1917- 19. Records of the Army and Navy General Hospital, Hot Springs, AR, 1945-54; the William Beaumont General Hospital, El Paso, TX, 1940-50; the Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, TX, 1936-53; the Fitzsimons General Hospital, Denver, CO, 1918-50; the Letterman General Hospital, San Francisco, CA, 1939-50; the McCornack General Hospital, Pasadena, CA, 1943-49; the Madigan General Hospital, San Francisco, CA, 1939-50; the Murphy General Hospital, Waltham, MA, 1946-50; the Oliver General Hospital, Augusta, GA, 1942-50; the Tilton General Hospital, Fort Dix, NJ, 1941-49; the Percy Jones General Hospital, Fort Custer, MI, 1942-53; the Staten Island Area Hospital, Staten Island, NY, 1943-48; the Fort Totten General Hospital, Fort Totten, NY, 1947- 49; and the Valley Forge General Hospital, Phoenixville, PA, 1942- 50. Records of the Fort Huachuca, AZ, Fort MacArthur, CA, and Fort Irwin, CA, Army Hospitals, 1953-63 (in Los Angeles).

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112.5.16 Records of medical depots

Textual Records: Letters sent, Atlanta, GA, Medical Supply Depot, 1898-99 (in Atlanta). Letters sent, 1898-1900, and register of letters received, 1899-1900, Savannah, GA, Medical Supply Depot (in Atlanta). Letters, telegrams, and endorsements sent, Huntsville, AL, Medical Supply Depot, 1898-99 (in Atlanta). Letters, telegrams, and endorsements received, Manila, Philippine Islands, Medical Supply Depot, 1900-1 (in San Francisco). Correspondence, Havana, Cuba, Arsenal Medical Depot, 1906-8. Correspondence, El Paso, TX, Medical Supply Depot, 1916-17 (in Fort Worth). Correspondence (in Atlanta), Fort Knox, KY, Medical Depot, 1946-48, and Louisville, KY, Medical Depot, 1947-52. Correspondence (in Kansas City), Kansas City, KS, Medical Depot, 1942-46, and St. Louis, MO, Medical Depot, 1944-45, 1951-55. Correspondence, Alameda, CA, Medical Depot, 1954-55 (in San Francisco). Records of the Alameda, CA, Medical Depot, 1952-53; Binghamton, NY, Medical Depot, 1920-48; Chicago,IL, Medical Depot, 1943-44; Denver, CO, Medical Depot, 1942-46; Kansas City, KS, Medical Depot, 1942-46; Los Angeles, CA, Medical Depot, 1942-46; Toledo, OH, Medical Depot, 1943-45; Louisville, KY, Medical Depot, 1942-50; St. Louis, MO, Medical Depot, 1917-55; and San Francisco, CA, Medical Depot, 1941-52. Unit history files, 322nd Medical Depot, Norristown, PA, 1962 (in Philadelphia).

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112.5.17 Records of miscellaneous installations

Textual Records: Invoices of supplies issued by the medical purveyor, Benecia Barracks, CA, 1859-61 (in San Francisco). Invoices of medical property issued by the medical purveyor, Harrison's Point, VA, 1862 (in Philadelphia). Letters sent by the Medical Subpurveying Depot, Fort Yuma, CA, 1873-76 (in Los Angeles). Correspondence and other records of the Vaccine Department, Army Medical School, relating to the production and testing of typhoid vaccine, 1912-39. Correspondence and reports of Neuropsychiatric Replacement Unit No. 1, Plattsburg Barracks, NY, 1918. Civilian personnel correspondence of the Medical Supply Office, Norfolk, VA, Quartermaster Intermediate Depot, 1920-22. Records of the Medical Field Service School, Carlisle Barracks, PA, 1920-46. Records of the Medical Department Board, 1941-46. Records of the Armored Medical Research Laboratory and the Medical Department Field Research Agency, Fort Knox, KY, 1942-48. Records of the Medical Replacement Training Center, Camp Pickett, VA, 1941- 43. Records of the Walter Reed Training Center, Washington, DC, 1940-51. Records of the Medical Service Veterinary School, Chicago, IL, 1957-63 (in Chicago).

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112.6 Cartographic Records (General)

See Architectural Drawings under 112.3.2.

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112.7 Sound Recordings (General)
1952-75

Address by Maj. William E. Mayer, Army Medical Corps, at the San Francisco, CA, Naval Shipyard, on the subject of Chinese communist brainwashing techniques used against U.S. servicemen during and after the Korean War, 1956 (1 item). Phonograph record of a song "A Nurse in the U.S. Army" performed by Connie Francis, 1963 (1 item). Oral history interviews, ca. 1952-75 (35 items).

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112.8 Still Pictures (General)
1918-72

Photographs (3,136 images): U.S. Army and Navy hospitals, 1933-54 (AH, 350 images). Esther Williams demonstrating medical reconditioning exercises, 1945 (CRP, 18 images). Views of Army General Hospital No. 21, Denver, CO, 1918 (DH, 87 images). Army medical facilities and equipment in Vietnam, ca. 1968 (EQ, 96 images). Medical training and treatment of troops, and medical equipment, 1924 (SG, 87 images). Army Medical Corps activities in Europe during and after World War II, including views of wounded soldiers and their transportation; hospitals, therapy, and nurses; and such notable individuals as Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, and Secretary of War Henry Stimson, 1943-46 (SGA, 1,149 images). Celebration of the 48th anniversary of the Army Nurse Corps, 1949 (SGN, 149 images). Army Medical Department relating to its involvement in the Vietnam War, 1960-70 (VT, 1,200 images).

Color Slides (368 images): Army dental facilities in Thailand, and Thai life, ca. 1968 (DT, 85 images). Army medical facilities in urban and rural areas in Vietnam, 1968-72 (SL, 283 images).

Lantern Slides (15 images): Life of Valentine Seaman, who introduced cow pox vaccination to New York City in 1799, n.d. (TSA).

Posters (140 images): Venereal disease prevention and the prevention of other diseases, 1942-44 (P).

See Photographic Prints and Lantern Slides under 112.3.3.


Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.
3 volumes, 2428 pages.

Ordering information

This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1995.


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