This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
9th Hospital Center
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 email me (webmaster).
Hospital Trains 57th Med Bn Newspaper articles
US Army Hospital Trains
(Source: Mike Keefe) Click here for a very nice article on WW2 Hospital Trains in the ETO (WW2 US Medical Research Centre). Several of the US Army hospital trains that served during WW2 in the European Theater remained in Germany as part of the Army of Occupation.
Hosp Train, 1946
(Source: STARS & STRIPES, March 6, 1953)
325th Hospital Train
In early March 1953, the 325th Hosp Train, a seven-car unit attached to the 57th Med Bn and stationed at Landstuhl, completed its first run to evacuate patients from the Com Z to the 320th Gen Hosp at Landstuhl. The train is made up of five ward cars (these are new, specifically designed sleeping cars), a baggage car and a diner and is equipped to carry a maximum of 336 litter patients or 448 ambulatory pastients. The crew consists of 36 military and civilian (German and French) personnel, including a train commander (a 2nd Lt.), a chief nurse (a Capt) and eight cooks. On its route between Landstuhl, Germany and Bordeaux, France, and back, the 325th Hosp Train stops
at scheduled points in the Com Z to pick up or drop off patients. The train is scheduled to make this trip approximately every two weeks. On its first run, the evacuation train picked up patients at Bordeaux, La Rochelle, Paris and Fontainebleau, France. After arriving back in Landstuhl, the patients were picked up by ambulances and transported to the 320th GH where they would undergo further examinations and observation. From there they might be evacuated by air to the US or sent to other Army hospitals in Europe. Another train, the 37th Hosp Train, is a two-car Diesel train that evacuates every Thursday patients from the 320th GH to the 97th GH in Frankfurt. Every Tuesday, this train makes a run to Verdun, France. (Source: STATION LIST, August 15 1953)
US Army Hospital Trains in Germany (1953):
UNIT DESIGNATION 31st Med Train (Amb Rail) 34th Med Train (Amb Rail) 37th Med Train (Amb Rail) 325th Med Train (Amb Rail) 329th Med Train (Amb Rail) LOCATION Hoechst Hoechst Rhine Medical Depot Rhine Medical Depot Bad Cannstatt COMMENTS
The 80th Med Train (Amb Rail) was not listed in the SL for Aug 1953 (Source: STARS & STRIPES, Jan 21, 1954) The 80th Hosp Train (based at Orleans, France) completed its first run -- a 110-mile trip from the US Army Hospital at La Rochelle to La Chapelle-St. Mesmin. Train CO of the 6-car train was Lt Col Gerard A. Bertrandt. Maximum capacity of the six-car train is 252 litter patients or 336 ambulatory patients or a combination of the two. The 80th Hosp Train arrived in Com Z in Dec of last year to replace an older hosp train. The capacity of the cars on the new train (13 triple-tiered bunks) is greater than that of the older cars (8 double-tiered bunks). Each of the new cars has its own heating and utilities equipment, whereas the older train had to carry an extra utility car. Five of the train's six cars contain modern pharmaceutical and kitchen equipment, the sixth car is designed to handle neuropsychiatric patients. Present plans call for the train to make two runs each month to La Rochelle or wherever it is needed. (Source: STATION LIST, June 15 1954)
US Army Hospital Trains in Europe (1954):
UNIT DESIGNATION 31st Med Train (Amb Rail) 34th Med Train (Amb Rail) 37th Med Train (Amb Rail) 80th Med Train (Amb Rail) 325th Med Train (Amb Rail) La Chapelle, France Rhine Medical Depot This was probably a National Guard or Army Reserve unit; possibly redes 22nd Med Train (Amb Rail) LOCATION COMMENTS
329th Med Train (Amb Rail)
This was probably a National Guard or Army Reserve unit; possibly redes 66th Med Train (Amb Rail)
(Source: Email from Chet Zarubnicky, 34th Hosp Train, 1954-55) I just came upon your website and was really surprised. I was assigned to the 34th Hospital Train from January 1954 to February 1955. The 34th Hospital Train was part of the 57th Medical Battalion and we were stationed at the McNair Barracks in Hoechst, Germany. Our mission was to transport patients from Munich back to Frankfurt. We started out on a Monday morning and stopped at all the stations where we would pick up patients on our way back from Munich. We would stay in Munich on Monday night and then start by loading up patients at Munich on Tuesday morning and make our way back to Frankfurt. We operated a two car diesel -- one car was for stretchers and the other car was for ambulatory patients and our crew. We also had a kitchen where our cook prepared meals for our patients while they were onboard. The trains were kept about a mile from our barracks at McNair Kaserne in Hoechst.They were kept on a siding there.This was the two car diesel. The picture you had posted of the train is exactly what our train looked like. I have been in touch with a few of the men when I wrote an ad that was placed in the American Legion magazine. At first they responded then they gradually dropped off. I still talk to one man from Tennessee every so often, but after 50 years what can we actually talk about? (Source: STATION LIST, Dec 13 1954) The 329th Hosp Train completed its first run (a one-car diesel engine) to Munich in Dec 1954. The 329th is responsible for medical evacuation of patients for primary hospitalization and consultation services in the Southern Area Command area. The hospital train is designed to augment ambulance runs from Straubing Sub-Area dispensaries to the Army hospital in Munich and from the Hohenfels SubArea dispensary to the Army hospital at Nuernberg. The train is scheduled to depart from Fuerth on Thursdays at 8 am and arrive in Munich at 1:52 pm. For the return trip (patients released from the Army hospital on their way back to their units), the train departs from Munich on Fridays at 3:05 pm each week. The 329th is commanded by Maj Joseph C. Ziesenheim. The hospital train is staffed by a nurse and six enlisted technicians. The train has a capacity of 12 litter and 6 amubulatory patients. It has the facilities to serve a hot meal during the trip. Dependent patients who go to Munich for consultation are billeted at the Columbia and Excelsior Hotels. (Source: STATION LIST, Dec 31 1955)
US Army Hospital Trains in Europe (1955):
UNIT DESIGNATION 22nd Med Train (Amb Rail) 31st Med Train (Amb Rail) 34th Med Train (Amb Rail) 37th Med Train (Amb Rail) LOCATION Einsiedlerhof Münchweiler Neubrücke Einsiedlerhof COMMENTS att 57th Med Bn att 57th Med Bn att 57th Med Bn att 57th Med Bn
66th Med Train (Amb Rail) 80th Med Train (Amb Rail)
Nürnberg La Chapelle, France
att 57th Med Bn
(Source: STARS & STRIPES, Sept 15, 1956)
The Army's Hospital Trains
By Jack Walters, Staff Writer Ever since the war, there have been U.S. Army ambulance trains in West Germany and part of France. The 57th Med Bn, commanded by Maj. B.A. Petrini, operates five such trains under the administration of the USAREUR Chief Surgeon, Maj Gen Alvin L. Gorby. On a roundtrip basis, these rolling dispensaries transport about 400 patients a month. The trains (one steam and four diesel) run between Nürnberg, Munich, Neubrücke, Münchweiler and Verdun. Main junction is Landstuhl, where the Army's 2d Gen Hosp is located, the largest outside the U.S. The steam train includes six ward cars, a diner and a coach for staff personnel. The diesels are two-car jobs containing galleys and pharmacies and are equipped to handle any kind of patient, from those requiring an incubator to an iron lung. The 57th is soon hoping to get new diesels which will cost $250,000 apiece and will be capable of traveling 100 mph, although except for extreme emergencies, the amublance trains travel slower than ordinary passenger or freight rail service. The longest run, from Munich to Neubrücke, takes 11 hours. The present diesels carry medical crews consisting of 15 EM, one nurse and an officer acting as train commander. The trains are operated by German personnel and are rented from the German Federal railroads. Maintenance is provided under contract. These ambulance units, designed primarily for servicemen, also on occasion handle dependents and American tourists requiring immediate attention. The organization's safety record is excellent, officials said.
The 57th Med Bn is the only one of its kind in Europe operating not only ambulance trains, but the more common four-wheel variety, plus helicopters. (Source: Email from Jim Gibson, 34th Hospital Train, Frankfurt-Hoechst, later Neubrücke) I was with the 34th Hospital Train from March 1955 to April 1956. The 2-Car Diesel hospital train used by the 34th was made in Germany. And by the way, a General in Heidelberg had a 2-Car Diesel just like ours without the Red Cross on top. While stationed in Hoechst, the 34th operated a weekly hospital train that left Hoechst Monday morning for a trip to Munich, Germany (I believe we went through Stuttgart on the way down and back). We would stay there over night and start our return trip back to Hoechst Tuesday morning picking up patients along the way for tranfer to other hospitals. After the unit tranferred to the 98th General Hospital in Neubrücke, late May or June 1955, our route was from Neubrücke to Nürnberg and back.
1. Jim Gibson, guard shack, McNair Ksn (KB)
2. Mess Hall (KB)
3. Baseball diamond (KB)
4. Game (KB)
5. Ambulance cars used while unit was at Hoechst (KB)
6. End of a busy day (KB)
7. Inside an ambulance car (KB)
8. SGT Lively watches the scenery go by (KB)
34th Hosp Train
1. Neubrücke to Nürnberg run (KB)
2. German train engineers and 3. One of the stops between PFC Hofmeister (KB) Neubrücke and Nürnberg (KB)
4. Meals for the patients are prepared on the train (KB)
5. A 34th Hosp Train nurse (KB) 6. Top Notch Special Service Club (KB)
8. NCO's of the 34th (KB)
9. NCO's of the 34th (KB)
13. (KB) (Source Email from Chet Zarubnicky, 34th Hosp Train, 1954-55) I was assigned to the 34th Hospital Train from January 1954 until February 1955 and yesterday I thought I would go into your website to see if anything was new. The pictures sent in by Jim Gibson brought back many memories. I recognized Jerry Thornton in picture number 7. In picture number 8 I recognized Jesse Lively with Jerry Thornton Picture number 8 shows the 2 German engineers -- the shorter of the 2 was Paul who was the engineer on our two car diesel. Pictured in picture number 8 from left to right are Hank Sauer, Dick Zehender, our first sergeant Robert Rogers and Sgt Dalzell. Picture number 9 shows from left to right -- Bill Jones, Jesse Lively and Sgt.
Day. Your website was the only one I came across that even knew anything about hospital trains. When I finished basic at Camp Pickett, Va. I was on orders for Korea, but the week we finished they signed the peace treaty and I was sent to medic school at Fort Sam Houston,Tx, then I did my practical training at Valley Forge, Pa. Then I was sent to Germany and assigned to the 34th Hospital Train in Hoechst. We were quartered in old German Police barracks and we were with the 31st Hospital Train, an ambulance company and the headquarters company. We were under the 57th Bn. Our mission was to transport injured soldiers from Munich to Frankfurt or any hospital that was between Munich and Frankfurt.We used a 2 car diesel -- one car for litters and the other was for ambulatory patients. We also had a kitchen where we provided meals for the patients. Since the stretchers would not go through the doors of the train we had to load and unload patients through the window of the train. These things still stick in my mind and it has been 55 years ago, but seems like yesterday and seeing the picture you had posted made it more enjoyable. Do you have an email address of Jim who submitted those pictures? He must have came there after I left since I left there in February 1955. Looking forward to hearing from you and if I can help you with anything else I would be happy to help.
(Source: STARS & STRIPES, March 23, 1970)
The B&F Railroad
The B&F .... Back and Forth .... Railroad is a nickname for the 2-car diesel ambulance trains operated by the 31st Medical Group. "Back and forth" for the control cabins at both ends of the trains that give the trains the ability to change directions without switching. There are 4 two-car ambulance trains in service in Germany today: 31st Medical Ambulance Train (Rail), USAH Muenchweiler (TOE 08-520GE01) 34th Medical Ambulance Train (Rail), USAH Neubruecke (TOE 08-520GE01) 37th Medical Ambulance Train (Rail), USAH Muenchweiler (TOE 08-520GE02) 80th Medical Ambulance Train (Rail), USAH Neubruecke (TOE 08-520GE02) Each two-car diesel train has a ten-car steam train for emergency backup service. Each two-car train is staffed with a crew of 8 American military personnel (a train commander; a nurse; a wardmaster; two ward assistants; three medical service attendants) and 3 German Bundesbahn employees (two engineers and one electrician). Each two-car train has facilities to handle 22 litter patients and (21) ambulatory patients. Each train includes an isolation compartment -- some of the patients are being transported for psychiatric treatment. CO of the 31st and 37th Amb Trains is 2nd Lt Peter Trembley; CO of the 34th and 80th Amb Trains is 2nd Lt Austin D. Edwards. The German-built diesel and steam trains were acquired by the US Army in the 1950s and ran (primarily the diesel trains) on a daily basis between many major troop areas in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Today, a two-car diesel runs each Tuesday between Neubruecke (98th General Hospital) or Muenchweiler (34th General Hospital) to Nuernberg, returning on Wednesday. A Saturday run is made between Neubruecke or Muenchweiler and Frankfurt a.M. (The Neubruecke trains alternate every other week with the Muenchweiler trains.)
The Tuesday run stops first at Landstuhl (Army Medical Center); makes a 40-minute refueling stop at Heidelberg (130th General Hospital); then heads for Frankfurt (97th General Hospital); next stops at Wuerzburg (33rd Field Hospital) to take on water; and then makes the last leg to Nuernberg (20th Station Hospital). After an overnight stay at Nuernberg, the train makes the return trip along the same route back to the home station, Muenchweiler or Neubruecke. Typically, the Tuesday run handles an average of 20-25 patients. The shorter Saturday run averages from 12 to 15 patients. The stop at Frankfurt is at the Frankfurt-Bonames siding; the stop at Wuerzburg is at the Aumuehle siding. (Webmaster Note: in reading the above article, I believe I have determined that 80th Amb Train used the diesel VT 08 train numbered "608-803". Can anybody confirm this? And if correct, does anybody know which VT 08's were used for the three other ambulance train units? And if we really want to get crazy, who knows more about the steam trains??? )
Die Baureihe 608 - in German - a page on US Army VT 08 series diesel trains hosted on the German lokfoto.de website; several nice photos include VT 08-805 ambulance train at the Heidelberg train station in 1966 and The General (VS 08-801) in the 1970s and 80s.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.