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38th Evac

William Blythe

Perhaps the most respected journalist and versatile author in Mecklenburg County’s history, Blythe got his professional training at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. His classmates included Thomas Wolfe, the future novelist, and Paul Green, future playwright.  Journalism was Blythe's first career, which he pursued at The Charlotte News (1922-1925) and The Charlotte Observer (1925-1950). He left the newspaper business and began writing books full time in 1950, winning awards for Miracle in the Hills and Thomas Wolfe and His Family.


Twenty-three years after his operation performed by Major William R. Pitts of Charlotte, Richard Tregaskis was still covering the wars. In a letter written in Honolulu on October 31, 1966, in reply to a request for permission to quote passages from Invasion Diary, Mr. Tregaskis granted permission and expressed his delight that the history of the 38th Evacuation Hospital unit was to be published.

Chapter 28

A casual examination of the 38th Hospital's admissions and dispositions records, which survive fortunately in detail, will reveal readily that the award of the Meritorius Service plaque to the unit was deserved. Continue reading chapter 28...

Chapter 27

On May 31 and June 1, 1945, forty enlisted personnel were transferred from the 38th and twenty-two were received from other units of the medical service in anticipation of the forthcoming disposition of the organization. Continue reading chapter 27...

Chapter 26

Five months after the 38th set up its tents at Montecatini the hospital was entering its final days at that location. It had arrived there November 10; it would close its operations officially, the Daily Bulletin of April 20, 1945, would record "at 0930 hours." Major Snyder was administrative officer of the day and Captain Harney was medical officer of the day. Alternates were Lieutenant Brower and Captain Payne.

Chapter 25

As the year 1945 opened, with the 38th still based at Montecatini, Lieutenant General Joseph T. McNarney, from MTOUSA headquarters, sent to the service men and women a New Year's message urging them to exert superhuman effort to insure victory and peace within the forthcoming year. Continue reading chapter 25...

Chapter 24

Christmas 1944 came on a Monday with the 38th Evacuation Hospital still based in Montecatini and 424 patients under treatment in fifteen wards. The returning season brought again a series of greetings from the unit's various commanding officers from Colonel George T. Wood Jr., to the President of the United States. Continue reading chapter 24...

Chapter 23

The story of the 38th Evacuation Hospital's stay at the base at Pisa can be summarized, certainly for those members of the unit who look back more than two decades to those memorable days, with one world: flood. Continue reading chapter 23...

Chapter 22

The four high ranking generals had visited the 38th Evacuation Hospital on December 11. Two days later General Mark Clark wrote to Colonel J. I . Martin, the Fifth Army surgeon, commending the medical service for the excellen work its men and women had been accomplishing. Members of the 38th wondered if, and hope that General Clark's visit to their hospital had occasioned the writing so quickly after his visit of the general letter of commendation. 

Chapter 21

Sixteen officers - ten surgeons and six nurses - came to the 38th Evacuation Hospital's organization early in December from the Second Auxiliary Surgical Group. Continue reading chapter 21...