48th Armored Medical Battalion

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48th Armored Medical Battalion
48 Med Bn DUI.jpg
Distinctive Unit Insignia
Active July 15, 1940 – c.1946
c.1950s – 1991
Country  United States
Branch U.S. Army
Type Medical
Part of 2nd Armored Division
Equipment M35 surgical trucks
M43 ambulances
Commanders
1st commander Col. Abner Zehm
2nd commander Major John S. Wier

The 48th Armored Medical Battalion was an American military medical/surgical unit attached to the 2nd Armored Division throughout World War II. The 48th participated in the invasions of North Africa, Sicily and Normandy.

The unit was formed on July 15, 1940 under the command of Col. Abner Zehm. In February 1942, Major John S. Wier became the Battalion Commander.

Major Wier requested surgical trucks for the unit. The army gave him six thousand dollars, enough for six 2 12 ton trucks to be converted for medical use.

On December 11, 1942 the 48th left Fort Dix, New Jersey for North Africa, landing at Casablanca on December 24, 1942.

In the spring of 1943 they proceeded to Arzew in Algeria, then on to Tunis. On to Sicily and then to Tidworth Camp, England for an extended period of time.

The battalion landed on Omaha Beach on June 9, 1944 (D+3 at 13:00). The battalion stayed with the 2nd Armored Division throughout the advance on into Germany and then to Berlin.

After the war the unit returned to Camp Hood, Texas for retraining before being disbanded.

The Battalion’s World War II unit insignia consisted of a rod of Asclepius crossed with a dagger, on a silver bordered, red shield, above the words "Humanity Mashalled".

At a later date the 48th Medical Battalion was reformed, again as part of the 2nd Armored Division, serving until the divisions disbandment in 1991.

Notable members[edit]

  • Medic Everett "Chris" Christenson – killed in action (January 12, 1945)
  • Doctor Orvan Hess – developed the fetal heart monitor after the war

Sources[edit]