U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Skip to main content
Return to topReturn to top

Annual Report the Surgeon General United States Army Fiscal Year 1959


Army Aviation Medical Officers

Eleven Army aviation medical officers have been designated as flight surgeons-the first to qualify under the provisions of Changes 7 to AR 611-103, Officer Qualification and Classification, dated 1 August 1957. The total number of aviation medical officers on active duty in the Army increased from 52 on 1 July 1958, to 58 on 30 June 1959. Of the latter number, 15 are career officers and 43 are shorttime reservists. Included are 1 colonel, 3 lieutenant colonels, 8 majors, and 46 captains.

Of the 58 aviation medical officers on active duty at the end of the fiscal year, 35 were assigned to medical installations, major tactical commands, and special aviation activities within CONUS; 10 to U.S. Army, Europe; 7 to U.S. Army Forces, Far East; and 1 each to the U.S. Army in Alaska, Caribbean, and Pacific, and the Southern European Task Forces. In addition, two aviation medical officers are assigned to civilian agencies, one to the NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and another to the FAA (Federal Aviation Authority). By means of The Surgeon General's bulletins, Department of the Army circulars, and staff visits, senior surgeons and medical unit commanders are apprised of their aviation medicine responsibilities.

Aviation Medicine Training

Applicatory training in Army aviation medicine continued to be given at the Army Aviation School, Fort Rucker, Ala., but Course 1-0-18, Army Aviation Medicine, was shortened to 2 weeks. This was done because it was felt that 4 weeks of instruction was too long and that the shorter course would permit the aviation medical officer to report to his duty assignment earlier. Efforts were continued to expand and improve instruction in Army aviation and aviation medicine given in classes at the Army Medical Service School.

Twenty-seven Army medical officers completed the 9-week primary course in aviation medicine and one officer completed the advanced course at the U.S. Air Force School of Aviation Medicine, Randolph Air Force Base, Tex.

Six Army medical officers were graduated from the 5?-month aviation medicine course at the U.S. Navy School of Aviation Medicine, Pensacola, Fla.

During the year, the Professional Education and Training Committee, OTSG, authorized advance training for Army medical officers in aviation medicine. This training will consist of 1 year of instruction in a


civilian school of public health, a 1-year advanced course in aviation medicine, and 1 year of residency training in aviation medicine at Air Force or Navy installations. Completion of this 3-year program will qualify the flight surgeon for examination for certification in aviation medicine by the American Board of Preventive Medicine. It is anticipated that this opportunity for advanced training will induce a number of young medical officers to seek a career in aviation medicine in the Army Medical Service.

At the end of the fiscal year, six Army medical officers were attending the primary course in aviation medicine at Air Force and Navy installations.

Medical Service Corps Aviators

A small number of MSC officers were trained during the year as pilots of fixed-wing aircraft. Along with helicopter instrument training and with helicopter flight training, courses for the training of aviation staff officers and aircraft maintenance officers continued to be available at the Army Aviation Center at Fort Rucker. Medical Service Corps aviators also attended branch courses at the Army Medical Service School, and a selected number were trained in their various specialties at civilian institutions. Twelve MSC officers qualified as helicopter pilots during the year.

The Army Medical Service had 125 MSC aviators on active duty at the end of the fiscal year against an established requirement of 168. These officers continued to be rotated to ground duty in order to gain and maintain familiarity with MSC activities.

Medical Air Ambulance Company

The Medical Air Ambulance Company (TOE 8-137D) has been approved by USCONARC and is being reviewed at the Department of the Army level. It is anticipated that this TOE will be adopted early in fiscal year 1960. As presently planned, the company will have 24 two-patient helicopters piloted by MSC officers.

Medical Helicopter Ambulance Detachments

As in the previous fiscal year, 12 medical helicopter ambulance detachments were operational, 5 in Europe, 3 in the Far East, and 1 each at Fort Benning, Fort Bragg, N.C., Fort George G. Meade, Md., and Fort Sam Houston.


Helicopter being used for transporting supplies

Enlisted medical personnel, undergoing training, loading casualty onto a helicopter under simulated battle conditions


Types of Aircraft

The Army Medical Service has four helicopter ambulance detachments in CONUS equipped with H-19D (Chickasaw) Sikorsky helicopters. Only the medical helicopter ambulance detachments assigned overseas continue to have the Bell H-13 (Sioux) evacuation aircraft with external litters. The new Bell HU-1 (Iroquois) is now in production and should become available to at least one of the CONUS detachments during calendar year 1960. This aircraft has performed well in all of its tests, and it is considered ideally suited for the forward emergency aeromedical evacuation mission.