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


New Hospitals

Continued progress was made in the Army's hospital replacement program during fiscal year 1959 with the dedication of two more large hospitals-the Martin Army Hospital, Fort Benning, Ga., on 1 July 1958, and the Womack Army Hospital, Fort Bragg, N.C., on 3 August 1958. The former was named in memory of Maj. Gen. Joseph I. Martin, a distinguished medical officer who died in 1957 following his retirement in 1955, and the latter in honor of Pfc. Bryant H. Womack, medical aidman, who was presented the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for conspicious gallantry in action in the Korean War. Each is a 500-bed hospital on a 1,000-bed chassis; that is, the present capacity of each is 500 beds but the construction includes central-core medical facilities capable of supporting expansion to 1,000 beds. Both new hospitals feature centralized clinics, an improved call system for doctors, and many other modern innovations.

Construction was started on two other Army hospitals, one at Fort George G. Meade, on 9 July 1958, and the other at Fort Lee, Va., on 16


Martin Army Hospital, Fort Benning, Ga.


Womack Army Hospital, Fort Bragg, N.C.


February 1959. The 150-bed hospital on a 300-bed chassis at Fort George G. Meade is scheduled for completion in July 1960. Congress appropriated funds in fiscal year 1958 for a 134-bed hospital on a 200-bed chassis at Fort Lee, but owing to rising construction costs it became necessary to limit the initial size of the facility to 100 beds. A supplemental deficiency appropriation will have to be approved before the structure can be completed as originally contemplated.

Work was progressing on the new hospitals at Fort Dix and Fort Leavenworth, Kans., both of which are expected to be dedicated during the coming fiscal year. The former, a 500-bed hospital on a 1,000-bed chassis, is scheduled for completion in November 1959, while the latter, a 90-bed hospital on a 190-bed chassis, is due to be finished in May 1960.

Under the fiscal year 1959 Military Construction Program, Army, Congress authorized a 125-bed hospital on a 200-bed chassis at Fort McClellan, Ala., and a 50-bed hospital on a 100-bed chassis at Carlisle Barracks, Pa. Funds were appropriated only for the Fort McClellan hospital which is currently under design.

The status of the long-planned Army hospital at Fort Jackson, S.C., remains unchanged. Although Congress authorized a 500-bed hospital on a 1,000-bed chassis at that installation in fiscal year 1956, the Bureau of the Budget has still not released the funds requested by the Department of Defense so that the design can be started.

Army Medical Research Institute

Congress refused to approve a deficiency appropriation in the fiscal year 1959 Military Construction Program for the erection at the Forest Glen Section, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, of the proposed Army Medical Research Institute. Accordingly, The Surgeon General has requested the Department of the Army to obtain Congressional authorization for construction of this facility at Fort Knox, Ky.

Quarters for Female Officers

Considerable progress has been made in the program to provide modern quarters for female officers, primarily Army nurses. Three projects are under construction, two others are in the design phase, and three more have been authorized. Construction of the pilot model with 76 spaces at the Ireland Army Hospital, Fort Knox, ran ahead of schedule and was occupied during June 1959. The project to provide quarters for 120 nurses at Fitzsimons Army Hospital, Denver, Colo., was started in July 1958 and is due to be completed in August 1959. Work began in August 1958 on quarters for 44 nurses at Fort Belvoir, Va.,


and was to have been completed in July 1959, but the project is somewhat behind schedule. The design for quarters to house 47 nurses at Fort Riley, Kans., was completed, and a construction contract was awarded in June 1959, while the quarters for 30 female officers at Fort George G. Meade are still in the design phase. The fiscal year 1959 Military Construction Program authorized the building of quarters for 92 female officers at Fort Benning, 80 at Fort Dix, and 32 at Fort Lee.

Family Housing Programs

The Capehart housing project of 125 family units at William Beaumont Army Hospital, Fort Bliss, Tex., was started in July 1958 and is scheduled for completion in July 1959. This is the only AMEDS project of its kind that has been approved to date by the Department of Defense. The purpose of the Capehart Housing Program is to provide family housing for military personnel and key civilians at permanent military installations.

Because of high rental rates and other cogent reasons, the Department of the Army is considering the acquisition of a limited number of Wherry housing projects that are in the permissive category; that is, Wherry projects located at installations where construction of Capehart housing has been deferred. The Wherry units at Fitzsimons Army Hospital fall in this category, and their acquisition in fiscal year 1960 is presently planned.

Other Projects

Modernization of the central materiel section of the main building at Brooke Army Hospital, Fort Sam Houston, Tex., was started on 27 June 1958 and completed in May 1959. The second phase of the project, to provide 100-percent air conditioning of the main building (the east wing and central section), was nearing completion at the end of the fiscal year.

The third phase of the project, to modernize the surgery service at Letterman Army Hospital, Presidio of San Francisco, Calif., was completed on 15 January 1959.

Construction of the new centralized materiel section at Madigan Army Hospital, Tacoma, Wash., was completed on 14 February 1959. Another project, to provide additional surgical storage facilities and an addition to the X-ray therapy service, was started and completed during the fiscal year.

At Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C., the installation of air conditioning in 31 buildings is scheduled for completion in May 1960, and the construction of a substation and electrical distribution


system is due to be completed in March 1960. Design of a new wing to the main building of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research was completed and construction begun in June 1959. This new wing will house a 50,000-watt nuclear reactor for use in biological research and medical treatment. A project for modifying and altering ward 33 to provide a thoracic clinic has been funded by the Department of the Army, and the contract was awarded in June 1959. The new chapel and chaplains' office was completed early in fiscal year 1959.