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Last update:
October 17, 2019, 09:57

 

History

 

RAAMC Medic History

Shorty Langford
CPL Wayne "Shorty" Langford (far right) attends to a member of 4 RAR in Vietnam.

During Ancient times if a soldier was wounded, he laid in the field where he had fallen.  There was no one to come to his aid.              Napoleon's Army was the first to assign people to help the wounded.  They were called the litter-bearers, made up mostly of inept and expendable soldiers.   The American Colonel Army lead by George Washington, also had litter-bearers during the Revolutionary War.              In 1862, due to the unexpected size of casualty lists during the battle of Manassas where it took one week to remove the wounded from the battlefield, Dr. Jonathan Letterman, Head of Medical Services of the Army of the Potomac, revamped the Army Medical Corps.  His contribution included staffing and training men to operate horse teams and wagons to pick up wounded soldiers from the field and to bring them back to field dressing stations for initial treatment.  This was our Nation's first Ambulance Cops.  Dr. Letterman also developed the 3 tiered evacuation system which is still used today.

  • Field Dressing (Aid) Station - located next to the battlefield.  Dressings and tourniquets
  • Field Hospital - Close to the battlefield
  • Emergency              surgery and                   treatment.
  • Large Hospital - Away from the battlefield.  For patients' prolonged treatment.

Dr. Letterman's transportation system proved successful.  In the battle of  Antietam, which was a 12 hour engagement and the bloodiest one day battle in the entire Civil War, the ambulance system was was able to remove all the wounded from the field in 24 hours.   Dr. Jonathan Letterman is known today as the Father of Modern Battlefield Medicine.  Unfortunately, amputation was the primary method of treatment for wounds to extremities during the Civil War with over 50,000 resulting amputees.              During the Spanish American War in the 1890's Nicholas Sin stated: Fate of the wounded soldier is determined by the hand which applies the dressing.  Field dressings are now applied by litter-bearers in the field.              World War I required millions of casualties to be treated at the front.  Unlike previous wars, battles did not stop to retrieve the wounded or the dead.  World War I saw, for the first time, medics rushing forward with the troops, finding the wounded, stopping their bleeding and bringing the wounded soldier to the aid station.  In World War I medics were no longer expendable and were well trained.              After World War I, Military Medicine advanced.  Training became a priority both in fighting and medical care.  Medics were trained along side infantry soldiers, learning how to use the lay of the land for their protection and that of their patients.   Medics were also trained in the use of pressure dressings, plasma IV's, tracheotomy, splints, and administering drugs.              During World War II a wounded soldier had an 85% chance of surviving if he was treated by a medic within the first hour.  This figure was three times higher than World War I survival statistics.  The red cross worn by medics on their helmet and arm bands became visible targets for enemy snipers during World War II and Korea.              Korea saw the advent of the helicopter being used to bring men from the front lines to M*A*S*H units (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital).

In Vietnam, the medic's job was to treat and evacuate.  Medevac helicopters now could bring medics on board to continue treating the wounded while transporting them back to the Field Hospitals.  There was a 98% survival rate for soldiers who were evacuated within the first hour.  Vietnam was the first time medics were armed and carried firearms and grenades into combat.  Red crosses on helmets and arm bands were no longer worn.

Brian MedcraftCPL Brian Medcraft B Company 7 RAR (second left) attends to a casualty in Vietnam 1970

 

straskye

CPL John Straskye, Company Medic, Delta Company 7 RAR 1970

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MAJ H Brayley (Rtd)

Mick McClellan

 

SOAH Reunion 
The Schools of Army Health Reunion

The Schools of Army Health Dinner and Corps Birthday brings back memories of the Corps weekend.  However not many of us can do a Cerelator nowadays, but a catch up and dinner gives us all an opportunity to get together and remember the good times we had at the Schools of Army Health.  It also gives us the benefit of meeting new members of the School of Army Health and enjoying new fun times with slides of old times, music and a door prize. 

Friday 3 July 2020 

Time:  6.00pm – Meet and Greet 
Venue:  SS&A Club, 570-582 Olive Street, Albury 
Finger food will be provided 
Cost:  $25 per person
Dress:  Casual

Saturday 4 July 2020 

Time:  TBA - Health Services Memorial and Bandiana Museum 
Visit the memorial and museum other activities to be advised.

Time:  6.30pm – Dinner and Corps Birthday
Venue:  SS&A Club, 570-582 Olive Street, Albury 
Dinner:  Three course meal (alternate drop), with Tea and Coffee
Cost:  $60 per person
Dress:  Cocktail

Payment

To reserve your place at these functions you can either pay the full amount or pay in two instalments (eg deposit and final payment).  A non-refundable deposit of $25 per person is required by 1 December 2019 and the final payment of $60 per person is to be paid by 20 April 2020

Payments can be made via direct deposit into the Victorian RAAMC Association Westpac bank account, BSB: 033372 Account Number: 412250.  Please ensure you include your name on the transfer and email raamcvic@hotmail.com.au with the date you paid along with your name, address and the number of people attending.  If you wish to attend only one function please indicate which function you are paying for. 

Alternatively, payments can be made with Bank cheques or money orders made out to the Victorian RAAMC Association and sent to: Treasurer, c/- 2 Mistletoe Close, Knoxfield, Vic 3180.   Please ensure you include your email if you have one, name, address, which event and the number of people attending.   No personal cheques will be accepted.  

Please advise if you have any special dietary requirements.  

All attendees shall receive a ticket either to their email address or at the door on the night.  Processing of payments/tickets may take time, so please be patient.

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