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Hemorrhagic Fever

 
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Most recent update to this page: April 18, 2020

Introduction

Odd Ailment Hits Troops

"TOKYO, (AP)—A strange illness for which no sure cure has been found has broken out among United Nations forces in Korea, Gen. Ridgway's headquarters said today. Brig. Gen. William E. Shambora, surgeon of the Far East Command, said the mysterious malady strikes suddenly and is characterized by fever and a headache. These symptoms are common in the early stages of several known infectious diseases. Sulfa and antibiotics have failed to stem the disease, Shambora said. The malady is strikingly similar to that reported by the Japanese among their Manchurian troops in 1939. The Japanese called the disease "epidemic hemorrhagic fever." They believe it is caused by a tiny virus carried by field mice and transmitted to man by mites. Shambora said some patients recover quickly while others develop further symptoms. These include hemorrhages under the skin, around the eyes and the internal organs". - Lock Haven Express (newspaper), Lock Haven, PA, Thursday, November 8, 1951, pg. 1


Page Contents:

  • Introduction
  • Page Contents
    • Contact the KWE
  • Hemorrhagic Fever in Korea
    • Outbreak of Fever
    • Specialty Hospitals
    • Esteemed Virologists and Epidemiologists
    • Hantavirus
    • 1986/2005 Outbreak
  • Persistent Illness
    • Bobby Ray Breeden
    • John F. "Jack" Goedeke Sr.
    • Harold Jack Elbon
  • 7th ID Report - 1953
  • Ho Wang Lee Research
  • Hemorrhagic Fever Fatalities
  • Bios of Fatalities
  • Col. Constance J. Moore Article (Army Nursing)
  • Nurses Who Cared for Hemorrhagic Patients

Contact the KWE

On this page of the Korean War Educator our readers can find the names of many of the fatalities caused by hemorrhagic fever.  We have found no government compilation of hemorrhagic fever fatalities by name.  To add information, comments, corrections, fatality names and bio information to this page, contact Lynnita.  We would love to hear from Korean War hemorrhagic fever survivors and any medical personnel and staff that cared for the hemorrhagic fever patients.


Hemorrhagic Fever in Korea

Outbreak of Fever

Over the course of the Korean War, more than 3,000 UN troops became ill with hemorrhagic fever, and the mortality rate was ten percent and higher. (There was no known cure and it was not widely known what it was or what caused it.)  American servicemen experienced a range of symptoms ranging from fever, headache, chills, loss of appetite, vomiting, internal bleeding, and renal failure.  Fatalities could occur within one to two weeks of contracting the illness.

Shortly after the Battle of Chipyong-ni, Capt. Claude A. Scott, battalion surgeon of the 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, was the first man evacuated from the battalion because he was critically ill with hemorrhagic fever.  In 1951, the pick-up of soldiers affected by hemorrhagic fever became so overwhelming that helicopters in the 8193rd Helicopter Detachment needed supplemental aircraft to retrieve the sick.  An L-19 with an improvised litter built of one-inch padded plywood was attached to the helicopter unit.  According to a 1951 After Action Report, this L-19 greatly reduced the time that a stricken serviceman was picked up and taken to the hemorrhagic fever MASH, no doubt saving lives. The report recommended that another L-19 be sent to complement the first one.

Specialty Hospitals

The number of men stricken with this mysterious illness continued to grow as 1951-52 progressed. In 1952, the 8228th MASH, 48th Surgical Unit was mentioned in the Annual Report of Medical Services Activities, 7th Infantry Division.  The 8228th MASH was a hospital in Seoul that was reserved for personnel with hemorrhagic fever and cold injuries (Eighth U.S. Army Cold Injury Treatment Center).  Established in April of 1952, that year the hospital had 2,237 admissions (Army = 1,625; Navy = 9; USMC - 183; Air Force = 6; allied and neutral military personnel = 223) and other = 191).  The illness continued to strike military personnel, so much so that the 382nd General Hospital, a rehab hospital for hemorrhagic fever patients, upgraded its bed capacity to 1,000.  Nurses at the 11th Evacuation hospital were among the first to use an artificial kidney machine to treat patients with hemorrhagic fever.

Esteemed Virologists and Epidemiologists

Some of the United States' most learned virologists and epidemiologists were involved in the study of the strange fever outbreak.  Dr. Joseph Edward Smadel (1909-1963), a virologist and civilian researcher for the Army, led a team of Army scientists in a study of the hemorrhagic fever breakout in Korea.  Their mission was to study the cause, transmission, prevention, and treatment of the strange disease.  Smadel found out that from April to December of 1952, 46 out of 828 patients diagnosed with the fever died (fatality rate of 5.6 percent).

Among Smadel's colleagues was Capt. Robert Wayne McCollum Jr. (1925-2010).  After serving in the US Army Medical Corps from 1952 to 1954, he went on to pioneer studies into the nature and spread of polio, hepatitis and mononucleosis at Yale School of Medicine.  For nearly a decade he was Dean of Dartmouth School Medical Center.  In 1951-52, noted endocrinologist and physiologist Dr. William Francis "Fran" Ganong Jr. (1924-2007) served as Lieutenant, then Captain in the Army Medical Corps in Japan and Korea, and helped to set up the mobile army surgical hospital (MASH) to treat patients with hemorrhagic fever.  He later published several scientific papers about the Korean hemorrhagic fever.

Dr. Sheldon Edward Greisman, a New York University College of Medicine graduate, volunteered for Army service while serving as chief resident at New York's Bellevue Hospital. Dr. Greisman was assigned to the 48th MASH unit in Korea during the Korean War. He investigated Korean epidemic hemorrhagic fever in combat troops. He also served as a MASH unit psychiatrist.

Dr. George Schreiner, a 1946 graduate of Georgetown University Medical School, was a renowned nephrologist. When the Korean War broke out, he volunteered for the Army and was posted to the Washington Veterans Administration where he worked on the artificial kidney. A year followed at Walter Reed Army Hospital to begin research into the causes of kidney failure in Korean and US soldiers in the field. Briefly posted to the hospital ships in Pusan, Korea, he observed soldiers returning from the Han valley with skin and hemorrhagic fever associated with acute kidney failure.  In 1951, he was invited to become Chief of a new Division of Nephrology at Georgetown University Hospital by Laurence H. Kyle (Endocrinology and Metabolism) and Harold Jeghers (Chief of Medicine) in a largely Boston-trained Department of Medicine, as the first Georgetown graduate to hold a leadership position in the medical school. He remained there for the next 35 years.

Hantavirus

It was not until 1978, long after the cease fire, that the virus that caused hemorrhagic fever was identified.  It was discovered in a field mouse found near the Hantan River and was from then on known as the "Hantavirus".  This virus transferred to humans via mouse droppings, mouse urine, and mouse saliva--primarily droppings.  The virus could remain on dry droppings for long periods of time.  During the Korean War, United Nations troops came in contact with mice that were searching for food and trying to keep out of the weather.  Mice crawled into bunkers, tents, food supplies, clothing, and sleeping bags.

Dr. Ho-Wang Lee of South Korea discovered the Hantaan and Seoul viruses, which cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome. He also identified which rodents harbor the viruses, the way the viruses are transmitted from rodents to humans, and developed an effective vaccine that has significantly reduced the incidence of this disease.  Some of his research is posted on this page of the KWE.

1986/2005 Outbreaks

Unfortunately, as late as 1986 American Marines stationed in Korea contracted hemorrhagic fever, with fourteen Marines suffering from the virus.  The Marines were among 3,754 Marines who participated in a joint US/ROK training exercise from September 7 through November 15, 1986.  Two of the fourteen died of severe renal failure and shock.  One 19-year old Marine developed hemorrhagic fever on November 5.  For the next five days the illness continued, and then 24 hours after that he died in Seoul.  The second Marine died on Okinawa in November of 1986.  All Marines that suffered from the fever had been quartered in the Unchon area.  This outbreak was the largest cluster of fever victims among US personnel in Korea since the Korean War.  [Source: "Outbreak of Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome Among U.S. Marines in Korea" (AD-A228 197)]

In 1994 the U.S. Army reported eight cases of hemorrhagic fever, with one fatality.  In 1995 three American soldiers contracted the fever.  In 2002 the Korea National Institute of Health reported 336 cases, including one death.  Victims were mostly area farmers and soldiers.  From January to August 2003 there were 82 cases of hemorrhagic fever.  A U.S. soldier stationed at Camp Hovey, Dongducheon, was diagnosed with hemorrhagic fever on October 27, 2005.  On November 8-9, 2005, two soldiers from Camp Casey, Dongducheon, were also diagnosed with hemorrhagic fever.  On November 13, 2005, another soldier from the same unit at Camp Casey was confirmed to have the fever.  [Source: CDC Dispatch, Vol. 15, No. 11, November 2009]


Persistent Illness

While severe symptoms of hemorrhagic fever could kill someone in a matter of days, health complications from those recovering from hemorrhagic fever could last for months.

Bobby Ray Breeden

After contracting the illness, Korean War veteran Bobby Ray Breeden of Texas (1929-2020) was in and out of hospitals in Korea, Japan, Hawaii, California and Texas for 135 days. Prior to being drafted in the Army and contracting hemorrhagic fever, Bobby was a healthy high school graduate who had been drafted to play professional baseball by Kansas City.

John F. "Jack" Goedeke Sr.

John F. "Jack" Goedeke Sr. of Easton, Maryland, was a BAR-man in the 24th Infantry Division when the entire division was sent to Korea on July 1, 1953.  He told the Star-Democrat newspaper staff (June 25, 2000, pg. 26):

My most threatening time turned out to be my stint in Yangu Valley. In mid-September 1954, I contracted what was first thought to be malaria. I was flown by helicopter to the 11th Evac hospital near Seoul where I was diagnosed as having hemorrhagic fever, a potentially fatal fever. I normally weighed 175 pounds and I had lost 40 pounds in just over a week. After about six weeks of treatment in the hospital, I was discharged and very thankful to the good Lord for having my health back. I recently read that hemorrhagic fever is related in some obscure way to the Eboli virus. I was very lucky. I was discharged from the army on December 8, 1954 — exactly two years and one day from the day I was inducted. I was two years older and considerably wiser from the experiences of the past 24 months."

Harold Jack Elbon
48th MASH Hospital, November 1953

[KWE Note: All credit to this article goes to Harold Jack Elbon, who has also published the book, My Journey-West Virginia to Korea and Back to W.V.u.]

"Barely awake, and completely drenched in cold perspiration. I knew I was running a high fever and clumsily struggled to unzip my sleeping bag before losing consciousness.

Later, someone was shaking me and saying “If you want breakfast you’d better get your a** outta’ bed”. My reply was “Where am I”? “Man, you’re a soldier in the US Army and we are in Munson, Korea“. Struggling to get dressed, and staggering toward the Mess Hall. I smelled greasy frying bacon and it made me stop and vomit.

I went on sick call and told the doctor it felt like the Flu. He took my temperature and blood pressure and carefully examined the roof of my mouth. His eyes got big, and he asked me to raise my arms and his eyes widened again. I looked under my arm and saw that my side torso was covered with red spots. He told me to go in the next room and lie down on the bed. I heard him on the telephone requesting a helicopter. He was sending me to the 48th Mash Hospital for evaluation. “May I return to my area to get my personal belongings?” Absolutely not, you are now under quarantine until the hospital finds out what’s wrong with you.”

I was carried out to the helicopter on a stretcher and strapped on the exterior of the helicopter. It was one of those one man jobs with a plastic bubble like the one in the show MASH. I remember looking back at the rear rotor and thinking…if that thing comes off it will be like a buzz saw and bisect me. Looking over the side at the rice paddies surrounded by mountains, I thought how beautiful and peaceful it looks from up here.

We landed at the 48th MASH Hospital. They carried me inside and the Army nurse had me get on the scales. Then she took me by wheelchair to my assigned bed. I suggested I wasn’t sick enough to be in a hospital that it felt like I was getting the Flu. “The doctors will be in tomorrow morning and will determine if you are sick enough to be kept a few days for observation” she politely but sternly replied.

About an hour later, they brought a Korean (ROK) soldier in and put him in the bed beside mine.  He knew some English words and I knew a little Korean. He put his hand at the back of his neck and said Opo? I replied Opo which means hurts. Then he put his right hand under his rib cage and asked Opo? I put my under my rib cage and pressed and it hurt. Later I learned that our livers were enlarged. The Korean patient said “American doctors are sissy doctors, and am not sick enough to be in a hospital, I should be back on the front lines”. I told him I felt the same way. The nurse returned to take my temperature. She had me drink water, and changed my cold damp sheets.

The next morning, lying there with my eyes half closed, I watched the Medics take the ROK soldier’s vital signs Suddenly he stiffened, turned a purplish red color and DIED!!! As they rushed him out of the room, I thought about our short conversation comparing symptoms the night before, and thought “Maybe I am sick”.

When the medics returned, they took my vitals and a doctor prescribed Quinine and a shot of penicillin. Meanwhile more soldiers were brought in with the same symptoms. My meals consisted of slice of toast, 1 cup of pear juice, and I cup of tea, 7 days a week because that’s all I could keep down.

Each day was the same. My temperature went up at night and the nurses kept waking me to drink water. They explained I might go into convulsions if I didn’t replace the water I was losing. God bless them, they worked hard and really cared. The number of patients grew in alarming numbers to about 100. Somebody died every few days. After several days of treatments of Quinine and penicillin, they concluded it wasn’t Malaria.

Finally, the Army medical staff thought this fever and rash may be an Oriental disease, and they brought in a consulting Japanese doctor. He asked if I had seen any rats in Munsan. He suspected the North Koreans and/or the Chinese had infected rats and they had come over to the American side. We had mess halls and the rats likely had invaded us and transmitted Hemorrhagic Fever via fleas, or mosquitos. I told him, I haven’t seen any rats, but I have been bitten by mosquitos”. He explained, “It is similar to the Bubonic Plague that killed hundreds of thousands of people in Europe during the Middle Ages”.

Each day began with 4 shots in my buttocks and removal of blood from my arms and fingers. After 3 weeks, my arms looked like a junkie’s. My hips were so caked that the nurses could no longer give me 4 injections. They would push very hard to get one in and then unscrew the syringe and screw on another one.

Surprisingly, my diet of slice of toast, 1 cup of tea, and 1 cup of pear juice did not get boring. Thankfully, I could keep it down. Thanksgiving Day arrived and they brought a large tray of Turkey and all the trimmings and put it on my bedside table. I looked at it and began to cry like a baby. They knew I couldn’t eat it but they prepared it anyway, so I could witness the American tradition. I felt the hospital staff truly cared for me. Sobs were heard from all over the hospital. I wondered if some patients thought it was their last supper, and it was. I still cry when I think about that 1953 Thanksgiving.
It seemed as though someone in that ward would die almost every night. Before I went to sleep, I prayed that God would give me one more day, and wondered if I would wake up the next morning. My weight had plummeted and I looked like a thin prisoner of war.

I spent the long days reliving my life from early childhood, from life during the depression, to being a teenager during World War II. I even replayed football and basketball games in my mind.

Both my mother and sister had similar dreams on the same night that I was in an Army Hospital in Korea. The next day my mother called someone in the US Government and they called the Red Cross. They were able to track me down to the 48th MASH Hospital. A few days later, a Chaplain came to my bedside and sat down. He brought some stationary and would not leave until I wrote a letter to my mother and sister. I asked, “How do you write a letter to your mother and sister and tell them you are dying?” The Chaplain said, “Tell them the truth and that you love them and ask them to pray for you.

My mother and sister had the church that I had grown up in, the First Baptist Church of Webster Springs, WV, and many of the citizens of that small town praying for me.

One night shortly afterward I did not have a fever. The nurses were overjoyed and told me I was one of the lucky ones because about 85% of their patients died. “It wasn’t luck, I replied, God answered the prayers of my mother, and sister, and the First Baptist Church, and the good people of Webster Springs, WV”. If any of the nurses and doctors that were at the 48th MASH Hospital in Nov, of 1953, recognize this period, I would like to thank them for the outstanding care they extended to me and the other patients.

The next morning on December 4th I was carried on a stretcher to a plane that took me to a hospital in Japan for a month. Rest, recuperation and gaining weight were on the agenda. When I was taken off the plane in Japan, the Salvation Army Ladies were there to ask if there was anything they could get for me. I humbly asked “Do you have any milk?” They laughed and said sure. They said almost every request from soldiers returning from Korea was for milk because all we had in Korea was powdered milk.

I spent about a month at the hospital at Tachikawa, Japan and was given a wheelchair. The doctor told me not to walk until I gained weight. I had 3 meals per day and snacks between meals. My appetite vigorously returned.

Since my 3 year Army enlistment was due to expire on January 17th, the military flew me to Ft. Meade, Md. for discharge. A few days past the 17th, I went to the office and complained. I told the Commanding Officer that the 2nd semester at West Virginia University would start in less than 2 weeks. I wanted out in time to enroll. He explained my records had not caught up with me and he could not discharge me without them. When I expressed my dissatisfaction with his reply, he said “The Army can extend your tour of duty indefinitely at the convenience of the Army”.

I telephoned my mother and she called Senator Mathew M. Neely. A few days later, I was ordered to the Commanding Office’s quarters and was asked, “Do you have friends in high places?” “No I replied, but my mother has”. He said he would give me an Honorable Discharge but I had to sign an affidavit that my discharge date was supposed to be January 17th. I abruptly responded “Fine”.

I was sent to the doctor who said “If you stay until your papers arrive from Korea, you may be able to get disability benefits”. I said “No, I feel okay and I don’t want to take the government’s money unless I have to, besides, I want to get back in college”. The doctor said he would give me a 0% Disability. He said “That’s better than No Disability because it indicates that something happened and I could submit a claim later if I needed to”. I was discharged January 22, 1954. That turned out to be a mistake. I was not as well as I thought and later needed assistance, but the VA declined my request for help because they couldn’t find my Medical Records. After 50 years of trying to obtain my records, I wrote to Senator Robert Bird and he was able to get them for me.

I was shocked to learn that the final diagnosis was” Infectious Mononucleosis with Hepatitis and Jaundices”. My symptoms were the same as the other patients who died, and when the fever finally broke, the nurses said, “You are one of the lucky ones you are going to live.” I am thankful that GOD healed me. But I wonder about the diagnoses.

Was it given because they felt the doctors back home would not know how to treat someone who had suffered with Hemorrhagic Fever and the symptoms of Infectious Mononucleosis, Hepatitis and Jaundice are similar? Was it because I survived? Was it because they would not say “He was healed by God as a result of all the prayers said by hundreds of people”?

It is well known that the 48th MASH handled Hemorrhagic Fever cases.

Harold Jack Elbon, 326 Florida Ave., Saint Cloud, Florida 34769
 


7th ID Report - (hemorrhagic fever section only)

Headquarters, 7th Infantry Division
Office of the Division Surgeon
Annual Report Medical Service Activities, 1953

Hemorrhagic Fever

(1) Control and Prevention of Hemorrhagic Fever

In January of 1953 a program for hemorrhagic fever control was already in effect. This program included dipping of clothes in miticide (51-R-300), spraying of quarters with lindane, and rodent control.

During April, as part of this same program, a better degree of control over the miticiding of clothing was obtained by instituting the dipping of outer garments prior to issuance to regimental clothing exchanges. This practice was continued throughout the rest of the year.

Beginning with July further attempts were made to insure that all US troops in this division wore miticided clothes. Since a great deal of clothing was found to be laundered by indigenous personnel rather than by the Quartermaster laundry, miticide dips were made available for their use. The personnel were given instructions as to the proper method of impregnation.

(2)Incidence of Hemorrhagic Fever

The division was in the Hemorrhagic Fever belt for the whole of the year - both while on line and after being moved into reserve to a less endemic area for the latter part of the year. The incidence of the disease remained rather low throughout the year. Cases of Hemorrhagic Fever began to occur in May when five cases were recorded. In June eight cases occurred with the peak being reached in July when nineteen cases were confirmed. The disease dropped to three cases in August after which the disease almost disappeared for the rest of the year.


Ho Wang Lee Research

In 1974, Ho Wang Lee of the Korea University completed a study of Korean hemorrhagic fever.  His research was prepared for the Army Research and Development Group (Far East).  He noted that the first cases of the fever were reported in 1951 among U.S. forces stationed in the Yunchun and Chulwon area.  He said that there were 2,804 total hospitalized cases of U.S. troops from 1951 to 1972. He provided the following figures:

Year of Hospitalization Number of Cases Year of Hospitalization Number of Cases
1952 833 1963 11
1953 455 1964 22
1951 827 1962 29
1954 307 1965 99
1955 20 1966 36
1956 28 1967 31
1957 13 1968 28
1958 15 1969 9
1959 79 1970 13
1960 10 1971 2
1961 27 1972 0

Hemorrhagic Fever Fatalities (incomplete listing)

The government divided fatalities as "battle" or "non-battle".  The causes of non-battle deaths are sometimes findable, but when a death is listed as "died of other causes", it is difficult to determine which ones of those were caused by hemorrhagic fever.  This agonizing fever caused as much as 10-15% mortality among the total cases diagnosed.

1951 -

  • Ankrom, 1Lt. Okay Maurice - died November 9, 1951
  • Basquin, Pfc. Gerald Donald - died October 26, 1951
  • Beres, Pfc. Alfred M. - died November 18, 1951
  • Collier, Pfc. Toland James - died November 29, 1951
  • Flinn, 1Lt. Robert Francis "Bob" - died October 9, 1951
  • Hooper, Pfc. Robert Mullen - died August 22, 1951
  • Johnson, Cpl. Donald Richard - died November 5, 1951
  • Locklin, Cpl. John Hildred - died December 15, 1951
  • Markitello, Pvt2 Louis - died December 16, 1951
  • McNeil, Pfc. Francis Leonard - died December 7, 1951
  • McPherson, MSgt. Ralph Arlin - died November 22, 1951
  • Messer, Pfc. Harold Richard - died October 22, 1951
  • Miller, Maj. Eugene Preston - died July 17, 1951
  • Norris, Cpl George - died September 4, 1951
  • Wiseman, Pfc. Donald Gilbert - died August 28, 1951

1952 -

  • Canavan, Pfc. John Patrick - died May 29, 1952
  • Caughey, Pfc. William John - died June 12, 1952
  • Enderson, Pfc. Raymond Arthur - died June 29, 1952
  • Engelhardt, Pfc. James Nelson - died July 2, 1952
  • Escabar, Cpl. Erasmo - died July 22, 1952
  • Hill, 1Lt. George Edwin - died June 11, 1952
  • Horne, Cpl. Arvel Cook - died June 27, 1952
  • Johnson, Pfc. Walter Fair - died June 15, 1952
  • Kiedrowski, Pfc. Edward - died June 15, 1952
  • Martineau, Pfc. George Percy - died July 10, 1952
  • Neufeld, Pfc. Donald Milton - died July 27, 1952
  • Simon, Cpl. George Albert - died July 9, 1952 (also listed as Siman)
  • Stevens, Cpl. J.E. - died August 24, 1952
  • Torres-Ramirex, Pfc. Emilio - died November 19, 1952

1953 -

  • Benoit, Pfc. Lionel V. - died October 27, 1953
  • Bullens, Pfc. Hearl E. - died December 16, 1953
  • Culmer, Pfc. Freddie Leon - died July 05, 1953
  • Ellis, Cpl. David - died November 16, 1953
  • Fair, Pfc. Robert Carl - died November 08, 1953
  • Figel, Pfc. Ronald Andrew - died October 23, 1953
  • Gusek, Pvt. Richard J. - died November 11, 1953
  • Hampton, Pfc. Alfred - died October 30, 1953
  • Johnson, Pfc. James Grant - died November 10, 1953
  • Linton, Capt. Paul Melvin - died December 11, 1953
  • Lloyd, Sfc. Harold Alvin - died November 9, 1953
  • McReynolds, Sgt. Cornelius - died February 17, 1953
  • Pendegrass, Pvt. William Jr. - died November 01, 1953
  • Smith, Pfc. Harold Walter - died November 30, 1953
  • Sommer, Pfc. Kenneth Charles - died December 5, 1953
  • Stiles, Pvt. Frank Eugene - died October 30, 1953
  • Thomas, Pvt. Edwin - died December 14, 1953
  • Tillou, Cpl. Everitt James - died October 12, 1953
  • Winters, Pvt. Donald Edwin - died June 18, 1953

1954 -

  • Eagan, A2C John Joseph - died December 28, 1954
  • Schafer, Pfc. Stanton Mayer - died January 09, 1954

Bios of Hemorrhagic Fever Fatalities

Ankrom, 1Lt. Okey Maurice Jr.

Oke was born January 20, 1918, son of Okey Maurice Ankrom Sr. (1885-1921) and Emma Ethelda Dulaney Ankrom (1891-1971).  His children were Oke, James and Mary Ankrom.  His siblings were Mrs. Robert C. (Alma Mae Ankrom) Buffam (1911-1982); Louie Edward Ankrom (1912-1948) and Glenn A. Ankrom (1915-1964).  Okey Jr. was a member of Company B, 79th Engineer Construction Battalion when he died in the 121st Evac.  He is buried in Odd Fellows Cemetery, Parkersburg, West Virginia.

Basquin, Pfc. Gerald Donald

Gerald was born on April 02, 1932, in Norfolk, Virginia, son of Samuel Basquin and Alice Conner Basquin.  He was serving with the 1st Field Artillery Observation Battalion, Artillery, when he died in the 121st Evacuation Hospital.  He is buried in Rowley Cemetery, Rowley, Iowa.

Benoit, Pfc. Lionel Victor

Lionel was born May 29, 1931, and was from Connecticut.  He was serving with the 461 Ordnance Ammunition Company, 67th Ordnance Battalion.  He was taken to the 11th Evacuation Hospital when he developed hemorrhagic fever.  He is buried in All Hallows Cemetery, Moosup, Windham County, Connecticut.

Beres, Pfc. Alfred M.

Alfred was born April 29, 1928, in Cheektowaga, New York.  He was a member of Battery D, 15th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion, 7th Infantry Division. He was a son of Joseph J. and Elizabeth Garus Beres.  His siblings (according to Findagrave) were: Chester F. Beres (1932-2015), Edward J. Beres (1921-1994), Aloise J. Beres (1922-2005), Henry V. Beres (1927-2007), Frank D. Beres (1934-2002), Joseph Beres (died 1930), Joan Beres, Mrs. Edward J. (Stella M. Beres) Majchrzak (1925-?) Irene M. Beres Gawron (1924-2011), and Frances Beres Tidd.  Alfred died in the 11th Evac Hospital in Korea and is buried in Saint Stanislaus Roman Catholic School, Cheektowaga.

Bullens, Pfc. Hearl E.

Hearl was born May 1, 1931, in Harriman, Roane County, Tennessee.  He was serving in the Quartermaster Division when he was evacuated to 48th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital.  He had just received his shipping orders to return to the United States.  He was a son of Oliver Lee Bullens (1885-1975) and Sarah Catherine "Cassie" Bullens (1899-1980).  His siblings were Reba Bullens Dickey Walker (1925-2004), Geneva Bullens Trout (1922-2003), Edith Bullens Hickey, Clifford Bullens, Ben Bullens, Ruby Bullens Whitaker, Lee Bullens Jr., Otho James Bullens, Andy "Jack" Bullens (1940-2019) and Mrs. Homer (Wanda) Harmon.  Hearl is buried in Harriman Cemetery.

Canavan, Pfc. John Patrick

John Patrick was born June 04, 1929, son of Michael Canavan (1896-1987) and Mary Kilger Canavan (1904-1973).  John was a member of Company A, 13th Engineering Combat Battalion, 7th Infantry Division when he died at the 8228th MASH.  He is buried in All Saints Catholic Cemetery and Mausoleum, Des Plaines, Illinois.

Caughey, Pfc. William John "Bill"

Bill was born February 1, 1930, and was from the Muskegon, Michigan area.  He fought at the PuKau River in Korea, contracted hemorrhagic fever at the front line, and died before he could be evacuated.  He was serving with B Company, 1st Battalion, 180th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division.  Bill is buried in Saint Marys Cemetery, Muskegon, Michigan.

Collier, Pfc. Toland James

Toland was born May 4, 1929, a son of Dr. Henry H. Collier Sr. and Annie B. Gilliard Collier (died 1992).  He was a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division.  His siblings were Lucius "Lou" Edward Collier Sr. (1924-2010), Dr. Henry H. Collier Jr., John Collier Sr., Dr. Charles Nathan Collier (died 1989), Pastor Merrick Collier, Ruby Collier Bryant, and Dr. Harold Roland Collier (died 1975).  Toland died in the 121st Evac Hospital in Korea and is buried in Laurel Grove Cemetery South, Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia. 

Culmer, Pfc. Freddie Leon

Freddie was born September 2, 1929 in Florida.  He was serving in Battery D, l48th Field Artillery Battalion (105mm) and died at the 48th MASH.  He is buried in Miami City Cemetery, Miami, Florida.

Eagan, A2C John Joseph Jr.

John Jr. was born December 24, 1929 in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, son of John Joseph Eagan Sr. (1908-1991) and Florence A. Mooney Eagan (1908-1982).  His siblings were Mrs. Evan (Rita Eagan) Kranzley (1931-2015) and Mrs. William Joseph (Florence Catherine Eagan) Brehony (1936-2017).  John was serving with the 1993rd ASCS Mobile Communications Squadron at Kimpo Air Base when he died at the 11th Evac Hospital.  He is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Mount Carbon, Pennsylvania.

Ellis, Cpl. David Francis

David was born January 26, 1934, in Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.  He was serving with the 329th Signal Reconnaissance Company, IX Corps when he was taken to 48th Surgical Hospital, where he died.  David's mother was Florence May Bushee Foss (later Faria) and William E. Gorse.  The surname Ellis is on David's birth certificate.  His siblings were Herbert Wilson Ellis, Marion Louise (Hattie Ellis) Hawes, Robert Field Ellis, Raymond Lewis Ellis, Edward Ellis, Richard James Ellis (Gorse) (later James Richard Curran). Edward Joseph Ellis (Gorse) and Paul Arthur Ellis (Gorse).  David is buried in Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, California.

Enderson, Pfc. Raymond Arthur

Raymond was born July 1, 1928, son of Mattias Enderson (1892-1956) and Alice Johnson Enderson (1891-1982).  His siblings were Herman Emil Enderson (1921-2013), Merle Enderson (1923-1997), Ivan Artist Enderson (1925-2018), Alice Marie (1932-1933) and Ivan Enderson.  Raymond was serving with C Battery, 21st AAA AW Battaltion, 25th Infantry Division.  He is buried in Mountain View Cemetery, Longmont, Colorado.

Engelhardt, Pfc. James Nelson

James was born June 09, 1932.  He graduated from Port Neches Groves High School, Port Neches, Texas.  He was a member of the 17th Ordnance Med. Maintenance Company when he became ill with hemorrhagic fever and died in 8228 MASH.  He is buried in Glenwood Cemetery, Flint, Michigan.

Escabar, Cpl. Erasmo

Erasmo was born March 26, 1931.  He was a member of C Battery, 12th Field Artillery Battalion (155mm), 2nd Infantry Division, when he died at the 11th Evacuation Hospital.  He is buried in Escobares Cemetery, Escobares, Texas.

Fair, Pfc. Robert Carl

Robert was born in Cleveland, Ohio.  He was a member of B Company, 5th RCT, when he died at the 48th MASH.  No further information has been found about him.

Figel, Pfc. Ronald Andrew

Ronald was born on May 16, 1934.  He was serving with the 303 Communications Recon Battalion when he contracted hemorrhagic fever and died in the 48th Surgical Hospital, Seoul, Korea.  He is buried in Mountain View Cemetery, Auburn, King County, Washington.

Flinn, 1Lt. Robert Francis "Bob"

Bob was born January 25, 1925 in New York, the son of World War I veteran Francis Joseph Flinn (1897-1956), of Stony Brook, New York.  After finishing grade and high school, Bob served in World War II, joining on January 22, 1943 in New York City.  He was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point, graduating in 1950.  In September of 1950 he was assigned as platoon leader of C Company, 65th Engineer Combat Battalion.  He contracted hemorrhagic fever and was evacuated to a hospital near Seoul.  He was transferred to Tokyo Army Hospital, Japan, where he died at the age of 26.  He is buried in West Point Cemetery in New York.

Gusek, Pvt. Richard J.

No information on this veteran has been found to date.

Hampton, Pfc. Alfred

Alfred was born in Long Island City, New York.  He was serving with L Company, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division when he died at the 48th MASH.

Hill, 1Lt. George Edwin

George was born November 13, 1925, a son of Carl Hill Sr. (1891-1980) and Edna Witt Hill (1894-1980).  His siblings were Carl Hill Jr. (1918-1978) and Mrs. Francis Clarkson (Margaret Hill) Durkin.  He was a World War II veteran.  In Korea he was a member of Headquarters and Service Company, 65th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. He contracted Hemorrhagic Fever and was taken to the 25th Evacuation Hospital where he died on June 11, 1952. George is buried in Llano Cemetery, Amarillo, Texas.

Hooper, Pfc. Robert Mullen Jr.

Robert was born on January 18, 1925, son of World War I veteran Robert M. Hooper Sr. (1894-1963) and Mary Lou Williams Hooper (1897-1990).  Robert Jr. was a member of the 3rd Antiaircraft Artillery AW Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division.  He died in the 121 Evac Hospital in Korea and is buried in Ashley Heights Cemetery, Ashley Heights, North Carolina.

Horne, Cpl. Arvel Cook Jr.

Arvel was born October 12, 1927, son of Arvel Cook Horne Sr. (1901-1968) and Una Belle Reed Horne (1904-1954).  His sister was Margaret Lee Horne Perkins (1923-1990).  He was serving with Battery B, Aircraft Artillery (Automatic Weapons) Battalion, 7th Infantry Division, when he died at the 8228 MASH.  This World War II veteran is buried in Resthaven Memorial Park, Princeton, West Virginia.

Johnson, Cpl. Donald Richard

Donald was born on April 8, 1929.  He was from Ohio.  The KWE believes (but has not confirmed) that he was the son of Robert B. Johnson (1883-1954) and Myrtle D. Hopkins Johnson, and his siblings were (possibly) Lida May Heath (1920-2006) and Herbert Johnson.  Donald was serving with Company M, 3rd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division when he died at the 121st Evac Hospital.  He is buried in Mentor Municipal Cemetery, Mentor, Ohio.

Johnson, Pfc. James Grant

James was born July 18, 1933.  He contracted hemorrhagic fever while serving in Company A, 2nd Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. He is buried in Mount Tabor Baptist Church Cemetery, Shumansville, Virginia.

Johnson, Pfc. Walter Fair

Walter was born November 22, 1930 and was from the Grand Cane, Louisiana area.  He was serving with the 14th Infantry Regiment, G Company, 2nd Battalion, 25th Infantry Division when he died at the 11th Evacuation Hospital.  He is buried in Friendship Cemetery, Grand Cane, Louisiana.

Kiedrowski, Pfc. Edward

Edward was born on July 8, 1927, a son of Joseph V. Kiedrowski (1869-1953) and Magdalena Garski Kiedrowski (1890-1965).  His siblings were Florian Thomas (1911-1962), Chester V. (1914-1975), twin infants Alexander and Dominic (1915-1915), Regina (LeGros) (1916-1998), Alexander Valentine (1918-1992), Emil Ambrose (1919-2011), Elizabeth M. (Szczesniak) (1921-2019), Magdalen Celia (Conrad) (1023-2011), Rose Maryann (Zink) 1924-2002) and Geraldine Laverne (Krolikowski) (1931-2020) and seven half siblings.  Edward was serving with the 7th Marine Regiment, Company C, 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Division, when he was wounded on May 28, 1952.  He then contracted hemorrhagic fever, was evacuated to the USS Haven (AH-12) hospital ship, where he died.  He is buried in Saint Florian Catholic Cemetery, Hatley, Wisconsin.

Linton, Capt. Paul Melvin

Paul was from Essex County, Massachusetts.  He was serving in the 21st Ordnance Direct Support Company when he died of acute hemorrhagic fever and died at the 44th MASH.  The 35 year old was a World War II and Korean War veteran who received the Distinguished Service Cross.  He is buried in Pine Grove Cemetery, Lynn, Massachusetts

Lloyd, Sfc. Harold Alvin

Harold was born September 23, 1926 in Dayton, Ohio, a son of Arthur Lloyd and Clara Reinhart Lloyd.  His siblings were Thomas "Tommy" Lloyd (survivor of the Bataan Death March in World War II), Robert Lloyd, Glenn Lloyd, Jack Lloyd, Helen Lloyd and Betty Lloyd Perry.  He was married to Jessie Orr in New York, and they had one child, Theodore H. "Teddy" Lloyd, who was only 14-months old when his father died in Korea, They lived on Governor's Island, New York before he went to Korea.  Theodore now lives with his wife Sonja in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.  During the Vietnam War Theodore served with the 595th Maintenance Company, 8th Army, and the 227th Maintenance Company in South Korea from April 1973 to May 1974.  Harold Lloyd was a platoon sergeant, motorman and military policeman in Korea.  He was also the recipient of a Bronze Star for meritorious service. He served in Company H, 2nd Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division.  He died of hemorrhagic fever and is buried in Long Island National Cemetery, East Farmingdale, New York. Jessie Orr Lloyd later remarried and died on March 13, 2013.

Bronze Star Citation (awarded posthumously):

Sergeant First Class Harold A. Lloyd, RA39733005, Infantry, United States Army, Company "H", 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, distinguished himself by meritorious service from 20 November 1952 to 9 November 1953.  During that period Sergeant Lloyd served as Patrol and Desk Sergeant, 2nd Military Police Company and Platoon Leader, 81mm mortar section, Company "H", 38th Infantry Regiment.  As Desk Sergeant he displayed a complete knowledge of administrative matters and worked long and arduous hours to insure a high standard of operational efficiency.  His enthusiasm for his job and devotion to duty contributed greatly to the effective operation of the section.  Sergeant Lloyd continuously displayed unusual coolness when fire missions were required, setting an example that was directly responsible for the high morale of the men under his command.  He continually displayed a high degree of initiative and sound judgment which resulted in increased tactical proficiency.  The services rendered by Sergeant Lloyd reflect great credit upon himself and the military service.

Locklin, Cpl. John Hildred

John was born October 10, 1927, a son of Hildred Locklin (1903-1992) and Corine Jospehine Crayton Locklin (1908-2006).  John was a member of the 7th Cavalry Regiment, F Company, 2nd Battalion.  His siblings were Mrs. Robert Louis (Lillian Marie Locklin) Prince (1926-2007), Cornelius Locklin (1929-1935), Howard Lee Locklin, and Mrs. James Reginald (Ruby Ray Locklin) Wheeler (1932-2006).  John died in the Osaka Army Hospital, Honshu, Japan, and is buried in Journeys End Cemetery, Burkburnett, Wichita County, Texas.

Markitello, Pvt2 Louis

Louis was born on April 05, 1928, in Oakland, Alameda County, California.  He was a member of A Company, 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division.  He died in the 21st Evac Hospital, Pusan, Korea, and is buried in Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno, California.

Martineau, Pfc. George Percy

George was born January 28, 1926, a son of World War I veteran Lorenzo A. Martineau (1894-1985) and Margaret M. Wills Martineau (1903-1985).  His siblings were World War II veteran Arthur (1924-2012), Elmere Kramer, Faye Quam, William, Doris Margaret Markel (1936-2018), Frances Sather, Judy Hove, Joyce Wosick, Wanda DuRain, Connie Bushaw (his youngest sister who was five at the time of his death), Richmond E. l(1932-1939) and Mary Louise Keney.  In 1940, George and his family were living in Eastman, North Dakota.  During the Korean War George was a wireman with H Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines.  While on patrol from Hill 229 near the "Yoke", he contracted hemorrhagic fever.  He was admitted to Company E, 1st Medical Battalion on July 05, 1952.  The next day George was evacuated to the 8228th MASH and died there on July 10, 1952.  His body was accompanied home by James F. Frye and he was buried in Pembina Cemetery, Pembina, North Dakota.

McNeil, Pfc. Francis Leonard

Francis was born December 30, 1927, in Santa Barbara, California, a son of Francis Jesse "Frank" McNeil (1896-1970) and Louise Emily Stickney McNeil (1895-1979).  His sibling was Robert Stickney McNeil.  Francis Leonard was a member of Company M, 3rd Battalion, 65th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division when he died at the 121st Evac Hospital of hemorrhagic fever.  He is buried in the San Luis IOOF Cemetery, San Luis Obispo, California.

McPherson, MSgt. Ralph Arlin

Ralph was born May 7, 1924.  He was a World War II veteran.  During the Korean War he was a member of Battery C, 99th Field Artillery Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division.  He died in the 121st Evac Hospital and is buried in Knoxville National Cemetery, Knoxville, Tennessee.

McReynolds, Sgt. Cornelius

Cornelius was born November 28, 1929, son of Cornelius McReynolds.  He was serving with A Battery, 82nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery AW Battalion when he contracted hemorrhagic fever and died in the 48th MASH.  He is buried in Lincoln Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois.

Messer, Pfc. Harold Richard

Harold was born on December 9, 1928, in Lockridge, Iowa.  He was a son of William H. Messer (1879-1943) and Mary Viola Jeffrey Messer (1903-1999) of Iowa.  He attended Lockridge schools, was a member of the Baptist Church, and was formerly empoyed by the Burlington Railroad.  Harold was indicted in the Army in November 6, 1950 in the third draft from Jefferson County, Iowa.  His siblings were Kenneth "Kenny" Wilbert Messer (1937-2015), Carrie Messer Holloway, Elgie Holloway, Guy Gilbert Messer (1924-2012), Archie T. Messer (1926-1993) and Walter Messer.  Harold is buried in Lockridge Cemetery, Lockridge, Iowa.  He was a member of A Battery, 61st Field Artillery Battalion (105mm) when he contracted hemorrhagic fever.  He was evacuated to a Norwegian Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, where he died.  He is buried in Lockridge Cemetery, Lockridge, Iowa.

Miller, Maj. Eugene Preston

Eugene was born April 19, 1913, in Bristol, Tennessee, son of Eugene Wade Miller and Mary Kunhert Miller.  A World War II and Korean War veteran, Major Miller was married to Helen House Miller of Ogden, Utah.  He was a member of the 8202 KMAG when he died at the 121st Evac Hospital.  He is buried in Ogden City Cemetery, Ogden, Utah.

Neufeld, Pfc. Donald Milton

Donald was born August 8, 1929, son of John "Jack" Benjamin Neufeld (1897-1966) and Frances Alice Haseman Neufeld.  He had a sister, Mrs. William (Esther Frances Neufeld) Morgens (1931-2017).  Donald was serving with the 17th Ordnance Medium Maintenance Company.  He died of hemorrhagic fever near Kumwha, Korea.  Donald was from Cottonwood County, Minnesota.

Norris, Cpl George

George was born March 01, 1929.  He was serving with the 64th Heavy Tank Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division when he died in the 121st Evac Hospital.  He is buried in Old Mississippi City Cemetery, Gulfport, Harrison County, Mississippi.

Pendegrass, Pvt. William Jr.

William was born April 18, 1928. The KWE believes (but has not proven) that he was related to Flora Pendegrass who died in 1934, and siblings Irene and Willie Mae from St. Clair County, Illinois.  William was a member of Heavy Tank Company, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division when he contracted hemorrhagic fever and died at the 48th MASH in Korea.  He is buried in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, Missouri.

Schafer, Pfc. Stanton Mayer

Stanton was from Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.  He was serving with the 40th Military Police Company, 40th Infantry Division when he contracted hemorrhagic fever in the 48th MASH.

Simon, Cpl. George Albert

George was born April 12, 1915 in Wolf Run, Ohio, a son of Joseph Simon (died 1926) and Mary Urick Simon (1887-1972).  Mary later married Mike Valko.  Joseph and Mary were parents of seven children: George Simon, Ann M. Simon Roskos (1917-1996), Michael Joseph Simon (1923-2000), and four other sons.  George was serving with Battery A, 37th Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division when he died of hemorrhagic fever at the 8228th MASH.  He is buried in Newton Township Cemetery West Side, Newton Falls, Trumbull County, Ohio.

Smith, Pfc. Harold Walter

Harold was born October 1, 1929.  He was serving with HQ Company, 65th Infantry, 3rd Infantry Division, when he developed hemorrhagic fever and was evacuated to the 48th Army Surgical Hospital.  He died there.  Harold is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Newfield, Tompkins County, New York.

Sommer, Pfc. Kenneth Charles

Kenneth was a member of Battery A, 64th Field Artillery Battalion, 25th Infantry Division. He developed hemorrhagic fever and was evacuated to the 48 Mobile Army Surgical Hospital where he died on December 5, 1953.  He was born in 1931, the son of Carl J. Sommer (1905-1987) and Emma Lockman Sommer.  (The KWE has not confirmed the name of his mother.)  Kenneth is buried in Beaver Cemetery and Mausoleum, Beaver, Pennsylvania.

Stevens, Cpl. J.E.

J.E. was born November 6, 1929, a son of Thomas S. Stevens (1900-1964) and Mabel Ethel Williams Stevens (1891-1956).  His siblings were Doyle Harvey Stevens (1922-1987), Harry Stevens, Clyde Stevens, and Olive Louise Stevens.  J.E. enlisted in the Army on April 25, 1951.  He was serving in the 702nd Ordnance Maintenance Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division when he contracted hemorrhagic fever and died at the 8228th MASH.  This Choctaw American Indian is buried in Green Hills Memorial Park, Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

Stiles, Pvt. Frank Eugene

Frank was born September 12, 1932.  He was serving with Headquarters Company, 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division when he contracted hemorrhagic fever and died at the 48th MASH.  He is buried in Red Bank Cemetery, Haywood County, North Carolina.

Thomas, Pvt. Edwin

Edwin was born May 25, 1927.  He was serving in Company L, 3rd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division when he died of hemorrhagic fever at the 48th MASH.  He is buried in Provo City Cemetery, Provo, Utah.

Tillou, Cpl. Everitt James "Jim"

Everitt was born January 29, 1932 in Hackettstown, New Jersey, a son of Frederick B. Tillou Jr. (1895-1951) and Elizabeth Morrison Tillou (1894-1982).  His siblings were Donald "Donnie" (1929-1987), Grant (1927-1996), Charles S. "Charlie" (1926-2016), Ruth Tillou Barlow, Howard, Mrs. Robert T. (Julia Tillou) Hackett (died 2014), Mary and John.  Everitt was a member of Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. He contracted hemorrhagic fever and was evacuated to the 48th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital where he died.  He is buried in Mount Bethel Methodist Church Cemetery, Port Murray, New Jersey.

Torres-Ramirez, Pfc. Emilio

Emilio was born April 5, 1929 and was from San Sebastian, Puerto Rico.  He was serving with Company A, 1st Battalion, 65th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, when he contracted hemorrhagic fever and died in the 8228th MASH.  He is buried in the Municipal Cemetery, San Sebastian.

Winters, Pvt. Donald Edwin

Donald was born November 17, 1931, son of Douglass William Winters and Dorothy Mary Winters.  He was from the Washington, DC area.  He was the company clerk and records keeper for Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 36th Engineer Combat Group.  He contracted hemorrhagic fever and died at the 121st MASH.  He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Wiseman, Pfc. Donald Gilbert

Donald was born September 01, 1927.  He was serving in Company M, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division when he contracted hemorrhagic fever and died in the 121st Evac Hospital.  He is buried in Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno, California.


Col. Constance J. Moore Article

Army Nursing Caring for Hemorrhagic Fever Patients
during the Korean War


Constance J. Moore
Colonel, ANC (Retired), ANCA Historian

[KWE Note: All credit for the following article goes to Col. Constance J. Moore.]


In the fall of 1951, along the 38th parallel in Korea there was an outbreak of an unknown febrile disease that caused illness-ravaged soldiers to be taken to aid stations and hospitals. The acute, self-limited infectious disease, called hemorrhagic fever, was characterized by a tortuous multitude of acute symptoms, including headache, nausea, blood seepage from weakened vascular walls, delirium, and kidney failure. [Reference #1]  Army nurses were challenged to learn quickly how to care for these violently ill patients in order to help save their lives.

24-Hour Urine Collection Hemorrhagic Fever Centers were set up at hospitals such as the 45th Evacuation Hospital [Reference 2]  in Seoul or 48th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) [Reference 3] just northwest of Seoul. To monitor patients carefully, units were staffed to give one-to-one nursing care. Nurses ensured that patients maintained bed rest, since it slowed the nausea and pain. They discovered the keystone of the therapy was fluid management (hydration and electrolyte levels), and vital sign levels. Weights, intakes and outputs were scrupulously monitored throughout the course of the illness. To regulate body temperatures, patients were sponged and given antipyretics. Trendelenberg bed positioning was used to decrease the blood flow to the extremities. [Reference 4]

Since every patient developed some degree of kidney failure, fluid restriction was required. Cases became critical when patients went into kidney failure from septic shock. Patients deemed good candidates for dialysis were quickly transferred to the 11th Evacuation Hospital’s Renal Insufficiency Center where dialysis was used to hopefully correct severe fluid overload, minimize the effects of shock, and reverse the kidney failure. There were two nurses assigned to the dialysis unit, monitoring three 8-hour dialysis procedures round the clock. [Reference 5] They also sterilized equipment and tubing, and trained newly assigned corpsmen who were served with them. The dramatic changes in the conditions of these patients was chronicled by Lieutenant Mary T. Burley: "The first patient I saw who went on the artificial kidney was near death. The next morning he sat up in bed and read a magazine!" [Reference 6]

Once patients began to recover, Army nurses carefully managed the 8- to 12-week process. Usually patients had lost 30-50 pounds so they were given 5-7 meals each day as well as nutritional supplements and progressive exercises to regain their weight and strength. During this critical period, Nurses did their best to maintain patients’ morale and keep them occupied with entertainment, games and other activities.

Army nurses took the initiative, making quick decisions, and adopting innovative solutions to a broad range of medical-related problems associated with the disease. Because of the care they provided, many soldiers returning home with no ill effects of the disease.

References:

1.George Hoffman, “The Korean War’s Silent Killer Strikes Again,” USA Today (Society for the Advancement of Education): 56.

2.Robert Markelz, “Hemorrhagic Fever 1. Medical Care,” American Journal of Nursing, 56(1): 39.

3.______, “48th Portable Surgical Hospital,” CBI Order of Battle Lineage and History, http://www.cbi-history.com/part_vi_48th_surgical_hosp.html, (accessed April 29, 2011).

4.Katrina Johnson, Hemorrhagic Fever 2. Nursing Care, American Journal of Nursing, 56(1): 41.

5.Duggan Maddux, “Dr. Paul Maddux,” Nephrology Oral History Project, (2007): 5, http://www.voiceexpeditions.com/assets/media/noh/pet/paul-teschan.pdf

6.______, “48th Portable Surgical Hospital,” CBI Order of Battle Lineage and History, http://www.cbi-history.com/part_vi_48th_surgical_hosp.html, (accessed April 29, 2011).

7.Katrina Johnson, Hemorrhagic Fever 2. Nursing Care, American Journal of Nursing, 56(1): 41.
 


Nurses Who Cared for Hemorrhagic Fever Patients (incomplete listing)

"The Army nurses assigned to unique units also served with heroism in difficult circumstances. Members of the 11th Evacuation Hospital pioneered the art and science of renal dialysis nursing. They were among the first nurses to support patients with hemorrhagic fever on a first generation artificial kidney machine."

Quote from the US Government 60th Anniversary publication,
"The Army Nurse Corps in the Korean War"

---

"At the 11th Evacuation Hospital in Korea, doctors used a Kolff-Brigham Artificial Kidney to stop renal failure and prevent death. As a result of improved resuscitation and treatment practices, .5 percent of patients suffering from shock stayed alive long enough only to end up with acute renal failure because of myocardial potassium intoxication, fluid volume overload, or both. Ninety percent of these patients died until doctors started using dialysis in 1951—and the death rate decreased to 53 percent. Nurses at the 11th Evacuation hospital were among the first to use an artificial kidney machine to treat patients with hemorrhagic fever."

Quote from "War History Online"

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Marjorie J. Bennett

[KWE Note: All credit for the following biography of Marjorie J. Bennett is given to the author of:
"Me. Here. Right Now: Genealogy for the Cooper, Smith, Smull, Munson, Ripley, Owens, Holler, Leroy, Linsey, Miller, Lisk, and other associated families"]

Trailblazing Women: Marjorie J Bennett, Army Nurse Corps

Sideroad: Munson/Woodington Family

Marjorie Bennett was the daughter of Arthur Bennett (1891-1934) and Emma L Otto Bennett Cohoe (1894-1988) born 15 Jan 1919 in Cassville, Grant County, Wisconsin. When she was 15, her father died and her mother moved the family to Lancaster in Grant County. Marjorie had two brothers who both served during World War II: Robert Henry Bennett, who served in the US Army Air Corps and Arthur Richard Bennett who served in the US Navy.

Marjorie completed her undergrad degree at Plattsburgh State Teacher's College in Wisconsin, then attended Finley School of Nursing in Dubuque, Iowa. She then attended the University of Wisconsin for public health training. In 1945, she began her work as the Assistant then Public Health Nurse for Grant County. While attending school in 1944, she had joined the cadet corps for the Women's Army Corps Reserves and asked to be activated in 1950. She left soon after for Ft Sam Houston, where the Army nursing course was held and was commissioned as a 1st Lieutenant. She graduated in July 1951.

After her training, she was sent to the Percy Jones Army Hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan where she served briefly before being assigned to the 8167th Tokyo Army Hospital during the middle of the Korean Conflict, supporting soldiers whose injuries were severe enough to have them transferred from the Korean theatre. She then did war duty in Korea, assigned to the 11th Evac Hospital. This was fast-moving, tactical medicine, but they were also among the first nurses to help patients with hemorrhagic fever on a first generation artificial kidney machine. The work of the doctors and nurses of the 11th would influence future improvements in renal failure treatment for the world. Only between 500-1,500 nurses served during the Korean conflict (funny how they didn't really keep track), but the women who served suffered the same hardships and trauma as their male counterparts, without the resources to identify at treat conditions like PTSD, especially in women. I'm sure all those who served saw too much.

After her tours overseas, she returned to the States and was assigned to Fort Benning Georgia's Army Hospital. She spent 3-1/2 years there before heading overseas again, this time to Tripler Army Hospital in Honolulu. That had to be a sweet assignment.

Her last assignment was in Georgia, once again and she moved her mother to her home after her stepfather's death. Marjorie retired as a Lt Colonel in about 1970 but stayed in Augusta, Georgia. Brother Robert lived nearby in Columbus, Georgia. Her brother died in 1976. Marjorie remained in Augusta until after her mother's 1988 death, residing in Marshall, Wisconsin until her death in 1995.

Marjorie was an active member in the Retired Officers Association, Retired Army Nurse Corps Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Disabled American Veterans. She picked a career path completely apart from other women of her day and served with distinction in peace and war.

Mattie Donnell Hicks

[KWE Note: All credit for the following article goes to the Appalachia State University (North Carolina Nursing History)}

Mattie Donnell Hicks: Korean War Nurse

After World War II ended in August 1945, the nation returned to peaceful pursuits. On July 26, 1948, President Truman signed Executive Order 9981, abolishing racial segregation in the armed forces. In June 1950, North Korea, a small Asian nation of little concern to most Americans, launched a surprise invasion of its neighbor to the south. The United States was once again at war, fighting with its ally South Korea. Many active duty nurses were unexpectedly called to scene of battle. One of the North Carolina nurses responding to this call was Mattie Hicks.

Mattie Donnell Hicks was born in Greensboro, North Carolina on September 2, 1914, to John and Josephine Donnell. She was one of ten children. Pursuing her childhood dream, after graduating from the all African American Dudley High School, she enrolled at the Grady Hospital School of Nursing in Atlanta, Georgia. Three years later she earned her diploma and began her career at a segregated, rural hospital in Gainesville, Georgia.
Hicks “wanted to do something different in going into the military to try to help the soldiers with their wounds and all that”. She joined the Army Nurse Corps on July 2, 1945 but served only a few weeks until World War II ended in August 1945. However, Hicks realized she enjoyed Army nursing so she re-enlisted in March 1946 and stayed for twenty one years.

When the Korean War broke out, Hicks was assigned to the 11th Evacuation Hospital in Wonju, Korea on the eastern battlefront. During the war, approximately 540 Army Nurses served on the ground in Korea. Seriously wounded and ailing troops were air lifted to awaiting Navy hospital ships or evacuated to Army Hospitals in Japan and the United States for more intense treatment than was available in Korean MASH units or evacuation hospitals. Many Army nurses served in the newly created Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals (MASH) units close to the front. Hicks and other nurses in Evacuation Hospitals took wounded soldiers from the MASH units and provided longer term care. She recalled in an oral history interview in 1999

We enjoyed our work very much. One thing, we were kept busy because patients would be coming right off the battlefield because they had the helicopters to pick them up, bring them right to the hospital which saved a lot of their lives … whenever a shipment would come in, you’d work … if they were in real bad shape, they would ship them on right away. But if they were not in too bad shape, they would stay right there and we’d take care of them.

Each Evacuation Hospital had a specialty area. The 11th Evacuation Hospital had a renal insufficiency unit and pioneered the use of renal dialysis. Hicks and her colleagues at the 11th Evacuation Hospital were among the first nurses to support patients with hemorrhagic fever on the first generation of artificial kidney machines. In addition to patients with renal disease and battlefield wounds, Hicks and her colleagues provided general car for soldiers and their family members with a variety of ailments. She recalled civilians coming to the hospitals with tuberculosis and gastro-intestinal distress.

“We had to run a tube down their throat and clean – and get all the fluid and stuff out of their stomach. And you know, through that tube live worms would come through, Live!”

When asked about her social situation in Korea, including homesickness, cold temperatures, Spartan accommodations and serving in one of the first integrated units in US armed forces history, Hicks remembered, “when you’re afraid, as most of us were, being in a theater where they were fighting and all that, you kind of act like a family”.

After her tour in Korea, Hicks served wherever the Army Nurse Corps needed her. Her postings included hospitals in Japan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Germany and North Carolina. She worked in medical surgical nursing and obstetrical nursing. She earned many medals for her courage and service including the World War II Victory Medal, the Korean Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and Army Commendation Medal, the Armed Service Reserve Medal, a Meritorious Unit Citation and a United Nations Service Medal.

In March, 1966 Hicks retired from the Army having earned the rank of major. She returned home to Greensboro and built a home. After her years of travel she was ready to spend time with her extended family and childhood friends. She was dedicated to her church spending many hours serving on committees, in the choir and helping fellow congregants in need. Hicks passed away on March 14, 2004.

---

Barbara Regan, 43rd Surgical Hospital Mobile Army

[KWE Note: Barbara Regan, native of Pensacola, Florida, served in the Army Nurse's Corps at the 43rd Surgical Hospital Mobile Army for two years.  All credit for the following reference to hemorrhagic fever in Korea is given to Marketta Davis, Pensacola News Journal, "MASH Nurse's Past, Present Mission"]

"Regan said her unit was always busy, especially during the seasonal outbreak of hemorrhagic fever, a life-threatening virus that was passed to humans from mice, rats and fleas. Treatment involved fluids being injected into both arms and legs as well as plasma transfusions.

But what sticks out in Regan's mind the most from the outbreak is her unit's unintentional contribution resulting from a cat.  When she first got the hospital where the fever patients were being treated, the nurse she relieved had two cats and wanted Regan to take them for a short time. The nurse said the cats were neutered but one unknowingly wasn't and ended up having four kittens who inevitably became the community rat killers.

Word reached the hospital that an orphanage in Seoul, the neighboring town to the hospital, was in need of cats to help control the rats passing the hemorrhagic fever virus and the hospital staff happily obliged.  'I was able to donate the cats so they were useful,' Regan said."

 

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