History of the 81st Field Hospital/276th General Hospital, Page 13

This is the final post in a series in which I’ve transcribed a document that belonged to my father titled “History of the 81st Field Hospital.” It details the hospital’s preparations in the U.S. before deployment and operations in Germany during WWII. This field hospital eventually reached German concentration camp survivors. Read from the beginning here.

HISTORY OF THE 276TH GENERAL HOSPITAL

On 18 November 1945 orders were received by the 81st Field Hospital Headquarters (at Crile General Hospital, Cleveland 9, Ohio) to the effect that this unit would be redesignated the 276th General Hospital and that the considerable reorganization involved would take place at the earliest practicable date. However, the official existence of the new unit was not reflected in the morning report until 11 December 1945. On this same date, Major John B Moring was named Commanding Officer of the new organization.

There was relatively little immediate change in the unit. Men eligible for discharge continued to be separated from the service; others, ineligible for discharge but likewise ineligible for overseas service, were to be trfd to other organizations.

60 enlisted men were awarded the Good Conduct Medal pursuant to GO #3, 276th General Hospital, dated 26 December 1945.

The additional personnel authorized by the new T/O were slow in arriving, and by 31 December 1945 there remained in the unit only six officers and fifteen enlisted men eligible for overseas service.

Captain Milton B. Smith was transferred to Crile Gen Hosp on 17 Dec 45 pursuant to 10/292 War Department Washington DC dtd 8 Dec 45, thus transferring the last Medical Officer from the outfit with a surgical background.

History of the 81st Field Hospital, Page 11

This is the eleventh in a series of posts in which I’m transcribing a document that belonged to my father titled “History of the 81st Field Hospital.” It details the hospital’s preparations in the U.S. before deployment and operations in Germany during WWII. This field hospital eventually reached German concentration camp survivors. Read from the beginning here.

[Page 11]

Packing and crating was completed ahead of schedule and from last week in July until embarkation date, 9 August, a training program was in effect, consisting of classes and swimming, volleyball and other supervised sports.

Unit Returns to United States

On 9 August, the unit boarded USN Transport General George O Squier, bound for Manila, Philippine Islands. Only detail for the unit was dispensary assignment.

In the wake of continual suspense and excitement, beginning with loosing of the first atomic bomb on Japan, the entry of Russia into the war against Japan, and semi-official reports and rumors of peace, Japan finally surrendered unconditionally on 15 August and there was great jubilation aboard ship.

Even more enthusiastically received was official notification that the ship’s destination was changed and we were bound for the United States, our port, Norfolk, Virginia.

Administrative detail to facilitate possible furloughs, discharges, or other plans for the organization were completed on board ship and we docked at Norfolk on 20 August, proceeding to Camp Patrick Henry for further orders.

Groups were sent to appropriate reception stations from Camp Patrick Henry on 21 August with orders to reassemble as a unit at Camp Sibert, Alabama. Temporary duty was extended for a period of 15-days and the unit began reassembling 12 October. Those eligible for discharge were not returned from reception stations. The remainder of the unit completed assembling 23 October.

Move to Crile General Hospital

In mid-October movement orders were received directing that the 81st Field Hospital proceed to Crile General Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio. Further instructions directed that the remaining nurses and those enlisted men with an ASR Score above 59 be separated from the unit.

On 1 November 1945 the unit entrained at Camp Sibert, Alabama, and proceeded to Cril [sic] General Hospital. The operation had been well-planned and was accomplished with singular smoothness.

Upon arrival at Crile, the personnel of the 81st, with the exception of the Headquarters Section, were assigned to on-the-job training assignments in virtually all departments of the splendid general hospital. The experience of our men, abetted by the genuine consideration manifested by the administrators of Crile General Hospital, rendered the merger of personnel effective and harmonious.

A separate 81st Field Hospital Headquarters was set up by Major Moring and his staff. All administrative matters pertaining to the 81st were handled by this headquarters.

On 14 November 1945, Major Moring received orders transferring him to Wakeman General Hospital, Camp Atterbury, Indiana. Captain Naif L Simon, next ranking officer in the unit, assumed command 20 November 1945. However, the following day, Major Moring’s orders were rescinded and he resumed command of the 81st.

[Continue to Page 12]

RootsTech, Day 3.1 – Photography Brings Ancestors to Life

The first breakout session I attended today was “Advanced Technology Brings Ancestors to Life” by Patricia Moseley Van Skaik of the Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County. She focused her talk on a panoramic daguerreotype image of the Cincinnati waterfront taken in 1848. It is considered to be the oldest photograph of urban America, including steamboats, storefronts, and more.

You can learn more about the image here.

The Cincinnati daguerreotype panorama is actually pieced together from eight separate images of the shoreline. The assembled image is more than seven feet long.

Here is another site with information about the image.

Many of the buildings in the image are no longer there, but researchers studied the photos in 1947, when many were still standing. At the time, they used magnifying glasses to see leaves on the trees, determining the season, and used other clues to determine that the year the photo was taken was 1848 (evidence of drought, etc., confirmed this date). Names of the boats in the water also helped date the photo.

Fast forward to today and Eastman House made hi-res images of the daguerreotypes that allowed for closer inspection. They stitched the images together to create the panorama available at the links above.

They didn’t stop there. Using microscopic images, they were able to determine it was 1:50 p.m. by zooming in on a clock tower in the photo. They discovered signs on the buildings and were able to read them. The level of detail available upon close inspection of the original images is quite impressive.

Taking the information from the signs, researchers then turned to census records, deeds, city directories and more from that time to learn more about the store owners and their businesses. They also learned about some of the residents of the buildings as well.

Enhanced images and detailed information will be online later this year. The crew working on this project hope to hang the daguerreotype for public display once again. It has been down for conservation work.

Tombstone Tuesday (AIIP10 Edition): Erie Street Cemetery

I attended the 2010 Association of Independent Information Professionals conference in Cleveland, Ohio, this past weekend (read my recap here). The conference hotel was located directly across from two important Cleveland landmarks: Progressive Field (where we watched the Indians lose to the Twins) and Erie St. Cemetery.

One of the stones in the cemetery is for Joc-O-Sot or Walking Bear.

Next to his stone is that of Chief Thunderwater. Both earned names for themselves by participating in theater acts and Wild West shows.

Another stone that caught my attention was this one:

The dates are a bit hard to read due to the staining on the stone, but when you blow up the photo, here’s what you see:

SCHARLOTT

Father
Born July 11, 1835–Died Mar. 13, 1904 [age ~69]

[space]

Amelia
Born July 3, 1859–Died Mar. 13, 1903 [age ~44]

Dorothy
Born Nov. 28, 1860–Died Mar. 28, 1864 [age 3 1/2]

Margaret
Born July 26, 1866–Died Aug. 16, 1867 [age 13 mos]

Albert
Born Jan. 2, 1873–Died Aug. 16, 1873 [age 6 mos]

Albert H
Born Mar. 3, 1877–Died Feb. 3, 1880 [age ~3]

Carrie
Born May 15, 1879–Died Nov. 1, 188[3 or 9?] [age ~4 or ~10]

Harry
Born Aug. 15, 1885–Died Dec. 3, 1888 [age 3]

Edna
Born Mar. 3, 1887–Died Jan. 5, 1888 [age 10 mos]

Can you imagine? I had to know, were these the only Scharlott children or did more survive into adulthood and are perhaps buried somewhere else? I think I found the family in the 1880 census in Cleveland on Ancestry.com (under the name Scherlotk; click on the photo for a larger view):

(Ohio, Cuyahoga County, Cleveland, District 15, page 7, lines 40-49, 1880 U.S. Census, Ancestry.com)

You can see Amalia and Carry listed in the census — presumably they are the Amelia and Carrie listed on the stone. Their birthdates match.

It’s somewhat comforting to know that after all that loss, some of the Scharlott children survived. And now we know their parents’ full names as well. As to why the mother, Anna, isn’t included on the stone, one can guess that she survived her husband, remarried and is buried with the subsequent husband. That’s another question for another day.