I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, newspaper articles, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them.
A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit the National Personnel Records Center, and retrieved some "Auxiliary records" for a handful of of kin who served in the Army. A fire in 1973 destroyed most of the Personnel Folders for those discharged between 1912 and 1960, but before making my visit I contacted the center, and the staff was able to inform me whether any records existed for each of the individuals. All the folders were destroyed, but there were a handful of other records that they had on location. So when I showed up, they had these records waiting for me. It felt a little like I was a celebrity on Who Do You Think You Are.
One of these records was the Hospital Admission Record for my great-uncle, Mandell Newmark, who died in the Philippines in April of 1945.
BY THE OFFICE OF THE SURGEON GENERAL DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY (1942-1945) AND (1950-1954)
INFORMATION FOR THE YEAR 1945
SERVICE NUMBER: 37603351
|RANK:||2||Enlisted Man (includes Aviation Cadet or Student)|
|RACE:||1||White (includes Mexican)|
|YEARS OF SVC:||6||2-3 yr.|
|ARM OF SERVICE:||20||Medical Dept., General or Unspecified (incl all enlisted men)|
|AAF STATUS:||0||Neither assigned nor attached to AAF (includes all unassigned, and all Arm or Service known with no mention of AAF)|
|ADMISSION STATION:||-8||Southwest Pacific|
|ADMISSION DD/M/Y:||12 4 5||12 April 1945|
|LAST TREAT FACILITY:||4||Field Hospital|
|TYPE OF CASE:||4||Battle Casualty|
|TYPE OF ADMISSION:||0||New, not EPTS (did not Exist Prior To entry on active military Service)|
|FIRST DIAGNOSIS:||0260||Fracture, compound, comminuted with no nerve or artery involvement|
|OPERATION:||302||Fracture, compound, closed, treatment of, w/splints/casts; or Fracture w/bone fragment removal and cast.|
|SECOND DIAGNOSIS||Not Found|
|THIRD DIAGNOSIS:||Not Found|
|CAUSATIVE AGENT:||233||Bullet, Rifle|
|CIRCUMSTANCES:||5||Injured handling firearms, ammunition, etc, on post or in camp (cleaning gun, on range, etc. by patient or others.)|
|FINAL RESULT:||Not Found|
|TYPE OF DISPOSITION||0|
|FIELD OF CAUSE OF DEATH OR DISCHARGE||1||First Diagnosis Field|
|DISPOSITION MO/YR:||4 5||April 1945|
|HOSP DAYS (GH/CH)||Not Found|
|SPEC TREAT:||Not Found|
|G/C HOSPITAL:||No entry made|
|SAMPLE SIZE:||3||Not Found|
Source: This information was obtained from the Hospital Admission Card data files (1942-1945; 1950-1954), created by the Office of the Surgeon General, Department of the Army. During 1988, this secondary source material was made available to the National Personnel Records Center by the National Research Council, a current custodian of the data file. The file was originally compiled for statistical purposes, therefore, name identification does not exist and sampling techniques were used with the result that not all hospital admissions are included. Veterans on the file are identified by service number and other data related to hospital admission.
1) The first thing to note is that this isn't an original record. It is a printout derived from the Hospital Admission Cards, and was created in July of this year (by the Personnel Records Center in preparation for my visit.) I don't have an image of the Hospital Admission Card, but I am confident the only information on it is the codes. The accuracy of the explanations is dependent upon the use of the correct decoding system.
We can assume that the National Archives would use the correct decoding system, correct? No. They've made mistakes in the past. Ten years ago, the National Archives discovered they had been using the wrong code book for the Civilian Occupation Codes. This meant the occupation on all the Army Enlistment records was incorrect. NARA updated their records in 2005. Ancestry updated their records sometime between 2007 (when I first looked up the records for several kin) and 2011 (when I noticed the change, and wrote about it).
The description of the circumstances of injury matches what the family was told. Mandell was shot by a fellow soldier who was cleaning his rifle.
2) The record indicates he was shot on April 12, and remained alive for three days. His obituary also stated that he died three days after his wounds.