WW II Vehicle First Aid Kits

Ten unit Type D Vehicle First Aid Kit, Mine Safety Appliances Co. (partial contents)
Ten unit Type D Vehicle First Aid Kit, Mine Safety Appliances Co. (partial contents). Photo: © Olive-Drab.com

Today in WW II: 3 Dec 1943 German Reichsmarshall Hermann Göring orders intensification of the Luftwaffe's bombing of Britain.  More 
3 Dec 1943 RAF Bomber Command raid on Leipzig, Germany, causes over 1000 civilian casualties [Dec 3-4].
3 Dec 1944 East African British colonial troops capture Kalewa, Burma, one of the main centers for river traffic south to Mandalay.
3 Dec 1944 US forces reach key European river crossings: US 9th Army st the Roer River and US 3rd Army at the Saar River.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

World War II Vehicle First Aid Kits

During World War II special first aid kits were issued for installation in vehicles:

  • Motor Vehicle First Aid Kit Type D
  • Motor Vehicle First Aid Kit (12 Unit)
  • Motor Vehicle First Aid Kit (24 Unit)
  • Gas Casualty First Aid Kit

The contents were divided into "units" each in its own package. The packages included bandages, sulfa medications, disinfectants, ointments, and utensils such as safety pins, tourniquet, scissors, splint, and forceps. Each kit had a contents list, ususally under the cover, specifying what it should contain, based on the time it was manufactured and packed. The contents varied over time as treatment advances became available or as inventories were used to restock kits in the field.

Motor Vehicle First Aid Kit Type D

Prior to WW II the standard vehicle first aid kit was called the Type D. At least two models have been identified, with either ten units or twelve units of content (ten unit in photo at top of page). The sturdy steel case had a piano hinge and mounting holes. They were manufactured by Mine Safety Appliances Co. of Pittsburgh, PA (MSA) and perhaps other companies. These were essentially commercial kits, used in industry, adapted for U.S. military use.

Motor Vehicle First Aid Kit (12 Unit)

Motor Vehicle First Aid Kit (12 Unit)
Motor Vehicle First Aid Kit (12 Unit). Photo courtesy eBay seller brooksideconsignment.

During World War II (1942-1945) Mine Safety Appliances Co. of Pittsburgh, PA (and others) manufactured the twelve unit Motor Vehicle First Aid Kit, originally under five digit Medical Department stock number 97773. It was a metal olive drab box with cover marking as in the photo above. They were equipped with wire clasps, hinges and handle. Later production bore stock numbers 9777300, then converted to 9-221-200. The later stock numbers were painted on the cover in white, such as: "Stock No." + red cross in white circle + "9-221-200".

According to FM 21-11 First Aid For Soldiers dated 7 April 1943 this kit was supplied to motor vehicles on a ratio of one kit for four vehicles, including jeeps. It was mounted in a bracket, under the dash (between gauge panel and the glove box) or other suitable place in the vehicle cab. It was not mounted at the factory, rather by the Army after delivery. See also: Gas Casualty First Aid Kit which was mounted in vehicles of the same class as those using the 12 unit vehicle kit.

This same kit was issued to USMC units with a slightly different cover marking: "US, a red cross, and MC" across the center of the lid instead of the US Army Medical Dept. logo.

After World War II, this kit continued to be used through the 1950s. It was replaced by FSN 6545-922-1200 "First Aid Kit, General Purpose, 12 Unit".

Motor Vehicle First Aid Kit (12 Unit) contents
Motor Vehicle First Aid Kit (12 Unit) contents. Photo courtesy eBay seller brooksideconsignment.

Motor Vehicle First Aid Kit (24 Unit)

Motor Vehicle First Aid Kit (24 Unit)
Motor Vehicle First Aid Kit (24 Unit).
Photo: © Olive-Drab.com

The Motor Vehicle First Aid Kit (24 Unit) was very similar to the 12 unit kit, but in a larger chest and stocked with more supplies. The original stock number was 97771, then 9777100 with red caduceus on white circle cover markings similar to the 12 unit model (photo left). Later production bore stock number 9-221-100.

The Motor Vehicle First Aid Kit (24 Unit) was authorized for larger vehicles including tanks, halftracks and other armored vehicles. FM 21-11 First Aid For Soldiers dated 7 April 1943 confirms that there was an allocation of one 24 unit kit for each larger armored vehicle.

Find More Information on the Internet

There are many fine websites that have additional information on this topic, too many to list here and too many to keep up with as they come and go. Use this Google web search form to get an up to date report of what's out there.

For good results, try entering this: first aid kit vehicle wwii. Then click the Search button.