Development of the World War II Jungle First Aid Kit
1944 Photo, Jungle First Aid Kit, opened, showing contents.
The combat plan in the Pacific Theater of World War II called for the Army and Marine Corps to meet and destroy the enemy, wherever found. This meant that units would be sent into difficult jungle country, remote from sources of supply. The problem of adapting to such conditions was solved by combining Navy, Marine Corps, and Army field equipment.
The Navy and Marines were using medical chests in the form of a small suitcase with the contents varied according to the specialized needs of the kit (e.g. dental, veterinary, gas casualty and so forth). The small case was extremely advantageous in that it could be carried by one man on long foot marches and contained sufficient equipment to provide for treatment to a small detachment.
Another important item was the so-called combat dressing chest which was made up of two watertight tin cans containing various types of dressings. These cans together fitted in a canvas carrying case which one man could carry. Due to the shortage of this particular item, the cans were forwarded from the collecting station by litter bearer, emptied at the aid station, and then returned to the collecting station for refilling.
The "Kit, First Aid, Jungle, Complete", in the suitcase container pictured above, was added to the medical supply catalog shortly after the Battle for Guadalcanal as Medical Department Item No. 9776300. The case alone was Medical Department Item No. 9766400.
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