Language selection


Field Ambulance Composition

Heroes Remember

Field Ambulance Composition

There were 237 staff total, all men in this particular case. The Field Ambulance is made up to serve a brigade, and a brigade has three infantry regiments and an artillery regiment, and tanks and engineers and so on. So, there’s a headquarters for the Field Ambulance, which is called the Advanced Dressing Station which serves a purpose in the evacuation route. And there are four sections, the headquarters section of 26 men and three other sections, one, two, and three section each with 26 men. Each of these three sections support each of the infantry regiments, and the headquarter section is either spare or it's behind the artillery depending on the location where the strategic need of the other Field Ambulance, of the other section The infantry regiments have their own stretcher bearers, as a matter of fact, they have their own medical officer as well. And he resides at the regimental aid post which is in the headquarters of the infantry regiment itself, headed by a half colonel. The RAP as we call it. Ah, the infantry sections and platoons have stretcher bearers and when there is somebody wounded, they drag them out whether by stretcher or carrying them back to the regimental aid post or they might be able to hobble or walk themselves back to the regimental aid post which it's somewhere, it's not out on the font line where the sections are but they're in a strategic area. They come back to the regimental aid post, the medical officer there does what he can for them and then this is where the field ambulance comes in. The field ambulance has a stretcher bearer and a driver and a jeep ambulance always at the regimental aid post. The wounded are loaded onto two stretchers, onto the jeep ambulance and taken from the regimental aid post back to the section I talked about a little earlier. It's called a CCP, Casualty Collecting Post. So it comes from the regimental aid post to the casualty collecting post where again some of the medical officers who you spoke with probably talked about this. There is a medical officer, generally a captain and a sergeant who is an MA and a lot of stretcher bearers, anyway, they look after the, they have another look at the wound, at the wounded. They may change the dressing, they may start to feed him plasma or blood, or they may change the dressing and so on. And then if he's well enough, if he isn't well enough, they may have to keep him there for a while. If he is well enough and able to travel, he travels from the section that I talked about, to the CCP, casualty collecting post by a motor ambulance with four stretchers, two on one side, up and down and two on the other side, up and down. And from there, he's taken to the ADS. I never worked in an ADS, I don't know what they did down there but they did something similar to what we did at the casualty collecting post. And I suspect that they were taken from the advanced dressing station either back to the famous MASH that we've heard about in the movies over the years or flown to Japan depending on what was wrong with the person, what the injury was, what sort of medical attention that he needed.

Mr. Pike explains the logistics of a field ambulance team and the responsibilities of each section during the Korean War.

Leslie Pike

Mr. Pike was born January 8, 1933 in Carbonear, Newfoundland. An only child, Mr. Pike left school at age 15 and worked as a clerk at a local hardware store to help support his mother and grandmother. Mr. Pike had a great desire to leave Newfoundland and decided to join the army. On October 23, 1950, at age 17, Mr. Pike travelled to St. John’s recruiting station. He became a stretcher bearer with the Regular Force 25th Canadian Field Ambulance Regiment, and served during the Korean War. After the war, Mr. Pike stayed in the service for an additional six years before returning to civilian life.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Leslie Pike
War, Conflict or Mission:
Korean War
25th Canadian Field Ambulance RCA Medical Corp
Stretcher Bearer

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: