of these companies often preceded or supplanted hospitals, providing limited care within an area until more adequately staffed and equipped units arrived. Field-army-level clearing units were also used to augment hospitals and provide additional bed space. Dispensaries sometimes supplemented the resources of major hospitals and at other times provided outpatient service in remote areas.
The deployment of additional hospitals to Vietnam continued throughout 1966 and 1967. During 1966 and 1967, four surgical hospitals, six evacuation hospitals, and another hospital unit of a field hospital arrived in-country. The 6th Convalescent Center was established at Cam Ranh Bay.
The buildup of medical units was completed in 1968 with the arrival of one surgical hospital, three evacuation hospitals, and additional field hospital units, as well as 11 Reserve and National Guard medical units. The 312th Evacuation Hospital, the largest Reserve medical unit sent to Vietnam, arrived in September 1968, and occupied a facility the 2d Surgical Hospital had operated at, Chu Lai. By December 1968, there were 5,283 Army hospital beds in Vietnam at facilities located throughout the four corps tactical zones. (Map 2)
With the exception of the 2d Surgical Hospital which moved from An Khe to Chu Lai on 8 May 1967 to support Task Force OREGON, the, movement of hospitals was minimal before 1968. The problems encountered by the, 22d Surgical Hospital in its move from Da Nang to Phu Bai were illustrative of the difficulties of moving medical facilities in the Vietnamese environment. The hospital was moved by LST (landing ship, tank) from Saigon to Da Nang. Enemy activity closed the road between Da Nang and Phu Bai, stranding the unit for several days while it awaited air transportation. The number of sorties required to complete the movement resulted in an even further delay.
The policy which called for minimal movement of hospitals was modified somewhat in 1968 and, to a greater extent, in 1969. The 22d Surgical Hospital and other medical units were sent to Phu Bai. The 18th Surgical Hospital was moved to Quang Tri, to Camp Evans, and back to Quang Tri. The 17th Field Hospital departed Saigon to operate in An Khe. The 27th Surgical Hospital was sent to Chu Lai after it came in-country, while the 95th Evacuation Hospital functioned in two different parts of Da Nang. The 29th Evacuation Hospital was established at Binh Thuy to support operations in the Delta, but was later deactivated and its facilities taken over by the 3d Surgical Hospital after it had moved from Dong Tam. The 91st Evacuation Hospital went to Chu Lai after the unit had built a facility near Tuy Hoa. The 85th Evacuation Hospital departed Qui Nhon for Phu Bai.