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Ranger, Tex., November 17, 1943. Re David C. Arterburn, machinist's mate, second class, United States Coast
Guard Reserve. Hon. Sam Russell,
United States House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. RUSSELL: Your kind letter of November 13, 1943, received. It was, of course, a distinct disappointment to have the Government disclaim responsibility in this case. It seems so necessary that these boys be allowed to visit their home, as this certainly does help to maintain morale. In the case of the Arterburn boy, his mother had only a short time before undergone extensive surgery, in fact, we felt that she came near losing her life.
In the case of this boy, he became suddenly very sick with a typical acute, fulminating appendicitis. The writer felt that if this boy was not too sick that it would be "good policy" to send him to one of the Government hospitals. But in his case a white-blood-cell count was made and found to be 19,250, and one who is at all versed in surgery readily recognizes that this constituted a real emergency The writer certainly would have been derelict of duty if there had been any procrastination in prompt removal of his appendix,
Since the Army, Navy, and Marines take and insist on such splendid care of all their men in the camps, on the battle front and wherever they may be in their respective commands, it surely does not seem right or even tolerable for these men not to be cared for in such dire emergencies.
I would like for you to know that the Army paid for the medical and hospital service rendered a second lieutenant who was on leave and became suddenly ill. The writer cared for this man and as soon as it was deemed safe for him to travel he was transported to a Government hospital. Also in another case an enlisted man "private" was on furlough from Camp Barkeley, Tex., over at Olden, Tex., and "accidentally” or “intentionally" shot himself in the leg with a small-caliber pistol. I cared for this man and hospitalized him. Camp Barkeley station hospital was notified afterward and the following day they came for him and he was transported to the Army hospital. In this case the doctor and hospital were paid for the services rendered.
In these two cases cited, one was for sickness and the other was for injury. If one branch of the service could and did pay for service by other than military personnel, I cannot see why we cannot be paid for our care of Arterburn, especially since it was a matter of life and death of a member of our armed forces.
We are therefore sending you another bill with the hope that you may be able to have this case reconsidered by someone so that we may be paid for which we feel is a just claim. With very best personal regards, I am, Sincerely yours,
WALTER L. Jackson, M. D.
MEDICINE AND SURGERY
RANGER, Tex., February 8, 1944. DAVID C. ARTERBURN,
(586-669) United States Coast Guard Reserve: May 10, 1943. To operate, appendectomy
130 I certify that the above bill is correct and just, that payment therefor has not been received.
WALTER L. JACKSON, M. D.
H. Repts., 79-1, vol. 1-_-66
RANGER, Tex., February 8, 1944. D. C. Arterburn, machinist's mate, second-class, No. 586-669, care of district
Coast Guard office, United States Coast Guard, Philadelphia, Pa.-In account
with City-County Hospital. Admitted May 10, 1943; dismissed May 17, 1943: 7 days, at $5 per day..
$35. 00 Operating room.:-
12. 50 Medications: 6 morphia tablets, one-fourth grain, at 5 cents
.30 10 veronal capsules, at 2 cents--
. 20 Totál...
48.00 City-COUNTY HOSPITAL,
ANNA BELLE KIMNEY, Registered nurse, superintendent.
MRS. ALMA MALLETTE AND ANSEL ADKINS
FEBRUARY 20, 1945. —Committed to the Committee of the Whole House and
ordered to be printed
Mr. Ramey, from the Committee on Claims, submitted the following
[To accompany H. R. 1558]
The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 1558) for the relief of Mrs. Alma Mallette and Ansel Adkins, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with amendments and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.
The amendments are as follows:
Page 1, line 6, strike out the figures "$5,000” and insert in lieu thereof the figures "$4,000".
Page 1, lines 6 and 8, strike out the name "Ancel and insert in lieu thereof the name “Ansel”.
Amend title so as to read:
The purpose of the proposed legislation is to pay the sum of $4,000 to Mrs. Alma Mallette, and to pay the sum of $1,000 to Ansel Adkins for personal injuries to Ansel Adkins and as compensation to Mrs. Alma Mallette for the death of her son, Harry Stewart, who was killed as a result of an accident involving an Army truck at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., on March 11, 1942.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
It appears that on March 11, 1942, that Army personnel left Fort Leonard Wood on official business. On the route to the destination they stopped and invited two civilians, Harry Stewart and Ansel Adkins, to ride with them to Big Piney, Mo. The two entered the Army truck and the car proceeded toward Big Piney, and at a point approximately 2 miles from Big Piney the driver of the truck, traveling at an undetermined speed, rounded a curve and a column of motorcycles was encountered; that in order to avoid striking the motorcycles the driver applied the brakes and swerved the truck sharply to the right and turned over several times. As a result of the accident, Harry Stewart was killed and Ansel Adkins sustained a comminutèd fracture of the pubic bone and a scalp wound.
The War Department states in its report of June 10, 1944, that,
The evidence clearly discloses that at the time of the accident the Army driver had departed from the scope of his employment by making use of the Army vehicle for an unauthorized mission.
The report states further:
It is equally obvious that the act of the noncommissioned officer who was in 'charge of the Army car in inviting the two civilians to ride in such car was unauthorized and in violation of Army regulations.
However, the War Department has no objection to the enactment of the legislation if it is so amended to appropriate the sum of $4,000 to Mrs. Alma Mallette for the death of her son, Harry Stewart, and the sum of $1,000 to Ansel Adkins. Congress has recognized the merit in such claims as several bills have passed and become law during the past Congresses. Private Law No. 134, Seventy-sixth Congress, is identical with this claim.
Therefore your committee recommend favorable consideration to the proposed bill as amended. Appended hereto is report of War Department, together with other pertinent evidence.
Washington, D. C., June 10, 1944. Hon. Dan R. McGEHEE,
Chairman, Committee on Claims, House of Representatives. DEAR MR. McGEHEE. For the reasons hereinafter stated the War Department prefers to make no recommendation either for or against the enactment of H. R. 3666, Seventy-eighth Congress, a bill "for the relief of Ancel Adkins and Mrs. Alma Mallette.' This bill would authorize and direct the Secretary of the Treasury to pay “to Ansel Adkins, the sum of $5,000; to Mrs. Alma Mallette, of Quincy, Mo., the sum of $5,000, in full settlement of all claims against the United States for personal injuries to Ansel Adkins, and as compensation to Mrs. Alma Mallette for the death of her son, Harry Steward, who was killed as a result of an Accident involving an Army truck at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., on or about March 1, 1942."
On the afternoon of March 11, 1942, a noncommissioned officer of the Army was dispatched from Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., with a Y-ton reconnaissance car on a nofficial mission. Two other enlisted men accompanied him in the car, one of them, a private, acting as driver. It appears that on the return trip the soldiers stopped near a group of civilians in a field to ask for some matches; that the noncommissioned officer invited two of the civilians, Harry Steward, of Waynesville, Mo., and Ansel Adkins, of Big Piney, Mo., to enter the vehicle and ride to Big Piney; that the two civilians got into the vehicle, which was then driven south toward Big Piney; that at about 4:15 p. m., at a point 1.5 miles north of Big Piney, as the Army vehicle, traveling at an undetermined speed, rounded a curve at the crest of a hill, a north-bound column of motorcycles was encountered; that in order to avoid striking the motorcycles the driver of the reconnaissance car applied his brakes and swerved the vehicle sharply to the right; and that this maneuver caused the vehicle to go out of control and turn over several times.
As a result of the accident, Harry Steward was killed and Ansel Adkins sustained a comminuted fracture of the pubic bone and a scalp wound.
On August 13, 1942, before the board of officers that investigated the accident, the soldier who was in charge of the Army reconnaissance car gave the following testimony:
“Q. What were your duties on that day (the day of the accident]?—A. The battery was short of wire, so that morning Captain Moore requested that we go out on a road east of Big Piney Road and look for wire left behind by previous parties and to bring this wire in * * We found some wire just off Big Piney and followed it for about 4 miles and found that the wire was in operation and so we started back heading toward Big Piney Road.
"Q. Describe what took place then.-A. After we headed back, just this side of Big Piney Road, we noted some people in the field so we stopped, as we didn't have any matches and decided to ask the civilians for some. We got them and the civilians started commenting about the peep and I offered them a ride to the town. We unloaded two empty DR-5 reels and an RL-31 to make room for the civilians. Then we started back to Big Piney Road and started south to Big Piney to get something to eat.
“Q. How many passengers were there?-A. Two civilians, and three soldiers.
"Q. Did Captain Moore tell you to go to Big Piney?-A. No sir.
"Q. How fast were you going on Big Piney Road before the accident?— A. About 40 miles per hour.
"Q. How fast were you going at the time of the accident?-A. About 30 or 40 miles per hour.
"Q. Where was the peep in relation to the road?--A. On the right side of the road.
"Q. Where was the column?--A. The motorcycles were a little on our side of the road, making our driver swing to the right.
“Q. When he turned the wheel, did he give it a sharp twist?-A. I don't know.”
The driver of the Army reconnaissance car, on August 13, 1942, gave the following testimony: "Q. How old are you?-A. Nineteen.
"Q. What were your instructions?--A. Just to take the sergeant where he wanted to go.
"Q. Where did you go?--A. First we went on Big Piney and then turned left on 121.
"Q. State what the conversation was between you and the civilians.-A. Just about the peep:
"Q. What did they want to know about it?--A. Just general questions. "Q. Did they ask for a ride or did someone offer them a ride?-A. I don't know. "Q. How come you only took two of them?-A. Two of the youngest wanted a ride.
"Q. Had you been authorized to go to Big Piney and get something to eat?-A. Not that I know of.
"Q. What did you do after you picked them up?--A. Proceeded up Big Piney Road and headed south.
"Q. Then what happened?-A. Going down the road, around a curve, I don't know just where it was, I spotted motorcycles coming in column over the hill and I cut her over to the right and started flipping.
"Q. What was your estimate of the speed?-A. Between 30 and 40 miles per hour.
"Q. Do you recall that you applied the brakes?--A. No, sir. "Q. What was the maximum speed limit?--A. 35 miles per hour. "Q. You were instructed as such?—A. Yes, sir. "Q. Prior to the accident were you going over 35 miles per hour?—A. Yes, sir.
"Q. At the time that you went over the hill, were you going between 35 and 40 or 45 miles per hour?-A. I wouldn't commit myself.'
On August 14, 1942, Ansel Adkins testified before the board of officers as follows:
"Q. Do you live with your parents?-A. Yes; with my mother and the rest of the family.
"Q. Your father is away working?-A. Yes sir.
"Q. On March 11, do you recall what time the three soldiers drove up in a peep?-A. I don't know what time it was.
"Q. Who was present with you at that time?--A. My mother, my brother Dale, and Harry Steward.
"Q. Was there some conversation between you and the three soldiers about taking a trip with them?-A. I don't know.
"Q. Did they invite you to go to Big Piney?—A. Yes; they asked us three or four times and I kept on hesitating about going and I asked Harry to go and he said that he would if I went so I made up my mind.