55 Field Surgical Team RAMC

Extracts from the RAF Station Commander’s 
Operational Records Book

25th May 1971.

The water supply at Salalah was found to be contaminated with Bacteria. Hyperchlorination was carried out on the 29th it was declared free from infection by RAF Hospital Muharraq. 

On the 28th May Capt I. Jones RAMC, a medical officer with BATT, was drowned whilst swimming at Raysut. The body was retrieved by a SOAF Helicopter and crew and transferred to the UK in a special Argosy aircraft. 

The same day Capt D. Artus SAF was admitted to SMC with a fracture of the right femur. The fracture was reduced bt 51FST and its expected that Capt Artus will be Aeromedevaced in June

8th June 1971

On the 8th of June an airman and an Indian employee were treated in the SMC following a 75mm RCL attack on RAF Salalah. They both suffered minor injuries and were discharged after treatment by 51FST.

18th June 1972

“On the 18th of June four cases of suspected cholera was diagnosed in Salalah town. All European and Asian personnel were vaccinated and measures were taken to stop local food produce from being brought onto the station. Twenty four hours later one of the cases died but laboratory investigation proved negative.”

July 1971

“There were no serious infections or non-infectious diseases reported during the month. The general health of the personnel at Salalah remained good. 3rd July saw the departure of the army Field Surgical Team and the task was taken over by Sqn Ldr M Thomas and Sqn Ldr C. Welch. During the month they carried out several operations on various casualties.”
“Station morale sufferred a temporary setback from the first casualty attributable to enemy action (W.O.II E.R. McDonagh of the 1st Royal Horse Artillery) but since his excellent recovery and his return to UK spirits have virtually returned to their former high level”
August 1971

“The number of personnel reporting sick on the station has been lower this month. There was however and outbreak of infective hepatitis amongst BATT, and this accounts for the large numbers admitted to hospital. One patient was aeromedevaced on psychiatric grounds. The general health of personnel at RAF Salalah remains good”
“The Field Surgical Team were fairly busy during the month and carried out a total of ten operations in  the camp field Operating Theatre, and several operations at the Salalah Hospital”
Sept 1971

The number of personnel reporting sick has been higher this month, this being consistent with the increase in station strenght. There were some cases of diarrhoe’a early in the month but this has since subsided. Some cases of Otitis eaterna and Prickly Heat have again occurred during the month. There were three cases of Infective Hepatitis from BATT which were aeromedically evacuated to RAF Hospital Muharraq. The general health of the personnel at RAF Salalah remains good.

October 1971

“The number of personnel reporting sick has been higher this month. There has ben a steady increase in the numbers reporting with Prickly Heat but nothing else of consequence. There was a slight recurrence of Infective Hepatitis amongst BATT, early this month which necessitated aeromedical evacuation of five more personnel. There have also been seven cases of Malaria amongst BATT, all of which have been taking heir Paludrine daily. The general Health of personnel at RAF Salalah remains good.” 

Field Surgical Team
“The Field Surgical Team have had to carry out a total of seventy operations during the month in the Field Theatre. Quite a large proportion of these operations were carried out on patinets suffering from battle wounds, and on one occasion difficulty was experienced in obtaining donors of the correct blood group, which necessitated sending to RAF Masirah for the blood. The FST also carried out a total of seventeen operations at the Dhofar Hospital in Salalah.”

November 1971

“Medically November was a quiet month. Since our RAF  Station Medical Officer has been dis-established, this task is now performed by the Physician specialist from 23 Parachute Field Surgical Team.

The number reporting sick was slightly less than in October. In addition to the above, on the 16th one man was aeromedically evacuated to Cyprus after a boating accident at Raysut”

“Field Surgical Team statistics were as follows :

Operations at RAF Salalah:         29
Operations at Dhofar Hospital     11

Three of the operations at RAF Salalah were major operations, and several operations were also carried out on animals, in collaboration with Major Durrant, RAVC. November was a generally very quiet month for the Field Surgical Team; however, on Friday 12th, at 0130 hours, the X-Ray and Laboratory tent was totally destroyed by fire, though quick reactions by duty personnel prevented destruction of the adjacent Operating Theatre tent.

December 1971

General Health of personnel in Salalah remains good. The number of personnel reporting sick during December was the lowest for several months, possibly due to the departure of the Royal Engineer Squadron on the 20th

Field Surgical Team statistics were as follows :

Operations at Salalah –              15,   2 major
Operations at Dhofar hospital –   3

The Field Surgical Team had an extremely quite month, with a very light workload. On the 30th No 5 FST departed, and were replaced by No 52 FST RAMC. True to form, the new team were reqired to attend to several cases on the evening of the 30th

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