The 12th Evacuation Hospital was first activated on 3 January 1918 and served in France in WWI participating in the St. Mihiel campaign. In 1942 the 12th was ordered into federal service and participated in the Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe campaigns receiving a Meritorious Unit Commendation. The hospital was inactivated on 6 January 1946 at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey. It was reactivated at Fort Lewis on 1 January 1952 as a Regular Army unit. The hospital was stationed at Fort Ord, California when it received orders to Vietnam. The 12th Evacuation Hospital arrived in Vietnam on 9 September 1966. It was assigned to the 67th Medical Group and stationed at Cu Chi primarily in support of the 25th Division. In December 1966 the hospital became operational and received its first patients. In the four plus years the 12th served at Cu Chi it admitted some 37,000 patients including U.S., RVN military and civilians and enemy prisoners. It received campaign participation credit for eleven campaigns and was awarded three Meritorious Unit Commendations, two awards of the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry and the Civil Action Honor Medal. The 12th was inactivated on 15 December 1970 at Fort Lewis. It was reactivated on 16 January 1983 and stationed at Heidelberg, Germany. The 12th participated in all three campaigns of Operation Desert Storm. On 16 January 1992 it was reorganized and redesignated as the 212th Surgical Hospital. It subsequently served in Hungary, Bosnia and Kosovo in support of peacekeeping operations. On 16 March 2006 it was redesignated as the 212th Combat Support Hospital. It is assigned to the 30th Medical Command in Germany and has participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Banner photos above: A Visit from Santa, 12th Evacuation Hospital, Cu Chi, Vietnam, Christmas 1966 (left); Pat Wojdag (Coté), 7th Surgical Hospital (MASH), Cu Chi, Vietnam, 1966; Rocket's Red Glare, portion of the Vietnam Women's Memorial, Washington, DC, USA). All photographs © 2013 by Beth Parks, Ed.D. (All rights reserved.)