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  • United States Army, Preventive Medicine Division, Office of The Surgeon General

Malaria was the most serious health hazard experienced by American troops in the South Pacific area during World War II. In spite of the fact that for many years we have known much about the etiology, treatment and prevention of malaria and the Army and Navy have long been aware of its military importance, this disease attacked approximately 100,000 men of the armed forces in the South Pacific, and for a short time jeopardized the success of the military campaign in that area. This situation, including difficulties in the transport of malaria control supplies and inadequate local provision for malaria control organization and malaria discipline among troops, was more serious in the Pacific during the early period of the war than in any other theatre or at any other time.

Fortunately, this undesirable situation was soon corrected and commanders, previously unimpressed with the military importance of malaria, took active steps to wage a campaign against the disease.