Our ancestral unit (the 8169th U.S. Army Hospital) was activated at Camp Beale, California, on December 20, 1942. In January 1944, the 8169th sailed for New Guinea, saw action in the Philippines, and was part of the invasion fleet targeted for the Japanese mainland which fortunately was never needed.
On September 26, 1945, the unit (now the 128th Station Hospital) accepted the surrender of the Japanese Military Hospital at Sagami-Ono and became the first U.S. Army Hospital established in Japan. The 128th admitted its first American patient on October 13, 1945.
The hospital served with distinction during the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. In 1966, it was enlarged to 500 beds and designated as U.S. Army Hospital, Honshu. In that capacity, it served as the U.S. Army Burn Center of the Far East. The hospital received a Meritorious Unit Commendation for its service during the Vietnam era.
In November 1979, the hospital facility closed and relocated to become an ambulatory care clinic on nearby Camp Zama. In 1983, the unit was redesignated as U.S. Army Medical Department Activities-Japan (MEDDAC-J) and began serving as the sole Army medical treatment facility in all of Japan, responsible for supporting the U.S. Army Japan and U.S. Army Garrison Japan.
In March 1999, MEDDAC-J received its first full three-year accreditation from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).
MEDDAC-J operates as a freestanding ambulatory care facility and is part of the Pacific Regional Medical Command with headquarters at Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, proudly serving and supporting the USARJ community.
On April 14, 2006, the MEDDAC-J primary care clinic was formally renamed the Brigadier General Crawford F. Sams U.S. Army Health Clinic. General Sams worked closely with the post-World War II Government of Japan that resulted in unprecedented and unsurpassed reforms in public health history.
On March 11, 2011, the Tohoku earthquake struck Japan with a 9.0 magnitude intensity, one of highest magnitude earthquakes ever to strike the country. The earthquake triggered a massive tsunami which destroyed many of the coastal towns in Northern Japan with waves that reached as high as 124 feet and traveled nearly 6 miles inland. In response to this natural disaster, MEDDAC-J personnel engaged in Operation Tomodachi as part of the relief and humanitarian aid efforts in the Sendai area. During this time, the MEDDAC-J team played a critical role in the successful accomplishment of three major disaster relief operations conducted in response to the disaster. These included voluntary evacuation of non-mission essential personnel to locations outside Japan, advanced issuing of potassium iodide tablets for protective measures for all USARJ/USAG-J personnel and Japanese nationals should the damage to the nuclear reactor in Fukushima worsen, and the deployment of medical assets with the USARJ Disaster Assessment Team to Japan Ground Self-Defense Force's Camp Sendai for disaster assessment and humanitarian assistance. MEDDAC-J was recognized for its contribution by receiving the Army Superior Unit Award (ASUA) from the Department of the Army on November 28, 2011, for its selfless contributions during Operation Tomodachi.