Monday, November 8, 2021

French VD Exam . . . or is it something else?

I've always wondered about these images of mass crotch exams.  Did they routinely examine all soldiers for venereal diseases, or did they only look over the ones who reported symptoms?  Or was it for something else entirely such as lice or crabs?  Photo compliments of Larry K.



  1. From what I heard from men of my father's generation, it could go either way. The mass exams were held usually on Mondays in non-combat areas, and if the checkers suspected a man had VD, he was examined more closely in the med office.

  2. From what my parents told me, "short arm inspections" were started around WW1. The Army discovered that most of the medical treatments were for venereal diseases, not combat wounds. There was a protocol established for these types of exams for the enlisted soldiers. Officers weren't required to participate. This was discontinued sometime during the Vietnam War when blood tests were more accurate and the norm.