Maude E. Abbott died on September 2, 1940. After her death, Col. James Earle Ash was elected by letter ballot to fill the vacancy of International Secretary-Treasurer of the IAMM. The Army Medical Museum where he was the Curator was established as the Custodian of the Association's property.
At the thirty-fourth annual meeting of the U.S.-Canadian Section in 1940, Col. Ash was elected permanent International Secretary of the Association. Since there was no truly active international body, the U.S.-Canadian Section assumed this responsibility.
The minutes of the Council of April 8, 1941 contained the following statement: "Because of unstable international conditions it was decided to canvas all members of the International Association and establish as Secretary / Treasurer the holder of that office in the American-Canadian Section." Attention was drawn to the fact that the U.S.-Canadian Section had no Constitution and Bylaws of its own so three members were appointed to draw up a Constitution and Bylaws for the U.S.-Canadian Section. Appointed to this Committee were Drs. Ash, Callender and Haythorn.
The annual meetings continued to consist of exhibits and papers, mostly of a technical nature.
In February 1943, a special "War" Bulletin, No. 23, on "The Autopsy" was published. This publication was recommended by a Conference Group on Pathology of the National Research Council in 1942. Representatives of the Army, Navy, and Public Health Service attended subsequent meetings. The illustrations were done at the Army Medical Museum.
The Conference Group consisted of Drs. Ernest W. Goodpasture (Chairman), Howard T. Karsner, Arnold R. Rich, Milton C. Winternitz, and Robert A. Moore (Secretary). This Bulletin was most useful to young pathologists (including the author) during World War II.
No formal meetings of the IAMM were held from 1942-1947, but Col. Ash, as Secretary-Treasurer, conducted some correspondence with members of the Council and made short reports in the Bulletins of the IAMM. The Council conducted most of its business by correspondence. Dues were suspended for the duration of World War II.
A special issue of the Bulletin, No. 24, published in December 1946 on Technical Methods in Use at the Army Institute of Pathology included details of histological techniques.
The Committee to draft a U.S.-Canadian Division Constitution and Bylaws selected in 1942 failed to function and was dismissed and replaced by Drs. G. Lyman Duff (Chairman), Samuel R. Haythorn, Ralph D. Lillie, and Col. James E. Ash at a meeting of the Council in Chicago on August 10, 1946 at the Windermere Hotel.
In 1946, Robert Moore resigned as Editor of the Bulletin. He was replaced by Sidney Farber. Ralph D. Lillie was appointed by the IAMM to the Biological Stain Commission. Dues were again set at $2.00 per year. The first meeting of the Pathology Study Section took place at the National Institutes of Health this year and Paul Cannon was elected Chairman.
A meeting of the Council was held on May 14, 1947 in Chicago. The Council met only once from 1942-1947 (August 10, 1946).
In 1947, Dr. C. J. Hackett, Secretary of the British Section, sent a letter to Col. Ash announcing the reactivation of the British Section with 36 active members. The Constitution of the parent organization was reviewed and revised by the British and U.S.-Canadian Sections and a new U.S.-Canadian Constitution was approved by the Council.
The minutes of the Council meeting of the American-Canadian Section at the Somerset Hotel in Boston on April 13, 1949 noted that there were "343 members in the American-Canadian Section, 49 in the British Section, making a total of 392 members in the international body."
The U.S.-Canadian Section had members in Austria, Hawaii, India, Italy, Mexico and South America. The British Section had members from the British Isles, Africa, Australia, Czechoslovakia and Norway. The minutes of this meeting records: "The Council now acting as the Council for the parent body, nominated officers and councillors for the international group for three years as follows: President, Col. J. E. Ash, Washington, D.C.; Vice President, Dr. Matthew J. Stewart, Leeds, England; Vice President, Dr. William Boyd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; and Secretary-Treasurer, Dr. Ruell A. Sloan, Washington, D.C. Councillors elected were: Dr. G. Lyman Duff, Montreal, Canada; Dr. Everett L. Bishop, Atlanta, Georgia; Prof. Wilfred D. Newcomb, London, England; and Prof. D. F. Chappell, Glasgow, Scotland.
A revised Constitution and Bylaws of the American-Canadian Section was published in Bulletin No. 27, pp. 216-219, October 1947. A revised Constitution and Bylaws of the international body was published in Bulletin No. 28, October 1948, pp. 211-215.
Following the termination of World War II, a burst of activity developed in the field of histochemistry. At first, papers reporting the application of newly developed coloring techniques to histopathologic sections were read at the annual scientific sessions of the U.S.-Canadian Section of the IAMM and subsequently published in the Bulletin.
As the new discipline of histochemistry grew in importance and numbers, it was not long before those engaged in this discipline began to realize their strength and unity. Led by Dr. Ralph Lillie of NIH, and some of his colleagues in the universities, a group of members of the IAMM organized into a Histochemical Society and launched a new publication "The Journal of Histochemistry." The immediate consequences of this development had an effect on the number of papers submitted to the Bulletin which diminished as well as the attendance at the scientific sessions.