Mustard Agent testing at Camp Lejeune and VA

General Discussion-Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Mustard Agent testing at Camp Lejeune and VA

Postby John Olin » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:40 am

Camp Lejeune as "location of known major test facility during WWII" for Mustard Agent.

During World War II both sides produced millions of tons of chemical agents and also made preparations for their use but never employed them in combat. The United States focused its research on the development of protective clothing and skin ointments that would prevent or lessen the severe blistering of mustard agents.

There were three basic types of experiments that potentially exposed Service members:
1. Patch or drop tests. These were the most common tests and the Chemical Warfare Service used them to evaluate the effectiveness of protective or decontamination ointments in protecting against or treating mustard agent burns. These tests also evaluated how multiple exposures affected an individual’s sensitivity to mustard burns and the effects of physical exercise on these burns. Additionally, a drop of mustard agent was commonly applied to the forearms of basic trainees to impress them with the toxicity of the agent and the need to take appropriate action if exposed.
2. Chamber tests. These tests evaluated the effectiveness of protective clothing against mustard agent.
3. Field tests. These tests involved the contamination of an area of land with blister agent. Human subjects traversed this terrain to test protective clothing, to monitor the effects of agent on animals in the test site, and to measure agent concentrations in soil and water samples.
Table 1 below shows the location of known major test facilities during World War II.

Location- Type of Experiment
Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland - Chamber, patch tests, Small scale field tests
Bainbridge, Maryland - Chamber tests
Dugway Proving Ground, Utah - Large scale field tests
Camp Sibert, Alabama - Chamber and patch tests
Naval Research Laboratory, Virginia - Chamber and patch tests
Great Lakes Naval Training Center, Illinois - Chamber and patch tests
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina - Chamber tests
San Jose Island, Panama Canal Zone - Chamber tests, Large scale field tests
Bushnell, Florida - Large scale field tests

The only combat casualties from mustard during World War II occurred as a result of a German air raid on Bari Harbor, Italy [Mustard Disaster at Bari ... stard.aspx]. The John Harvey, a Liberty ship carrying mustard bombs to Italy, was sunk during the air raid resulting in the release of mustard agent. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, some of the veterans exposed to mustard agent during World War II began to seek compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for health problems they believed to be connected to their exposure. The VA requested that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) convene a committee to survey the scientific and medical literature to assess the association between exposure to mustard agents and specific diseases. The IOM produced a report, "Veterans at Risk", that contained a series of findings and recommendations. One of the findings linked full body exposure to mustard agents to specific diseases. The report also recommended that the Department of Defese (DoD)/VA institute a program to identify veterans exposed to chemical agents during testing in World War II.

In the mid-1990s, the DoD compiled a list of veterans exposed to mustard agents during World War II. While compiling this list, DoD also identified veterans exposed to mustard agent as a result of transportation or storage accidents/incidents. Where possible, this list associates veterans with a specific test type or exposure and whether the test involved full body exposure to the agent. DoD provided this list to the VA.
John Olin
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Re: Mustard Agent testing at Camp Lejeune and VA

Postby John Olin » Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:15 pm

...During World War II, the Army conducted tests of protective clothing and equipment in which thousands of people were exposed to mustard gas and lewisite agents. In addition, the Army developed and tested offensive chemical weapons and evaluated the effectiveness and persistency of mustard agents in different environments.

In February 1993, we reported that the Army's records of its mustard test activities were not kept in a manner that readily identifies the participants.* However, the available records show that 1,002 soldiers were commended for their participation in tests in which they subjected themselves to pain, discomfort, and possible permanent injury for the advancement of research in protection of the armed services.

Similar to the Army's tests, the Navy conducted tests of clothing and equipment that exposed thousands to the effects of mustard gas and lewisite agents. These experiments involved
(1) gas chamber tests, in which service members were completely exposed to mustard and lewisite agents while wearing protective clothing, and
(2) skin tests, in which amounts of mustard agent and antivesicant ointments were applied to service members' forearms. The Navy has a list of the names of approximately 3,200 sailors who participated in mustard and lewisite agent tests performed by the Naval Research Laboratory.
Additionally, Navy officials told us that between 15,000 and 60,000 Navy recruits had participated in skin tests conducted by a contractor but that the Navy had no record of the recruits' names...

Human Experimentation An Overview on Co1d War Era Programs (1994)
John Olin
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Re: Mustard Agent testing at Camp Lejeune and VA

Postby John Olin » Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:24 am

"There was reportedly a "gas" school at Camp Geiger or Monford Point area of Camp Lejeune during WWII. "

"Gas" was buried at MCAS(H) near present housing area in 1949-50 in deep pits.
"Gas" was buried at Rifle Range Chemical Dump.
"gas" was buried at Camp Geiger trailer park dump in 1965-67.

..bury 55-gallon drums of a substance which he was told was either mustard gas or nerve gas.

It is Baker’s understanding that Site 89 contains burled hazardous materials that may
include explosives, mustard gas, and laboratory wastes (ire,, lab packs).

samples collected near the trench should be analyzed for chemical surety agents (such as nerve gas and mustard gas) These samples should also be analyzed for any other chemical agents or compounds that are suspected to have been handled at Site 69
John Olin
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Re: Mustard Agent testing at Camp Lejeune and VA

Postby John Olin » Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:03 am

Secret World War II Chemical Experiments Tested Troops By Race (JUNE 22, 2015)

The VA's Broken Promise To Thousands Of Vets Exposed To Mustard Gas (JUNE 23, 2015)
John Olin
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Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:11 pm

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