Cover Image

PAPERBACK
$111.75



View/Hide Left Panel
II. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Tests

A. NRL Lab Log

On February 10, 1992, Mr. Larry Stockmoe of my office and I visited the NRL and met with Mr. Dean Bundy, Navy archivist, and Ms. Maria Lloyd, to review and discuss the available records concerning the WWII mustard gas experiments at the NRL. They made all relevant documents including 10 volumes of laboratory notebooks available to us for our examination. The laboratory notebooks contain meticulous records of each experiment with each subject's name listed as a part of the record. However, the volunteers were mainly identified by only their last names and occasionally their initials (Attachment 2). I reviewed all 10 volumes along with other documents and could not find any full names of participants entered in the materials. The NRL staff has abstracted the names for each experiment and also prepared a combined listing in alphabetical order. These rosters were later given to us by the VA Compensation and Pension Service.

B. Suitland Federal Records Center

During our discussions, Mr. Bundy mentioned that 18 boxes of materials pertaining to the tests were also archived at the Suitland Federal Records Center. He told us it would be highly unlikely that any stored documents would contain personal identification. It was also said that the documents still contain classified information and would therefore be accessible only by individuals with security clearances. We arranged for an inspection of the archived materials by the US Army and Joint Services Environmental Support Group (Attachment 3). During the months of March and April, 1992, Mr. Don Hakenson, Director, ESG, and three members of his staff reviewed the documents and came to the conclusion that none of the materials contain the names of test participants (Attachment 4).

C. National Personnel Record Center (NPRC), St. Louis, MO

One of the documents that I reviewed was a copy of memorandum from Lt. Commander J.H. Heinen, Jr. (MC) USNR to the Chief of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery dated May 20, 1946. The memo stated that the tests at the NRL for the study of vesicant gases with Navy volunteers were approved by the Secretary of the Navy. Furthermore, the memo went on to describe a file card index of all the men who volunteered to participate in the tests. These men were sent to the NRL from the U.S. Navy Training Center, Bainbridge, Maryland (Attachment



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement