them. Some of the men told the committee that they had been asked directly by physicians if they had been exposed to sulfur mustard; these men typically denied any exposure in such circumstances. Finally, in a few cases, wives reported that their husbands revealed their participation in these tests only on their deathbeds.
Most of the men involved in field tests had experiences similar to those in the chamber tests regarding the instructions about secrecy. However, except for individuals who were injured or witnessed a severe injury or death of a comrade, this group did not uniformly report the level of intense fear during the tests as that reported by the chamber test group. Most often the men involved in field tests were drawn from CWS units, such as the 94th and 95th Medical Gas Treatment Battalions, some of whom participated in field tests in Florida. Such subjects often had additional training in toxic gases in advance of their participation in tests, and this training may have better prepared them for the experience.
Veterans whose exposures occurred during their training or work as part of the CWS also reported varied levels of fear. Again, the most intense feelings of fear were reported by those who had been involved in some kind of accident, such as one veteran who described being severely injured by an explosion of mustard gas shells during a drill that resulted in the deaths of two other soldiers. Two important additional factors were reported by those who routinely worked with chemical warfare agents. One common factor was that many of the men were very young (often as young as 17 years of age), had little formal education, and were afraid of the chemicals. The second common factor was that protective measures, including impregnated clothing and even gas masks on occasion, were not always used or available.
The least amount of fear was reported by veterans who participated in patch tests, a few of whom said that they only remembered the incident because of the faint scars on their arms. Some of these veterans reported no health problems that they attributed to their exposure to the agents.
The final but significant personal difficulty reported, especially by those who participated in chamber tests, was how frustrating it had been to be ill and not be able to file a disability claim, often because there was no proof or record of the tests and no one knew or believed that they had happened. Even among those working in CWS units, there was great variability in the handling of cases after separation from the military. For example, some men were discharged with full disability due to sulfur mustard or other chemical injuries, while others with similar health problems were not. Some also reported that their military records did not include certain assignments and time periods; others