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A view of a B-52 Stratofortress aircraft flanked by four photo chase F-4 Phantom II aircraft, in flight

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A view of a B-52 Stratofortress aircraft flanked by four photo chase F-4 Phantom II aircraft, in flight

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Summary

The original finding aid described this photograph as:

Base: Dugway Proving Grounds

State: Utah (UT)

Country: United States Of America (USA)

Scene Camera Operator: Reynolds

Release Status: Released to Public
Combined Military Service Digital Photographic Files

Dugway Proving Ground (DPG) is a U.S. Army facility established in 1942 to test biological and chemical weapons, located about 85 mi (137 km) southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah, United States, and 13 mi (21 km) south of the 2,624 sq mi (6,800 km2) Utah Test and Training Range. Dugway's mission is to test United States and Allied biological and chemical weapon defense systems in a secure and isolated environment. During World War II, DPG tested toxic agents, flamethrowers, chemical spray systems, biological warfare weapons, fire bombing tactics, antidotes for chemical agents, and protective clothing. In 1943 the "German Village" and "Japanese Village" set-piece domestic "hamlets" were built at Dugway, for practice in the fire-bombing of homes of the types in urbanized areas of Germany and Japan. Incendiary Test Area is known as the primary American site for testing incendiary bombs prior to large-scale attacks near the end of World War II against civilian targets such as Dresden, Germany. The extant structure paralleled that of the adjacent, but no longer extant, Japanese Village, which used to test incendiaries for the Pacific theater. The buildings in the German Village were constructed of materials and designs that replicated contemporary residential buildings in German urban industrial districts. In order to build a facility that was an authentic reproduction, studies were conducted to determine which materials and furnishings available in the U.S. would closely match those in use in Germany. The AN-M50 model of the incendiary bombs, extensively tested at the German Village, accounted for more than 97 percent (by number) of the incendiary bombs dropped on Germany by American forces. Post-war activities included aerial nerve agent testing. There were at least 1,100 tests, and 500,000 lb (230,000 kg) of nerve agents were dispersed during open-air tests. There were also tests at Dugway involving other weapons of mass destruction, including 328 open-air tests of biological weapons, 74 dirty bomb tests, and eight furnace heatings of nuclear material under open-air conditions to simulate the dispersal of fallout in the case of meltdown of aeronautic nuclear reactors. In March 1968, 6,249 sheep died in Skull Valley, an area nearly thirty miles from Dugway's testing sites. When examined, the sheep were found to have been poisoned by an organophosphate chemical. The incident, coinciding with the birth of the environmental movement and anti-Vietnam War protests, created an uproar in Utah and the international community. In May 2015 it was revealed that Dugway lab had inadvertently shipped live anthrax bacillus to locations around the country. Shipped samples, it was said, were supposed to be inert. Labs receiving the live samples were in Texas, Maryland, Wisconsin, Delaware, New Jersey, Tennessee, New York, California and Virginia, the Associated Press reported.

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Date

31/05/1979
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Source

The U.S. National Archives
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