World War II Secret Mustard Gas Testing An NPR investigation found the VA failed to keep its promise of benefits to thousands of exposed veterans. And revealed previously unknown U.S. military tests that singled out the men by race.
Special Series

World War II Secret Mustard Gas Testing

Thursday

In this 1945 image, test subjects enter a gas chamber for a U.S. military experiment that will expose them to mustard gas. Courtesy of Edgewood Arsenal hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Edgewood Arsenal

Tuesday

Members of the U.S. military who were exposed to mustard gas in secret experiments during World War II (from left): Harry Maxson, Louis Bessho, Rollins Edwards, Paul Goldman and Sidney Wolfson. Courtesy of the families hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of the families

Monday

Friday

Tuesday

Tuesday

Richard Mintz and his family. Courtesy of Nan Moore hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Nan Moore

Families React To NPR's Reporting Of Secret Mustard Gas Testing

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/453962074/454192928" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Members of the U.S. military who were exposed to mustard gas in secret experiments during World War II (from left): Harry Maxson, Louis Bessho, Rollins Edwards, Paul Goldman and Sidney Wolfson. Courtesy of the families hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of the families

Thursday

Thursday

Alan Oates was exposed to herbicides, such as Agent Orange, while serving in Vietnam in 1968. Decades after returning home, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, and because Congress passed the Agent Orange Act, he's able to receive VA benefits. Courtesy of Alan Oates hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Alan Oates

Can The Agent Orange Act Help Veterans Exposed To Mustard Gas?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/421747453/423435461" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Wednesday

Friday

Wednesday

Lawmakers Promise To Take Action After NPR's Mustard Gas Exposure Report

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/417045168/417045169" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Tuesday

Three test subjects enter a gas chamber, which will fill with mustard gas, as part of the military's secret chemical warfare testing in March 1945. Courtesy of Edgewood Arsenal hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Edgewood Arsenal

The VA's Broken Promise To Thousands Of Vets Exposed To Mustard Gas

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/416408655/416736953" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Monday

Rollins Edwards as a young soldier in 1945 at Clark Air Base in the Philippines. Courtesy of Rollins Edwards hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Rollins Edwards

Secret World War II Chemical Experiments Tested Troops By Race

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/415194765/416390036" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript