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Summer 1944: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill approves an order of 500,000 4-pound anthrax bombs, to be built in the United States. The war ends before the order is completed.
The initial allocation in 1942 for the WRS totals $200,000. Meanwhile, the Chemical Warfare Service receives millions of dollars to construct research facilities.
From Sanders's first investigation in the autumn of 1945, MacArthur acceded to granting immunity to members of Unit 731 in exchange for data of research on biological warfare. He also inculcated on Sanders to keep silence on "human experiments."
January 1946: The War Department publicly releases a notice that the United States had developed a biological weapons program, secret information until that point. The press release attempts to assuage concerns about the program's overall safety record, offering statistics on accidental infection of personnel involved with the effort.
By the time the Korean War started in 1950, the U.S. had five anti-personnel agents and two anti-crop agents, tested in cluster-bombs. In 1952, the U.S. Air Force requisitioned 23,900 of these cluster-bombs. U.S. scientists were also experimenting with the use of flies, fleas, lice, mosquitoes and ticks, to spread germs. Between 1951 and 1953, during the Korean War, the U.S. spent $345 million on research into biological warfare (about $2.2 billion in current dollars).
During the Korean War the Communist Bloc alleged that the United States had engaged in biologic warfare against North Korea and China using anthrax and other agents. The United States categorically denied these allegations and dismissed them as propaganda. Recent reevaluation by scholars, however, reveals that the Chinese leadership firmly believed the allegations then and continues to believe them today.4,5 Paramount in cementing this conviction was the Chinese experience of Japanese biologic warfare during World War II and the subsequent U.S. protection of the Japanese war criminals involved in biologic warfare in exchange for their expertise.
Chinese investigators issued 600 pages of documentary evidence about U.S. biological warfare in Korea. This included reports of sudden deaths from plague, anthrax and encephalitis (brain inflammation resulting from a viral infection), and eyewitness accounts of US aircraft dropping strange objects, including soybean stalks, feathers and cardboard packages containing live insects, rotten fish, decaying pork, frogs and rodents. Fleas from these airdrops tested positive for plague, which had not been reported in Korea since 1912. And insects, spiders and feathers were found to be carrying anthrax.
Endicott returned on a visit to China in 1952, during the Korean War and, on his return to Canada, charged the United States with using chemical and biological weapons during the war. His charges led him to be vilified in the Canadian press as "public enemy number one" and he was censured by the United Church for his support of Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communists. He was condemned by Canadian politicians, including Lester Pearson who had been a college friend. Pearson called him the "bait on the end of a Red hook" and a "Red stooge" while John George Diefenbaker called his statements "damnable," and Conservative leader George Drew referred to Endicott as a "jackal of the Communists." The government threatened to charge him with treason and sedition, but did not follow through, while others called for him to lose his passport and mailing privileges.
Unit 731, the imperial Japanese army's notorious germ warfare unit, killed thousands of Chinese civilians and Allied PoWs at its sprawling complex in Harbin, northern China, from the late 1930s until the end of the war. The victims, named "logs" by their torturers, were injected with typhus, cholera and other diseases. They died during the experiments or were executed to prevent them from talking about their experiences.
1942 -- Ishii begins field tests of germ warfare on Chinese soldiers and civilians. Tens of thousands die of bubonic plague, cholera, anthrax and other diseases. U.S. soldiers captured in Philippines are sent to Manchuria.
"I could never again wear a white smock," says Dr. Toshio Tono, dressed in a white running jacket at his hospital and recalling events of 50 years ago. "It's because the prisoners thought that we were doctors, since they could see the white smocks, that they didn't struggle. They never dreamed they would be dissected."
The prisoners were eight American airmen, knocked out of the sky over southern Japan during the waning months of World War U, and then torn apart organ by organ while they were still alive.
How Teddy Ponczka died is in dispute. According to U.S. military records, he was anesthetized during the operation, and then the gas mask was removed from his face. A surgeon, Taro Torisu, reopened the incision and reached into Ponczka's chest. In the bland words of the military report, Torisu "stopped the heart action. "
Tono remembers events differently. The first experiment was followed by a second, he says. Ponczka was given intravenous injections of sea water, to determine if sea water could be used as a substitute for sterile saline solution, used to increase blood volume in the wounded or those in'shock. Tono held the bottle of sea water. He says Ponczka bled to death.
Then it was the turn of the others.
The Japanese wanted to learn whether a patient could survive the partial loss of his liver. They wanted to learn if epilepsy could be controlled by removing part of the brain. According to U.S. military records, physicians also operated on -the prisoners' stomachs and necks. All the Americans died.
Thirty people were brought to trial by an Allied war crimes tribunal in Yokohama, Japan, on March 11, 1948. Charges included vivisection, wrongful removal of body parts and cannibalism - based on reports that the experimenters had eaten the livers of the Americans.
In September 1950, U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, as supreme commander for Allied Forces, reduced most of the sentences. By 1958, all those convicted were free. None of the death sentences was carried out.
Several former Unit 731 officials went on to enjoy prominent careers in medicine, academia and business, including its former leader, Dr Masaji Kitano, who headed Green Cross, once Japan's biggest pharmaceutical company.
1946 -- U.S. makes a deal with Ishii for germ warfare data based on human experimentation in exchange for immunity from war-crimes prosecution.
During the second Sino-Japanese War and World War II the Japanese military formed an infamous secret squadron whose goal was to research and develop biological and chemical warfare. This unit showed no remorse and carried out some of the most heinous experiments in human history on men, women, children, and infants. More than 10,000 civilian and military personnel were subjected to human experimentation. The West knew about it but said nothing.