NPR that it conducted chemical experiments on Japanese American, African American, and Puerto Rican troops during WWII.The military has confirmed to
The goal was to determine the impact of mustard gas on the various ethnic groups. White troops were also used and their reaction was considered the norm.
Susan Matsumoto whose husband Tom died of pneumonia in 2004 says her husband had no problems with the testing because it proved “he was a good United States citizen.”
“He always loved his country,” Matsumoto says. “He said, ‘Where else can you find this kind of place where you have all this freedom?’ ”
According to NPR, the troops were putt into a wooden gas chamber behind a locked door. Mustard gas and another agent called lewisite was released inside. Some 60,000 troops took part in the program, but were sworn to secrecy under threat of military prison time.
None of the troops received follow up medical care, and the tests were not recorded on the troops military records.
You can read comments from some of the troops involved in the testing and what the military says about those tests today on NPR.