Mar 18, 2011

Research Station Christened at AU in 1918 to Test Chemical Weapons

Archives & Special Collections, American University Library
"If you've ever been to the Spring Valley neighborhood in Northwest D.C., you know it's a hop, skip and jump from American University. It's home to television personalities and ambassadors. But almost 100 years ago, Spring Valley was, how shall we say, a little bit different. Okay, more like a lot a bit different. The Army was running a World War I era chemical warfare research station in the area."
Metro Connection
WAMU 88.5 FM
March 18, 2011

Archives & Special Collections, American University Library
The Mary Graydon Center once housed the U.S. government’s largest chemical warfare research lab. The lab, then known as the New Chemical Research building, was part of the U.S. Army’s Chemical Warfare Service branch ... A local newspaper, the Baltimore Evening Star, visited the campus in 1918. “Gas and flame fighting is a new wrinkle in the American Army, but the ‘Hell Fire Battalion' has taken to it as the duck takes to water,” the Evening Star wrote. “It offers more possibilities of adventure and action than any other branch of the service” ...

But, according to one Army engineer, what the “Hell Fire Battalion” left behind at AU was even more deadly than the Germans’ chemical weapons.
Sylvia Carignan

The Eagle
March 14, 2011

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