2655 Radiation Film Badges used at Treasure Island in 1960

In 1960 the US Naval Radiological Defense Lab developed 2655 Radiation Measuring Film Badges for Treasure Island and 12,688 for the US Naval Radiological Defense Lab. These badges are dosimeters that measure how much radiation a person was exposed to during a period of time. They did this for other locations listed below:

Dosimeter films developed at the USNRDL 1960
NRDLFilm ProcessedTotals
Laboratory personnel7684
Laboratory visitors1619
Environmental monitoring471
Calibration film900
Special films for Nucleonics Div.109
Special films for BioMMed Div.5
Special films for Health Physics Div.3
RadCon Team film (controls)11
Special test exposures163
Camp Parks Personnel and visitors1361
Camp Parks Environmental monitoring362
Outside Activities
San Francisco Naval Shipyard889
Treasure Island Inspector of Navy Material523
Treasure Island Radiac Maintenance School and Dispensary 2122
Port Chicago958
NAS Moffett Field97
USN Dispensary, 50 Fell St. , San Francisco56
DPWO, 12ND30
NSC, Oakland (Naval Supply Center)200
NAS Fallon. Nevada67
USNH, Oakland21
MSTS, San Francisco 24
NAD, Hawthorne, Nevada17
U. S. Coast Guard5
U.S. Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory., Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory. (1961). Radiological safety at USNRDL: annual progress report health physics division ; 1 January to 31 December 1960. San Francisco, California: U.S. Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory. p 20

Biological Warfare 1960 Naval Research Reviews Article

“Biological Warfare” Naval Research Reviews December 1960 United States. Office of Naval Research. Naval Research Reviews. [Washington, D.C.]: The Office , 1960. pp 5-10

Editors Note: This is an article in the Naval Research Reviews

[Editor’s Note: The first page of this document was damaged when a corner of the page was scanned over the content. folded over. I use these brackets [] to indicate this and the page numbers as the document lists a page number at the end of each page]

Biological Warfare

[Damaged] to be construed as indicating that [damaged] Research or the Department of the Navy is [damaged] to use BW agents as military weapons, or is recommending their use. The Navy does recognize, however, that biological warfare has immense capabilities in the hands of an unscrupulous enemy, and the best deterrent to its employment is an equally powerful capability of retaliation. It was just such a retaliatory capability that prevented the use, by either friend or enemy, of poison gas in “World War II-Ed.]

Since biological warfare (BW) has never been used on a significant scale, a definite evaluation of its effectiveness is difficult. Different standards must be used for the three major types of biological warfare: antipersonnel, antianimal, and antiplant BW. Experimental results with antianimal and anticrop BW agents have indicated that these agents would be highly effective in reducing or destroying the food supplies of a nation—provided a suitable means for delivery of the BW agents on target were employed. So far as antipersonnel BW agents are concerned, evaluation is hindered by limitations on the amount and kind of experimentation that can be done and by the questionable validity of interpolating to human beings data obtained from animals. One unique property of antipersonnel BW agents is that they can be “tailored” to cause varying degrees of incapacitation, ranging from minor, temporary illness to death. The choice of agents and consequent effects will depend upon the objectives of the user.

A number of unfounded, often sensational claims have been made for and against BW. It is not logical to assume, nor is there any evidence to support claims that BW could wipe out entire populations or all forms of life on large and extensive targets. Likewise, the concept that BW is more horrible than other weapons systems is completely unjustified. In fact, if comparisons are to be made, it can be shown that military objectives can be attained with BW with fewer permanent-type casualties than with other known weapons systems. However, paucity of information concerning the actual value of BW in modern warfare should not lead to underestimating its potential. It is known that mass production of BW agents is possible and the cost of production is low compared with other munitions. Effective methods for artificial dissemination are certainly within the realm of engineering possibility.

By definition, biological warfare is the intentional military use of living microorganisms or toxic products to produce disability or death in man and other animals, or to injure or destroy food crops, or other economically important plants. It includes the use of insects and other pests because of their potential direct effect on target organisms and also because they may act as vectors of disease-producing organisms.

*Based on an unpublished paper prepared by Dr. Roger D. Reid, Director, Biological Sciences Division, Office of Naval Research.
[Page 6]

• Their activity may be much greater than for the same weight or volume of other weapons, but this activity is limited by their ability to survive and maintain virulence when exposed to air, light, heat, cold, desiccation and unnatural methods of dissemination.
• Their ability to overcome resistance of the target host.
• BW agents are highly selective in their action on host targets.

For convenience, plant-growth-regulating substances are included in the area of BW agents.

The primary target of biological warfare is man, but the means of attack may be direct or indirect. Direct attacks would employ infectious or toxic agents to cause incapacitation or death in humans. This is antipersonnel BW. Indirect application of BW would utilize agents which have the capacity to reduce or destroy agricultural crops and domestic animals. This is conveniently referred to as antifood BW. BW is always directed toward living things and does not have any destructive effect on materiel, buildings, churches, architectural and art treasures, factories, railroads, and the like, which may have postwar value and importance in reconstruction and rehabilitation.

Probably only a few of the known pathogenic microorganisms would be suitable for use as biological warfare agents, because of unusual factors which may be encountered. These include stability of agents under adverse meteorological conditions, the production of aerosols of suitable particle size to cause infection, and inherent natural immunity or resistance of target host.

Although the military effectiveness of biological warfare has never been established by actual use in war, there is evidence that limited, improvised attempts have been made to spread disease to gain military objectives. Among these were attempts during the Middle Ages to spread plague by contaminating certain areas and water supplies with diseased corpses. During the French and Indian Wars, smallpox was transmitted to the Indians on blankets intentionally infected with exudates of the disease. Also during World War I, the Germans infected horses with glanders in order to spread the disease in animals used by the AEF. It has been claimed by the Chinese that in 1940 Japanese air craft dropped plague-infested fleas and grain as a means of initiating epidemics. The importance of naturally occurring epidemic disease in influencing the outcome of war emphasizes the need for giving serious consideration to the possibility that human diseases, spread artificially and introduced in high concentrations through an unnatural portal of entry, may be decisive factors. Shortages of food, medicinal, and other products obtained from plants or animals may also have a profound effect upon a nation’s ability, or will, to wage war.


[page 7]


Many BW agents, especially the pathogenic microorganisms, have characteristics not generally possessed by other types of munitions. These are:
• Their action is not immediate and may be delayed for several days or longer.
• BW agents are difficult to detect and identify.
• They may reproduce and multiply in the host.
• Some may spread from the initial target to secondary hosts, thereby establishing epidemics.

Classifications are not based on hard and fast rules and are subject to such considerations as host susceptibility and resistance, environmental factors, and operational considerations. However, differentiations are useful: type and kind of agent; nature of the host target; severity of results desired; persistence of agents; virulence of agents, their communicability or epidemic-producing potential; and their use in tactical or strategic situations.

BW agents are classified biologically as microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, rickettsiae, fungi, or protozoa) and according to the toxic products produced by living organisms (microbial toxins, phytotoxins, or zootoxins). Pests harmful to animals and plants are also included and are further classified as to whether their effect is direct or if they are merely vectors of pathogenic microorganisms. Finally, there are compounds that inhibit or prevent the growth of crops. A type of biological warfare frequently overlooked is that which makes food and material unusable by infestation, deterioration, or contamination.

BW agents are highly selective in their ability to attack host targets. Many antipersonnel agents are highly specific and would produce disease only in humans whereas some anti-animal agents will not infect man. There is some overlapping between these two types; for example, the agents of anthrax (carbuncle like) and brucellosis (undulant fever) infect man and certain species of domestic animals. Anti-crop BW agents are highly specific and may cause disease in a single species, even a strain or race, of plants and never cause infection in man or other animals.

BW agents may be further classified according to their lethal effects on susceptible hosts. As mentioned earlier, BW may cause death of target host organisms, or illness of varying degrees of severity. No firm line can be drawn between strictly lethal and strictly nonlethal agents used against man and animals, because of variability of virulence, dosage, portals of entry of the agent, and resistance or susceptibility factors of the host.

BW agents vary widely in their ability to survive and remain infectious or toxic after dissemination. In general, the vegetative form of microorganisms and their toxins are highly susceptible to heat, light, moisture, and desiccation, while those capable of forming spores— such as Clostridia and fungi—are comparatively resistant.

The relative infectiousness of a disease-producing organism is its virulence. Since highly virulent strains would be the most effective BW
[Page 8]

agents, attempts to increase virulence may be anticipated. Efforts will also probably be made to develop strains of microorganisms that are unusually resistant to treatment by drugs. Two or more kinds of organisms may be used together to enhance the coordinated production of disease. Other techniques may also be devised to increase the effect of normally nonvirulent or slightly virulent agents. An important consideration in this respect is the possibility of enhanced virulence or increased severity of host response by introducing the agents into the host by an unnatural portal of entry— such as an intestinal organism inhaled into the respiratory tract.

If biological warfare were used, it would be expected that the results would depend upon an initial infection of large numbers of people, animals, or plants. An initial outbreak of the disease would depend upon large-scale dissemination of the agents upon a susceptible population. Biological warfare is thus primarily a strategic weapon because it rarely has an immediate or “quick-kill” effect. This is because infectious agents require an incubation period before the symptoms are apparent. For this reason, they are better suited to attacks on large population centers or concentrations of animals or food crops than for hand-to-hand or tactical use.


Effective biological warfare agents must possess certain characteristics that enable them to produce desired effects on host targets and to survive and operate under a wide range of environmental conditions. Probably no single agent will meet all the desired requirements; therefore, some compromise must be made between optimum and minimum limits that would be acceptable. The following requirements are probably the most important and essential properties in a BW agent.

• The agent should consistently produce disability, damage, or death in susceptible targets.
• It should be stable under conditions likely to be found in storage and transportation.
• It should lend itself to effective dissemination by known methods, equipment, or munitions.
• It should be resistant to “decay” after dissemination from a munition.
• Economical production of the agent in large quantities should be possible.
The following requirements are desirable but not essential characteristics of a BW agent. It should be possible to protect the user from the agent during preparation, storage, and use.
• It should be difficult for the enemy to detect or protect against it.
[Page 9]

The incubation period should be predictable and short.

• After dissemination, the persistence of the agent should be predictable.
• The agent should be capable of producing results when introduced into the host target by various portals of entry.
• It should be able to withstand dissemination by various methods.
• It should complement or supplement tactical weapons.
• It should produce desirable psychological effects.
Much of the present information on the production and behavior of BW agents is based on results obtained by the use of simulant agents microorganisms or toxic compounds resembling true BW agents in all respects other than causing disease or being poisonous.


BW agents cannot be detected by any of man’s five senses. The first hint of BW attack may be by observing smoke, mists, unusual munitions, or unusual carriers of microorganisms. The first knowledge of an attack might be the appearance of an unusually high occurrence of disease in host targets. The molecular filter technique is the most promising method for the rapid detection of potential BWagents. This method may be used for relatively rapid identification of some bacterial agents.

Identification of BW agents may be complicated by the use of unusual disease agents, administration through unusual portals of entry, the use of exceptionally high infective doses, and mixtures of various agents. Absolute identification of BW attack may depend upon prolonged and intricate laboratory studies of material obtained in the target areas, requiring the specialized techniques of highly trained technicians. Appearance of characteristic symptoms in the host and its reaction to treatment may be helpful in establishing the identity of the agent used.


If it were possible to give each individual complete and solid immunity to all possible BW agents, even with an extremely high dosage and an unusual portal of entry, there would be no danger from BW used against man or animals. Antiplant BW could be complicated or simplified by the development of plants resistant to all infectious agents and pests. Since this is impossible, other resources must be considered.

The best defense against BW may well be a strong retaliatory capability, closely associated with reliable information concerning an enemy’s capability in the field and his intention of using BW. Probably the only defense against anticrop BW depends upon (1) preventing the introduction of plant pests or viruses into the country or (2) if introduced, detection early enough to allow for decontamination or disinfestation of fields. Regarding antipersonnel BW agents, defense depends upon detection, physical protection, decontamination, immunization, and therapy. It is
[Page 10]

apparent that the present defense against BW is far from adequate. Developments in the control of naturally occurring infections will be useful in BW. Likewise, developments in BW defense will lead to advances in preventive medicine and epidemiology. Research in the field of BW has already contributed much to our knowledge of the control of disease and pests. Future developments in this field will unquestionably be of great value to personal and public health, agriculture, industry, and science in general.

Whether BW will ever be used in war is unanswerable, but knowledge of its capabilities and limitations is essential in developing adequate defenses and deterrents. Such information will also be useful in developing better controls, treatment, and understanding of infectious processes under peaceful natural conditions.

TI-ABC Warfare Defense, Course #5 4-29 January 1960

Title: ABC Warfare Defense, Course #5
Date: 4-29 January 1960. Report prior to 2200, 3 January 1960,
Personnel Office, U. S. Naval Schools Command, Bldg. 28
Place: U.S. Naval Schools Command, Naval Station, Treasure Island, San Francisco, Calif.
Security Clearance: SECRET
Class Quotas: 50 (10 Army and Air Force; 40 Navy—30 Medical Corps, 5 Dental Corps, 5 Medical Service Corps)
“The course is designed for experienced active duty Naval Medical Department officers. Medical aspects of modern warfare and military peacetime operations, including problems incident to atomic, biologic, and chemical weapons systems, nuclear propulsion, mass casualties, and isotope programs will be stressed. Military aspects of weapons systems and military countermeasures will be considered also so that Medical officers may function effectively on a staff and can reasonably assess medical compromises imposed by the military situation. Outstanding speakers, both military and civilian, will be featured on the program. Visits will be made to the Navy Radiological Defense Laboratory and the Naval Biological Laboratory, and practical exercises and drills will be conducted. All students Will be supplied texts on a permanent retention basis. Continue reading “TI-ABC Warfare Defense, Course #5 4-29 January 1960”