Toxic BioWarfare Testing
On US Navy Servicemen
From Jim Cast

"These tests, such as, 'Autumn Gold', 'Copperhead', and 'Project Shad', and the un-named tests aboard the Herbert J.Thomas (DD833), and unknown other tests, may have, in effect, 'Murdered' hundreds - perhaps thousands - of US Military personnel while they were fighting and serving their Country in the American military...and then lied to them and refused them treatment for over 40 years."
The USS HERBERT J. THOMAS (DD 833) was launched at Bath, Maine, in March 1945, and commissioned at Boston, in May 1945. She was named for Sergeant Herbert J. Thomas, USMCR, of the Third Marine Division, who was killed at Bougainville in 1942 when he threw himself on a live grenade to save the lives of his comrades. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for this act of heroism.
The Destroyer THOMAS served as part of the task forces supporting the occupation of Japan and Korea at the end of World War II. The Thomas served in Korea (three times), and served in the Taiwan Patrol.
The THOMAS went into the Mare Island Naval Shipyard for conversion in June, 1964. The ship had been scheduled for coventional Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM) changes, but while in the yard, a decision was made to incorporate the STOPS system for its first test on an operational ship. The THOMAS is the only ship in the cruiser-destroyer class to be outfitted with STOPS. The ship was Classified as Secret, and all personnel told, not to talk about it.
STOPS stands for "Shipboard Toxicological Operational Protective System." The System is designed to protect sailors against radioactive fallout or the poisonous clouds of chemical or germ warfare. STOPS involves maintaining air pressure inside the sealed interior of the ship that is slightly higher than the atmospheric pressure outside. This means that when there is any break in the system, air leaks from the inside out, forcing any radioactive or poisonous particles away from the opening.
Four air conditioning units, each of 135 ton capacity, provide fresh, filtered air to all spaces within the THOMAS. If part of the ship were damaged in battle, the pressurization and filtering system would still function in sealed-off zones that remained intact.
Members of the crew carry gas masks, and one piece nuclear submarine suits, when moving from one part of the ship to another.
The most unusual features about the appearance of the ship is a pair of glass "Bubbles" on either side of the bridge,and stainless steel revolving doors at forward and aft entries. These bubbles permit a man on look-out watch or the officer of the deck to get a wide-angle view on either side without stepping out on to the main deck.
The THOMAS accompanied the carrier USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT (CVA42) to the South China Sea as part of the strike force in the Gulf of Tonkin. She was visited by CNO, Admiral MAC Donald, vice Admiral Hyland, and Rear-Admiral Baumberger.
The THOMAS proceeded directly to Naval Gunfire Support in the Mekong Delta area of South Vietnam, shooting nearly every day, searching Junks, training South Vietnam Naval Officers, ect.
The THOMAS returned to the Gulf of Tonkin with the USS CORAL SEA (CVA43), and USS Mullaney (DD528) for further Air Operations and shore bombardment against North Vietnam.
Between gunfire engagements, the THOMAS followed the above carriers, and were sprayed with, supposedly non-toxic, sprays and clouds, by the carriers and low flying aircraft. General Quarters (battle stations) was called, and all hatches battened down. Each conpartment had test tubes near the hatches, to collect air samples,to be collected later. Gas masks were dawned and the attacks enacted.
Gunnners, signalmen and all main deck personnel dawned gas masks during the operations, as they were exposed to the contaminants After the attacks, all main deck, topside personnel underwent decontamination procedures, which included removing clothing, taking decon showers at either end of the central passage way, and entering through a stainless steel revolving door, and dawning a fresh nuke suit. After each test, the entire maindeck, topside of the ship, held a total salt-water washdown with firehoses.
These tests were conducted while off the coast of San Diego, Long Beach, Valejo, Hawaii, and during during all non-combative deployments overseas for several years. No known medical tests were ever conducted on the crew, and it was never known, what chemicals or gases the ship and the crew had been sprayed with. The crew members were not considered "Test Subjects", but rather, "Test Conductors."
Only one crewman died during this time, a John D. Herlich, RD3. John died in his bunk. The rest of the crew was never told, what caused John's death.
Although the THOMAS had been completely re-built, like-new, in 1964, it was striken from the list of US navy ships (not decommissioned) February 1, 1974, and given to the Taiwan Navy, in May of 1974, and re-named HAN YANG.
I served about two years aboard the THOMAS and was released in 1967. Shortly therafter I had problems breathing, and my lungs hurt. I visited several VA hospitals, ran tests and told, it was all in my head, that I was perfectly healthy. I later went to several private hospitals and was told I had Progressive Pulmanary Fibrosis, a scaring of the lungs. I was told it was probably due to having had Pneumonia,earlier in my life, although I don't recall having that. I was told that it would get progressively worse, was not curable, and that I had about three and a half years, left to live.
Until I recently read the news stories, about the "Secret Chemical and Biological Warfare tests",on the crews of Naval ships,from 1960 to 1970. I couldn't figure out how I got sick.
These tests, such as, "Autumn Gold", "Copperhead", and "Project Shad", and the un-named tests aboard the "Herbert J.Thomas (DD833), and unknown others, may have in effect, "Murdered" hundreds, perhaps thousands of US Military personnel, while they were fighting and serving their Country in the American military, then lied to them, and refused them treatment, for over 40 years.
How Sad.

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