Pittsburg California Radiation Experiments covering half of the City

Spreading 10,000 rads of radiation onto the ground, roofs and lawns and how they cleaned it up. Note that the exposure to the personnel is only for the theoretical amount that future people would be exposed to while in this case, they were using lawn spreaders to put down 1000 and 10,000 rads of radiation. They also thought that these people were standing on clean ground, extending the brushes onto the contaminated ground. What happened to the people depicted in these photographs?

This article supplements my article with photographs and report text. “Pittsburg California Radiation Experiments, spreading radioactive sand onto barracks, lawns and streets of the former Camp Stoneman Base to train Sailors how to clean up after an atomic strike.”


Sartor, J D, Curtis, H B, Lee, H, and Owen, W L. COST AND EFFECTIVENESS OF DECONTAMINATION PROCEDURES FOR LAND TARGETS. United States/USNRDL-TR-196; NY 320-001-9; AD-153932 27 December 1957 Continue reading “Pittsburg California Radiation Experiments covering half of the City”


USS Pandemonium Treasure Island Biological and Chemical Training Ship.

The Navy built a mockup of a ship at Treasure Island which was used to train military personnel how to clean up after a Chemical and/or biological strike. The ship was later built to contain laboratories and a large shower room for decontaminating the personnel exposed to the biological and Chemical agents in the testing.

All Hands
The Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin
July 1957 Nav-Pers-O Number 486
The Good Ship ‘Pandemonium’ p. 16 ,Treasure Island,
All Hands
The Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin
July 1957 Nav-Pers-O Number 486
The Good Ship ‘Pandemonium’ p. 176 ,Treasure Island,

All Hands
The Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin
July 1957 Nav-Pers-O Number 486
The Good Ship ‘Pandemonium’ pp 16., Treasure Island,

ARRIVING AT NAVAL STATION, Treasure Island, with orders from the Chief of Naval Personnel to teach Biological-Chemical defensive measures at the Damage Control School, CDR John H. Stover, MC, usn, had the bright idea that simulated “reallife” shipboard conditions would be a big help in teaching the course.

That idea, plus plenty of willing hands, plus help from Navy headquarters, resulted in Pandemonium.

Here’s the story:

There was no ship in the area that could have answered the needs of the course.

Even if there had been, it would have been a tough job to obtain exclusive use of it for class-room studies.

But—parts of ships would provide the same desired simulated effect in demonstrating the use of modem techniques. There was a deck house handy, and it was not in use.

From various naval installations in the area came promises of “junk,” surplus gear, scraps for enlarging the “mock-up” to include a partial deck, some old guns, winches and a bit of hull at the bow.

As soon as the promised materials began to arrive, labor was performed by the personnel of the service school command and through the Naval Receiving Station in the form of transient personnel. Soon students “came aboard” for training, learning through actual demonstration and practice.

Through the chain of command application was made to the Bureau of Ships for funds to sink pilings and raise the deck to the level of an actual PC-type vessel for better simulated working conditions. BuShips, realizing the value of such a project, made the funds available. Later, pilings were sunk and the deck house and partial deck were hoisted into place upon them.

This odd-looking vessel with only deck house and partial deck, looked somehow like a house on stilts, with no underpinning.

But now more scraps began to arrive, metal pieces, hatches, and fittings. Plans and photographs of a PC-type vessel were procured, and construction continued.

Fifteen months later, in February, 1957, the “ship” had progressed to an undreamed-of stage. She now measured 173 feet in length, 24 feet at the beam.

BuShips provided money for steel, a wash-down system and utilities and had given cooperation in procuring the many miscellaneous items of equipment.

Bureau of Medicine and Surgery gave financial aid and equipment for shipboard laboratories. BuPers provided funds for shore connections to run the utilities to the ship, and aided by procuring items of equipment including surplus guns, compasses, electrical gear, flags, sextants, and binoculars. A “ship” was taking shape.

On 1 Feb 1957, ceremonies for christening the strange craft were held at the Atomic-Biological-Chemical Defense section of the Naval Schools Command at Treasure Island. The name Pandemonium had been decided upon, since it best described the little ship’s decks immediately following a simulated attack by enemy forces.

At the ceremony, the Twelfth Naval District Band struck up the National Anthem, the Jack was hoisted, and uss Pandemonium (PCDC-1) swept down the ways Here, thanks to a bright idea, students will sail through many years of classroom studies learning defensive measures againt biological and chemical attack.

-H. Ellis, J02, usn



Atomic, Biological and Chemical Training at Treasure Island California 1957

Medical News Letter, Vol. 26, No. 5 p. 24
Friday, September 20, 1957

Information for Medical Officers Medical officers are encouraged to attend one of the following courses of instruction in the indoctrination of the defensive aspects of atomic, biological, and chemical warfare. Each course is five weeks in duration.

Two weeks are devoted to atomic warfare defense; two weeks to biological chemical warfare defense; and the fifth week to the planning and damage control aspects of special weapons handling. Secret clearance is required for all or any phase of the courses, and prospective students should familiarize themselves with the contents of OpNav Instruction 5510. 1A. Additional information on the courses may be found in BuPers Instruction 1500. 25 and BuPers Notice 1500 of 10 May 1955. Requests for attendance should be processed m accordance with local instructions. Convening dates for the remainder of Fiscal Year 1956 are contained in the directives above. Continue reading “Atomic, Biological and Chemical Training at Treasure Island California 1957”

50 Fell Street, San Francisco ABC Warfare and Civil Disaster Program in Twelfth Naval District

United States Navy Medical News Letter, Vol. 30 Friday, September 20, 1957 No. 6 p.29

The U S Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory, San Francisco Naval Shipyard (Hunters Point), will conduct a seminar during the 3-day period, 17 – 19 October 1957, under the sponsorship of the Commandant, Twelfth Naval District. Speakers and discussants scheduled to present the program include prominent military and civilian physicians and scientists.

The Chief of Naval Personnel has authorized the awarding of one (1) retirement point credit to eligible inactive Naval Reserve Medical Department officers for daily attendance, provided they register such attendance with the authorized military representative present. Security clearance is not required.

Additional information concerning this program may be obtained by writing to the District Medical Officer, Twelfth Naval District, 50 Fell St., San Francisco, Calif.

Treasure Island CA – Biological and Chemical Training Center US Navy Medical News Letter, Vol. 29, No. 5 Friday, l March 1957 page 14

Description of the Atomic, Biological and Chemical training center at Treasure Island Navy Base including the showers necessary to decontaminate the students from the Biological and Chemical Training Center at Treasure Island.

The Evolution of the USS Pandemonium US Navy Medical News Letter, Vol. 29, No. 5 Friday, l March 1957 page 14

The old adage, “Big oaks from little acorns grow, ” was recently demonstrated at the Biological and Chemical Warfare Defense School at Treasure Island, Calif. In July 1955, an old deckhouse served as a mockup for shipboard training in biological and chemical warfare counter-measures. Today, the deckhouse has grown into the USS Pandemonium, a full-scale mockup of a 173 PC.
The Pandemonium has been designed throughout for the teaching of all phases of ABC shipboard defense and recovery techniques. It was constructed from a set of general plans of the PC-1170 and !rom photos of the PC-116. Continue reading “Treasure Island CA – Biological and Chemical Training Center US Navy Medical News Letter, Vol. 29, No. 5 Friday, l March 1957 page 14”