Treasure Island – Biological and Chemical Training on USS Pandemonium Dec 1956 Naval Training Bulletin

USS Pandemonium being built for Biological, Chemical training. Naval Training Bulletin December 1956 pp 9-11. HathiTrust Link
Note the students training:
Page 10: July 1955 – – Students practice Biological and chemical warfare countermeasures on deckhouse.
PAGE 10: Lower right Construction work is suspended temporarily for class drills.
pAGE 11: September 1956 – – A class hoses down the main deck aft. The 40 mm and K guns have just been acquired.

Naval Training Bulletin December 1956, pg. 9


1953-Biological Warfare Training Manual at Treasure Island, San Francisco CA

Film of the Navy purposely contaminating San Francisco with Serratia marcescens in 1951 and in color, “Naval Concepts of Chemical and Biological Warfare” Naval Concepts of Chemical and Biological Warfare (1952), Department of Defense Film Production, National Archives and Records Administration Catalogue # 428.MN.9170A, Declassified NND Authority # 64044

Navy Reports that indicate the Biological Warfare training was concurrent with the Radiological Warfare Decontamination Training at Treasure Island. This constant testing caused an incident in 1950 whereby 11 people were infected by a bacterium that produced a pneumonia that cost a man his life. Senator Edward Kennedy was very upset about this in a 1977 hearing and chewed out the Army official who told the committee about the problem.

NIH report on Serratia infections

United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Human Resources. Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research. Biological Testing Involving Human Subjects by the Department of Defense, 1977: Hearings Before the Subcommittee On Health And Scientific Research of the Committee On Human Resources, United States Senate, Ninety-fifth Congress, First Session … March 8 And May 23, 1977. Washington: U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1977.

United States Navy Biological Warfare Defense, Civil Engineer Corps, United States Navy, TECHNICAL PUBLICATION NAVDOCKS TP-PL-4; REV. 15 April 1953 (REPRINTED 1 SEPT 1953 INCORPORATING PRIOR CHANGES)
Department of the Navy, Bureau of Yards and Docks, Washington 25, DC

A1.05 Simulant Agents
Simulant BW agents are microorganisms or compounds having little or no pathogenicity or toxicity, but otherwise resembling true BW agents in certain characteristics or properties, such as viability, size, food or cultural requirements, growth characteristics, persistency, and routes of invasion. They are particularly useful in field testing the behavior of munitions, determination of effect of particle size on penetration of the air passages of animals, survival of vegetable and spore-bearing organisms under experimental and environmental conditions, testing of protective devices and procedures, and for training. purposes. Examples of microbial simulants are serratia marcescens or Bacillus prodigiosus, a vegetable nonsporulating organism, and Bacillus globigii, a spore-forming rod-shaped bacterium. Continue reading “1953-Biological Warfare Training Manual at Treasure Island, San Francisco CA”

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