Operation Dew

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Operation Dew refers to two separate field trials conducted by the United States in the 1950s. The tests were designed to study the behavior of aerosol-released biological agents.

General description[edit]

Operation Dew took place from 1951 to 1952 off the southeast coast of the United States, including near Georgia, and North and South Carolina.[1][2] Operation Dew consisted of two sets of trials, Dew I and Dew II.[2] The tests involved the release of 250 pounds (110 kg) of fluorescent particles from a minesweeper off the coast.[1] Operation Dew I was described in a U.S. Army report known as "Dugway Special Report 162", dated August 1, 1952.[2] The purpose of Operation Dew was to study the behavior of aerosol-released biological agents.[1]

Dew I[edit]

Operation Dew I consisted of five separate trials from March 26, 1952 until April 21, 1952 that were designed to test the feasibility of maintaining a large aerosol cloud released offshore until it drifted over land, achieving a large area coverage.[2] The tests released zinc cadmium sulfide along a 100-to-150-nautical-mile (190 to 280 km) line approximately 5 to 10 nautical miles (10 to 20 km) off the coast of Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.[2] Two of the trials dispersed clouds of zinc cadmium sulfide over large areas of all three U.S. states. The tests affected over 60,000 square miles (150,000 km²) of populated coastal region in the U.S. southeast.[3] The Dew I releases were from a Navy minesweeper, the USS Tercel.[2]

Dew II[edit]

Dew II involved the release of fluorescent particles (zinc cadmium sulfide) and plant spores (Lycopodium) from an aircraft.[2] Dew II was described in a 1953 Army report which remained classified at the time of a 1997 report by the U.S. National Research Council concerning the U.S. Army's zinc cadmium sulfide dispersion program of the 1950s.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Croddy, Eric, et al. Chemical and Biological Warfare: A Comprehensive Survey for the Concerned Citizen, (Google Books), Springer, 2002, p. 231, (ISBN 0387950761).
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h U.S. National Research Council, Subcommittee on Zinc Cadmium Sulfide. Toxicologic Assessment of the Army's Zinc Cadmium Sulfide Dispersion, (Google Books), National Academies Press, 1997, pp. 44-77, (ISBN 0309057833).
  3. ^ Toxicologic Assessment of the Army's Zinc Cadmium Sulfide Dispersion, p. 74.