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Granite Peak Installation

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Title: Granite Peak Installation  
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Subject: 1943 establishments in Utah, E96 cluster bomb, War Research Service, M114 bomb, E133 cluster bomb
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Granite Peak Installation

The Granite Peak Installation (GPI) — also known as Granite Peak Range — was a U.S. biological weapons testing facility located on 250 square miles (650 km2) of Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. The GPI was a sub-installation of Dugway but had its own facilities, including utilities. Established in 1943, GPI was deactivated with the end of World War II.


In October 1943, because of the limitations of a 2,000-acre (8.1 km2) site at Horn Island off the coast of Mississippi a biological weapons testing site was established at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah.[1][2] Known as the Granite Peak Installation, the site was activated as the U.S. military's principal bio-weapons testing site beginning in June 1944.[1][2][3] Construction on the massive facilities required by GPI began on July 10, 1944 and continued for seven months, finally ending on January 30, 1945.[2] The total cost for the development and construction of GPI was around $1.3 million.[4] When WWII ended in 1945 GPI was deactivated and closed.[5]



GPI was the U.S. bio-weapons program's main testing site. Granite Peak was a sub-installation of Dugway Proving Ground and many of GPI's administrative task were overseen by the post commander at Dugway.[1] Personnel stationed at the main Dugway grounds cooperated with tests at GPI. For example, air missions were flown by Dugway detachments, and weather forecast data was also provided by personnel at Dugway.[1] Despite the assistance from Dugway, GPI maintained control over all technical aspects of its operations and testing.[1] GPI was overseen by the Special Projects Division,[6] part of the U.S. Army Biological Warfare Laboratories.


One weapon tested was a 91 pound bomb containing "vegetable killer acid", known as VKA (2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid), now commonly sold as an ingredient in household "weed n' feed" products.[7][8] Testing of other munitions continued from 1943–1945, including tests using the causal agent for anthrax.[5] The M33 cluster bomb was used in a series of tests from August–October 1952 at GPI.[9] The Army Chemical Corps exposed over 11,000 guinea pigs to Brucella suis via air-dropped M33s.[9] The guinea pig trials caused one Chemical Corps general to remark, "Now we know what to do if we ever go to war against guinea pigs"[9]


GPI was a 250-square-mile (650 km2) area of Dugway that was located 30 miles (48 km) west from the nearest active area, known as "Dog Area".[10] Because of this isolation the installation developed many of its own facilities, separate from the main facilities at Dugway.[10] GPI had its own utilities, laboratories, living quarters and medical facility.[10] By 1985 only two surviving structures remained at GPI: a pump house and an underground "igloo storage building".[10]

Transportation resources at GPI included an airplane landing strip and 22 miles (35 km) of surfaced roads.[2] Utilities at the site included, sewer and septic systems, power plants, and delivery systems for electricity, water and steam.[2] The base was much larger than the BW site at Horn Island.[2]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Pike, John E. (webmaster). "Granite Peak Range",, April 26, 2005, accessed January 13, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Harris, Sheldon H. Factories of Death: Japanese Biological Warfare 1932-45 and the American Cover-Up, (Google Books), Routledge, 1994, pp. 155-56, (ISBN 0415091055).
  3. ^ Whitby, Simon M. Biological Warfare Against Crops, (Google Books), Macmillan, 2002, pp. 73-74, (ISBN 0333920856).
  4. ^ Regis, Ed. The Biology of Doom, p. 95.
  5. ^ a b Isla, Nicolas. "Transparency in past offensive biological weapon programmes: An analysis of Confidence Building Measure Form F 1992-2003", Hamburg Center for Biological Arms Control, Occasional Paper No. 1, June 2006, p. 26, accessed January 13, 2009.
  6. ^ Guillemin, Jeanne. Biological Weapons: From the Invention of State-sponsored Programs to Contemporary Bioterrorism, (Google Books), Columbia University Press, 2005, pp. 63-65, (ISBN 0231129424).
  7. ^ Smart, Jeffery K. Medical Aspects of Chemical and Biological Warfare: Chapter 2 - History of Chemical and Biological Warfare: An American Perspective, (PDF: p. 44 - p. 36 in PDF), Borden Institute, Textbooks of Military Medicine, PDF via Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, accessed December 28, 2008.
  8. ^ Regis, Ed. The Biology of Doom, pp. 140-41.
  9. ^ a b c Regis, Ed. The Biology of Doom, pp. 143-56.
  10. ^ a b c d Buchanan, David G. and Johnson John P. "Dugway Proving Ground - Written and Historical Narrative", Historic American Engineering Record, Library of Congress, HAER #: UT-35, 1984, accessed January 13, 2009.


  • Regis, Ed. The Biology of Doom: The History of America's Secret Germ Warfare Project, (Google Books), Macmillan, 2000, (ISBN 080505765X).
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