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WWII experiments

For the first time, the U.S. government is confirming that it conducted secret chemical experiments on World War II troops by grouping them according to race, NPR reports.

While Black, Japanese-American, and Puerto Rican soldiers were tested with mustard gas and lewisite, a similar chemical agent, White soldiers were often used as a control group. NPR tracked down troops forced to participate in the program, which remained classified until 1993.

U.S. Army soldier Rollins Edward recalled undergoing the experiment — the now 93-year-old told NPR he remembers walking into a wooden gas chamber with a dozen other soldiers, not knowing what to expect, finally experiencing the release of gas that made some of the troops faint, and feeling like he was on fire.

“Guys started screaming and hollering and trying to break out. And then some of the guys fainted. And finally they opened the door and let us out, and…

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