Chemical Warfare Plan

The plan applied to the Allied land, Air and Naval Forces in the South West Pacific Area theatre and the US Army forces in the Far East. The plan consisted of two parts, an offensive and defensive plan.

Offensive Plan

The use of toxics was only to be initiated on the direct orders, Commander-in-Chief (General MacArthur) of South West Pacific Area. Upon receipt of orders for the use of chemicals an immediate punitive attack by air, with the maximum weight of mustard gas bombs, against the most critical enemy objectives (which in February 1943 was furnished by harbour installations, warehouses and aviation installations at Rabaul, Papua New Guinea). Chemical munitions were to be moved into forward areas for action by ground troops. Aviation missions were to be undertaken from the Advance Chemical Depot, Aviation at Charters Towers (United States).

Defensive Plan

The defensive plan against chemical attack called for the following. The period prior to the opening of chemical warfare was to be devoted to improving the supply status and attainment of proficiency in the employment of defensive means and methods for individual and collective protection (masks/respirators, protective clothing, decontamination supplies, ointment and gas detectors etc), first aid, medical treatment of gas casualties, and in developing effective chemical intelligence.

The defensive plan also provided for defensive training. Training of unit gas offices and gas non-commissioned officers in all defensive measures and first-aid was needed. It was recognised that education concerning chemical agents was a primary essential in protection against them.