A Concealed War Crime: U.S. Anthrax Bombings of China During the Korean War

Jeffrey Kaye
18 min readOct 6, 2020
The Ptinus fur beetle, also known as the Whitemarked Spider Beetle, alleged to be used as an insect vector for delivery of anthrax spores during the Korean War (picture from the report of International Scientific Commission, 1952)

The following article provides shocking details and facts about the U.S. biological warfare campaign undertaken during the Korean War, and in particular, the use of anthrax as a biological weapon against China, which had entered the Korean War in late 1950.

Most of what has been published in the U.S. about this in subsequent years is filled with disinformation, or mere dismissal of the charges. Those involved in covering up U.S. germ warfare counted on the suppression of evidence surrounding the covert campaign of biological weaponry attack.

It’s taken nearly 70 years, but two events have changed all that. First, there was the 2018 online release of the long-suppressed report by the International Scientific Commission (ISC), chaired by famed British scientist Joseph Needham, of a three-month investigation into the germ warfare allegations. Now, in 2020, we also have the publication of declassified CIA Communications Daily Reports from the Korean War, documenting reactions of Communist military units to biological weapons attack. The cover-up has failed.

This article is based on both original documents and secondary sources. Due to the amount of government propaganda over the years, diligent readers will have to check this documentation for themselves. In essence, this article serves as an introduction to one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history.

A Schoolteacher Contracts Anthrax

Wang Shu-chih taught primary school in the town of Liu-ehr-pu in Liaotung Province, China (today usually referred to as Liaodong Province). She was 23 years old, healthy, and happily married for 5 years to her husband, who also taught at a nearby Teachers Training College.

Witnesses who knew her said she was a dedicated teacher. She and her husband also had a 2 year old daughter, said to be “so plump as to be hard to carry.”

It was early Spring 1952. The ground was still cold. Nevertheless, according to Chinese and North Korean governments, U.S. planes, part of the United Nations forces that had invaded Korea, had flown hundreds of sorties utilizing various kinds of biological attack since the beginning of the year. Many of these attacks involved the dropping of…