US Army Chemical Corps

Discussion in 'US' started by WhiteRabbit, May 25, 2010.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Just watched 'A Soldier's Story' again (for those that have never seen it, it is an astoundingly well acted drama set in a segregated WW2 unit) and noted that the unit involved is a 'Chemical Battalion'.

    Done did some googling and discovered that the US Army has a Chemical Corps and its WW2 predecessor was the Chemical Warfare Service. My question is; the film portrayed the WW2 era Chemical Battalion to be like an Infantry battalion, but with special support function/training, is this an accurate portrayal of what they were. Obviously things have changeed since then and they are specialist support troops now, but the lads in the film seemed to be random unskilled draftees slected only for their baseball prowess.
  2. CWS troops weren't infantry. There were several different types of units, including smoke generation coys and battalions, decontamination coys, and chemical mortar battalions. Only the last, equipped with 4.2-in mortars, originally intended to fire gas bombs but used in action with conventional ammo, and usually attached to infantry divisions, could be considered combat troops, though smoke coys were sometimes used in forward areas (but more typically to defend ports, bases etc.). Besides the mortar battalions CWS units were apparently often used for general transport duties (basically truck drivers) since often there wasn't a use for their specialist capabilities. See more here: