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E14 munition

e14 munitions, e14 munition definition
The E14 munition was a cardboard sub-munition air-dropped or ground-launched munitions that eject smaller submunitions developed by the United States biological weapons program as an anti-crop weapon In a series of field tests in 1955, the E14 was loaded with fleas and air-dropped


  • 1 History
  • 2 Specifications
  • 3 See also
  • 4 Notes
  • 5 References


The E14 munition was developed by the United States for use in its offensive biological warfare arsenal as an anti-crop weapon1 After the Korean War US interest in large-scale entomological warfare increased1 The E14 was one of two sub-munitions used in large-scale testing aimed at learning the feasibility and result of an air-dropped insect attack2

In September 1954, at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, the E14 was again used in a series of tests known as "Operation Big Itch"2 During Big Itch, uninfected rat fleas3 Xenopsylla cheopis were loaded into the E14 and air-dropped over the proving ground2

The E14 used cardboard and sponge inserts to hold the fleas inside the cardboard container2 With the sponge inserts in place, the E14 could hold about 100,000 fleas1 Eighty cardboard inserts, or "loop tubes", could be carried in the E14 as well The munition could hold 80 loop tubes, each one capable of holding 3,000 fleas1 The testing in Utah was ultimately successful12

In May 1955 the US utilized the E14 in field test, this time in the US state of Georgia2 The E14 was packed with "aircomb waffles" or loop tubes, instead of fleas these tests used uninfected yellow fever mosquitoes4 Aedes aegypti The successful Georgia trials were known as "Operation Big Buzz"2


The E14 munition was a sub-munition that can be clustered in the E86 cluster bomb1 It was a 9 3⁄4-inch 248 mm long, 13-inch 330 mm wide cardboard container1 Internally the bomb contained an actuator, which emitted carbon dioxide, a piston that would expel the bomb's contents, and a small parachute, to be deployed when the weapon was dropped from the E86 cluster bomb1 The weapons were designed to release their payload of biological agent, be it a vector or anti-crop agent, at 1,000–2,000 feet 300–610 m above the ground, after it was released from the cluster munition1

See alsoedit

  • E120 bomblet
  • E23 munition
  • E61 anthrax bomblet
  • Flettner rotor bomblet
  • M143 bomblet


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Kirby, Reid "Using the flea as weapon", Web version via findarticlescom, Army Chemical Review, July 2005, accessed December 28, 2008
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Rose, William H "An Evaluation of Entomological Warfare as a Potential Danger to the United States and European NATO Nations", US Army Test and Evaluation Command, Dugway Proving Ground, March 1981, via thesmokingguncom, accessed December 28, 2008
  3. ^ The rat flea is a known vector for bubonic plague See: Trivedi, "Xenopsylla cheopis"
  4. ^ The yellow fever mosquito is a known vector for pathogens such as Dengue fever and yellow fever See: Russell, "Aedes aegypti"


  • Trivedi, Janki "Xenopsylla cheopis", Animal Diversity Web, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, 2003, accessed December 28, 2008
  • Russell, RC, "Aedes aegypti", from A colour photo atlas of mosquitoes of Southeastern Australia, 1996, via the Department of Medical Entomology, University of Sydney and Westmead Hospital, accessed December 28, 2008

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