08 Dec 2008
Key Personnel Evacuation Plan

“In the event of a mass destruction attack on Fort Detrick with the resulting loss of Biological Warfare physical facilities, it is anticipated that it will be necessary to re-establish BW activities at some other location.”

Thus begins a 1957 letter sent to key personnel, to be “kept on your person at all times”, identifying them as worthy of evacuation. The letter concluded with “You are urged to cooperate with the above plan for your own safety and for the assured continuation of the BW capability.”

From the time of Warning YELLOW (attack likely) to the time of Warning RED (attack imminent) a maximum period of four (4) hours is anticipated. Evacuation will take place between one (1) and four (4) hours after receipt of Warning YELLOW.

You can get the full story and readable images of the letter at Two Minutes to Doomsday: “Get out of Hell Free” Card, 1957. Armageddon and All That….

Nothing like growing up in the Cold War era, wheeee!.

image: Operaton Castle, ROMEO Event, 1954, Wikimedia Commons
h/t: Mark Frauenfelder, 1957 letter for “designated key personnel” to escape mass destruction, Boing Boing

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