CPS Unit Number 140-02

CPS Unit Number 140-02

Camp: 140

Unit ID: 2

Title: University of Pennsylvania

Operating agency: AFSC

Opened: 2 1945

Closed: 10 1946


CPS Unit No. 140, subunit 2, located at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, subjected COs to experiments on jaundice, a major disease threat for soldiers.


Drs. (Captain) John R. Neefe, Joseph Stokes Jr. and John R. Paul directed this OSG jaundice/Infectious hepatitis research sponsored by the Philadelphia University Hospital Commission on Measles & Mumps and/or Mission on Influenza & Communicable Diseases.  The project ran from November 1944 through May 1946 with agency oversight from the American Friends Service Committee. Up to ninety-four men were assigned to the experiments, twenty-five to thirty-five at a time.  In addition, twenty men from Philadelphia State Hospital known as Byberry, also volunteered.  


As noted, a group of the Byberry COs participated in jaundice experiments at the University of Pennsylvania as part of CPS Unit No. 140, (previously CPS Unit No. 115 under the Office of Scientific Research and Development).  Superintendent Zeller supported their participation.  Other volunteers in the experiment lived in the CPS quarters at Byberry or in a former fraternity house on the Penn campus. 


The experiments grew out of problems during the war, particularly in Italy where more men contracted hepatitis than were killed or wounded in combat.  Drs. John Neefe and Joseph Stokes led them. 


Some men participated as “it got them away from Byberry”; others because they believed the experience to be an opportunity “to serve mankind”.


Neil Hartman’s reason for participation reflected another motivation: “We were called yellow bellies and things like that. I wanted to prove that I wasn’t afraid to take risks if it did good.  I would not take risks to kill people, but if it would save people. . . .  Actually I was happy that I had the opportunity to show the world I was willing to take risks”.  (From 2007 interview in Taylor p. 85)

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States