2.4 International Melting Pot

Other countries explicitly supported the US colonization in Vietnam, providing a pathway for the fogger to be rapidly picked up by the armed forces of other nations.

By 1966 the Australian Tunnel Rats were particularly fond of fogging tunnels with acetylene (MacGregor 1966a, 1966b).

Black and white photo of a Mighty Mite blower on the left and two containers of acetylene in the middle, both containers are metal boxes with labeling in small white text and then some bladder bag on top. There are large vaccum size hozes coming off the blower and going off frame to the right. The scene is the ground of a jungle that has been cleared a little, there are trees and foliage in the background and dense but matted down grass in the fore.

FIGURE 2.9: Double Acetylene Generator and a Mighty Mite Air Blower Used to Blow Fumes into Viet Cong Tunnels (MacGregor 1966a)

An individual crouches on the ground next to a blower, facing off to the right, with his left hand slightly resting on it. The photo is aimed down at this person, so the two people looking at the fogger while standing are partially visible from the feet upwards. The photo is an old black and white image and there are items around the sides that are difficult to make out, including potentially a cache of chemical weapons grenades on the right side and some sandbacks in the back.

FIGURE 2.10: Mighty Mite Machine Used to Contaminate Viet Cong Tunnel Systems with Acetylene (MacGregor 1966b)

As expected, the fogger quickly made it to Australian police departments, although with a decidedly negative response from the news media, who called it “highly controversial” admist a Sydney Police spending scandal (Allen 1972). Unnamed Australian arms experts who spoke on background said there was no application for the fogger in the country (Allen 1972), although that hasn’t stopped its use elsewhere.