Farewell to Bill Patrick, “Bioweaponeer”.

Dr. William "Bill" C. Patrick III, 1926-2010 (Credit: fredericknewspost.com)

Dr. William “Bill” C. Patrick III, 84, passed away on Friday, Oct. 1, 2010.

Born on July, 24, 1926 in Southhampton, SC, Patrick was a U.S. veteran and influential microbiologist that devoted over three decades of service to the U.S. Army’s headquarters for biological weapons research in Fort Detrick, MD.

After serving in the Army during World War II, Patrick received a graduate degree from the University of South Carolina (1948) and a master’s degree in microbiology and biochemistry from the University of Tennessee (1949).

In 1951, he joined the Biological Warfare Laboratories in Ft. Detrick and became Chief of the Product Development Division. His team was responsible for pioneering the weaponization of an agent and developing several products used in biological prototype munitions, such as testing simulants for Bacillus anthracis (anthrax).

After the offensive program was terminated in 1972, Patrick moved to become the Plans and Program Officer at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), where he contributed to the management of the U.S. defensive biological weapons program. During this period, he received a number of awards and honors, including a special service award, the Order of the Military Medical Merit and the Barnett L. Cohen Award.

Patrick retired from his federal position in 1986 and became a consultant to government and private organizations through his firm, Biothreats Assessment. The firm specialized in educating the intelligence community on select agent characterization and bioweapon technologies. In 1994, Patrick served as the team leader of a United Nations UNSCOM inspection visit to Iraq. Assessments made by the team led the country to declare its extensive biological weapons program a year later.

During retirement, Patrick also made a numerous guest-lecture appearance, authored several scientific articles, including Department of Army publications, and held several patents for biological processes and equipment. Click here to read Dr. Patrick’s The Threat of Biological Warfare.

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