Make Love, Not War: The US Air Force ‘Gay Bomb’ Proposal

September 4, 2020Matt Fratus
gay bomb coffee or die

The United States military, its intelligence agencies, and their think tanks have conjured some wacky ideas over the years. During World War II, a dentist thought the bat bomb was the next great secret weapon. Winged animals with incendiary devices strapped to their bodies and dropped over Tokyo was his ingenious idea. The US military favored fire bombs and napalm instead.

The CIA famously plotted to use cats implanted with listening devices, called “Acoustic Kitties,” to spy on the Russians during the Cold War. The project was scrapped when poor Whiskers was squished by a passing taxi — just too unfeasible to work.

gay bomb coffee or die
A B-1B Lancer drops cluster munitions with lethal authority. Now imagine the surprise of witnessing the nonlethal and mysterious Gay Bombs disperse gas on the battlefield. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Their antics continued into the Global War on Terrorism-era when they recruited the mastermind behind the G.I. Joe brand to create an Usama Bin Laden demon toy. The Bin Laden toy had a heat-dissolving face to transform the terrorist from human to devil in a clever psychological warfare ploy. 

But in 1994, the US Air Force said, “Hold my beer.” Among the most preposterous ideas came when the US Air Force Wright Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio, proposed to build the Gay Bomb, which would make enemy combatants “sexually irresistible to one another.”

The Gay Bomb masterminds requested six years and a budget of $7.5 million to complete the project. They envisioned using an aphrodisiac chemical cocktail — employed in similar fashion to the Devil’s Perfume during World War I — except instead of an agonizing death, this love bomb would influence a “distasteful but completely non-lethal blow to morale.”

gay bomb coffee or die
Would gas masks prevent the effects of the Gay Bomb? No one knows for sure. Photo courtesy of Theo Emery/National Archives.

Their harebrained proposal was devised for being dropped over enemy territory to encourage soldiers to drop their weapons … and their trousers. A study of fraternization at its finest.

Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Sunshine Project, a watchdog group that oversees programs that develop chemical and biological weapons, requested answers from the Pentagon.

“The Department of Defense is committed to identifying, researching, and developing non-lethal weapons that will support our men and women in uniform,” a Department of Defense spokeswoman told CBS 5, adding that the idea of the “Gay Bomb” was immediately dismissed. 

Although the Gay Bomb never made it past initial planning stages and was later officially denied by the Pentagon, the think tanks of America remain active in crafting up new ideas to inflict change on the battlefield. No matter how bizarre or eccentric.

Matt Fratus
Matt Fratus

Matt Fratus is a history staff writer for Coffee or Die. He prides himself on uncovering the most fascinating tales of history by sharing them through any means of engaging storytelling. He writes for his micro-blog @LateNightHistory on Instagram, where he shares the story behind the image. He is also the host of the Late Night History podcast. When not writing about history, Matt enjoys volunteering for One More Wave and rooting for Boston sports teams.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
Coffee Or Die Photo
From the Team Room to Team Room Design: An Operator’s Creative Journey

BRCC partners with Team Room Design for an exclusive T-shirt release!

Coffee Or Die Photo
Get Your Viking On: The Exclusive 30 Sec Out BRCC Shirt Club Design

Thirty Seconds Out has partnered with BRCC for an exclusive shirt design invoking the God of Winter.

Grizzly Forge BRCC shirt
Limited Edition: Grizzly Forge Blades on an Awesome BRCC Shirt

Lucas O'Hara of Grizzly Forge has teamed up with BRCC for a badass, exclusive Shirt Club T-shirt design featuring his most popular knife and tiomahawk.

BRCC Limited Edition Josh Raulerson Blackbeard Skull Shirt
From Naval Service to Creative Canvas: BRCC Veteran Artist Josh Raulerson

Coffee or Die sits down with one of the graphic designers behind Black Rifle Coffee's signature look and vibe.

Medal of Honor is held up.
Biden Will Award Medal of Honor to Army Helicopter Pilot Who Rescued Soldiers in Vietnam Firefight

Biden will award the Medal of Honor to a Vietnam War Army helicopter pilot who risked his life to save a reconnaissance team from almost certain death.

dear jack mandaville
Dear Jack: Which Historic Battle Would You Want To Witness?

Ever wonder how much Jack Mandaville would f*ck sh*t up if he went back in time? The American Revolution didn't even see him coming.

west point time capsule
West Point Time Capsule Yields Centuries-Old Coins

A nearly 200-year-old West Point time capsule that at first appeared to yield little more than dust contains hidden treasure, the US Military Academy said.

  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
Contact Us
© 2024 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved