The U.S. Army Chemical Warfare Service needed somewhere to test weapons in 1941 and chose Dugway Proving Ground in 1942.
During World War 2, toxic agents, flamethrowers, chemical spray systems, and other chemical weapons were extensively tested at Dugway Proving Ground. After the war it died down a little, but came back to life during the Korean War. In 1954, it was designated as an official Army installation.
After that, Dugway Proving Ground turned into a testing hotbed for various lethal substances. In the late 1960s, several thousand sheep were killed or wounded seriously by VX gas.
Some people call Dugway Proving Ground “Area 52” or the New Area 51 because of reported UFO sightings in the area. The Army has no official statement on any of that. The Army base remains a place for serious testing of technology, however. Dugway Proving Ground also served briefly as a training ground for Ranger’s undergoing desert training, but this didn’t last very long and the installation went back to primarily being used for various weapons and rocket testing. The site was chosen in 2004 to try to crash land a NASA spacecraft with a malfunctioning part because of its soil composition.