Memorial Day - Remembering Those Who Served

Memorial Day is not about a day off, a trip to the beach, or the beginning of summer. It is about honoring those brave men and women who made our freedom possible.

UXOInfo.com thanks all who have served our country, especially the EOD Technicians who have one of the most dangerous jobs in the military.

Please remember those who have served, are currently serving, and the families and friends who lost love ones in the line of duty.

Thank you EOD.

Grenade Launcher Explosion Ruled An Accident

Bacolod City, Philippines An explosion inside the shop of the EOD Battalion of the Philippine Army at the Negros Occidental Provincial Police Office compound in Bacolod City which killed one soldier and wounded another has been ruled an accident. Technical Sergeant Joven Maravilla and Corporal Erlwin Trases were conducting a demilitarization procedure of an M203 grenade launcher when it exploded.

Both men were taken to a hospital where Maravilla was pronounced dead. Trases suffered multiple wounds and the loss of his right hand.

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Fallen EOD Technicians Added to the Memorial - WWII and Present

Eglin Air Force Base, Florida The names of seven military EOD Technicians who died in WWII have been added to the EOD Memorial in a ceremony at the Navy's EOD School. The names, located after an extensive search of DoD records, join 314 others already inscribed on the wall.

The seven WWII EOD memorialized include:

  • Army Pfc. Laurence Paystrup, who was killed May 26, 1943, in Tunisia;
  • Army Sgt. Ira Wiggins, who died May 27, 1943, while during military operations in Tunisia;
  • Army Capt. Frederick Dillon, who was lost with his aircraft somewhere between Algiers and Tunisia on Oct. 10, 1943;
  • Army 1st Lt. Steven Todorovich, who was aboard the same aircraft as Dillon;
  • Marine Corps Cpl. Clellie Whited Jr., who was killed by enemy fire on March 3, 1945;
  • Navy Lt. j.g. Alvin Vetter, who was killed on D-Day, June 6, 1944;
  • Navy Lt. j.g. John Fezler, who died when the plane he was aboard headed for Papua New Guinea disappeared on Oct. 1, 1944.

Also added to the EOD Memorial was Justin Helton, an Army EOD Technician killed in Afghanistan on June 9, 2014.

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Building a Border Yields Hidden Mortar

Jacksonville, Florida The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office (JSO) Bomb Squad responded to a home in South Metro when a 19-year-old resident discovered a suspect munition while doing yard work. Six homes were evacuated while they investigated the property which once belonged to a retired JSO bomb technician who had previously been arrested on explosives charges.

The 19-year-old, niece of the retired tech, recently moved into the home and pulled up the mortar round while digging up bricks to make a border in the yard. Technicians determined the ordnance to be a practice round and removed it. They searched the home for additional explosives but did not find anything.

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Congressional Oversight of Army EOD Program

Washington, D.C. The House of Representatives Armed Services Committee released a report on H.R. 1735, National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2016 which included language regarding the oversight of the Army's EOD program. The report "recognizes the importance of the Army EOD force as a unique and highly technical enabler" and also the importance of Army EOD's role in supporting of civilian law enforcement authorities in contingency scenarios.

Over concerns that the Army has not cleared identified future capacity and capability requirements for its EOD force, the Committee has requested a briefing by December 1, 2015 to include:

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UXO Hampers Firefighting Efforts

Perth, Australia Firefighters fighting a fire near Two Rocks have decided to avoid an area suspected of containing UXO due to potential explosive hazards. The area, once used for military training, is not developed and no homes or properties are considered at risk.

Firefighter instead are waiting and watching the fire from a distance until it moves into areas not suspected of containing UXO. Nearly 40 firefighters have responded so far and several roads in and around the vicinity of Two Rocks have been closed.

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Man Keeps Found Munition For Three Years

Jackson, Georgia A local resident dropped off an old artillery shell he had sitting in his house to the High Falls Fire station. The station called the Monroe County Sheriff's Office to respond who responses along with the Bibb County Bomb Disposal Unit. The man told authorities that he found the ordnance while digging for a sewer line approximately three years earlier.

It's unknown why the man decided to keep the munition in his house and what prompted him to finally turn over the munitions. The exact type of munition was not reported but the bomb squad secured the munitions as they awaited the arrival of the military to further examine and dispose of the ordnance.

Sea Mine Sparks Alert on Scottish Coast

Ardrossan, Scotland The Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Team was called in to examine a suspected sea mine that washed up on Scotland's west coast. Police cordoned off the area and sent images of the device to EOD at the Faslane Naval Base for assessment.

The munition was determined to be a practice mine and not dangerous to the public. According to a statement from the coastguard, "Arrangements were made for the object to be recovered by the Royal Navy in due course with Coastguard Incident tape placed around the object to mitigate any future callouts prior to its recovery."

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