Galesville, Wisconsin Construction workers discovered an old artillery round during excavations. The workers notified the police who evacuated the area while members of a bomb squad from the 934th Airlift Wing in Minneapolis X-rayed on the shell.
The round, identified as 75 mm US projectile (exact type not reported) was determined to be live. The severely deteriorated round was safely moved to a secure area for disposal through open detonation.
Dover, Delaware A fisherman was hospitalized with second-degree burns when a UXO became lodged in his crew's fishing net. The round, apparently filled with mustard agent, also led to the eventual destruction of some 700 cases of chowder which were on board at the time. The man was treated at a Philadelphia hospital for burns and blisters, injuries consistent with mustard agent exposure.
Reports indicate that the crew of the fishing vessel the William Lee found what appeared to be an old ordnance canister earlier this month. They threw it back into the ocean 30 miles east of Barnegat Inlet. Despite the fishererman's injuries, it was not reported to the Department of Environmental Protection until a week later. The boat was then impounded in Atlantic City, New Jersey for inspection, but no hazardous materials were found.
Pembrokeshire, United Kingdom The Llansteffan Coastguard responded to Saundersfoot beach to reports that a UXO had been found buried in the sand. The Royal Navy Bomb Disposal Unit then responded to detonate the item in place after clearing the area. The exact type of UXO was not reported.
Singapore A barge carrying sand for land replenishment found an unwelcomed passenger aboard a UXO measuring in over six-feet-long. The ordnance is believed to have been carried over from Vietnam, which supplied the sand. It was found on board the vessel KNB 1, a delivery barge that loads sand from another vessel before discharging it at the project site, port terminal in Tuas.
While the barge was discharging the sand, the war relic was discovered as it became caught between the hatch and a conveyor belt that carried the sand. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Police Coast Guard were alerted to the incident and a safety zone was established around the site of the barge. The Singapore Armed Forces EOD team advised that the barge be moved from the site to Sudong Explosive Anchorage, which is a designated anchorage for the loading or discharging of dangerous goods.
Lancing Beach, United Kingdom Two unexploded WWII munitons (type not reported) will be detonated in a controlled explosion this week off the coast of Lancing Beach. The UXO was found during construction of the Rampion offshore wind farm. The items, found at a depth of 13 meters during an earlier conducted UXO survey.
Salcombe, United Kingdom A Royal Navy bomb disposal team was called to the area of Rickham Sands after tourists spotted what they thought was a UXO partially buried in the sand.
Selsey, United Kingdom The crew of dredging vessel 'Arco Dee' made an unusual discovery while off-loading their vessel in Shoreham Harbor - a UXO. The Captain of the dredger called the Coastguard to report the find. A response team from the Littlehampton coastguard rescue squad was dispatched to the scene along with the Sussex Police.
Since the item was military ordnance, the Royal Navy Southern Diving Group was called to respond. The UXO was identified by the Royal navy team as a 3-inch WWII era British shell. The team successfully disposed of the ordnance item without incident.
Chatham, Massachusetts The Massachusetts State Police sent a bomb technician to the home of a man who brought a suspected explosive device home from a Chatham beach. The item was identified as a WWII practice bomb. Officials remind the public if you come across any suspicious item to leave it in place and call 911.
The following is the first in a series of articles by Guest Author Robert "Dale" Woosley who will share his experiences while stationed at the Theodore Navy Magazine, Alabama in the early years following the end of WWII.
I was stationed at the Theodore Navy Magazine from about January, 1946 through May, 1946, having been dismissed from radio and radar school as the ending of WWII reduced the need for virtually all Navy operators. The Magazine consisted of a base facility and a munitions storage area located about two miles from the base, surrounded by dense woods and swampy areas and was located about six miles from Mobile, on an asphalt farm-to-market road. The munitions storage area consisted of a large number of metal igloos on concrete slab floors, sunk about half way under ground level (for temperature stability) and joined by a network of rails for conventional boxcars. Most of the igloos could not be reached except by rail. They were almost of constant temperature year round.
At the time I was there, the base cadre consisted of seven officers and about 35 enlisted men. Some of the officers lived in Mobile and were picked up each morning by our school bus, but there was always the Officer-of-the-Day (OOD) on post. The mission of Theodore was to serve as a staging point for ammunition to be destroyed or sent to another facility. During WWII, merchant ships had Armed Guard Crews aboard to man 3 or 5 inch guns against enemy attack. With the war ending, these crews and armament were taken off merchant ships and the guns shipped to a Navy Arsenal somewhere and the ammunition was shipped to a magazine; Theodore was such a magazine. Most shells up to 5 inches were filled with smokeless powder and had an expiration date; Theodore processed those.