Man Thinks Twice About Keeping UXO He Found in Trash

Oceanside, California A curious man reportedly found an ordnance item in a public trash bin and decided to bring the item home. After having second thoughts, the man wised up and called police to report the find.

Police responded with technical support from EOD out of Marine Corps Base (MCB) Camp Pendleton to safely remove the item from the house. Nearby homes were evacuated and roads closed during the response. EOD identified the ordnance as a 40 mm projectile.

An investigation is underway to determine how the ordnance ended up in the trash bin in the first place.

Post WWII Clearance Operations (Pre-FUDS Program History)

Research at the National Archives II in College Park, MD provides an interesting insight as to the efforts of the U.S. Army at the end of WWII in the clean-up efforts on former training ranges. In a series of letters generated in April of 1945, the US Army Chief of Engineers established three specialized Bomb and Shell Disposal Squads to be trained in the detection, location and disposal of military munitions on various training installations that were used during the War. Initial training would be conducted at the Engineer School at Fort Belvoir, VA with follow-on training at the Ordnance School at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD.

Three squads were formed, consisting of one officer and six enlisted. Records indicate that the detachments were organized as the 9800th Technical Support Units Detachments 6th, 7th, and the 14th. Historical records of the 14th recovered from the National Archives provide an accurate historical listing of the actions took place from 1946 to 1948. Documents include individual reports of clearance operations conducted, inventories of munitions recovered, and destroyed maps and photographs of work conducted.

Among the inventory lists of recovered/destroyed munitions include the following for Camp Claiborne, Louisiana in 1946:

  • 57, 105, and 155mm projectiles
  • 60 and 81mm mortars
  • 100 pound practice bombs
  • Smoke pots & Grenades
  • TNT and Nitrostarch Blocks
  • German Mine Fuzes
  • Cans and sticks of Black Power
  • Dutch Mushroom AT Mines

A detailed written record of the methodology that was utilized during the range operations indicates that the methods and procedures that were used in 1946 involved the use of German POW's as sweepers. Today the USACE FUDS Program relies on the use of civilian UXO contractors.


Husband's Bomb Collection Prompts 911 Call

Allentown, Pennsylvania Concerned about her husband's WWII ammo collection, a Pennsylvania woman finally called 911. The Allentown Bomb Squad responded to deal with reports of a "pineapple grenade" among his collection of war artifacts.

The woman allegedly reported the grenade out of concerns her elderly husband's safety. He has symptoms of dementia, and though he had stored the grenade in a safe, she feared it might detonate.

The bomb squad identified the round as an inert MK II hand grenade. Although the munition did not pose a hazard, the wife asked them to remove the grenade from the house for proper disposal.

Beachgoers Threatened By A Potential Whale of An Unexploded Bomb

Motpellier Beach, France Authorities are concerned that a 15-ton dead whale that washed ashore could explode at anytime due to gases forming inside the carcass as it decays. One option under consideration to control the threat is to conduct an "open detonation" procedure using commercial demolition explosives. In this scenario, the whale carcass would be first towed out to sea a safe distance from the beach before rigging explosives to destroy the carcass.


Honoring Our Nation's EOD Veterans proudly honors our Nation's Veterans who have bravely served in the military. We would especially like to thank and recognize the EOD Veterans for all of their courage and sacrifices made to mitigate explosives safety threats from IEDs and UXO worldwide. You are true heroes and we salute you - Happy Veteran's Day.

Grenade Found In Basement of Grandma's House

Albion, New York A contractor cleaning out a house recently vacated by an elderly woman who lived in the house for the past 90 years found a hand grenade in the basement. The contractor called the police who responded with the Monroe County Bomb Squad. The bomb squad identified the grenade as a live WWII era grenade.

The bomb Squad safely removed the grenade from the house for proper disposal. Authorities believe that the grenade was brought home as a souvenir from a relative of the woman who served during the war.

Battle Area Clearance (BAC): Guadalcanal

By: Tom Gersbeck, CWO (Ret) USMC, EOD. Written on the efforts of Mark Lasley, MGySgt (Ret) USMC, EOD.

The Battle for the Solomon Islands began on 7 August, 1942 when allied forces, predominantly U.S. Marines, landed on the Japanese held islands of Guadalcanal, Tulagi, and Florida. The fighting officially ended on 9 February 1943 after three (3) major land battles, seven (7) major Naval battles; as well as thousands of day and night raids, ship-to-shore bombardments, aerial engagements and other combat actions. The results of a very successful 3-year training effort on the Guadalcanal is the focus of this article. Specifically the efforts of 13 members of the Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF) from May 2011 through April 2014.

The Island of Guadalcanal is located in the Solomon Island chain, northeast of Australia (Figure 1). During the battle for this island; which raged for 6 months, over 30,000 men were killed. When the fighting ended, Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) and Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) that was not in the way was simply left in place; while anything obstructing construction was buried, moved out of the way or dumped in the ocean. Over the next 9 months, an area in the north central part of the island, designated "Hell's Point" was converted into a massive ammunition storage area capable of supplying Allied Forces throughout the South Pacific (Figure 2).

In November 1943 a grass fire burned into the Hell's Point Storage Area with catastrophic results. Three days of massive explosions resulted in Hell's Point being so badly contaminated with damaged ordnance that everyone living or working on Guadalcanal was restricted from entering this section of the island; these restrictions are still in place.



Cape Town, South Africa The ex-wife of former South African Air Force EOD technician, Piet Kunneke, is speaking out about a crate of illegal military ordnance which she claims has been following her family around South Africa for the past several years. The box contained items allegedly plundered from the military during her ex-husband's two decades of service. The box has moved three different times with family, but today has found a new home with authorities.

Kunneke was finally arrested last week after reports indicated he was planning to turn the stockpile to a far-right extremist group. His ex-wife said that she did not know they were breaking any laws by storing the items as her ex-husband reportedly told her that he had a license to do so as an EOD technician.

Police confiscated the items and charged Kunneke with possession of explosives and ammunition, having more than 200 rounds of ammunition, and storage of explosives and ammunition on his property.

Live Round Found at Salvage Yard

Pocatello, Idaho The Mountain Home Air Force base EOD was called to dispose of an unexploded round found in a metal container at a salvage yard. Workers discovered the live 20mm shell and notified the Pocatello Fire Department who set up a 100-foot perimeter around the container.

The 20mm round is the same type of shell used by Air Force F-15 combat jets, which are equipped with a 20mm Gatling cannon. It is unclear how UXO ended up in the metal container at the salvage yard. No injuries were reported.

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