Historic Headlines (August 1945)  The Reason Behind the Lack of Media Coverage on Bomb Disposal Act

Ever wonder why there is not more media coverage and stories posted on the heroic actions of bomb disposal technicians during times of war? This news story from the Burlington North Carolina Daily Times-News dated Monday August 27, 1945 provides a good reason why.

"Air Technical Service Command in Europe. Four years ago, English reporters took pictures of a British officer sitting astride an unexploded German block-buster as he unscrewed the bomb fuze. Ten days later, British bomb disposal crews suddenly began to disappear. The alert Germans, seeing that the British were voiding their bombs by unscrewing the fuze, had set traps in the fuze chambers.

From that day, slightly over four years ago, until now [August 1945], no story on the disposal of unexploded bombs was allowed to leave the European Theater of Operations. The British had learned their lesson the hard way, but they had learned it well.

On the morning after one of those heaviest raids of the blitz, Captain Price took his satchel of tools and went out into a field to defuse a 1,000 lb block-buster. The bomb, which had failed to penetrate the ground, was pointing due east, so the rays of the low morning sun struck it flush on the nose. Capt Price deftly unscrewed the detonating fuze and pulled it out. As the sun was shining squarely into the socket, he noticed a strange gadget. It had a striker or firing pin poised and ready to plunge. He looked again. A Microscope particle of iron filling was blocking the striker.

Reaching into his satchel for a bottle of quick setting denial cement. Capt Price cautiously poured it into the cavity. In a few minuets, the German trap which had cost the lives of many bomb disposal crews was frozen in solid cone of strong cement."

The story was extracted from a newspaper article posted in The Burlington NC Daily Times-News dated Monday 27 August 1945. A copy of the article was found at the National Archives and is available for viewing by selecting the download link below.

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