Japanese Grenade Parts Transformed from Trash to Treasure

Kawagoe, Japan What was once a desperate measure of wartime ingenuity has become art to some Japanese citizens. Residents in an area just outside of Tokyo have transformed ceramic grenade casings into flower vases and garden decor.

When iron supplies began to run low during WWII, Japan's military ordered potters across the country to make grenades. Today, thousands of the ceramic casings litter Kawagoe city's Kugedo neighborhood, where a one such munitions factory made the grenades for the imperial armed forces.


Boy Finds Fuze While Metal Detecting

Burnham-on-Sea, England A 12-year-old boy metal detecting got the surprise of his life when he found an old artillery fuze. The boy described the incident to reporters covering the story:

"This is the fuse that I found whilst I was out metal detecting in a field in Mark. It is dated 1916 and was shot out of a cannon."

"We called the Police and they sent out two officers in a van who took me in the vehicle to show them where I dug it up."

"The sergeant went through the hole and luckily found nothing further. When we got back, the police sent pictures to the Army and they deemed it safe and that I could keep it."

Former Crane Employee Charged With Stashing Ammo In Basement

Loogootee, Indiana The U.S. Attorney for Southern Indiana reports a federal grand jury has returned an indictment on Timothy L. Guy, 74, Loogootee, charging him with possession of stolen U.S. government property including over 10,000 rounds ammunition.

Guy had worked at the Army Ammunition Activity Center at Crane for 38 years. The munitions, allegedly stolen from work, were found in Guy's basement. Police as well as the ATF and the Crane EOD unit supported the removal and disposal of the ammunition.

If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 on each count. He is also facing a federal possession of child pornography count. That penalty is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Review of Practical Military Ordnance Identification (2nd Edition)

Article by John Ismay in the NY Times:

In my experience, when it comes to technical information, there are really just two kinds of bomb technicians. There's most of us, who are content to know enough about munitions to keep us out of trouble, but who depend heavily on technical data for support when confronted by unknown ordnance. Then there are those rare technicians who love the intricate details of munitions variants and fuzes; and who can name the most obscure bits of ordnance trivia, and happily argue incessantly over details.

Practical Military Ordnance Identification, Second Edition, is a book for the rest of us. It provides a common sense, systematic method for people confronted by unknown ordnance (and without access to professional military assistance and technical publications) to help them identify what they have and how to deal with it safely.

I bought the original edition of this book, liked it and found it very useful. In this second edition, Tom Gersbeck and Daniel Evers give us even more technical details, additional information on explosives and suggestions for added safety. If you are in the public safety arena and need information to help you identify unknown munitions, you can't do better than this book.

The most obvious difference between the editions is the binding. The original used standard book binding and this new edition uses a spiral wire binding. For me, and most of the people I have asked, we all love the spiral binding. You can lay the book down open to the page you want without it constantly trying to close itself. You can fold the book in half, without risking breaking the binding and potentially losing pages. For me, the spiral binding makes this a much more functional tool. I bet you will like it too.


Stolen Military Ordnance Mysteriously Appears

Atlanta, Georgia A homeowner saw some debris behind one of his bushes in his back lawn. Upon investigation, the man found a green, metal box inside a pink pillowcase. When he pulled out the metal box for a closer look, he noticed the words stenciled on the box - "cartridges for weapons."

The man notified the police who responded and identified the rounds as linked 40mm rounds for a MK 19 grenade launcher. Police notified the local bomb squad as they evacuated several nearby homes in the area. The bomb squad notified the military and a team from Dobbins Air Reserve Base responded and took possession of the grenades for disposal. Apparently, no evidence was collected from the box such as fingerprints.

Using the lot numbers from the munitions, investigators determined that the armor-piercing (AP) grenades were last accounted for on an ammunition train that left Marine Corps Support Facility in Jacksonville, FL on route to Letterkenny Army Depot, Pennsylvania. The train, operated by CSX, contained 18 connex boxes of munitions each with an orange sign warning "Explosives" on its side.


Better Safe than Sorry When it Comes to UXO

Brighstone, United Kingdom The Needles Coastguard Rescue Team and bomb disposal experts were called in when a person reported what appeared to be a mine washed up on a beach in the West Wight. Local EOD were sent a photo of the object and confirmed that it was not a mine and was safe to remove.


Homeless Shelter Moved Due To UXO

Santa Rosa, California Government officials have decided against housing a homeless encampment on a parking lot near the Sonoma County Airport due to the potential for UXO as the parking lot is located within the former site of the WWII-era Santa Rosa Army Airfield.

In the early eighties, the area was a hotbed of development and in 1982, ampules from CAIS kits were discovered by construction crews during the digging of a sewer line. Further development in the area uncovered dozens more items.

Due to the concerns for more CAIS and the possibility for UXO in the area, city officials opted not to take the risk and decided to relocate the homeless encampment elsewhere.

UGA Professor Named National Academy of Inventors Fellow

Athen, Georgia Dr. Valentine Nzengung, a Professor of Environmental Geochemistry at the University of Georgia, has been named a National Academy of Inventors (NAI) Fellow.

Dr. Nzengung, founder of MuniRem Environmental, a company which provides innovative green remediation technologies and services for soil, buildings and equipment that have been contaminated with explosive residues.

"This is a humbling endorsement of the applied research I have focused on as a faculty member at the University of Georgia," said Dr. Nzengung. "I never thought of the solutions to environmental problems that I have developed as deserving of this very high level of recognition. My focus has been and remains developing and applying innovative solutions that benefit human health and our environment."


Thank You Veterans

Dear UXOInfo.com Readers

On this Memorial Day, UXOInfo.com would like everyone to remember the great service and the sacrifices made by the men and woman who have served or are currently serving to keep our country safe. Thank you for your service. In the words of President Ronald Reagan:

"Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world. A veteran does not have that problem."

We especially like to thank those who have served or are currently serving in EOD and remember those who paid the ultimate price for our Freedom.



UXOInfo.com / OHI
Client Relations Manager

School Evacuated Over Ordnance Concerns

Wells, United Kingdom Police were called to Alderman Peel High School following reports that a student brought ordnance which he found on the beach to school. After seeing what was described as a corroded cylindrical metal object about 5 inches in length that looked suspicious, the principal evacuated the school and called the police.

Police called in an EOD team to investigate the item. EOD confirmed that the item was not hazardous and the school was re-opened to students. Police did remove the item from the school and thanked school officials for calling them to report the find. The police did states that the student had not acted maliciously, but rather brought in his beach find to "show his friends."

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