Welcome to UXOInfo.com's free monthly E-Newsletter on Unexploded Ordnance (UXO). UXOInfo.com is the largest site on the Internet for UXO related news and information. If you have not checked out the UXOInfo.com website, we encourage you to do so at www.uxoinfo.com. In addition to bringing you the latest UXO news and information, the UXOInfo.com website also provides the following:

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The UXO E-Newsletter is issued monthly to provide the industry with important news and information related to UXO. For information on how to advertise in future UXO E-Newsletters please email the UXOInfo.com Marketing Coordinator, Ms. Jenna Coven at jenna@uxoinfo.com.

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The UXO E-Newsletter and UXOInfo.com are the copyright of Ordnance Holdings, Inc. (OHI)

Copyright 2016 UXOInfo.com
December 2019

A New Year Brings Renewed Focus

Dear UXOInfo.com Readers,

I hope you had a great Christmas and a relaxing holiday. The New Year will be here soon, so get ready to make those New Year resolutions. For the upcoming New Year, I plan on making some changes and enhancements to the UXOInfo.com website and welcome your suggestions and feedback.

This month we have a variety of articles from the UXO industry, starting with the release of the EPA's report on alternative OB/OD technologies and continuing with stories on ordnance finds from beaches to gardens. Speaking of alternative OB/OD technologies, we also feature an article on Dr. Nzengung, founder of MuniRem Environmental, being named a National Academy of Inventors (NAI) Fellow for his great work in the area of alternative OB/OD technologies.

Our monthly "This Old Ordnance" article features the WII er German 21 cm Mortar Projectile from 1945. As always, we invite our readers to contribute to in the coming months. Contributions and feedback make the UXO E-Newsletter and UXOInfo.com website better for all our readers. To share your own story related to UXO, please contact Rhonda Crowley at rhonda@uxoinfo.com for details on how to submit an article.

Best Regards,

Client Relations Manager
UXOInfo.com / OHI
Phone: (443) 522-2933 ext 1000
Cell: (443) 857-7474
UXOInfo.com is owned and operated by
Ordnance Holdings, Inc. (OHI),
a HUB Zone certified small business.

UXOInfo.com is brought to you by Ordnance Holdings, Inc. (OHI), a Hub Zone certified small business - please keep us in mind to support your next UXO project from consulting and UXO construction support to full-service UXO remediation and removals. For more information on OHI's capabilities and services, please visit our website at www.ordnanceholdings.com. Finally, when it comes to UXO, please remember the 3R's of Recognize, Retreat, Report.

26 December 2019

EPA Releases Long Awaited Report on Alternative OB/OD Technologies

Washington, D.C The EPA finally released its final report on Alternatives To OB/OD of energetic hazardous wastes after studying the topic for nearly two years. The report merely presents an overview of alternative treatment technologies organized by the following categories:

  • case opening technologies for what EPA classifies as thick and thin cased munitions;
  • energetic material removal technologies;
  • energetic material destruction technologies; and
  • decontamination technologies

The report presents information on several specific technologies or approaches within each category that have been used in CONUS or internationally and included technologies that were "widely tested, but had limited success."

The report also included a matrix of the technologies with generic information on each technology including whether or not the technology has been approved by DDESB; the scale of the technology (full, pilot, prototype, or bench); portability (fixed, semi-portable or portable); the applicability to thin-cased munitions, thick-cased munitions, and bulk energetic material; the types of material treated or claimed to be have been treated by the technology developers / vendors; facilities where the technology has been applied; output; and whether or not pre and/or post treatment is required.

Download the EPA's Report on OB/OD alternatives from UXOInfo.com.

UXOInfo.com Editorial

Considering the long wait of almost two years for the release of the report, the results were rather disappointing in terms of the content of the EPA's report on OB/OD alternatives. For the most part, the report was merely a summary of available technologies and in some cases, just an echoing of claims made by technology vendors.

DoD has issued policy, as in the case of the November 2018 Army Memorandum on Open Burning of Waste Material, pledging that efforts will be made reduce the use of OB/OD. The regulatory community plays an important role in the selection and approval of technologies to be utilized at a site. However, the report provides no opinion and/or input on whether or not the EPA approves or disapproves the technologies presented. However, to be fair, the report did state that the "EPA plans to develop additional guidance on how these findings can be applied when considering treatment technologies for energetic hazardous waste, for example, in the permitting process."

The report also does a poor job in relating which technologies are potentially applicable to the UXO industry. Along these lines, the report presents a very simple matrix that lists a Yes or No response based upon "thin-cased munitions" or "thick-cased munitions" which the report defines respectively as:

Thin-case munitions - "items such as small-caliber ammunition, ranging from .22 caliber through .50 caliber (12.7mm), medium caliber munitions (14mm through 40mm direct-fire cartridges), cartridge-actuated devices, propellant-actuated devices, exploding bolts, fuzes, bomblets, booster pellets, detonators, igniters, leads, and numerous other small munitions. They contain approximately 227 g (0.5 lb) or less of energetic material in each item."

Thick-case munitions - "items such as bombs, bomblets, warheads, rocket motors, large and medium projectiles, grenades, mines, sectioned munitions, and missiles. They may contain ~227 g (0.5 lb) to more than 45 kg (100 lb) of energetic material per item."

However, any UXO or EOD technician and they will tell you that a munition casing or body thickness is not merely a function of the amount of energetic filler within the item. There are likely hundreds of types of munitions that have "thin" cases or bodies that have tens or even hundreds of pounds of energetic filler. A more accurate definition or characteristics would have been to look at the actual thickness of the munition body itself (i.e., how much material needs to be cut or breeched to expose the filler) and also the type of material - for example, steel vs sheet metal.

22 December 2019

British Army EOD Responds to Beach Find

West Essex, United Kingdom Police and the Littlehampton Coastguard team were called to Pagham Beach after a member of the public found ordnance item on the beach. The beach was closed while an Army EOD team was dispatched to the site.

The beach was temporarily closed while EOD safety disposed on the UXO identified as a WWII era Naval shell (specific type / nomenclature not reported).

Following the incident, the Littlehampton Coastguard Rescue Team released a public announcement stating that "Ordnance can come in any shape or size. If you find something on the coast that you are unsure of always call 999 and ask for the Coastguard."

10 December 2019

German Torpedo Found in Orkney Islands

Orkney Islands, United Kingdom An unexploded German torpedo was found near the Scapa Flow, a body of water in the Orkney Islands, Scotland, sheltered by the islands of Mainland, Graemsay, Burray, South Ronaldsay and Hoy.

According to reports, Kirkwall Airport, the main airport on the islands, was closed for three hours. The torpedo was discovered near the wreck of the HMS Royal Oak, which was sunk by a German U-boat in October 1939, soon after the start of the WWII. According to the Orkney Islands Council Harbour Authority, the Royal Navy bomb team was quoted as saying that they "will be engaged in the recovery, movement and detonation of a suspected live warhead." No further information has been given at this time.

10 December 2019

UXO Dive Ops Planned for Governor's Island

Governors Island, New York The USACE is planning to conduct an underwater UXO survey and investigation in the waters surrounding Governors Island.

Governors Island formerly served as a recruitment center, supply depot, prison, and supply base where munitions were stored, tested, transported, and used for training and coastal defense. Historical research has cited that munitions may have accidentally fell or been dumped into the waters as vessels were loading and unloading munitions at the piers.


Dive operations will focus around the locations of old, historically significant, piers and other areas around the perimeter of the island. According to Erik Jarger, a project manager with the USACE New York District, dive operations will focus on surveying approximately three acres of the harbor floor, going down to a depth of 30 ft some areas.

9 December 2019

Italian Army Renders Safe WWII Era Bomb

Turin, Italy The Italian Army responded to a find of an unexploded WWII era British bomb at a construction site. A render safe procedure was performed in an approximate 8 foot deep trench.

More than 10,000 people were forced to evacuate the area as technicians removed the detonator from the tail end of the bomb identified as a 500-lb WWII-era British bomb.


Soldiers patrolled the area during the operation to deter looting as flights above Turin were diverted, and the Porta Nuova train station where the bomb was found was temporarily closed.

November 2019

Practical Military Ordnance Identification (2nd Edition)

Author Tom Gersbeck's book - 'Practical Military Ordnance Identification' (2nd edition) focuses on the application of a practical deductive process to identify unknown ordnance items commonly recovered outside military control. In the book, Tom describes a seven-step procedure to identify unknown munitions by their category, group, and type. Detailed logic trees help users narrow down the possibilities in order to accurately identify ordnance. The book also covers safety precautions, describes ordnance construction characteristics, and explains the fundamentals of military ordnance fuzing.

'Practical Military Ordnance Identification' is written for Public Safety Bomb Technicians, SWAT personnel, Explosives Detection Canine (EDC) handlers, emergency management personnel, beach and park patrol units, forensic laboratory staff, Evidence Response Teams (ERT), UXO technicians, Deminers, Coast Guard personnel, archaeologists, all military personnel and other first responders; as well as history enthusiasts, museum employees, and those studying these fields. The easy-to-follow, step-by-step means of applying a practical deductive process to identifying ordnance outlined in this book was written with these professionals in mind.

Order "Practical Military Ordnance Identification" (2nd edition) today from Amazon.com, BN.com, or other online book retailer.

For any queries please contact the author at Tom212021@outlook.com.

UXO-Related History Remembered

German 21 cm Mortar Projectile - 1945

This month we examine the German 21 cm Mortar Projectile as documented in a now declassified memorandum from Headquarters 30ths Ordnance Bomb Disposal Squad from 30 March 1945.

According to the memorandum, several new instances of the German equipment were located including the "new 21 cm Mortar and projectile." The document included a series of photographs that "give all the information that was obtainable." The captured enemy ordnance was described to have "inferior workmanship."

The memorandum also stated "Prisoner of War interrogation reports indicate that a special Battalion was training and just sent to the Western Front for Duty. Judging from the unfinished projectile's appearance, the manufacture of same must have been within a few days of its capture.


According to the Bomb Disposal Squad report, the German 21 cm Mortar Projectile weighed 85 kg with an overall length of 3 feet 10 inches (w/out the fuze). The unfinished steel body was loaded with Amatol or TNT. The fuze markings on the project read "AZ 41 dkt 15" and the fuze has a small window to indicate if it has been accidentally armed.

Download the 1945 Bomb Disposal Memorandum from UXOInfo.com.

If you have any UXO history you would like to share including documents, images, and/or articles for posting, please send them to Rhonda at rhonda@uxoinfo.com.

UXO Support Services by Ordnance Holdings, Inc.(OHI)

Ordnance Holdings, Inc. (OHI) - developer and operator of UXOInfo.com, is a small certified HUB Zone business, specializing in providing UXO, MMRP, and explosives safety related services.

Services provided by OHI include:

For more information on OHI, please visit our recently updated - website or contact OHI's Client Relations Manager, Jenna Perman: (O) 443.522.2933 (C) 443.857.7474 (E) jenna@ordnanceholdings.com.

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MRE's award winning innovative green solutions are delivered to its private industry and government clients by highly qualified, dedicated and driven staff of engineers, scientists and UXO professionals. MuniRem has been applied at diverse Munitions and Explosives of concern (MEC) project sites in the United States and internationally.

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24 December 2019

WWII Era Ordnance Cache Found at Construction Site

Ipoh, Malaysia Construction workers at a Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) railroad site uncovered a large cache of UXO items while doing maintenance work within the train terminal. The workers notified authorities who responded to remove and dispose of the ordnance.

The cache reportedly included 30 - 105mm shells, 29 - anti-personnel landmines and 30 - 7.62mm bullets. All the items were WWII era.


The items were safely transported to a shooting range where they were safely disposed of through an open detonation shot. The area where the cache was found is believed to have been used previously by the British to store munitions during the war.

December 2019

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The service is free and open to all UXO Technicians. To sign up please complete the on-line form or simply text UXOINFO to 22828.

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Test to Sign
4 December 2019

Man Pulls More Than Weeds From UK Garden

Plymouth, United Kingdom Jamie Williams was shocked when he pulled out a UXO from friend's garden with his bare hands.

Luckily he realized the danger the item presented as he recognized it from history lessons at school.

According to reports, Williams said, "I pulled it out of the skip with my hands and I thought it was a lump of metal or a brick. I looked at it and knew straight away what it was and put it on the wall."

He then called the police who cordoned off the area before Royal Navy EOD arrived to safely remove the unidentified device.

14 December 2019

UGA Professor Named National Academy of Inventors Fellow

Athens, 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 is the 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."

According to NAI, the NAI Fellows Program honors academic inventors "...who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society. Election to NAI Fellow status is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors."


An induction ceremony for the new NAI Fellows will be held during the NAI annual meeting which is being held April 10, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce and Deputy Director at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Laura Peter, will keynote the event.

20 December 2019

That's No Cow Pie, Farmer Discovers WWII UXO

Agana Heights, Guam When a farmer found a WWII era UXO on his property, he decided the best thing to do was to place it in a cardboard box and bring it to the Agana Heights Mayor's Office. He left the item in the parking out of the mayor's office which was also in close proximity to a gym, a senior citizen's center, and an elementary school.

Upon learning of the present left by the farmer, the police responded to investigate. The police notified the Offices of Guam Homeland Security and cordoned off the area. Since it was military UXO, the police call military for support. A U.S. Navy EOD was dispatched to safely remove and dispose of the item.

According to reports the farmer found the UXO "because his cows were stepping on it." It's unknown if the farmer has been charged by police for his actions.

26 December 2019

Bomb Squad Turns To Social Media To Warn Public About UXO

Heybrook Bay, United Kingdom A bomb squad was dispatched to a beach near Plymouth after a member of the Plymouth Coastguard Rescue Team walking a public trail spotted a UXO. Concerned that the item was there for quite some time just steps away from a public trail, Authorities decided to use the find as an opportunity to remind the public about the hazards of UXO.

Taking to Social Media, the bomb squad posted pictures of the item describing that the "rusty-looking tube" was actually ordnance and was likely walked past repeatedly by countless visitors for some time before it was identified as a potentially dangerous item.


The postings also included the following notice - "We would like to remind public to report any suspicious objects around the coast which could possibly be ordnance. If you spot an item which concerns you please remain at a safe distance, take photos if possible and call 999 for the Coastguard."

25 December 2019

Beach Temporarily Closed After Boy Finds Evidence of Munitions

Coylumbridge, United Kingdom A 7-year old boy and his parents got the scare of a lifetime after the young man deployed his new Christmas gift, a metal detector, at the busy Loch Morlich beach. According to his father, "we had just gone to the beach to try the metal detector out. Patrick's first find was an old ring pull, then a metal bottle top."

The father continued his recap of the events - "A few minutes later he came across a very high reading which nearly went off the scale on the detector. He started digging and, not far down, he was finding pieces of wood and then metal hinges." A little bit more digging exposed a WW II era bomb warning sign. After that, his father thought it was "time to stop digging and call the police."


The police responded and closed down a large portion of the beach which was packed with tourists and locals out for a Christmas Day walk. Police took photos of the items and sent them to the Bomb Disposal Squad in Edinburgh. After a lengthy discussion between the police and the bomb squad they decided the site was safe. The area was re-opened and the police let the boy keep the vintage sign.

The father described the incident to reporters as "a really exciting first use of Patrick's new Christmas present." And what did the 7-year-old Patrick think of the incident? "This is the best Christmas present I've ever had. What a great day."

60 mm Mortar M302A2 (WP Smoke)
Filler Type and Weight

.75 lbs of White Phosphorus (WP)

Body Type and Weight
The 60 mm M 302A2 Mortar has a forged steel body. The older version was gray w/ yellow band and yellow markings while the new (current) version is light green w/ yellow band and red markings.
TM43-0001-28, April 1994

The 60mm M302A2 mortar has a thin walled body which is internally threaded to accept the fuze and designed to hold the casing of the burster assembly. One of 2 types of burster assemblies can be used, differing only in construction of the steel burster casing. On impact the point detonating fuze functions igniting the burster charge which ruptures the shell and disperses the WP filler. The WP burns producing heavy white smoke in the air.

Reporting Period: 1-30 November 2019
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