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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February 2020

Some UXO Woes Are Bigger Than Others

Dear UXOInfo.com Readers,

Without a doubt UXO can pose quite an inconvenience when it shows up in unexpected places. Sometimes that means homes cordoned off or roads shutdown for removal operations, but perhaps one of the most troublesome case ever could soon occur in the Swiss town of Mitholz.

It is here that some 3,500 tons of ammunition from an old WWII armory has become buried under rock. There is a chance that people living and working in the area may have to be evacuated for several years during removal operations! Get more details from our article in this month's newsletter.

We also have an update to an article from last month concerning the Joint Region Marianas Agreement on Guam UXO as well as other UXO finds, some of which present their own unique obstacles. One find leads to a school closure and another creates havoc for wildfire fighters in Hawaii.

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.

Looking forward to spring and the ramping up of the the UXO busy season. Stay stafe and stay in touch - jenna@uxoinfo.com or 443-857-7474.

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.

23 February 2020

Update on the Joint Region Marianas Agreement on Guam UXO

Indian Head, Maryland Last month we reported on an Agreement reached between Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Installations, Energy and Facilities) (DASN (IE&F)) and the Naval Ordnance Safety and Security Activity (NOSSA) to codify a disciplined process for the Commander, Joint Region Marianas (CJRM) to exercise explosive safety principles and accept prudent risk in accordance with established Department of Defense explosive safety criteria.

UXOInfo.com confirmed with the Navy that the memo, which can be downloaded below, is releasable. The memorandum references a revised approach to support the safe, timely, and cost-effective construction on the World War II battlefields of the U.S. Territory of Guam and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

According to the memo, the Guam Munitions Response Explosive Safety Submission (MRESS) Amendment 7 will be submitted by the Department of the Navy to DDESB for approval.

Download the Navy Memo on Guam from UXOInfo.com.

17 February 2020

Father and Son Magnet Fishing Grenade Find

Stamp End, United Kingdom A 50-year-old man and his 13-year-old son pulled a hand grenade from the River Soar while magnet fishing. The two instantly recognized the potential hazard from previous UXO finds while magnet fishing and notified police.

Police, an Army EOD unit, paramedics, firefighters and other agencies responded to dispose of the hand grenade identified as a Mills grenade. A controlled detonation was carried out along the riverbank as the item was reportedly too dangerous to move.

Following the incident, the father posted his find on social media with the following comments: "It could have killed someone! We pulled out a live WW2 mills grenade."

27 February 2020

Fire Fighting Efforts Hindered By UXO

Kaho'olawe Island, Hawaii The Maui Fire Department reported that a fire has scorched approximately 4 square miles of the former U.S. Navy bombing range. Crews were reluctant to battle the fire on the ground due to the potential for UXO across the island. Although a partial clearance was completed in the 1990s, it was limited to about 65% of the island (surface clearance) and about 10% subsurface.

The Kaho'olawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRK) reported that the fire burned a restroom facility and a few vehicles but otherwise did not damage the 26 buildings or the base camp area.

11 February 2020

WWII Era Bomb Found At Construction Site

Soho, United Kingdom Construction workers notified police after discovering an unexploded bomb during excavation activities.

The police responded and evacuated the area as an Army EOD team was called in for technical support. EOD identified the item as a 500kg WWII era bomb (specific type not reported).

The Army EOD team determined the bomb was safe to remove to an off-site location for proper disposal.

09 February 2020

UXO Found On School Grounds

Kent United Kingdom The Crockenhill Primary School and surrounding buildings were evacuated after UXO was found by construction workers near the school's playground. Construction workers notified the police who responded and cordoned off the area. As a safety precaution, the school shut down early for the day and parents were called to pick up their children as police put road closures in place.

A British Army EOD unit was called in to provide technical assistance with the find. EOD safely removed the item from the area for proper safe disposal.

17 February 2020

WWII Munitions Wash Ashore (Again)

Pacific Beach, Washington Police responded to reports of at least 10 rounds of WWII ammunition washing ashore. Police confirmed the ordnance was of military origin and contacted the EOD team from Joint Base Lewis-McChord for technical assistance.

EOD responded and safely disposed of the munitions which included 20mm rounds (exact nomenclatures not reported). Following the incident, the local police searched the immediate area for other ordnance but none was found.

The Sheriff's Office issued a warning to the public not to move, touch or transport any suspect ordnance items found. This is not the first-time munitions were found in the area, last year 20mm rounds were found encased in black sludge that also required EOD support.

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

Range Clearance Is Not EOD's Problem - 1943

Honolulu, Hawaii This month we examine a short series of four memorandums from 1943 to and from Headquarters Hawaiian Department Office of the Ordnance Officer, Fort Shafter and the 3rd Platoon, 232nd Ordnance Company (Bomb Disposal) regarding the use of EOD assets including personnel and equipment for range clearance.

In this short series of memorandums, is an interesting exchange between U.S. Army Commands starting with the instruction for EOD to clear the ranges of "projectiles and fragments" which are to "placed in drums" obtained from the Quartermaster Depot.

EOD responded in typical EOD fashion that "policing of ranges is specifically not; repeat not, a function of the Bomb Disposal Unit" referencing a letter from the A.G. 471.6 dated February 1943 with the subject "Delegation of Bomb Disposal Duties to Commanding Officer of Units and Territories Outside of the Continental Limits of the United States."

The response proved sufficient to get EOD off the hook as the response back stated that the Ordnance Department concurs with the contention from EOD and goes on to state to that a "Bomb Disposal Company are of a highly technical nature, requiring constant study, research, and training, and it is not intended that they be utilized for purpose other than outlined in AG 471.6."

Score one for EOD. This approach holds true today with some exceptions as EOD traditionally focuses on emergency responses and focused UXO missions vs wide scale operational range clearance efforts. In addition, active duty EOD has minimal to no involvement with the DoD Munition Response Program to address UXO on former / past ranges and training areas.

Download the 1943 EOD Range Clearance Memorandums 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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22 February 2020

Ordnance Found on Lava Field

Big Island, Hawaii A civilian exploring the lava fields of Mauna Loa found the aft end of an ordnance sticking out of the lava. Wondering if the ordnance had gone through the wall of the lava tube, the man entered the tube and saw the front end protruding through the ceiling.

After his discovery, the man met with officials from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (CLNR) to report the find and share coordinates. DLNR reported the find to the military for technical support.

The man later told reporters following the find, "I took a photo and some video, then I got out of the immediate area." The man also told reporters that he believed the ordnance was from 1942 when the military used bombs in an attempt to divert the lava flow.

24 February 2020

Residents Warned of Long-Term Evacuations (Years) for UXO Cleanup

Mitholz, Switzerland Residents of a Swiss town may have to abandon their homes for multiple years while Authorities clear out a massive World War II underground weapons cache nearby.

Around 3,500 tons of ammunition remain inside a former armory where a portion of the ammunition cache (approximately 7,000 tons) exploded in 1947, killing nine people and damaging properties. However, most of what's left of the arsenal is now reportedly covered by fallen rocks.

Switzerland's defense ministry reportedly issued a statement to reporters - "Depending on how the work develops, residents should expect the evacuation to last up to more than 10 years." However, the 170 residents will not have to evacuate until 2031 at the earliest, when the preparation work is completed. A contingency plan of covering the whole area with rock and burying the ammunition remains an option, but is neither the preferred choice of authorities nor of residents.

4 February 2020

4,000 Evacuated For Unexploded Bomb

Venice, Italy Nearly 4,000 people were evacuated from the port Marghera during an operation to defuse a WWII-era bomb discovered during sewer line work. The bomb reportedly contained nearly 300 pounds of TNT.

The Italian Army conducted the render safe operation on the bomb before it was transferred to a ship and taken to a remote area in the sea where it was detonated.

All train, bus, boat and air traffic in the area was halted for almost 4-hours during the response.

8 February 2020

Ordnance Found In Basement Carried Out By Construction Worker

Charleston, South Carolina An ordnance item was discovered by a group of electrical workers who were beginning a job in an empty building on Gillion Street. The suspect item was found in a corner of the basement.

Upon the initial discovery, one of the construction workers carried the item to the parking lot before the crew realized the potential danger and called authorities.

City and state investigators responded and examined the device, determined to be military ordnance and they called the Air Force for technical support.

A U.S. Air Force EOD team from Joint Base Charleston responded to the scene and took possession of the shell for safe off-site disposal.

The worker was fortunate that the round turned out to be safe to handle / move but under no circumstances should an un-trained civilian move or handle potential ordnance and/or explosives. Instead, they should have called police or 911 to report the find, which they eventually did but only after moving the item from the building they were working in.

Authorities are unclear at this time how the ordnance ended up in the building or when it was placed in the building.

11 February 2020

Bomb Squad Responds To Carolina Forest for UXO Call

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Horry County police responded to a call concerning a UXO find in the Carolina Forest Area. The police department bomb squad moved the practice bomb found near Planter Place and Carolina Forest Boulevard to a location near Highway 90 where it was safely counter charged.

UXO finds are common in the area as it once served as the Conway Bombing and Gunnery Range during WWII. Although numerous FUDS investigations and clearances have been conducted over the years, UXO finds are common to the area since it was developed decades before the FUDS program existed.

26 February 2020

WWI Hand Grenade Found on Beach

Culver Cliff, United Kingdom A civilian walking the beach spotted an ordnance item in the rocks. The civilian called police who responded along with the Coastguard and a bomb disposal team.

Authorities suspect that the grenade washed ashore in recent storms. A search of the surrounding area was conducted and no other ordnance was found.

The bomb disposal team inspected the item and found that it did not contain any energetic material. The item was removed from the area for proper disposal.


The grenade was identified as a WWI hand grenade, specific type / nomenclature not reported. An HM Coastguard Minehead spokesman told reporters covering the incident, "Once they [bomb disposal crew] were on scene they checked the item over and confirmed that it was a WWI hand grenade, they concluded it no longer had any explosives within it so took the item away to be disposed of accordingly."

Filler Type and Weight
Main Filler - Inert
Propelling charge - Propellant M7 propellant powder 12 grains
Igniter - M20
Body Type and Weight
The rocket body is made from light steel painted blue w/ white markings. The total weight of the rocket is 8.61 lbs.
TM 9-1950, Rockets, July 1950

The M29 3.5 inch rocket is essentially the inert version of the M28 High-explosive rocket except that it is provided with an inert bursting charge and an inert dummy fuze (M405). The 3.5 inches diameter conically shaped inert warhead tapers to 2 inches in diameter at the rear. The rear of inert warhead is threaded internally for attachment of dummy fuze. The rear of the fuze is threaded internally to receive the motor. The inert charge (plaster of paris and stearic acid) weighs 1.82 pounds. The motor consists of a body, closure, trap and spacer assembly, propellant, igniter with electric squib (cap) and leads, nozzle closure (blow out plug), and nozzle and fin assembly.

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