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"WWII Bomb Ready to Blow!" Topic

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664 hits since 27 Feb 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian27 Feb 2019 9:38 p.m. PST

In what must be a nerve-wracking but nevertheless fun assignment, ordnance-disposal experts were due on Wednesday to detonate a 1,000-pound, World War II-vintage aerial bomb unearthed in Prachuap Khiri Khan…


Personal logo Narratio Supporting Member of TMP28 Feb 2019 12:01 a.m. PST

I live in Thailand when not working in places like Kazakhstan. I was talking to my daughter about it. She has some great TV pics of a bomb tech wearing full on body armour actually prepping the detonation while two of the brown shirt police stand looking over his should and handing him tools.

Hysterical laughter from me.

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP28 Feb 2019 5:39 a.m. PST

If it was a 1000 pounder, the tech's body armor wasn't going to do him any more good than polices' brown shirts :) If you are going to be blown to bits, you might as well be comfortable.

skipper John Supporting Member of TMP28 Feb 2019 7:44 a.m. PST

If it was going to "blow" wouldn't it have done so when they dropped it from 5,000 feet?

Personal logo Andrew Walters Supporting Member of TMP28 Feb 2019 8:54 a.m. PST

If the detonator fails the explosives are still explosives. And after 70 years they may be inert explosives or they may be very unstable explosives.

The body armor will be beyond meaningless if a 1000 lbs of high explosives go off. A block away it would be meaningless. But not all thousand pounds may still be viable. If 1% of that is still able to react you might have just the right amount of body armor. Provided the 1% is not all in the same place.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP28 Feb 2019 9:02 a.m. PST

My dad was stationed in the Philippines in the 70s and he said that you would see scrappers banging on recovered ordnance with hammers trying to separate the projectile from the shell. Sometimes they went Boom!

Legion 428 Feb 2019 9:19 a.m. PST

Yeah, probably a good idea not to mess with old ordinance … It can still go boom ! When you least expect it.

When I was on the DMZ in the ROK, '84 & '85. There was still minefields left over from the war. Cleary marked and blocked of with barbwire, etc.

One hot summer day a local ROK farmer was wandering around in his fields near the DMZ. He found one. Blew the back of his foot off. We had to go in and Medevac him. That mine had been probably there since the end of the war in '53. He probably may have even walked thru there before. But … Bleeped text happens.

Mark 128 Feb 2019 2:07 p.m. PST

Let us remember that it is described as a 1,000lb bomb, not 1,000 of explosives.

A USAF or USN general purpose 1,000lb bomb would probably have about half it's weight in explosives (TNT or Amatol). A Semi-AP bomb would probably have less than 1/3 if it's weight in explosives, while a naval AP or an airforce deep-penetrator bomb would more likely have 10-15%.

But none of those tidbits of information would make one lick of difference to how well body armor protects you if it detonates under your finger-tips.

However it might make a difference if you were in full body armor a block away.

Yeah, I'm more in the brown shirted helpers mode. Don't feel compelled to spending 20 minutes suiting up in the tropics (whether raining or sunny) for the purpose of ensuring they can recover most of an arm if something goes wrong.

Your mileage may vary.

(aka: Mk 1)

Lion in the Stars28 Feb 2019 4:57 p.m. PST

Bet the techs were more upset they couldn't blow that in place…

Because to hell with digging out a bomb, picking it up, moving it, and blowing it up elsewhere!

Legion 401 Mar 2019 7:55 a.m. PST

Let us remember that it is described as a 1,000lb bomb, not 1,000 of explosives.
Of course, very true but when it comes to "playing" with live ordinance, old or new … It could still go boom ! huh?

But none of those tidbits of information would make one lick of difference to how well body armor protects you if it detonates under your finger-tips.
E.g … As a very young, very "foolish" 2LT. I crawled over to some demo that I didn't think the pull fuse was "pulled" hard enough. Fortunately it was not and I pulled it and threw it as far as I could. BOOOM !

However, it could have just been a slow burning malfunctioning fuse, etc. As you get a little more "experienced" you normally wouldn't take that risk. If you didn't have to. It could have been pulled but for some reason didn't go off until you picked it up and started moving it around … huh?

When in doubt call EOD and have them blow it in place …

Mark 101 Mar 2019 11:23 a.m. PST

As a very young, very "foolish" 2LT. I crawled over to some demo …

Not quite as close to home (not under MY fingertips, or toes, as it were), but …

Some years ago I hosted a "welcome home soldier" party for a young LT just returned from a tour commanding a tank platoon in Iraq (fellow now known as "the Chieftain" on YouTube).

Along with all the BBQ and beer, there was also a fair bit of sharing of stories and experiences, and our guest of honor led his story-telling off with a fairly expansive collection of personal photos.

In one of the photos he showed a landmine, only half buried. It was his cue to describe how they had to maintain continuous observation around the perimeter, and in particular along the directions of egress outside the gates of their compound, and how they had to conduct detailed recce of the ground after every case where local traffic passed by and (more particularly) stopped or delayed in passing by.

OK, fine. But Nick, is that the toe of YOUR BOOT 2 inches from the edge of the mine in that pic? Did you actually stand OVER an explosive device and take pictures, within view of the locals???

Yeah, young LTs …

(aka: Mk 1)

Legion 402 Mar 2019 8:33 a.m. PST

Yeah … Bleeped text happens … evil grin

Years later as a very senior CPT, old fart I was issued some explosives I had never used/seen before. I told the MAJ, that I had never seen those devices before. I'm sure I could make them blown up. But would rather not to be on the safe side. He agreed, and we turned them back in. grin

Also very nice you had a welcome home party for a Vet. thumbs up

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