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WW2 Bomb Recovered On California Beach

WW2 Bomb Recovered On California Beach

World War 2 News

WWII-Era U.S. Navy Practice Bomb Recovered from California Beach

In a surprising discovery following a series of powerful storms along the California coast, a WWII-era U.S. Navy practice bomb was found on the shores of Parajo Dunes, situated between Santa Cruz and Monterey. The Santa Cruz County Sheriff bomb team was called to the scene on New Year’s Eve after the artifact, a remnant from a bygone era, was brought ashore by massive ocean waves.

Discovery and Response

The aged bomb, covered in rust and sea debris, was located on the sands of the picturesque beach. The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, upon examining the bomb, concluded it was an inert military ordnance. In their official Facebook post, the office stated that their bomb team had deemed the item safe and subsequently arranged for its removal from the beach.

Travis Air Force Base personnel, located approximately 140 miles northeast of the discovery site, were later involved in collecting the historical artifact. According to a spokesperson from the base, a thorough visual inspection and X-ray scan were conducted, confirming that the bomb was free of explosives and safe for transportation.

Historical Context

The practice bomb, identified as a U.S. WWII era Navy model Mk 15, Mod 2, is now retained with Travis Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) to prevent future safety concerns. While artifacts of war like bombs, grenades, and mines are uncommon on U.S. shores, unlike in European and Asian countries heavily bombarded during WWII, their discovery still poses a risk of detonation, as noted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Prevalence and Dangers of Unexploded Munitions

The U.S. Navy’s EOD Detachment previously uncovered an underwater field of discarded munitions off Oahu, Hawaii’s coast in 2002. Moreover, in 2020, military personnel addressed the danger by detonating two 100-pound WWII-era gravity bombs and removing additional ordnance near Lanikai Beach, Oahu. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has identified over 400 underwater environments used as defense sites across the country, leading to numerous findings of unexploded ordnances.

Legislative Actions

The practice of disposing unexploded munitions in oceans, once a globally accepted method, was halted by the Department of Defense in 1970. Subsequently, in 1972, Congress enacted the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act, prohibiting the disposal of munitions and other pollutants in marine environments.

Health and Environmental Concerns

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has highlighted that exposure to military munitions can lead to serious health hazards, including fatalities and severe injuries. The risks extend to chemical exposures and the effects of chemical warfare agents.

The recovery of the WWII-era U.S. Navy practice bomb serves as a stark reminder of the lingering remnants of past conflicts and the ongoing efforts to address their impacts on public safety and the environment. The collaborative effort of various agencies in safely managing this discovery underscores the importance of vigilance and preparedness in dealing with such historical artifacts.