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Live Bomb Metal Detecting Find

By: David M.


I must agree that everyone needs to be very careful when they are out TH'ing. While I was stationed in Augsburg, Germany in 1977-1979 I had the fun of digging up a WWII Bomb that had not exploded. I was visiting my 'Girlfriend' and while she was at work I was in the backyard searching for coins or anything else that I could find. I found what I thought was a rusty pipe and started digging it out of the ground. Imagine my surprise when after an hour of digging I managed to get it out of the ground. I turned it so I could see the front end and to my surprise, or should I say SHOCK, I was looking at the business end of a bomb! After having the Non-Commissioned Officer who was on duty call in the EOD (Explosives Ordinance Division) folks they turned it over to the German EOD as this was in Geising (part of Munich). They arrived with many US Army and German Police, and other German Military Personal. The EOD Chief commented to me that I was very 'Lucky' as it had not exploded on me. He went on to state that what I found was part of a cluster bomb. Had it exploded it had a blast radius of 50 Meters and anything that would have survived the blast would have been burnt to a crisp as this was a White Phosphor explosive! Later, after the bomb had been removed, an elderly gentleman stopped by to explain that as a 9 year old child during the closing days of WWII, US Army Air Corps aircraft had bomber a group of 12 German tanks that were in the process of attempting to escape into the woodline (currently a street with housing). None of the tanks escaped destruction, and only one of the tank crew members was able to remove himself from one of the tanks and he was screaming as he was totally engulfed in fire. As he hit the ground his screaming ceased. It was a real leaning experience to say the least! I was using my very first metal detector, a Jetco Mustang with a 5 or 6 inch hardwired coil! I was using a dandelion puller tool to dig with of all things! I had obtained a day off for my Birthday thus drove from Augsburg to Munich, Germany. My then Girlfriend, now my Wife of 37 years, had to work that day so I went into the back yard and looked around for several hours. My picture is not all that great but it is the only one that was taken. I have always been one to dig all targets and turn all live ammo over to the authorities for proper disposal. I have always held the belief that all Treasure Hunters (TH'ers) need to do all that they can to clean up the environment. I recycle all scrap metals, glass, and now plastic. I also pick up any trash on the properties that I am searching. I believe in making any area that I have been granted access to search, that I must do what I can to clean it up of anything that I find there.

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