World War II practice bomb washes up on Santa Cruz County beach


Recent storms and strong waves were responsible for a World War II practice bomb washing ashore on a Santa Cruz County beach on New Year’s Eve, according to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s bomb squad responded to a call in Pajaro Dunes around 2 p.m., west of Watsonville and 22 miles south of Santa Cruz.

Due to its size and degraded condition, bomb technicians requested that the explosive ordnance disposal team at Travis Air Force Base inspect the bomb, according to an Air Force public affairs spokesperson.

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad responded to a call in Pajaro Dunes, 22 miles from Santa Cruz.

(Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office)

After conducting a visual inspection and an Inspectors identified the ordnance as a US Navy Mk 15 Mod 2 practice bomb from World War II. It will be stored with Travis’ equipment.

This type of artillery is designed for training, incorporating working mechanics but lacking explosive materials, according to the United States Naval Academy. website. Simulates the weight, size and handling characteristics of real ammunition during a training exercise.

“Every few years we will see military munitions appear,” said Ashley Keehn, public information officer for the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office. “Occasionally we see naked marine flares. “This wash on the coast demonstrates the intensity of the high waves we saw last week.”

A spokesman for the National Weather Service in Monterey blamed high tides for the bomb’s grounding.

The weather service issued warnings about high surf and coastal flooding on December 30. Additionally, on New Year’s Eve, he warned of dangerous coastal conditions due to debris washing ashore.

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