The sudden appearance of two large, rusty and barnacle-encrusted World War II-era munitions on the beaches of Cape Hatteras, N.C., this summer have puzzled the area’s park rangers and local historians.
“We haven’t had these in the past,” said Boone Vandzura, the chief ranger of Cape Hatteras National Seashore, a 70-mile stretch of sand and surf that spans from Bodie Island to the tiny hamlet of Ocracoke. Vandzura said he believed it had been more than a decade since an unexploded munition appeared on the Cape’s shores.
But within a week this month, Vandzura received reports of two aging pieces of ordnance. The first — identified by the Navy as a World War II-era bomb — was called in on July 14, while the second, a M38A practice bomb, also from World War II, was found 12 miles south of the first find on July 18. In both instances, a Navy bomb disposal team from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 2, drove down from Norfolk, Va and got rid of the munitions.
The two bombs on Hatteras make up the entirety of the team’s calls for unexploded munitions this year, said Lt. Kristi Fontenot, a spokeswoman for the unit.