A German explosive ordnance team disarmed an unexploded American World War II bomb Saturday in Pulaski Park on Pulaski Barracks.
***image1***The General Purpose 500-pound bomb was unearthed 11:55 a.m. Feb. 16 by a contracting company digging trenches in the park for a year-long communication upgrade.
It took seven minutes to defuse, said Bernd Heuer, commander of the German EOD team Kampfmittelräumdienst from Worms, Germany.
Leaving the bomb where it has been for more than 60 years until Saturday’s operation did not put human lives in danger, said Mike Kopp, City of Kaiserslautern Fire Department Brandamtmann (district fire chief), and in charge of the bomb extraction.
“It has been lying there since World War II, why should it explode right now,” he said. “Danger for human life only pertains to those handling the bomb, and they know what they’re doing.”
Herr Heuer said his unit defuses “this kind of big bomb” about 20 times a year and minor stuff like grenades almost everyday. He has more than 25 years of experience and defused 580 WWII bombs in southwest Rheinland-Pfalz since 1994, the year the unit started keeping records.
“Our training makes us calm, but there’s always a little nervousness when we come onto a scene because it is a new bomb, new kind of fuse and a new risk for us,” said Herr Heuer, who at the scene, U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern Commander Lt. Col. Erik Daiga called “the bravest man here.”
One of those bombs Herr Heuer and his team disposed of was in September 2004 when German construction workers uncovered a 250-pound American WWII