A Massachusetts man cleaning out his family’s garage over the weekend found a small blue bomb-shaped item that his grandfather had since the 1930s.
Jeremy Bechen told Boston25 he thought after looking close enough at the Navy veteran’s keepsake that there was more to it than met the eye.
“My parents had always told me that this was a dummy — not a real device — and on closer inspection, you can see the charge in there,” said Bechen. “It was kind of a heart-skip moment. You look down the tail pipe of it and see, ‘Oh, there’s something in there!’”
Bomb techs examined the device and took an X-ray of it, determining it was indeed still live before destroying it in a remote location.
“It is not uncommon for older veterans to have war souvenirs and for relatives to find them when the veteran passes away or moves for care in old age,” said Jennifer Mieth, with the State Fire Marshal’s Office. “In this case, the souvenir was an old practice bomb that was determined to be live.”
From the video, the device looks to be a WWII-era AN-MK23 Mod 1 Practice Bomblet of the type used by the Army Air Force and the Navy and are made to hold replaceable spotting charges, a special 10-gauge shell with about the explosive power of a blasting cap. The light blue color, officially “Deep Saxe Blue” denotes practice use and not inert devices.