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Solomons WW II Legacy Cost Two More Lives

21 September 2020

Sadly, two  bomb disposal experts have died in their attempt to defuse a World War II vintage bomb in the Solomon Islands. They were on personal time working on behalf of an NGO—Norwegian People’s Aid. UK citizen Stephen “Luke” Atkinson and Australian citizen Trent Lee were the pair who were killed in an explosion. Ironically, the stabilizing chemicals added to an explosive mix are the first to depart from unexploded ordinance (UXO), thence making the explosive more and more unstable with the passage of time.

What sort of person would undertake disarming a UXO that may, or may not, be booby trapped to prevent that very thing? Further, a person who works to render an aged and unstable bomb safe so that it can be removed to be destroyed properly?

Nothing short of an amazing person.

More information is not available regarding this incident at this moment of writing—like a more precise location or the nature of the bomb itself—but the Solomons were a vast battle ground both on and off shore and there is a lot of UXO remaining there and rotting away. Though there is an illuminating paper published recently (November 2016) by the Journal of Conventional Weapons Destruction entitled, Special Report: Solomon Islands’ Explosive Legacy.

Give pause for a moment or two today and recall both Atkinson and Lee for their efforts and the toll they paid to make innocents a bit safer.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 28 September 2020 16:13

    amazing post. thanks for sharing!

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      1 October 2020 08:43

      You’re welcome!

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