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Army bomb team returns home

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MONDAY, JUNE 12, 1978. ' . NO. 93/78 .


A team of Australian Army engineers has returned 7 ' . . . ■ ' '

to Australia after disposing of live World War Two..-ammunition which had delayed the construction of a radio '

aerial near Honiara in the British "Solomon Islands.

, The team, from the 1st Field Squadron, First

Field Engineer Regiment, Holsworthy, NSW, spent five days

in the.Solomons last week sweeping the 10 hectare construction

site for bombs and other live ordnance. They recovered .

about 40 badly corroded pieces including, large calibre

anti-aircraft ammunition, of American origin. ' .

The find, together with shells, whxch had been

recovered previously by local police bomb disposal

experts, was dumped at sea on Saturday from a Government-J ■ . ' ■

owned landing, craft.

The dump was made in about 500 fathoms off

Red Beach where US Marines suffered heavy casualties in .

1942. when they stormed ashore at the beginning of a 13-

month campaign to wrest Guadalcanal Island from the

Japanese. .

Originally if had. been planned to blow u p .the .

ammunition but this action was decided against by the

commander of the Australian contingent, Ma'.jor A.P,. (Peter)

Thorp, who considered that an explosion may expose .

inquisitive locals and their livestock to unnecessary . .

danger. .

Guadalcanal Island, a sleepy tropical paradise, . has had a long history of World War Two ordnance being

found at the sites of previous battles and ammunition '

dumps. · ' ■ . · .

- About 100 people have been killed by exploding . ordnance since 1945.

The Army's sweep and dumping operation will . . .

now permit a Melbourne-based contractor - Good Engineering /

Pty. Ltd., - to finish constructing transmitter and a 100 metre aerial in time for Government broadcasts 1 on July 7 when the British Solomon Islands become independent

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Further Enquiries: Lt S. Maxwell-Wright 65,2999 (office hours) 88 6643 (after . hours)