My dad was a US Navy bomb disposal officer during World War II. When ordnance from either side failed to explode, somebody had to dispose of it. That's what these folks did. They learned to do this by going to Bomb Disposal School at American University in Washington, DC, for 6 weeks of training during wartime.
And they had a newsletter. And the newsletter had a cartoonist. Sergeant Robert Vittur, USMCR, assigned to the staff of the Bomb Disposal School. And Sgt. Vittur found humor in this most frightening and risky of occupations.
Here are the 38 pages of a little booklet titled Mulvaney on Bomb Disposal, Supplement to Intelligence Bulletin No. 85, dated 15 September 1945. [NAVORD FORM 1697 (BDS) (g/45)] Here is a 21MB PDF of the booklet.
The inside front of the booklet reads as follows:
U.S.NAVY BOMB DISPOSAL SCHOOL American University Washington, 16, D.C. 16 September 1945 SUPPLEMENT TO USNBDS Intelligence Bulletin #85 1. For their instructional value and as a boost to the morale of the Bomb Disposal Units in the field, the cartoons pre- viously printed in subject publication have been compiled for publication as a supplement to the Bomb Disposal Intelligence Bulletin. 2. This document is issued to graduates of a course in Bomb Disposal, by the Officer in Charge, Navy Bomb Disposal School, under authority of Bureau of Ordnance letter F41-6(L) of 22 April 1944. It is for information and guidance only and is not a Bureau of Ordnance Publication. 3. Techniques and methods of attack illustrated in this publication are known to be adequate under normal conditions; how- ever, Bomb Disposal personnel are enjoined to exercise particular discretion in employing or deviating therefrom under conditions other than normal. Bomb Disposal personnel are cautioned that in disposing of explosive ordnance, there is no "safe" method but merely a least dangerous method. 4. The cartoons contained in this publication originated from the pen of Sergeant Robert Vittur, USMCR, assigned to the Staff of the Bomb Disposal School. 5. This supplement is the concluding chapter to all pub- lications issued by this school to its personnel during the course of World War II. /s/ J. P. DAVID Lieut. Comdr., USNR Officer in Charge
My dad attended Class 1a at the Naval Bomb Disposal School at Washington Navy Yard from 23 Jan 1942 - 15 Mar 1942 and was Chief Instructor at the school from March to May 1942. Then he was sent to Pearl Harbor to organize a bomb disposal unit to be sent to islands in the Pacific. He served in Samoa and Guadalcanal as a bomb disposal officer. Then he served on the USS New Jersey starting in June 1943 as a Lieutenant in the Fourth Division. His battle station was operating a "MK 37 director" for the 5inch guns; he was also the Bomb Disposal Officer.
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Copyright (c) 1995, 1998 by Tom Van VleckLast modified: 12/14/98