PVT Charles A. Jones was killed and PFC Harold L. Sloppy was mortally injured at approximately 1400 hours on 18 April 1950, at the Bomb Disposal Training Area. PFC Sloppy died from his injuries on 25 April 1950. The two students were assigned to the 4th Enlisted Training Company, Explosive Ordnance Disposal School at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland. They had completed a rigging and digging problem involving digging a 20-foot shaft and a header to reach a 1,000-pound general-purpose practice bomb. The bomb was rendered safe and hauled out of the shaft. Once the training was complete the bomb was lowered back into the shaft, and was to be refuzed, and buried for the next class. This time they were told to fill the bomb with sand. The bomb was placed back into the header with the nose facing out into the shaft. MSG Henry M. Simmons, Jr. also a student assigned to the 4thEnlisted Training Company, inserted a supposedly inert armed M103 impact bomb nose fuze with booster cup into the bomb. It was noted that the fuze was marked up, which would indicate that the fuze had been used in training problems before. MSG Simmons, and CPL Biddle Carrol “B.C. or Izzy” Izard, Jr., 29, Costa Mesa, California, also a student assigned to the 2nd Enlisted Training Company, were in the header and were trying to insert a inert M123 chemical long delay, anti-withdrawal bomb tail fuze into the tail section of the bomb, but the bomb required an adapter in order to accomplish the task. At about this time SGT Edward L. Konopacki, an Ammunition Branch instructor assigned to Company A, told them to turn the bomb around with the tail section facing into the shaft in order to make the problem appear more realistic. MSG Simmons left the shaft to go and get a fuze well adapter and an eyebolt-lifting plug for the nose end of the bomb in order to reposition the bomb. PVT Jones removed the M103 nose fuze from the bomb so that the lifting eye could be screwed in. On impulse and assuming the armed M103 fuze to be inert, PVT Jones struck the fuze against a timber in the bottom of the shaft, which caused the fuze to exploded killing PVT Jones and wounding both PFC Sloppy and CPL Izard. PFC Sloppy received multiple abdominal puncture wounds and CPL Izard received several small fragmentation wounds in his right leg, abdomen, and right arm. A large piece of metal went through his right forearm and into his right hip. PVT Harry E. Butler, 18, Monelova, Ohio, one of the rescuers, was admitted to the hospital for smoke inhalation and released.
*This bio was researched and authored by SGM Mike R.Vining, USA (Retired). Please send any additional information and/or corrections to the author of this bio by email: email@example.com. The EOD Warrior Foundation is not responsible for the accuracy of the information in bio.
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