SP4 Joseph John Tripodi, SSG Nancy Ann Oszakewski, and SP5 Ronald L. Kostenbader were killed on 29 July 1980. They were assigned to the 70th Ordnance Detachment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), Fort Rosecrans, California. SP4 Tripodi, SSG Oszakewski, and SP5 Kostenbader, and two other members of the detachment were in the process of loading approximately 1,000 pounds of illegal Mexican fireworks onto a truck at Fort Rosecrans, California. For an unknown reason the fireworks on the truck suddenly started to burn. SP4 Tripodi, SSG Oszakewski, and SP5 Kostenbader ran into the open bunker to escape the flash fire. The wind direction caused the fire to follow them into the bunker and initiated the fireworks that were still contained inside. The flash fire inside the bunker killed the three explosive ordnance disposal specialists. The two other explosive ordnance disposal specialists ran from away from the truck and bunker, and received minor burns and injuries that were not critical.
*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: firstname.lastname@example.org. The EOD Warrior Foundation is not responsible for the accuracy of the information in bio.