SSG Nancy Ann Oszakewski, SP5 Ronald L. Kostenbader, and SP4 Joseph John Tripodi were killed on 29 July 1980. They were assigned to the 70th Ordnance Detachment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), Fort Rosecrans, California. SSG Oszakewski, SP5 Kostenbader, SP4 Tripodi, 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. SSG Oszakewski, SP5 Kostenbader, and SP4 Tripodi 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.
RIP Nancy. We were in the same class at NAVSCHEOD at Indian Head. She was a great person, and a great tech.
Thank You for the post she was my aunt
I still remember hearing the news. And I cried. I went through EOD school with Ron Kostenbader. The week before the accident he was on the phone trying to convince me to “Come to California!”, All of my team leaders couldn’t believe the tragedy. Every Single One said that Nancy was “The absolute best!!” She too helped pace the way!