SSG Christopher J. O’Reilly, Jr. died on 24 September 1977, from injures received on 21 September 1977. SSG O’Reilly was assigned to the 149th Ordnance Detachment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. SSG O’Reilly, SSG Matthews, and SP4 Janet Miller were working on the demolition range when a large quantity of first-fire ignition mix prematurely ignited. SSG O’Reilly and SSG Matthews were to ignite the mixture by each pulling a time fuse system. SP4 Miller was at the vehicle and prepared to drive the team out of the disposal area. As SSG Matthews ignited his fuse, he saw a fireball formed at SSG O’Reilly’s ignition point. The fireball quickly engulfed the ignition mix and the ensuing fire charred the team’s vehicle. SSG O’Reilly was severely burned and SP4 Miller received less severe burns. SSG O’Reilly was evacuated to a Baltimore hospital and transferred to Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas were he succumbed to his wounds.
*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.