T/5 CPL William J. Hackett, CPT Richard E. “Dick” Metress, T/SGT Howard A. Leith, and T/5 CPL Anthony “Tony” Piergrossi were presumed killed on 8 June 1945. They were assigned to 209th Ordnance (Bomb Disposal) Squad. The 209th Ordnance (Bomb Disposal) Squad was assigned to the island of Mandog Hill, Mindanao, Philippines when it was called upon to render safe Japanese naval Type 2 depth charges that were being used as landmines. Navy mine disposal or bomb disposal technicians trained on underwater ordnance weren’t available. CPT Metress was attempting to disarm the depth charge when it detonated killing everyone present. T/5 CPL Hackett is listed as missing-in-action. T/5 CPL Hackett was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart Medal.
*This bio was researched and authored by SGM Mike R. Vining, USA (Retired) with supporting research from the books, Nine from Aberdeen, by Jeffrey M. Leatherwood, Ph.D., and Bomb Disposal, The Early Years of Explosive Ordnance Disposal, 1940 to 1949, by LTC Robert E. Leiendecker, USA (Retired)