Unexploded bomb found Tuesday in Yulee

Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper gave the News-Leader an "all clear" at about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday on a report of an unexploded bomb found in the area of Miner Road and State Route 200/A1A.

According to Leeper, the initial call came into the NCSO at 9:15 a.m. after a construction crew working in the area of the River of Praise Worship Center on St. Mark Drive in Yulee "dug up what appeared to be a live military ordnance."

"Kings Bay Naval Base bomb squad checked it out and all is clear. The road is back open," Leeper told the News-Leader in an email.

Traffic was stopped and diverted around the area on S.R. 200/A1A between Miner Road and Chester Road for almost two hours, causing "major congestion," per Leeper.

According to Fort Clinch State Park ranger and historian Frank Ofeldt, a local expert on old munitions who looked at a photo of the bomb provided by Leeper, the ordnance uncovered Tuesday could be an aerial training bomb used by U.S. Navy pilots training during World War II.

“Without the weight and length, it looks like a WWII AN-MK-23 or AN-MK-45 Practice Bomb,” Ofeldt wrote in an email Tuesday afternoon. “They were used in low altitude dive bombing practices during WWII. They are made of cast iron, measuring 8 to 8.5 inches in length and anywhere from 2-3 lbs. They have a large diameter head and four fins. There is a AN-MK-43 which weighed 4.3 lbs. These would be very common in our area since the Navy practiced dive bombing here with NAS Jacksonville close by.”

“It’s a heavy-weighted projectile. Weighted at the end to go into a target area. It probably just dropped off by accident,” Ofeldt said later, noting that if the area where it was found had been the actual target during WWII, “they’d find them all over the place.”

The small bomb was taken back to Kings Bay.

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