World War II-style training device found in Tyler - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

World War II-style training device found in Tyler

BDU33 found in Tyler. (Source: KLTV News Staff) BDU33 found in Tyler. (Source: KLTV News Staff)
BDU33 found in Tyler. (Source: KLTV News Staff) BDU33 found in Tyler. (Source: KLTV News Staff)
BDU33 Found In Tyler. (Source: KLTV News Staff) BDU33 Found In Tyler. (Source: KLTV News Staff)
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

Two East Texans unexpectedly stumbled upon a piece of military history.

Their discovery, a World War II-style training device, was dug up in a wooded area just behind Tylers Cotton Belt Depot Museum.

"We were digging up a camp fire, says Paul Starnes. And we found a WWII mortar just sitting there, partially out of the ground. We thought it was like a pipe or something."

What they found is called a bomb dispersal unit or BDU33. Clay Chur with the U.S. Army Corps Engineers says the inert bomb has been used for training since World War II, and similar ones are still used today.

"The pilots would drop those, says Chur. They had a spotting charge that's inside of them, and when the bomb would hit the ground, then it would make a puff of white smoke and then the range officers could then score how close to a target the pilots were."

With the City of Tyler being home to Camp Fannin, a site of infantry training from 1943 to 1946, Chur says it's common for similar items to be unearthed in this area. However, BDU33's weren't used at the camp.

Chur says the discovered item was probably relocated to this area from somewhere else, but exactly where it came from remains a mystery.

The Army Corps of Engineers held a public meeting on April 3 to discuss their plan to remove any remaining ammunition from the former Camp Fannin area that may still be buried there.

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