12 Dec 2022
Here’s an interesting bit of Outer Banks news that’s completely unexpected.
Earlier today the US Navy dispatched their Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) team to Colington Island.
It seems a piece of unexploded ordnance had washed up on the shoreline from the sound. What is not clear for what the Outer Banks Voice reported, is what exactly the device was.
According to the people who saw it, it’s old, probably predating WWII.
At this point it all becomes speculation, but as far as we can tell, there has been widespread use of explosives on the Outer Banks twice in its history. During WWII the coastal waters in 1942 and 1943 were a horror show of torpedoed ship burning along the horizon as German U-boats took their toll.
One of the ideas that the US Government came up with to protect coastal shipping was to mine the seas along the coast. It was an abysmal failure—no U-boats sunk, but three allied ship had encounters with mines—and it didn’t go well for them.
The other time—and this is intriguing because the ordinance that was found came ashore from the sound—was the Civil War. Union forces engaged the Confederate army and navy in a battle for control of Roanoke Island in 1862.
It does seem highly unlikely that any ordinance would survived 160 years in the water, but in many ways that is the most likely explanation for what was found. The WWII explosives were almost entirely offshore. The north end of Duck—where the US Army Corps of Engineers Field Research Facility (the Duck Pier) is today—was a bombing range during the war. But that would be a long trek from Duck to Colington for a metal piece of ordinance.
Certainly, though, stranger things have happened.
There is history and so much more to learn about the Outer Banks. Begin your journey of discovery while staying in a Brindley Beach Vacations home.