Normandy Farmer Recalls 1944 Explosion After Bomb is Found 70 Years On

BombFor one retired farmer in Normandy it has come as no surprise that yet another unexploded American bomb from the Second World War has been found in a field where he used to play and work.

Andre Giard farmed at Monthuchon near Coutances in Lower Normandy for 30 years before his retirement and has lived in the area all his life. The discovery of the 500 lbs bomb, which was defused earlier this week, brought back memories of the days in 1944 after the D-Day landings when the Allies fought their way across the region in the battle of Normandy.

Just 11 years old when the bombs fell, he vividly remembers the day a plane crashed, the noise of the explosion destroying the day’s milk, and two bombs falling in the fields.

‘I was with my best friend at the farm when we heard a plane above. There was a flurry of small sounds then an almighty explosion. In the dairy all the milk churns were on the ground, knocked over by the explosion. We were terrified,’ he said recalling the day.

‘When we heard that explosion in 1944 everyone thought two bombs from the plane fell in the same place. They fell one after the other, about 40 meters from each other. One exploded on one side of the hedge, and the other fell on the other side but didn’t explode,’ he added.

Mine experts said that this particular bomb stood out as it was completely intact, which is rare for bombs found after almost 70 years. It took the bomb disposal unit two hours to locate the detonators and make it safe before it was moved to a military installation to be destroyed.

Officials in Normandy are used to dealing with World War Two bombs found in fields and there is a set of procedures to be followed. Anyone who finds a bomb, grenade or any other kind of munitions should alert the emergency services who then contact the bomb disposal unit in Caen.

Members of the public are advised not to touch anything that they find and if possible to take a photograph to help experts determine how dangerous it might be.

In Monthuchon the usual procedure was followed. People living near the bomb site were evacuated and this included the school children from the primary school. The main road was also blocked off during the bomb disposal operation.

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About Ray Clancy

Ray Clancy has 20 years experience in journalism including contributing articles to print and on-line publications such as, Property World Middle East and websites for estate agents. She has also written for the Daily Telegraph and Mail on Sunday.

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