US female tourist had a problem

After a holiday in Austria she wants to take a souvenir back home.
At the airport she put it on the counter and asked the security if she could take it home.
She had found it in a forest and cleans it already in the hotel because shy did not want her suite case getting dirty.
They closed the terminal and the bomb disposal unit took the grenade outside in a field to disarm the life tank grenade.


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When I was doing work in Laos in 1998 I had a US tourist (backpacker and I guess weed lover) swinging by our remote location (far north in Vieng Xai) and he proudly presented me a life 20mm dud HE projectile (US, likely a 20x102 or 20x110 USN) he had fournd 1 day before in the caves the communisst were hiding in during the war.
He was planning to take it home as a souvenir. I informed him what was going to happen if he would make it to the airport alife. All of a sudden he did not wanted to touch the shell anymore and kindly asked if I could take care of it - but I had to take a photo of him and the shell before he surrendered it…
People can be odd!

Souvenir picking isn’t reserved civilians. In July of 1968 on operation Allen Brooke in South Viet Nam, We had called in an air strike on an group of NVA and the F-4’s after dropping bombs and napalm , strafed the target area. The platoon of Marines I was with ( Delta Co. 1stBn., 1st Marines) swept the area for body count and weapons etc. One of the Marines picked up a ‘dud’ 20mm projectile, (presumably from the F-4’s 20mm cannon) and put it in his pocket and carried it around for several days. We returned to our Bn. area and he showed it to me and the plt. Sgt. who promptly chewed his butt and told him to take it to the EOD people for disposal. He insisted it was a dud and to prove it he smacked it against a 12" x 12" Bunker support beam and it went off. He lost his hand and the Sgt. suffered minor wounds. When you do stupid things you don’t have to wait for the enemy to hurt you.


I used to work for a company about 10 years ago that employed a large number of Asian workers. I was told by one of them that during and right after the U.S. involvement they used to find objects dropped by American aircraft. He said they would beat them into pots and pans and other cooking utensils. Imagine making a frying pan out of a bomb that was a dud!

Any possibility of those being dropped empty external fuel tanks? I know people in Europe did the same during WW2.

Some were but others were dud artillery and dud aircraft bombs.

A favorite use of the F-4 external tanks (called Sgt Fletcher tanks by some) was to make small boats. In my experience,the F-4s usually brought them back home and only dropped them if there was a requirement, but even then we sure left a lot of them scattered over the countryside.


Locals there (and elsewhere) are using literally anything that “rains down”, no matter if dangerous, int3ended or unintended.

Shrapnel of US aircraft bombs is quite in demand as it makes excellent blades of machetes and knifes.
155mm projectile bodies are cut (torch) in long stripes and then heated and rolled into bar iron for construction purposes.
Basically nothing remains unusued! Even pea sized shrapnel is collected for scrap.
An noobody there objects much on life ammo!
I know of many tragic cases.