17 Th October 1939 first German bombs dropped in Hoy in the

Orkney's,that failed to explode they were all 50Kg and were fuzed

with the simple impact fuze type(15) which could be rendered safe

using a crabtree dis charger, a device that shorted out the electrical

charge,contained in capacitors inside the fuze.

The Crabtree 2 pin dis charger
17 Th November 1939 Germans start dropping parachute mines.

23 Rd November 1939 Lt Ouvery recovers first Magnetic mine at Shoeburyness and successfully defuzes it.

1 St May 1940 Home office Circular 88/40 confirms that war office is

responsible for dealing with any UXB
1 St May 1940 First UXB committee is held to discuss various ways and

devices to tackle unexploded bombs
May/June 1940 First 25 BD sections are formed,comprising of 1 x Lt

,1xSgt and 14 other ranks.

June 1940 Steam sterilizer developed to cut a hole in bomb casing and

emulsify explosive fill.

13 Th August 1940 First type (17) fuze recovered by 2nd Lt Mitchell.


17Th August 1940 Lt Archer removes a type (50) anti disturbance fuze

by hand, this was needed for experiments.
17 Th August 1940 Lt E.W.Reynolds defuzes bomb in Bristol with a

type(17) fuze.

27 Th August 1940 Lt Archer recovers the first (38) fuze.

2 Nd  September1940 Lt Archer removes a ticking type(17) fuze to find

a new type Zus40 Anti withdrawal fuze underneath, this was successfully

removed in tact.

12 Th September 1940 The steam sterilizer was used for the first time

by Capt Kennedy on a live 250Kg bomb in Regents street .

14 Th September 1940 Lt Robert Davies defuzes a 1,000Kg bomb under St

Pauls cathedral.
16/17Th September Parachute delivered magnetic mines dropped on London

77 dropped,but 25 failed to explode.

23 Rd September 1940 King George announces a new decoration

for gallantry to be called the GEORGE CROSS.

26 Th October 1940 First acoustic mine recovered.
28 Th October 1940 SD2,s Butterfly bombs dropped on Ipswich(this was

the first time these bombs were dropped in the UK)
16 Th November 1940 Fuze Extension cap was found on a bomb in

Shaftsbury Ave , fuze could not be identified ! Bomb defuzed by Lt Nevil Newitt

21 St December 1940 1st 2,500 Kg (max) dropped on Victoria Station


March 1941. Fully working Fuze discharger issued

April 1941 Merrylees fuze extractor issued
18 Th January 1943 New type Y fuze was recovered by Captain Carlyle, this

fuze was designed purely to kill the bomb disposal officer trying to

defuze the bomb. 

24 Th January 1943 Method found to defeat this Y fuze was found by

Maj John Hudson, the method used was to freeze the fuze with liquid


3/4 Th March 1943 New types of fuze the (67) time fuze and the type

(70) anti disturbance fuze , found in butterfly bombs dropped in

Essex. The (67) was designed to explode up to 30 mins after hitting

the ground, the (70) exploded on attempt to move the bomb 
13/14 Th June 1943 First large scale raid using SD2 Butterfly bombs

were dropped on Grimsby.

13 Th June 1944 the first FZG 76 (Flying bomb) landed in Kent

23 Rd June 1944 Unexploded flying bomb (V1) found in Sussex , the

fuzes had to be removed at all costs, Radiography was used by Maj John

Hudson and Dr Dawson.

2 Nd July 1944 Fuzes were successfully removed from V1 flying bomb.

8 th September 1944 The first V2 rocket to land at Chiswick

11 Th March 1945 St unexploded V2 rocket found at Paglesham in Essex.
Cleared by Major Gerhold

27 Th March 1945 Last V2 Rocket to land at Orpington ,kent 
23 Rd October 1945  Last of 48 meetings of the UXB committee was held

at Shell Mex house on the Strand.  

Picture show the type (17) Long delay fuze , fitted with the ZUS 40 Anti Withdrawal fuze fitted underneath

Original wartime Bomb disposal sleeve badge designed by Queen Mary

 Location of Bomb Disposal units as of AUGUST 1942