Question About Norfolk, Va. Explosion

Discussion in 'General' started by Reenie, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. Reenie

    Reenie Junior Member

    I am looking for some information about an explosion that occurred in Norfolk, Va. My dad was just a couple blocks away, in a restaurant, when it happened. He said many many people were killed, windows blown out for blocks around. He doesn't know what year it happened, unfortunately. He thinks what happened was a soldier was bringing a cart full of bombs, loaded on top of each other, around a corner, and it hit the corner, which set it off, blowing up alot of buildings, and killing alot of people. :( Does anyone have any information on this? I will try and gather more info but am not sure that I can. If anyone knows of this incident, please reply?? Thanks!
     
  2. morse1001

    morse1001 Very Senior Member

    Originally posted by Reenie@Aug 28 2005, 04:22 AM
    I am looking for some information about an explosion that occurred in Norfolk, Va. My dad was just a couple blocks away, in a restaurant, when it happened. He said many many people were killed, windows blown out for blocks around. He doesn't know what year it happened, unfortunately. He thinks what happened was a soldier was bringing a cart full of bombs, loaded on top of each other, around a corner, and it hit the corner, which set it off, blowing up alot of buildings, and killing alot of people. :( Does anyone have any information on this? I will try and gather more info but am not sure that I can. If anyone knows of this incident, please reply?? Thanks!
    [post=38243]Quoted post[/post]

    Undoubtedly, the loudest noise heard and one of the most devastating Navy accidents in Hampton Roads during World War II occurred at 11 a.m. Sept. 17, 1943. A NAS ordnance department truck was pulling four trailers loaded with depth charges on the taxiway between NAS and the NOB piers. Each trailer was designed to carry four aerial depth charges. To save time, two additional charges were loaded on top of each trailer. Compounding the problem, the charges on top were not properly chained down. One of the charges slipped loose and became wedged between the trailer and the ground. The friction of being dragged against the road caused the charge to begin smoking.

    An alert Marine sentry spotted the smoke and notified the driver who immediately stopped the truck and ran to a nearby fire station. Assistant Fire Chief Gurney E. Edwards hurried to the scene and attempted to cool down the charges with a fire extinguisher. As soon as he started his attempt, the first depth charge exploded, killing him instantly. For several minutes, charges continued to explode. The blasts shattered windows up to seven miles away and were heard in Suffolk, 20 miles distant.

    In the center of the explosion was a group of old enlisted men`s barracks opposite the dispensary, the vicinity of the current location of V-88. A total of 18 buildings were destroyed by the blast. They were so badly damaged that they had to be razed. Thirty-three aircraft were also destroyed with a monetary damage of $1.8 million.

    According to official histories, the shock of the explosion found people scaling fences that had been considered man-proof and impossible to climb. Other persons found themselves some time later with shoes in hand, waiting for street cars, with no memory of the event. The casualties amounted to 426, including 40 dead. Among them was Seaman 2nd Class Elizabeth Korensky, the only woman killed and the first WAVE to die in the line of duty in the war.

    NAS Norfolk responded to the tragedy by building six new brick barracks to house the troops and added industrial space by building R-80, the largest airplane hangar in the world. Winning the war was a full-time effort.

    Norfolk Va
     
  3. Reenie

    Reenie Junior Member

    Thank you very much! My dad had alot of close calls during his Navy days but this one still keeps him up nights. He said he had passed by this same place just a couple minutes before. The restaurant he was in when he heard the explosion, it's ceiling was starting to crack and fall down around him when he and his buddy ran out as fast as they could.
    Thank you for finding this information for me. :)
     
  4. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    It is marvellous what information you can find out here.
     
  5. Reenie

    Reenie Junior Member

    I printed this info out and shared it with him tonight. I was mistaken, he was right nearby in the mess hall. He had just entered the mess hall(having walked right around the corner where it happened), at 11:30(he was due to start his shift at noon), and it happened just a couple minutes later. He also said it was a tractor pulling 10 carts loaded with bombs, 10 bombs stacked like a pyramid, none of which were hooked on. It made a hole in the street the size of 2 big living rooms. Burst water pipes filled up the hole and the first fire truck on the scene fell right into it. He remembers a large building nearby also, that housed some sort of Sewage(sp?) and Road Maintenance Crew and their secretaries.
    It was interesting to hear his side of the story, and compare it. Thanks again for sharing the article.
     

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