Carolina Forest bomb sheds light on possibility of others

A bomb found near a Carolina Forest neighborhood has some people researching the area's military history (Taggart Houck/WPDE).

After developers found another bomb left from World War II training in Carolina Forest, some people are digging through the archives.

Ben Burroughs directs the Horry County Archives Center at Coastal Carolina University.

He says with so much soft ground around Carolina Forest, and after five years of bomb testing, it's not hard to imagine other undiscovered bombs around Carolina Forest, an area that used to be part of the Conway Bombing and Gunnery Range.

"It was consistently being used for artillery demolition, bombing, practicing for fighting in World War II," he said.

Burroughs said the training during World War II happened from 1940-1945. Before that, people were compensated by the government to move off their land. Some had short notice, but all of them lost their homes.

Documents suggest the range encompassed 100,000 acres of land. What we now call Highway 90 marked its western-most point, as it stretched east to the Intracoastal Waterway. The range stretched as far South as Highway 501.

All the land in between was used for target practice.

"Some of it, at least part of it used were duds," said Burroughs. "Some of them didn't go off."

That is what happened to the bomb found Tuesday, or an ordnance found in 2014 near a Carolina Forest church.

The bombs tested were not likely explosive.

"All it makes is a little white puff so you can measure and see how close crews dropped the bombs," said Buddy Styers.

Styers, a 26-year Air Force Veteran helped redevelop the Old Air Force Base at The Market Common.

He was born around the time Myrtle Beach was a training ground. He said it's not surprising these ordnances are surfacing.

"It's a lot of soft soil and so they drop (the bombs) and they bury and unless you go back in to dig them up and put in a building foundation or something like that, you'd probably never find it," he said.

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