Liz McCormick Published

World War II-Era Explosive Brought to Martinsburg Air Base, Prompts Evacuation



Residents and businesses in the southern part of Martinsburg were encouraged to evacuate Monday afternoon, after a resident brought an explosive device to the 167th Airlift Wing in Martinsburg.

A World War II-era bazooka training round was brought to the air base, not for any sinister reason, but to get rid of it.

Berkeley County Sheriff Curtis Keller said a local resident was cleaning his mother’s basement when they discovered the explosive.

“They moved into this house about 30 or 40 years ago,” Keller said. “And this stuff was already in there, so whoever owned the house prior to them had evidently collected this stuff and had it down in the basement.”

Keller said no arrests were made. 

In a press release, air base officials said a voluntary evacuation was put into effect for residents living nearby. An explosive disposal unit from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland was called in to assess the situation.

Nearby roads were also closed as a precaution. 

“The safety of our 167th Airlift Wing members and the members of the community is paramount. We appreciate the support of the local law enforcement and cooperation from the residents and businesses impacted by this event,” Col. David Cochran, commander of the 167th Airlift Wing, said in the release.


The evacuation was lifted around 7:45 P.M. Monday night.