Origin of military munitions object deemed a mystery

Local historians were stumped as to how a “military object” could have found its way to the industrial area of South San Francisco.

Despite the area’s history with shipbuilding during both World Wars, the discovery of possible ordnance 20-30 feet beneath the surface seemed improbable, San Mateo County Historian Mitch Postel said.

The old Tanforan horseracing track in San Bruno — where the mall now stands — was used as an ammunitions dump during World War II, but that was miles away from the Oyster Point Boulevard site where the object was found, Postel said.

On Saturday, construction crews at 333 Oyster Point Blvd. unearthed a military object between 4- and 5-foot-long and called the San Mateo County Bomb Squad. The object was ultimately removed and taken for further study by the U.S. Army’s Explosives Ordnance Disposal Unit.

The site was evacuated and the road closed to all traffic until the object was removed.

The site, formerly a U.S. Steel plant, has large amounts of slag, a byproduct of steel production, that needs excavation before construction can begin on Slough Estates’ 315,444-square-feet research and development facility with underground parking.

The industrial area was used heavily during wartime for shipbuilding, Postel said.

South San Francisco fire officials said the object was torpedo-like in shape.

It was not detonated, but was removed safely to Moffett Airfield for further testing.

The sergeant onsite suspected the object to be a sort of training device, according to a Slough Estates statement. It’s unknown whether the object had any explosives in it.

dsmith@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Giants second baseman Donovan Solano scores on a double in the seventh inning against the Dodgers at Oracle Park on July 29. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Will the Giants make the playoffs? Kris Bryant may be the answer

By Chris Haft Special to The Examiner You’d be hard-pressed to find… Continue reading

Tiffany Carter, owner of Boug Cali West Coast Creole Shack in San Francisco’s La Cocina Marketplace, was dismayed by gentrification she found when she returned to her hometown to start a business. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF Black Wallstreet: Helping residents build wealth, reclaim spaces they’ve had to leave

Tiffany Carter moved back to her hometown of San Francisco five years… Continue reading

A prescribed fire at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks was conducted in June 2016 to reduce hazardous fuel loading, increase watershed health, and restore the natural fire cycle in the Redwood Canyon area ecosystem. (Photo courtesy Rebecca Paterson/National Park Service)
Experts, UC scientists discuss wildfires in the state’s riskiest regions

Wildfires are nothing new in California’s history, but the magnitude and frequencies… Continue reading

Fourth-grade students at Lucerne Valley Elementary School don masks and Western wear for a “Walk Through California” history day during in-person instruction. (Courtesy of Krystal Nelson)
Confusion over mask mandate for California schools sparks tension between districts and parents

By Diana Lambert EdSource Shifting rules around mask mandates at schools are… Continue reading

Steven Buss, left, and Sachin Agarwal co-founded Grow SF, which plans to produce election voter guides offering a moderate agenda. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Grow SF: New tech group aims to promote moderate ideals to political newcomers

Sachin Agarwal has lived in San Francisco for 15 years. But the… Continue reading

Most Read