Flower Power Can Be Explosive -- World War Ii Bomb Turns Up As Garden Relic

ROYAL CITY, Grant County - When an Army disposal squad came out to detonate a World War II bomb a neighbor had found, Frank Mianecki got to thinking about the relic he'd had as a decoration in his flower bed for 10 years.

It was one of four he has found in the past 25 years.

"This one, you could see it's been hit by a disc before, as well as the plow," said Mianecki, a Royal City farmer.

Although it had been banged up without exploding, Mianecki noticed it was starting to deteriorate and mentioned it to the police chief.

The Army's explosive ordnance disposal team from the Yakima Training Center was called in to detonate the bomb Tuesday, about a half-mile from Mianecki's place.

"Our house shook," Mianecki said. "It sounded like a sonic boom."

There have been lots of bombs from the World War II era found near Royal City, where the military once had a bombing range.

The first bomb Mianecki found was a 600-pound hulk. The other two, found about 15 years ago, were similar to the one detonated this week.

The bomb weighed about 90 pounds, was 8 inches around and 1.5 feet long.

He had turned the first three over to a demolition squad at the old Larson Air Force Base in Moses Lake, but kept the one in his garden.

Then, neighbor Spud Brown's son found a bomb and, last month, the Army came out to dispose of it.

"After we read about Spud's, we thought it might be hazardous, and we've got grandkids running around," Mianecki said.

Army spokesman Jim Reddick said the disposal team identified Mianecki's relic as a highly explosive Navy rocket - the first they'd seen in a long time.

"Keeping a bomb around for any length of time is always dangerous, especially the old ones," Reddick said. "We always encourage people to call the sheriff's office if they find one."