Fort Riley’s 79th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion will loan a World War II practice bomb to the Onaga Historical Museum. The Army munition will be placed in the Morton Exhibit building Jan. 18, at 1:30 p.m. during a ceremony hosted by the museum. The bomb will be on permanent loan from the U.S. Army. Maj. Blake Zenteno, executive officer, 79th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion, will present the ordnance.
“With this artifact a little known aspect World War II - practicing to bomb - can be explained to guests visiting the Museum and that this training for war took place within the catchment area of the Onaga Historical Museum and on grounds of some of their ancestors,” said Debbie Berges, the president of the Onaga Historical Society and Museum.
During World War II an Army practice range was located south of Onaga, Kansas. The bomb was found in a nearby pasture several years ago, and was transported in 2020 to Fort Riley to verify that it was safe.
Since it is still military property, the Army loaned the inert device back to the community as a link to its past.
The ceremony includes a representative from Senator Roger Marshall’s office and local Onaga area veterans. Event planners advise participants to wear facemasks and warm clothing as the venue is not climate controlled.