Hands and eyes are not interchangeable accessories

Monday, April 8th, 2019

Dunlap had some basis for his concerns about thieves in Egypt:

From association with a couple of explosive experts I had learned a little about delousing dangerous items but I was always careful not to do any wild experimenting with unfamiliar numbers. I want to watch somebody else tear them down first. Hands and eyes are not interchangeable accessories.

A 24-hour guard was kept on this dump but my main worry was keeping the guards scared enough so they would leave the stuff alone. So help me, though, a guy stole a 14-pound Teller mine once, and we never did find it, even though we broadcast promises not to do anything to him if he would only return it. It was set for around 500 pounds pressure, so he probably could not hurt himself without a lot of effort, but some of the stuff we had I was afraid to even lift myself, to move it out of the way.


Due to the small number of targets and the large number of men we had to handle, the range had to be in use every minute of daylight, which made it hard on the range officer and sergeant, as one of us had to be there at all times.

We would plow out there at dawn in whatever vehicle we could get hold of with a sufficient supply of ammunition to start the day’s firing. We either had to take a case in with us at night for the morrow’s use, leave it in the range shack back of the butts, or detour by our dump and pick it up in the morning. Occasionally we would leave it in the shack, and an Arab with a camel cleaned us out one night. The shack was of corrugated galvanized steel, door and all, the steel running up to within about a foot of the edges of the roof on the sides, about eight feet from the sand, but our robber went in the opening and removed two cases of loaded ammunition and a case or so of empties. He did not bother the padlocked door though a good kick would open it from either side. To get a better picture of his feat, go through a transom, get a 1,500-round case of .30-06 ammunition and put it through the transom and climb back, not standing on anything except the edges of the door panels while lifting and lowering the box.

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