Found in the wood today

ugly

LE
Moderator
#1
A .50 cal round with a black tip, headstamp S L 43. My boys book of headstamps, ok its really DIA Small Arms Identification Guide 1984 says its St Louis Ordnancee Plant and armour peircing.
We were topping up feeders in the wood and Archer found it mud encrusted in the middle of a Chestnut Coppice ring.
We are wonderng how it got there?
Sussex by the sea in case you were wondering, definetly no marks from being extracted.
Sorry about the close up, cant work the macro too well!
 

Attachments

#2
At a guess, think 1944: the whole of England below the line River Severn/The Wash was knee deep in fresh-faced Doughboys. I seem to recall a relative who was down that way saying that Ordnance dumps were in hidden in anything with more than 4 trees. Aparently it was due to the close proximity of Soton and Pompey.

...............standing by to be corrected, though.
 
#3
More likely from an aircraft, I'd guess. Maybe jettisoned or crash debris. Were .5" BMG belts fabric? An ammo dump would most likely have the stores in boxes.

Do you have access to a metal detector?
 
#4
isn't it a bit hazardous picking up unfired/exploded ordanance?
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#5
Not really 70 year old 50 cal ammo isnt likely to go bang when handled even if out in the weather for all of that time. If I had suspected anything remotely explosive it would have been dealt with, as it is I may deactivate the round. Then again I may not, not important, I can hold that ammo.
 
#6
Surely anything from WW2 would have been well and truly buried by now?
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#7
You would think so but this is ancient woodland, managed by coppicing. The chestnut rings increase every year and disturb more ground as they grow and each year the area gets larger around the original tree. Stuff from centuries ago just appears sometimes along with old clay pigeons, fired brass and other muck. We use the wood as a pheasant shoot and also as a training ground/range for stalker training, there is so much fired there its like Sennelager B range sometimes! Thats why its not worth metal detecting!
 
#8
More likely from an aircraft, I'd guess. Maybe jettisoned or crash debris. Were .5" BMG belts fabric? An ammo dump would most likely have the stores in boxes.

Do you have access to a metal detector?
0.50 belt was metal link in most cases, the M2 and M3 browning are little changed from the 1940s.
 
#9
#10
You would think so but this is ancient woodland, managed by coppicing. The chestnut rings increase every year and disturb more ground as they grow and each year the area gets larger around the original tree. Stuff from centuries ago just appears sometimes along with old clay pigeons, fired brass and other muck.
If you have got stuff like this turning up then be careful with the chainsaw. I have had some interesting encounters with bits of "metal" in trees: Thank goodness for good chain brakes!
 
#11
Surely anything from WW2 would have been well and truly buried by now?

Several hundred tons of various types of explosive and pyrotechnic ordnance is dug up and disposed of in UK every year. Stuff gets washed ashore on beaches every few days somewhere along the UK coast. In Belgium, about 400 tons of chemical weapons alone are found and disposed of annually. France and Germany have similar problems, in fact an German EOD bloke was killed by a British or US bomb just a few months ago.
 
#12
Yes, I daresay; I was just surprised that a WW2 round would be lying on the surface like that.
 
#13
Yes, I daresay; I was just surprised that a WW2 round would be lying on the surface like that.
It's a slow process but Hazel Coppice will push up all sorts of strange things; Chestnut is equally good at this. Any of the fast growing hard woods will turn the soil over and as the root structure expands will tend to shove things to the surface. There has been quite a lot of Medieval artifacts found in this manner.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#14
It could have been from a shoot that took place during training, the whole south coast was an armed camp and setting up ranges was cheap and quick during a war!
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#16
At a guess, think 1944: the whole of England below the line River Severn/The Wash was knee deep in fresh-faced Doughboys. I seem to recall a relative who was down that way saying that Ordnance dumps were in hidden in anything with more than 4 trees. Aparently it was due to the close proximity of Soton and Pompey.

...............standing by to be corrected, though.
Correction incoming....

Most of Sussex was full of Canucks, rather than Septics. Pre- and Post- Dieppe, central Sussex in particular was chokka with lumberjacks, Vin-Doos, Strathconas, and other assorted oddities. See Crowborough as an example of their legacy. I would presume that they used .50 Cals?

That said, aircraft is a possibility - but what they would have been shooting at, over Sussex, at that time in the War is a bit odd. I'd think that most Air Def of UK was conducted by the Crabs.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#17
Out of curiosity, is the headstamp dated?

May I refer M'learned friend to the original post;
"Found in the wood today
A .50 cal round with a black tip, headstamp S L 43. My boys book of headstamps, ok its really DIA Small Arms Identification Guide 1984 says its St Louis Ordnancee Plant and armour peircing.
We were topping up feeders in the wood and Archer found it mud encrusted in the middle of a Chestnut Coppice ring.
We are wonderng how it got there?
Sussex by the sea in case you were wondering, definetly no marks from being extracted.
Sorry about the close up, cant work the macro too well! "

So 1943 St Louis according to Defence Intelligence Agency 1984 Volume 1
 
#18
Bllx - I obviously chose to filter out the date.

I would suspect that, soldiers being soldiers being soldiers, your find was simply dropped. V intersting, for all that.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#19
Correction incoming....

Most of Sussex was full of Canucks, rather than Septics. Pre- and Post- Dieppe, central Sussex in particular was chokka with lumberjacks, Vin-Doos, Strathconas, and other assorted oddities. See Crowborough as an example of their legacy. I would presume that they used .50 Cals?

That said, aircraft is a possibility - but what they would have been shooting at, over Sussex, at that time in the War is a bit odd. I'd think that most Air Def of UK was conducted by the Crabs
.
I'd have ffired at anything remotely German looking had I the means. My Grandfather started out with the Royal Montreal Regt (MG) and spent the first two years dug in on the south downs doing LLAD with a Vickers and a BFO AA sight. I have a pic somewhere. Thats before he got really bored and transfered to the RCAF and Bombers.
[/IMG]
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#20
1. To deactivate, place in vice in workshop, get face really close so you can see the round clearly, put foot under the vice to catch the tip when it comes out, and then bash the round with a hammer.

2. US forces were in the SW, aligned with their beaches.

3. My (ex- RNR submariner born 1894 but the USN told him he was too old to be a 2 1/2 in 1941, they would only have been interested if he had been an admiral) was personnel mgr at the plant in St Louis during the war. Not that that is of interest to anybody else.
 

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