WW2 desert finds

Discussion in 'Military Surplus - Curios & Relics' started by rufrdr, Oct 2, 2018.

  1. rufrdr

    rufrdr Active Member

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    Some years ago I was in the Mojave desert in Sothern California not all that far from Edwards AFB. The boy scout troop that my son belonged to had journeyed to a dry lake bed to shoot off Estes rockets. The lake bed would be periodically flooded each winter (yes it does rain in the desert!) and things covered and uncovered. On this trip we found WW2 era .50 cal cases and bullets that had dropped to the desert apparently lengthwise.

    I can only assume that the airspace over the lake bed was used for aerial gunnery training either during WW2 or the 1950s. I have one of the cases I picked up then, it is headstamped DM and I believe 1942. Since I fired WW2 era .50 ball at Graf in the early 80s and my son fired WW2 era .50 ball when training up for OIF in 2007 finding WW2 cases doesn't positively mean that the rounds were fired during the war but there is a good chance they were.

    Several years later I returned to the lake bed but it had once again been scoured clean. About three years ago another visit turned up what looked like a meteorite laying on the virgin white salt expanse. There was a spray of very small blackened fragments that attracted a magnet. Pretty cool stuff in a not so cool spot.

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    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018
  2. rdinatal

    rdinatal Better late then never...

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    One of my would be hobbies = treasure hunting. That seems like it would be so cool.

    I've got too many for my life time as it is.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018
  3. rufrdr

    rufrdr Active Member

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    I know what you mean!
     
  4. Mightyox04

    Mightyox04 Das Ox

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    Very cool
     
  5. Coltdefender1911

    Coltdefender1911 On the couch Charter Member

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  6. NCLivingBrit

    NCLivingBrit Clueless Protoplasm Supporting Member

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    Metal detector might be a fun tool next trip.
     
  7. Sneakymedic

    Sneakymedic Super Moderator Staff Member Charter Member Benefactor

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    I think that stuff is really neat. I loved looking for arrowheads as a kid after the rains in plowed fields.
     
    Remshooter and beamernc like this.
  8. Windini

    Windini Plank Charter Life Member

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    Great post, cool finds!
     
  9. Crazy Carl

    Crazy Carl seriously?

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    Big chunks of the Mojave were used for aerial & naval gunnery back when.
     
  10. JohnFreeman

    JohnFreeman You can reach 113, but you can never leave! Benefactor Charter Life Member Supporting Member

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    I lived at Vandenberg AFB in the mid 60s. It was Camp Cook(e) during WWII . I spent a great deal of time out in the empty fields there and found hundreds of grenade stems...pineapple grenade fragments, enbloc clips, 30-06 shells, 30 cal bullets, etc. That stuff just sits on the surface under the scrub waiting to be found.
     
  11. Combat Diver

    Combat Diver Well-Known Member

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    Depends on which desert your looking in. Found a M4 Sherman tank, British BREN Gun carrier, M1919A6 .30 cal Machine Gun, MP44s, one P08 S/42 coded and a K98 all in Iraq :D Only one brought back to Ft Campbell was the 1919A6 (-stock) and put back on the units books (US Property marked) P08 Luger%20048.jpe IMAG0013.JPG IMAG0014.JPG Persian 29-98, MP44s, M4A1.jpg



    CD
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2018
  12. Chuckman

    Chuckman Senior Member Sponsor

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    @JohnFreeman , go to Butner, areas around Camp Mackall, probably around any WWII-era you'll find interesting stuff in the ground.

    @Combat Diver , reminds me of the ordinance at the little SF museum on Bragg at Smoke Bomb Hill....