Old bomb found ‘live’

HISTORY train Luray

January 1, 1987— A U.S. Army team from Ft. Belvoir recently disposed of a “live” 70-year-old anti-tank mortar round found at a Shenandoah residence.

According to Shenandoah Police Chief Harry Armbruster, the 1916 vintage 37-millimeter shell was found Dec. 17 at the residence of the late Myrtie M. Whiteside, 602 First Street.

Armbruster said Monday that Mrs. Whiteside’s daughter, Marguerite Sullivan, was cleaning out her mother’s home when she discovered the shell. Mrs. Sullivan called Shenandoah police about 3:30 p.m.

Armbruster said he placed the shell on grass across the street from the Whiteside residence.

A disposal unit arrived from the Culpeper office to the Virginia State Police. However, Armbruster said state police teams are not allowed to handle military explosives. The state police team contacted the Army disposal team from Ft. Belvoir, which arrived in Shenandoah at 9:15 p.m.

“The Army people removed it to Camp A.P. Hill,” where it was to be detonated, Armbruster said.

Armbruster said he believed the shell was “live” because the primer on the shell casing was intact and because the casing had swollen, indicating that the inner powder had crystallized. 

~ From the public archives of the Page News and Courier

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