I am a brand new member of this forum, and am fascinated by both the relics that have been discovered, and the knowledge of the members. Hopefully, someone can help me identify a relic that I recovered from the wreck of the St. Cathan, and let me know if it is hazardous.
HMS St. Cathan (FY 234) was an ASW trawler that sank off the coast of South Carolina on April 11, 1942 after colliding with the Dutch freighter Hebe. Both ships sank in a matter of minutes, and now rest about ˝ mile apart at a depth of 110 ft. All of the Hebe’s crew were rescued, but thirty of St. Cathan’s crew of thirty-nine were lost. Both wrecks are popular scuba dive sites.
I recovered this object about 10 years ago. When I first pulled it out of the sand by the brass handle, I thought it was a lantern of some type. Someone on the dive boat told me it was a depth charge detonator, but gave no details as to how it worked or what it contained. Just to be safe, I’ve been keeping it in the shed out back, and have made no attempt to clean it. As the pictures show, the object is cylindrical, and appears to be made entirely of brass, except for the ˝” thick rubber gasket at the top. The cylinder is about 6” long, and 3 ˝” in diameter. The brass “handle” is connected to the top portion of the cylinder, and swings freely. Below the gasket, the cylinder is sealed, and judging from the weight, is packed solid with something. There is a center rod running through the center that appears to be threaded. The bottom has a shallow hole in the center. There are no markings anywhere on the object. What is it, and is it capable of exploding?