Become our sponsor and display your banner here
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 21

Latest trip - USAAF gunnery range - March 2010

Article about: Hi all A few years back I stumbled across a beach, purely by accident, on which I found a couple of 50cal bullets. Returning a few weeks later with my MD, I found a bucket full of them and p

  1. #1

    Default Latest trip - USAAF gunnery range - March 2010

    Hi all

    A few years back I stumbled across a beach, purely by accident, on which I found a couple of 50cal bullets. Returning a few weeks later with my MD, I found a bucket full of them and put the reason for them being there down to the position of the beach..........in The Wash, an area used in WW2 for gunnery practice by both airforces.

    I forgot about the place until last week when, again purely by accident, stumbled across a reference to the beach and it's use as a USAAF bomber aircrew gunnery range !!!! Armed with this info and quite a few very nice pictures of the area during and after the war, (good old Google earth !), I returned to see if I could find more than I did a couple of years previously.

    That first visit a few years back I had kept to the high water mark along the beach. With this new info I ignored the beach and searched the waste land behind the dunes.

    This is what I found.

    Firstly before any cleaning.



    Then after cleaning



    A close up of the undamaged 50cal bullets and one lonely little 30cal !



    Quite a few of the bullets I found were quite badly damaged. I suppose hitting the target and/or stoney ground tends to do nasty things to a 50cal bullet !





    I also found a few coins as well, all with a date that would put them in the right era to have been dropped by the trainees or instructors.



    And very strangely one lone cartridge. Strange because I found it at the base of one of the target embankments, 200 yards away from where the guns were sited. Wonder how it got there !

    Headstamp places it in 1944





    Lastly a close up of one of the bullets. I've left this one like this as I spotted it in the shingle as I walked back to the car. The corroding metal has formed a kind of concrete with the sand and turned the base of the bullet into rock. It even has a couple of shells attached to it !



    Anyway, a decent enough visit. I might use some of the bullets with the 50cals from my airfield to make a few nice display pieces.

    Cheers

    Steve T
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture before cleaning.JPG   After cleaning.JPG  

    good bullets.JPG   damaged bullets.JPG  

    damaged bullets 2.JPG   coins.JPG  

    50 cal.JPG   headstamp.JPG  

    50 cal bullet.JPG  

  2. #2

    Default Re: Latest trip - USAAF gunnery range - March 2010

    well done steve ive never seen so many 50cals in my life, id be lucky if i could find 1 haha.
    ive got a new video if you havn't already seen it YouTube - Digging a WW2 British Dump, UK

  3. #3

    Default Re: Latest trip - USAAF gunnery range - March 2010

    Hi Steve,
    another enjoyable post, that site of yours has great potential, if you do use some of the bullets on your airfield found cartridges it'd be great to see them fully assembled.

    Whitehunter1, that film of yours is awesome, what a great site you've found there, pulling a helmet and canteen out of the same hole on a uk tip is unheard of well done. You should start your own thread on this tip updating it with pics of your latest finds. Please let us see some pics of the helmet and its decal. Have you identified the unit yet?
    LUCKYSTRIKE

  4. #4

    Default Re: Latest trip - USAAF gunnery range - March 2010

    Hi Steve and Whitehunter it's exciting for me just to see and read about your digging. Great sites and finds, I wish I could dig in places like that. Thanks for your posts, I'm like Luckystrike, I really enjoy seeing the success of your trips.

    Take care,
    Jay

  5. #5

    Default Re: Latest trip - USAAF gunnery range - March 2010

    Nice finds in your vid whitehunter......you ever need a hand digging that place out give me a shout

    Luckystrike - Yep....that's what I intend to do with some of them

    Steve T

  6. #6

    Default Re: Latest trip - USAAF gunnery range - March 2010

    Thanks Jay

    Steve T

  7. #7

    Default Re: Latest trip - USAAF gunnery range - March 2010

    I used to visit Brancaster, not far from the Wash, as a child on holiday with my parents. Next door to Brancaster is a nature reserve that was one of the practice grounds for the D Day landings. Found loads of .303's in rock pools ,25 pounder and mortar shells in the sand dunes. I think the place is called Titchwell Marsh. The local Brancaster police will remember me as the kid who caused the bomb disposal truck to be destroyed thanks to what I had found.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Latest trip - USAAF gunnery range - March 2010

    Quote by shadowwolf View Post
    ....... will remember me as the kid who caused the bomb disposal truck to be destroyed thanks to what I had found.


    That made me laugh shadowwolf

    This place isn't that far from Brancaster actually and I know Titchwell Marsh very well as well Never searched there but I must give it a blast one day. Hopefully not literally !!!!

    Steve T

  9. #9

    Default Re: Latest trip - USAAF gunnery range - March 2010

    25 pounder shells on Titchwell marsh as you walk along the coast from Brancaster. I found a load of them every year on our family's 2 week holiday in Brancaster. I would move them to a safe place, then go back with the local Brancaster bobby to show him where they were. One year the Royal Navy and the Army bomb disposal could not work out who's reponsibility the ordanance was. If it was below the high tide mark it was the Navy's, if it was above it was the Army's. The Army had sent bomb disposal up to Brancaster from Colchester (25 miles away from me... odd). They got their Landrover stuck in the sand. Next day a recovery vehicle was sent to get it, that also got stuck. Next day another recovery vehicle was sent up and that removed the stuck ones from the sand. From what I heard from Brancaster police; the first vehicle the Army had sent up was ruined after having tides washed over it, and to make things worse, during all this bad luck the Army where having the Navy had decided that the ordance in question was their responsibility and removed it themselves. I felt terrible, I was only a kid of about 12 wanting to make sure that no one blew up on the big rusty things on the beach!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Latest trip - USAAF gunnery range - March 2010

    Without a doubt it can be assured that there will be no shortage of .50 cal brass & projectiles from station 172, my good friend Paul Bellamy has done some interesting research on this 8th AF Gunnery Training Range which includes some great photographs & later day comparison shots.

    More info at our website here:
    Aces, Contrails & Unsung Heroes • View topic - Station 172: Snettisham Gunnery School

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. WW2 Gunnery range.....take 2 !

    In Battlefield history and relics
    06-01-2013, 11:45 AM
  2. 02-18-2010, 12:00 AM
  3. WW2 Gunnery range - February 2010

    In Battlefield history and relics
    02-17-2010, 02:16 AM
  4. WW2 Gunnery range - 1/2 a ton of finds !

    In Battlefield history and relics
    08-11-2009, 12:08 AM
  5. WW2 gunnery range AMAZING find

    In Battlefield history and relics
    05-26-2009, 07:03 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •