January 19, 2013

Photo: WWII Training Round Found at Fort Fisher

Patrick Conley found this 50 Cal round while walking at Fort Fisher and made a general inquiry as to where it may have originated. 

During WWII, Fort Fisher was used for 50-caliber machine gun training and as a firing range for anti-aircraft training. You can view photos and read more about the Fort Fisher WWII history at the NC Historical Site website:

Based on the numerous comments we received on our Facebook page, these spent rounds are a fairly common find in the Fort Fisher area.  One poster stated that he did some metal detecting at Kure Beach awhile ago and found approximately 10 to 15 rounds.

Linda Gail offered up an interesting tale as to why the rounds are covered with caked on sand, rock, etc.  Approximately eight years ago, her husband and son were staying at the Air Force Station [now the Air Force Recreation Area] and they crossed the road to visit the beach.  As they entered onto the beach, they came across two older women who were doing a little treasure hunting:
 "There they found two elderly ladies in full waders with large nets. They were going out about waist deep, netting exactly what is shown in the picture above, only not as cleaned up. They gave my son about half a dozen of the objects.

The ladies explained, to my family, what they are: 50 caliber, sometimes 30 MM, bullets shot from WWII planes during beach target practice. The hard casings around the bullets are molten sand. The bullets would be so hot entering the water, hitting the beach, the sand would melt and encase each bullet. Rolling in the surf, for years to come, encased them more and more. My family considers the gift, from the ladies, quite a treasure."

Quite a treasure indeed.  Thanks for sharing the story Linda.
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