Bullets On The Beach
A few weeks ago we put up an article talking about site B where the sand is being dredged for the beach replenishment projects in Rehoboth and Dewey beach. The area where site B is located is in what was known as the north firing range. So it is no surprise to find ordinance on a Delaware beach, especially the replenished beaches of Rehoboth and Dewey. Yesterday I dropped by Rehoboth to see just how badly the jetties were buried, they are gone. So I decided to check out the drop off at the sand pumping pipe. It is about a four-foot drop and I was taking a video to show it to everyone. While filming I saw a bullet literally right under me on the lower beach. Score! I was hoping to find a bullet yesterday, this took me all of a minute. How anyone missed this as they walked past it is beyond me, there were foot prints all around it. I zoomed in the video, stopped filming, and jumped down to claim my prize. I find a lot of stuff on the beaches, the other day on Christmas was an old leather shoe with coral growing on it.
I was about to start beach combing when I found this …
Excerpt from a report I read … Two former artillery-firing ranges have historically occupied tracts of land along the Delaware Atlantic Coast (Figure 4-6). One range occupied a 275-acre portion of beach area north of Indian River Inlet in the present Delaware Seashore State Park, and was known as the North Firing Range. The second range occupied a 108-acre tract of land south of South Bethany in present day Fenwick Island State Park, and was known as the South Firing Range. These ranges were associated with the former military installation of Fort Miles, which is now Cape Henlopen State Park.
People find casings, 40 mm rounds, timer parts of 40 mm fuses, and lots of bullets. Most of these are the 40 mm and fifty caliber. The one I found is a fifty caliber bullet. Steve DiGiorlamo has found all kinds of ordinance pieces on the beaches. “Found many .30 caliber plus even more .50 caliber and brass, along with AA fuses and shrapnel, when they pumped Bethany beach … Happy hunting! If you find any cases (brass) look on the bottom for the date of manufacture. Some had stamps that are the initials of where it was made. This one is stamped 42. My dad was part of the coastal artillery at Fort Miles, they shot both of those during training in the early 1950’s up until the 1970’s, along with 40 mm AA, and I think 90 mm radar guided rounds. On the 50 caliber bullet, the ring is where the crimp on the case begins and the grooves are from the gun rifling. The other photo is the fuse timer of a 40 mm projectile. Keep an eye out for them, you might find a couple.”
You never know what you are going to find washed up on a beach in Delaware. Bullets are easy to identify if you take a picture of them in your hand for size reference.