From The T and D Dot Com:
By RICHARD WALKER, T&D Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
A quick-thinking Orangeburg businessman took an artillery shell off the streets that he says had enough explosives to destroy a house.
David Marshall, manager of Broughton Pawn Shop, notified police after a patron brought an artillery shell into the shop for identification.
“He said he had an artillery shell he’d found,” Marshall said. “He said he was at a construction site about two years ago and found it.”
The projectile was collected Friday by the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety and State Law Enforcement Division. It was taken to a police practice ground in the county and detonated.
“A friend in Elloree called and said he heard it,” Marshall said. “He said it was something.”
Marshall, a former Marine artillerist, said when the patron called him about the shell, he told the man to bring it in for identification.
“I wanted to get it off the streets,” he said. “I’m glad we got it in here.”
Marshall said the shell — which arrived in a five-gallon plastic bucket — turned out to be a 105 mm howitzer projectile bearing a proximity fuse, a device that detonates a projectile when built-in sensors have determined the intended target is near.
Described as about 1.5 feet tall and as big around as a grapefruit, the shell had the ability to destroy a house, Marshall said.
Considering the destructive potential of the round, a Ft. Jackson explosive ordnance disposal unit was asked to come to Orangeburg. However, it would have taken several hours before a team could be dispatched.
The device was then taken out by city and state officials and set off.
Marshall didn’t get a chance to ask where his patron found the shell. When it was identified, the man ran out of the store.
Marshall said some pretty unique things have been brought into the shop but none as unique as what arrived Friday.
“Never an artillery shell. Never,” he said. “Thank God it’s gone.”
T&D Staff Writer Richard Walker can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 803-533-5516. Discuss this and other stories on-line at TheTandD.com.