Texarkana, TX 74° Fri H 89° L 68° Sat H 88° L 70° Sun H 91° L 70° Weather Sponsored By:

Texarkana man finds unexploded military ordnance near his home that could date back to early 1900s

Texarkana man finds unexploded military ordnance near his home that could date back to early 1900s

April 22nd, 2019 by Greg Bischof in Texarkana News

United States Air-force EOD soldiers carry the unknown ordinance found from a yard into the EOD truck to take to detonate on Monday, April 22, 2019, in Texarkana, Texas. A man mowing his lawn found some military ordinance that appeared to be a tank round that could not be identified whether or not it was live. USAF EOD from Barksdale came to Texarkana to get the tank round for detonation in a safe area.

Photo by Hunt Mercier /Texarkana Gazette.

Texarkana, Texas, resident Mike DeLaughter thought he would have a blast getting in some pleasant springtime yard work this weekend.

But, to his surprise, that blast could have had a literal meaning.

"I had just spent Saturday mowing the lawn," DeLaughter, who has spent the last eight years living in his 1930s vintage home, in the 3000 block of Magnolia Street, said. "I was outside Sunday evening about 6:30 p.m., surveying my handy work and looking at some shrubs on the house's south side when I notice what looked like a small coffee thermos laying on its side and buried about halfway into the ground."

But as DeLaughter extracted the object from the ground, he notice that it appeared to have an odd military tank or artillery shell look about it. The object also had a seriously corroded look about it — like it had been just under the ground service for years and perhaps decades.

"It was about 10 inches to a foot long and it seemed to weigh a couple of pounds, so I took it to my next door neighbor because she had worked at the Red River Army Depot as far back as 50 years ago," DeLaughter said. "I hadn't had any military experience, so I didn't really know what I had found."

As it turned out, DeLaugther's neighbor knew exactly what the military round was and she even identified the ordnance's fuse attached to the shell's cone head."

From there, DeLaughter decided to notify police about his finding, since there was still a chance that even aged military ordnance could still be explosive.

Once police arrived on the scene, they decided to notify Shreveport's Barksdale Air Force Base, which had the closest military explosive experts available. The base sent out a U.S. Air Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal team Monday morning.

The EOD team arrived at the scene before 9 a.m. to investigate the type of ordnance it appeared to be, as well as to determine whether or not it still had live potential explosive power or if it had become benign.

"We couldn't really determine if the shell was either a tank or artillery shell, but we knew its a projectile, said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jason McCasland, Barksdale's public affairs craftsman.

Once determined not to have any immediate explosive potential, the team wrapped the shell, placed it in a container, drove it to secure place and detonated it as a public safety precaution, said Texarkana, Texas, Police Department Public Information Officer Shawn Vaughn.

The explosion ensured that the shell's fragments were blasted into the ground and not upward — as a safety measure — McCasland said.

Following the shell's detonation, a portion of its fuse timing ring indicated that the projectile could have been produced as far back as 1908 to 1910.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com