8”/55 Cal Naval Shell Casing Questions

8 Inch Case Stencil

Hello. I am new to the forum and am looking for help identifying some markings on
an 8 “/55 caliber naval shell that I picked up at an antique store 2 weeks ago.
My questions are about the date of manufacture, the Manufacturers code and what ship may have fired this round.

The case head has the following markings:
8 INCH 55 CAL.
1268 ← ( Is this a date code?)
DR 517763
NIV <-(Is this a Manufacturers code?)

The primer is marked:
Mk 38 Mod 2
Lo BEF 0669 ← (Is this a date code?))

The condition of the case looks exactly like the shells lying on the deck pictured in several photographs I researched of the USS Newport News after firing engagements during the Vietnam war.
The mouth of the case rim has a slight inward bend which was likely made when the shell was ejected from the turret and impacted the deck of the ship. The case also has 3 elliptical dents which were made by the rims of spent rounds that fell on top of it.

If I am correct about the date codes, December 1968 and June of 1969, only 2 ships were in service that could have fired the shell. The heavy cruiser Newport News and later the destroyer Hull.

Is there any way to trace which ship this shell came from?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

To the best of my knowledge there are no U.S. Distroyers with 8 inch guns.

See - USA 8"/55 (20.3 cm) RF Mark 16 - NavWeaps

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I was referring to the prototype 8"/55 mounted on the USS Hull (945).
See- navweaps.com/Weapons/WNUS_8-55_mk71.htm

Case was manufactured by Norris-Thermador Corp., Los Angeles, California. Loaded in 1969 at the Naval Weapons Station, St. Julien’s Creek, Virginia.

Please, can you show a picture of the headstamp and primer markings?



That info is about a Heavy Cruiser not a Destroyer.


Ok, I guess it was done on an experimental basis at least once anyway. Thanks for the info, I had never heard of this.

Thanks for the input fellows.
The head stamp is weak in areas. I hope this is readable.

Thanks! Can you share a picture of the primer markings?

IMG_3326 (2)
Mk 38 Mod 2
Lot 1
BEF 0669

Is the BEF over the date code a Manufacturer code?
Would you know who they are?

About ~25 years ago I saw some of these cases for sale.
I was interested in getting one, but never did.
Probably due to the price, about $250 back then, IIRC.

Can I ask how much they are now?

I have seen them sell for as high as $800. I paid $600 for this one a 2-3 years ago.

Yep, I should have bought one back then.

Coulda, shoulda, didn’t…

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This is a picture from the antique shop where I purchased the shell.
I negotiated the price to $150.00. With tax it was just under $160.00
(That’s a 90mm shell sitting to the left)

Good score!

I believe this is the 8 inch naval projectile that’d go with it.

Is that a 260 LB round or a 335 LB round?

A few more examples of different models.

A nice selection of 8" projectiles.