A metal detector was not required
Seems it got found a 2nd time as the driving band got removed before. A usual occurance in SEA.
Perhaps…being; ‘saved for a rainy day.’
Not really, the usual procedure is to collect all colored metals and when they are coming with “steel” the valuable part just gest chiseled off and the rest gets buried.
Down there it is an exception to find dud projectiles with driving bands still on.
An Asian guy I used to work with told me during and after the Vietnam war his people made pots, pans, skillets out of unexploded bombs, mortars,various shells and US aircraft. No sense throwing away good metal I guess
Is the 10% dud-rate quoted in the article accurate?
He was pretty much correct as it is sheer neccessity. In Laos for example large shrapnel pieces were very popular amongst the locals as they were using these fragments to forge high class machetes and knifes.
After demolitions our people started collecting the shrapnel…
And for “reuse” in general, in Vietnam I saw local workshops using 155mm projectile bodies to make concrete reinforcement bars. Means the projectiles were cut up longitudaly in pieces and then were/are forged into long bars.
And funny or not: once I was looking around at the scrap “raw material” of such a workshop when they were working and right that moment they cut a 155mm WP which aparently had a good portion of WP left inside - with a thick layer of WP-oxide keeping it away from oxygen. As one can imagine cutting up the projectile with a blow torch is exactly what the WP was waiting for. Chaos set in, fire, smoke, people running, the street in front of the place became un-passable etc. In general nothing serious (except for poisonous WP fumes).
I decided to get into my car and leave the place before they were going to cut something more serious…
Oh, what you say is very common in Vietnam. This is a product of a man I know. 20mm M21A1 and M79 grenade launcher.
The New Jersey fired a mission on a rocket site near Con Thien on 14th of Feb. '69. While this could have been fired on any number of fire missions she responded to, during her 8 months patrolling the VN coast this mission is the only one I could find listed that what was in the Gio Linh district near Con Thien. The NJ spent a lot of time in the I Corps area in support of the 3rd Marine Div. In 8 months she fired 5,688 16" shells and 14,891 5" . Only 1500 rounds less than in WW2.
I spent several weeks at the Marine base at Con Thien living like a mole. We were within artillery distance from NVA artillery sites in the DMZ and on some days took hundreds of rounds of incoming. I was present on Operation Meade River in Nov. of '68 where the New Jersey fired its biggest fire mission of the war. She destroyed hundreds of buildings, bunkers and tunnel systems. started firing on the 25th and less than 24 hours later was on its way to a fire support mission further north near Hue city. Never found a dud 16" on our patrols during Meade River but quite a few 5". Most of these I was told were VT fuses. Kept the EOD/engineers busy. On Apr 1st of '69 she was decommissioned again after only 1 year from her recommissioning in Apr of '68.