Minneapolis Moline 155 MM Projectile

I was wondering if anybody has a picture of a world war II projectile made by Minneapolis Moline they were 155mm in size. Thanks in advance.

Brian.

Only this:

images

It may be helpfull to know what manufacturer code they were using and then asking for images of a projectile with a respective lot number?

I have a 5 inch Navy projectile that came straight off the production line near the end of WW2 at the Minneapolis-Moline Como Ordnance Plant (Minneapolis-Moline Power Implement Company)

Here is part of a write-up giving the history of the projectile I have:

5-inch Navy Projectile

Produced at the Minneapolis-Moline Como Ordnance Plant

(Minneapolis-Moline Power Implement Company)

World War II

In 1945 near the end of WWII the U.S. Navy canceled many orders for ordnance. When this happened at the Como Ordnance Plant, workers were offered the chance to take a projectile from the production line as a souvenir of their efforts in helping to win the war. One of the workers was Hap (Hubert) Welch who picked this projectile as his war memento on the last day of production. Hap began working on the “5-inch” line in mid-1944. His job was running a lathe that cut and shaped the copper driving band and gas seal located near the base of the projectile. Besides manufacturing various tractors used to pull military equipment and 5-inch projectiles Hap indicated that the Como plant also produced Navy 6 inch and Army 155mm projectiles. The plant was located on Como Ave. in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Hap’s description of the production line for the Navy 5-inch projectile-

Long bars of steel, approximately 2 to 3 inches square were shipped to the plant. These bars were sheared into sections around 24 inches in length. “You always knew when the shear was in operation since the entire floor of the building shook and there was a loud ‘thud’ with each section cut.” The resulting short bars were sent to a furnace and heated orange hot. From there each heated bar moved through a series of rams that compressed the bar lengthwise until the steel was formed into a billet slightly larger in diameter than the actual projectile. A cavity was bored in the billet and in turn an inside lathe enlarged the cavity to the proper size. The outside of the billet was cut to size on a lathe and another lathe cut a groove for the copper driving band. Then a ring of copper was slipped onto the projectile and pressed into the driving band groove. During the final lathe work the driving band/gas seal was formed from the band. Fuse threads were cut in the nose and base and fuse plugs were screwed into each projectile to protect the threads during shipment. Finally the projectiles were prepared for shipment to another facility to be charged with explosives.

Markings on the base of this projectile: 5IN AA COM MK 35 MOD. 10 MMP 37LOT .

Translation: 5-inch Anti-Aircraft, Common, Mk 35, Model 10, Minneapolis-Moline Plant (or “Power”), 37th production lot.

Brian

PS: Note of emphasis- that the Minneapolis-Moline Como Ordnance Plant only manufactured the projectiles. Upon completion the projectiles were then crated, loaded onto railroad box cars and shipped to an explosives loading facility for loading projectiles with explosives.

2 Likes

Hi Jaco,

Thanks for the information everything helps.

Brian.

Hi Eod,

Thanks for the info.

Brian.

Hi Brian,
That’s a great story thanks for sharing all the information. Would it be possible to send any photo’s like the side view and the base view of the markings?

Thanks Again Brian.

Some quick photos, 5-inch Navy produced at the Minneapolis-Moline Como Ordnance Plant (Minneapolis-Moline Power Implement Company), 1945. The shell shows the effects of being used as a door stop for 35 years before it was given to me.

Base markings:

I will try to take better photos when I get a chance at better lighting.

Brian

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So Brian, since your projectile never made it past the metal forming stages (to be loaded with explosive) does that mean that there are no markings on the rotating band? I assume those are added at the explosives filler plant after final inspection.

Very interesting projectile with the history behind it. Thanks for sharing.

Marks on the rotating band are usually those for the projectile body itself, as the same thing could be filled/fuzed in several configurations, and the designation of the loaded projectile would be identified by the painted body color and stencil markings.
I have seen more projectiles with the marking on the rotating bands, instead of on the bases like this on, but base markings are not uncommon on USN projectiles.

Larry,

There are NO markings/stampings on the driving band. If the driving band for these 5-inch shells were normally marked then it might be the shell I have never made it to the marking stage in the production line.

Brian

Hi Brian,

Thanks for the photo’s I collect Minneapolis Moline Tractors and Memorabilia I have heard of these projectiles but have never seen one. Have you ever come across another one? Also would you happen to know if anyone has one for sale I would be interested in purchasing one.

Thanks Brian.

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John, thanks for the background. I have a 5"/38 HC from the Vietnam era with the original stencils intact (you may remember helping to ID it here USN 5"/38 Caliber Questions). The rotating band is marked as an AA COM, but on my projectile, the band was cut to demil it (it is in 3 pieces). So I wondered if it was the original band or not. Based on your explanation, I guess it could be original since I believe the AA Common used the same projectile body as the High Capacity.