WW1 U.S. Navy time and percussion fuze


#1

Among items found in the area of the July 10, 1926 explosion of 650K tons of stored munitions at the U.S. Naval Depot at Lake Denmark, NJ are what appear to be an earlier predecessor of the M-1907M time and percussion fuze. The tapered thread and a 10-second maximum delay would also seem to indicate that they could go back to the 1800’s (Though most “items” are dated 1918, I have found a 1914 item, and another shell bottom appears to date back to the era of the U.S.S. Maine.) Anyway, I thought I’d share the find. Note similarities to the British No.63 MK1 fuze (same arrows) and the separate safety pins to separate actions. (Sorry, I was allowed to show only one photo so I can’t show the separate pins of an uncleaned fuze.)


#2

Here is more historic info about Picatinny explosion http://thevane.gawker.com/july-10-1926-the-day-nature-blew-up-a-town-in-new-jer-1602586498


#3

EODC, this is a typical Armstrong fuze. Most likely made in Great Britain and as you say long before 1900.
There is a hole row of models basing on this design.
These were also exported to many countries and in many variations as they were adapted to customer requirements (calibers, burning time, etc).

Here an example:


#4

EODC,

Nice fuze. As EOD said in his post above the fuze you show is considered to be a type of Armstrong made fuzes.
The exact same fuze is pictured and discussed in a thread on the BOCN Forum:
http://www.bocn.co.uk/vbforum/threads/93630-No-56?highlight=armstrong

Brian


#5

Thank you for identifying it. My father was Director of the U.S. Army EODC at Picatinny Arsenal, and after the Army disbanded the Center he couldn’t find anything else to do. Going through his collection of artifacts from the 1926 explosion, I realized that the Navy had been storing older ammunition as well. Interesting that he found so many of these earlier fuzes. Perhaps like blank rounds, dummy rounds and training rounds, they simply did better at surviving the blast.


#6

Brian,

Thanks. I joined IAA forum so that knowledgeable persons such as yourself and EOD might identify the early fuze. As I told EOD, my father would bring these things home and he’d tell me what they were but I wasn’t paying any attention. Now I’m paying attention to what they are.


#7

EODC, good to see these artifacts. Feel free to show more of those items.


#8

EODC,
I went to Picatinny in 2012 Picattiny Arsenal, New Jersey. The museum was long gone. Would you happen to have any old photos from that museum?


#9

I’m not surprised that the museum’s gone. The EOD Center was gone around 1980. Pretty much everything Picatinny Arsenal (PA) ever was is long gone. It had a big role in the history of armament development and munitions production. I wonder if the little iron ore mine by the main gate is gone too. That mine may be the very start of PA.