A Richland man is breathing a little easier after the Richland Bomb Squad detonated a large 90MM artillery shell that he had come into possession of. But how and why he got it, and where it came from still pose questions!

Kennewick police were alerted by a resident this week, who reportedly became "scared"  after he'd purchased something a little different from a swap meet: a 90MM military artillery shell. This is the same kind of armament used in many late World War II tanks and artillery guns.  The 90MM gun was mounted on tanks late in WWII to counter the 88MM guns used on German Panzers. The shell is used often in guns called howitzers, where large shells are thrown a long way, to do considerable damage.

This artillery shell was quite capable of taking out a house, depending upon the type of payload. IF it were not an armor piercing shell, and was one designed for spreading shrapnel, it could be deadly.

90MM shell before detonation. (Kennewick police)
90MM shell before detonation. (Kennewick police)

Kennewick police alerted the 53rd. Ordinance Company at the Yakima Fire Training Center. They, along with the Richland Bomb Squad, transported the shell to a safe location where it was detonated with a large charge. The three foot long five inch wide shell was obliterated.

It it not clear if the warhead on the shell was truly active, but the man probably did the right thing. The warhead didn't appear to detonate after it was blown up by the bomb squad.

I remember my grandfather brought home a 37MM artillery shell from World War II, but it was inert (he was in the Ordinance Corps) and had the charge removed.  He'd made it into a paperweight!  :)

But we're wondering...what the heck was it doing in a swap meet? These aren't exactly the kind of items that are found in military surplus stores. Hmmm. We're sure the shell's history is being at least investigated a little bit.


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