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Workers find old artillery shell in Palo Alto hills

County bomb squad detonates World War II shell shortly after 5:30 p.m. Wednesday

Officials detonated a World War II artillery shell that was found at a construction site in Palo Alto Wednesday.

A construction crew working on a hillside in the 3200 block of Alexis Drive found a 3-by-12-inch shell at about 2:25 p.m., and it was detonated by the Santa Clara County bomb squad at about 5:35 p.m., Palo Alto police said.

The crew evacuated the site and notified authorities.

The Santa Clara County bomb squad responded and detonated the device at about 5:35 p.m., police said.

The shell was old, unstable, and had been hit by construction equipment. It was therefore detonated in place, according to police.

No homes were evacuated.

An even earlier artillery shell was discovered along a fenceline of Palo Alto's Foothills Park in February 2008, when two rangers spotted an "extremely rusty" shell. The shell was detonated shortly before midnight by the county bomb squad.

That shell, also found along Alexis Drive, apparently dated from World War I, when the area was used briefly for artillery practice as part of the Camp Fremont training program.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Howard
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 25, 2010 at 8:44 am

But it was historic. Why no EIR?


Like this comment
Posted by T
a resident of another community
on Nov 25, 2010 at 11:04 am

In the early days of WWII, the 17th Inf. Reg. and the 31st F. Art., 7th Inf. Division, had units stationed when HP and the Wall Street Journal now stand. The small arms range was against the hills on the s/w corner of the intersection of Page Mill and JSerra. 37mm Anti-tank and old Fench 75mm Howitzers were fired at another range (Alexis Drive area?). This area housed units that were building observation posts and stringing land wires along the coast from Fort Ord to San Francisco. This includes the old fortifications in the Devils Slide. You yuppies should really talk to the old soldiers at the VA's and not be so fast to dismantle the military that protected you and still serve!


Like this comment
Posted by C
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 26, 2010 at 9:53 am

I have a few pictures of our father in the camp during WWII that T mentions above. Just have to find them.


Like this comment
Posted by C
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 26, 2010 at 9:54 am

I have a few pictures of our father in the camp during WWII that T mentions above. Just have to find them.


Like this comment
Posted by Kris T.
a resident of another community
on Nov 27, 2010 at 11:47 am

Very cool PA historic information.
Now I wonder how many live WWI, and WWII rounds I have stomped on while hanging out at Foothills Park back in the 70's and 80's!


Like this comment
Posted by Will
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Nov 27, 2010 at 1:48 pm

A friend of mine (name upon request) found two landmines in Foothills Park. One had been disturbed by grading but both were reported to park officials at the time. Not a word of this leaked out. I wonder how many more still lay undiscovered. Word at the time was that dogs were used to try and smell out the mines and I believe it was WW2 instead of WW1.


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