Sixteener in the front yard

1916. \"Indian Head, Maryland. Navy proving ground. Residence of George Swann, damaged by 16-inch shell that hit another in sandbank, and was deflected over country at 3/4 angle. The shell, where it stopped in dooryard.\" Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative, Library of Congress.

1916. Indian Head, Maryland. Navy proving ground. Residence of George Swann, damaged by 16-inch shell that hit another in sandbank, and was deflected over country at 3/4 angle. The shell, where it stopped in dooryard. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative, Library of Congress.

You can see that it’s been there a while, as the homeowner’s have patched things up a bit. From Shorpy.

UPDATE: Since Murdoc’s rule is “If it’s bigger than .50, consult Donovan,” I emailed The Armory on this, wondering if the Army had any 16″ projects at the time. The Navy’s first 16″-gunned BBs didn’t hit water until 1920. I figured this might be testing of the new biggies, but wanted some expert input. Here’s what I got:

Yes, [the Army] did, but that kind of testing was done at Aberdeen. Back at that point in time, Indian Neck was called “Naval Proving Ground Indian Neck” and they did gun development there – so it’s right time and place for the development of the naval 16 inch rifles.

UPDATE 2: Too good to leave in the comments section:

Thank God everyone was wearing eye protection!

Comments

  1. If they were testing those guns, then they are definitely sand fills or solid shot. Probably more accurate to refer to them as rounds than shells, being as the latter infer a ‘splody-type of purpose.. :)

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