Sonora, CA — At 5pm Monday the Calaveras County Bomb Squad safely detonated a 1917 era artillery shell that had been discovered six hours earlier in a shed behind a paint shop at 14398 Tuolumne Rd.
Special Operations Bureau Commander Clay Hawkins from the Calaveras County Sheriff´s Department carefully examined the shell. He then retrieved information from a book in the U.C. Berkeley Library to determine the strength of the explosive material in the shell.
The shell was carefully loaded into the squad´s bomb trailer where it was moved to a field near the S.P.I. plant off Camage Ave. A backhoe was used to dig a five foot hole and that is where the detonation took place.
Hawkins added that this shell was probably the oldest that he has ever dealt with in a career that includes 300-400 explosive devices ranging from grenades to aerial bombs.
Written by Bill Johnson