Artillery price

Possible artillery shell found in recovered field near Great Bend

GREAT BEND, Kan. (KSNW) – What appears to be an unexploded artillery shell has been found in rural Barton County.

Sheriff Brian Bellendir says the shell was found several months ago during haying operations in a field near Great Bend Airport, but had been placed in a van and left behind. The man who found the shell first tracked it down on Monday and contacted a relative with knowledge of explosives to show him.

Sheriff Bellendir says the family member told them to walk away and call 911. The sheriff’s office responded at the 200 block of Northwest 130 Avenue. The shell was later recovered by the Wichita Police Department’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit on Tuesday. The unit will take an X-ray and examine it in Wichita.

During World War II, Great Bend Airport was the location of the Army Air Force Base, a training site for B-29 bombers. Sheriff Bellendir says local World War II historians believe the cartridge was from a 75mm recoilless rifle, likely used at the base. He says that given the military and oil activity in Barton County over the past century, it’s not uncommon for people to find unused explosives or military orders. He says you should always call 911 if you think you’ve discovered something dangerous.