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Graves found under Jeffersonville softball field


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#41 Random Thoughts

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 06:00 AM

I was thinking about the other 50 cal. guns used in the war. And aircraft was one of the first things I thought of.
But I sort of dismissed the idea. That makes it seem even more "out of place".

I might be wrong .. but after WWI there weren't as many laws about regulating ownership of auto weapons, as later.
So I thought maybe somebody had possibly purchased a Browning and maybe would target shoot.
I think I read , or heard, somewhere that the old water cooled Browning's did tend to warp barrels, after a while. So I theorized maybe they had changed out a barrel... and just left it.

But this was an aircraft barrel.
There weren't any service airstrips in the area, around at that time,were there ? Or maybe it found its way there from the ammo plant ?

#42 Random Thoughts

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 08:29 AM

I personally think for starters we should tear down, or renovate Rose Hill.
Because it brings nothing positive to the neighborhood, or community, in its current condition or use. Then build an interpretive center about the history of Jeff. Right there in the middle of where much of that history took place. And adjacent to the canal and ped bridge ramp.

We could build a smaller building ....and use the extra area for additional parking. Or reno the building for use as the center. And maybe have the rest converted for public rental or use . (In conjunction with the park).
But also it would be a great spot for meeting rooms, and offices for the historical and genealogical societies.

People coming across the ped bridge would see it.. and visit.
And it could direct them to other spots, in town, of interest.

Either modernize the softball field... And / or make the entire area a public park.

#43 RiverFox

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 09:19 AM

I was thinking about the other 50 cal. guns used in the war. And aircraft was one of the first things I thought of.
But I sort of dismissed the idea. That makes it seem even more "out of place".

I might be wrong .. but after WWI there weren't as many laws about regulating ownership of auto weapons, as later.
So I thought maybe somebody had possibly purchased a Browning and maybe would target shoot.
I think I read , or heard, somewhere that the old water cooled Browning's did tend to warp barrels, after a while. So I theorized maybe they had changed out a barrel... and just left it.

But this was an aircraft barrel.
There weren't any service airstrips in the area, around at that time,were there ? Or maybe it found its way there from the ammo plant ?


No military airfields around here that I know of.

Federal machine gun laws started cracking down around 1934.

That was the only online pic that I could find that showed a stripped down barrel.
The M1917 (water) & M1919 (air) had 24" in barrels (too short) and fired .30-06 Springfield rounds.
I checked the FM23-65 & the TM 9-1005-213-10 on the std. M2 but the barrel configuration is different.
The 'barrel assembly' is the entire piece shown below + a carrying handle.
Posted Image
I don't have the armorer's manuals so I don't know if that right hand section is removable or not.
The specs give the M2 barrel length as 45". If that's just the actual barrel (left side) that'd be about right.

That's all I've got. We only had about a ten minute class on how to load and fire an M2.
Nothing on taking it down. It isn't considered a standard infantry weapon.

Suppose I've run everyone away from this thread by now. :whistle: :laugh:

#44 Random Thoughts

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 09:41 AM

Well maybe we both have. But it was interesting to discuss. At least to me anyway :thumbsup:
I love a good historical mystery.

#45 Teresa Fisher

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 10:43 AM

I personally think for starters we should tear down, or renovate Rose Hill.
Because it brings nothing positive to the neighborhood, or community, in its current condition or use.


You got that right. Unfortunately, it was sold long ago to a private "developer." Maybe he wouldn't want to sell. Oh wait... you can just take it away from him.

Then build an interpretive center about the history of Jeff. Right there in the middle of where much of that history took place. And adjacent to the canal and ped bridge ramp.

We could build a smaller building ....and use the extra area for additional parking.


Why not use the brick house that was taken from me? It's right across the street from the school.

#46 MBHeights1

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 11:31 AM

I wonder if any of the folks buried under the softball field voted by absentee ballot?......

Edit:
I did get some hands on time with a Browning 50 cal in the service.
(Shipboard self defense team.)

Edited by MBHeights1, 05 December 2011 - 11:57 AM.

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#47 Random Thoughts

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 11:41 AM

I am trying to be good.
No comment :laugh:

#48 Oldgoat

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 01:27 PM

No military airfields around here that I know of.

Federal machine gun laws started cracking down around 1934.

That was the only online pic that I could find that showed a stripped down barrel.
The M1917 (water) & M1919 (air) had 24" in barrels (too short) and fired .30-06 Springfield rounds.
I checked the FM23-65 & the TM 9-1005-213-10 on the std. M2 but the barrel configuration is different.
The 'barrel assembly' is the entire piece shown below + a carrying handle.
Posted Image
I don't have the armorer's manuals so I don't know if that right hand section is removable or not.
The specs give the M2 barrel length as 45". If that's just the actual barrel (left side) that'd be about right.

That's all I've got. We only had about a ten minute class on how to load and fire an M2.
Nothing on taking it down. It isn't considered a standard infantry weapon.

Suppose I've run everyone away from this thread by now. :whistle: :laugh:


Bowman Field in Louisville was used by military aircraft during WWII as well as a much larger field at Seymour, where allegedly a captured Japanese Zero was dismantled, studied, reassembled and then buried. Most likely, however, is that the gun came from the Quartermaster Depot. All kinds of military equipment was rebuilt/refurbished there. Jeep engines, tank engines for sure but very possibly some firearms and aircraft parts as well.

#49 ChopperWoman

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 08:12 PM

I talked to one of the archaeologists today. Very interesting. Apparently there are many graves under the ball field. If bodies were ever moved it wasn't many. He thought maybe just officers. If the rain stops and it dries out enough they are supposed to start work again on Thursday. But judging by all this dag gone rain it will probably still be a sloppy mess by Thursday.

#50 Random Thoughts

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 08:31 PM

I wonder if they have any idea where the war graves may have been ? I would think they were grouped fairly close together, in one section of the field.
Knowing that might be the only way to tell for sure. If they were soldiers graves.
Unless of course they get lucky and find artifacts like belt buckles , buttons, or other items that could identify them. Should be interesting to see developments. Did they mention how many more excavations they were planning ?

#51 ChopperWoman

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 09:55 PM

No he didn't mention how many more. I got the feeling their main purpose was to find the boundries of the cemetary. We didn't have long to talk. He is a customer of mine. We've talked about different excavations he's been in on in the area over the past few years. Hopefully I'll see him again soon and can ask more questions.

#52 Avid Reader

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 10:01 PM

I love history and I find this whole situation so compelling.

#53 18shortcreek

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 12:10 AM

Bowman Field was used to train glider pilots for the Army.(God's gift to women, so they thought!!!) Sorry, I digress. Just couldn't resist.

Of course there were planes there for the training, but Godwin Field at Knox was used more by the Army. There just was not that much Air Force presence in Louisville. It was all tankers, glider pilots and a few men from Camp Breckenridge who came up to the big city.

#54 Maybelline

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 08:14 AM

I talked to one of the archaeologists today. Very interesting. Apparently there are many graves under the ball field. If bodies were ever moved it wasn't many. He thought maybe just officers. If the rain stops and it dries out enough they are supposed to start work again on Thursday. But judging by all this dag gone rain it will probably still be a sloppy mess by Thursday.

Chopperwoman, if it's the same archaeologist I know, he was the field director for the excavation and the person who actually discovered the bodies. He believes there may be up to 300 there.

#55 RiverFox

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 01:13 PM

Bowman Field was used to train glider pilots for the Army.(God's gift to women, so they thought!!!) Sorry, I digress. Just couldn't resist.

:shocked: OooooK. :laugh:

There were quite a few fields within a hundred or so
mile radius of here. (Atterbury had one too)
Nothing in the immediate area however.

If I remember correctly, Mr. Hoosier (Hoosier Hardware)
was one of those 101st glider pilots. I wouldn't swear
to it but that's what I'd heard once.

#56 ChopperWoman

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 02:59 PM

Chopperwoman, if it's the same archaeologist I know, he was the field director for the excavation and the person who actually discovered the bodies. He believes there may be up to 300 there.


Perry? =)

#57 karen

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 04:27 PM

This would be a great topic for local students to discuss. It would be nice if they could learn this local history as it unfolds.

#58 rosietheriveter

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 10:41 PM

This would be a great topic for local students to discuss. It would be nice if they could learn this local history as it unfolds.

Call them!

#59 rosietheriveter

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 10:47 PM

Those maps ave very cool,( by the way), River Fox. Thanks for sharing.

I hope everyone wont mind me sharing a childhood story about that area. The excavating made me think of it.
When I was in the 3rd grade we rented a house directly across Maple, from the school. ( Where those apts are now ).
And one day when I was goofing around in the backyard I noticed a coin, (the size of a dime), laying in the dirt, right up against the base of a big tree that was growing there.

My grandparents had gotten me interested in coin collecting by that time .. So seeing it obviously got my attention. I started rubbing on it and immediately noticed this looked like a very old coin.
After doing a quick search around the area, (to see if any more laying about)... I took it in the house and washed it off.
To my amazement discovered it was a "seated liberty" dime, minted in New Orleans in 1853!
So you can imagine considering how the mind of a 3rd grader works... I was convinced that somewhere under that tree rested a treasure trove of old coins. I was sure I had found the "Motherload"

Over the next couple days..using a large tablespoon I "borrowed" from the kitchen..
And with great stealth... I "excavated" all around the bottom of that tree.
I did this, of course, only when I was sure none of other neighborhood kids were around.
I wasn't about to share the treasure with them ! It was mine!..All mine !

But alas.. After a couple days of my covert operation.. I had to accept there was no treasure. :mad:
All I had for my efforts were the original dime, ( which I still have ),and a very beat up, and bent, tablespoon.

Which I buried in the last hole I dug. (I wasnt about to let my mom see what I did to her spoon ! )

:goodpost:

#60 03marauder

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 07:11 AM

Refreshing thread - thanks for starting and to those participating. I find Southern Indiana history fascinating.




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