Artifact Hunter Finds WW2 Mortar on the Site of Secret Commando Training Center

Source: Durham Regional Police/Twitter
Source: Durham Regional Police/Twitter

In August this year, a mortar that was found on the site of a Second World War spy school in Oshawa, Ontario was detonated safely by the Canadian Forces.

A man searching Intrepid Park for coins and artifacts with a metal detector stumbled across the mortar shell on a Tuesday Tuesday evening, according to the local Police Force.

The man found a large metal object and decided to dig it out of the ground by hand; he then took a picture and sent it to a family member. The family member told him to stay away from it because it was probably dangerous. The man reported the mortar shell at seven p.m. according to to the police.

There was once a Second World War spy school named Camp X in what is now Intrepid Park. Before the attacks on Pearl Harbor, the USA was held back from openly entering the war by the Neutrality Acts, which were passed by Congress in the 1930s. The Acts came in response to the US’s terrible losses in WW1, and the desire to avoid getting involved in another conflict.

However, in spite of this Act, Camp X was secretly set up to train elite commando personnel for the Allied war effort, and as things turned out, the USA was forced to join the war anyway, very soon after the camp was established.  The camp was destroyed in 1969.

Police believe the mortar shell that the man found on the site of the training center was from the 1940s.

Sgt. Bill Calder says that is why the police called in the military bomb disposal unit of the Canadian Forces base in Trenton instead of detonating it themselves on Wednesday.

The Canadian police urged people to contact them immediately should they ever come across a mortar shell or anything like it, as they could be extremely dangerous.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE