Grenade on display at Gettysburg museum destroyed

A Mark II fragmentation grenade used by GIs during World War II. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

GETTYSBURG, Pa. (AP) – A World War II-era grenade that had been on display in a museum at the Gettysburg battlefield in central Pennsylvania was recently removed and destroyed, officials said.

The Eisenhower National Historic Site said the grenade had been on display since March 2018 in an exhibit at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center titled “Eisenhower’s Leadership from Camp Colt to D-Day.”

Officials identified the grenade as a Mark II fragmentation grenade with a M10A3 fuse, a common armament that would have been used during the June 1944 D-Day assaults on Omaha and Utah Beaches in Normandy, France. Officials say it wasn’t owned by Eisenhower.

Officials say the grenade was identified during a National Park Service survey of historic armaments in park museum collections, and staff members determined that it “could not be conclusively proven to be active or inactive.”

Therefore, officials said, “out of an abundance of caution” technicians disposed of the grenade Feb. 28 at an undisclosed location. The superintendent of the park and historic site, Steven Sims, said it was “unfortunate that a WWII-era artifact had to be destroyed but visitor and staff safety is paramount.”

The Eisenhower National Historic Site is the home and farm of General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower adjacent to the Gettysburg Battlefield. Officials say Eisenhower used the farm as a weekend retreat and a meeting place for world leaders.

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AP-WF-03-17-20 1645GMT