WWII Trench Art From 40mm Artillery Shell 

WWII Trench Art From 40mm Artillery Shell

Here is a piece of what is called trench art from WWII. I suspect this is from a Bofors 40mm anti-aircraft round. My dad brought this back from the South Pacific after the war was over in 1945. Can someone please confirm what artillery shot this?

While on the ship on the way back to the U.S. it was made into an ash tray. It had three Filipino centavos coins bent into shape and soldered into the indentions on the rim to hold the cigarette. Two of the coins went missing.

In the center is a spent rifle bullet casing. It is soldered to the inside of the base just for looks.

The weight of it is 15.2 ounces, or 432 grams. Solid brass.

There are three concentric sections of rings on the base of the shell engraved with letters, numbers and arrowheads. You can follow along by looking at the photos and zoom-in if you need to.
I will tell you what each section has engraved on it.
The outermost ring has:
LOT 41140 M/M  II  1942AG/C  Then going the opposite way is: C.F.
Also is an arrowhead, F, arrowhead, 6

On the middle section ring is:
40 MM / No 12IIC/C

On the center section is:
Above the center fire hole is:  No 12    IV  arrowhead  C/C   11/41
Below the center fire hole is:     1  /42Sc/C  63

I assume the three center holes is where the firing pin struck to fire the shell. I have no idea what the other three holes are. Perhaps one section is the primer and the other is the fuse.

AG/C on the outermost ring stands for the Aluminium Goods Co. Ltd., Ottawa, Canada.

Here is a photo my father took of a 40 mm Bofors anti-aircraft gun on the island of Biak. This photo appears in the Biak chapter of my book “Dad’s War Photos.”


Here are some videos of the Bofors gun: 

American soldiers fire a 40 mm anti aircraft gun and two German airplanes are shot down 





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