Pictured are some .30-caliber cartridges and an ammunition belt found at Fort McCoy.

Archaeology work has been ongoing at Fort McCoy for more than 30 years, and archaeologists contracted by Fort McCoy to come across many military-related artifacts.

Recently, while excavating at a site at the installation, archaeologists recovered 33 .30-caliber blank cartridges and metal ammunition belt links.

The .30-caliber blank cartridges had a headstamp of “LC 81.” The headstamp indicates the cartridges were manufactured in 1981 at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence, Missouri.

A few of the metal ammunition belt links had markings as well, including “M13” with a “J” beneath it, an open hole in the metal, and a circle with the crosshairs symbol below it. In the 1980s, the Lake City .30-caliber blank cartridges would have been shipped linked by M13 links in 100-count cardboard boxes, which in turn would have been packed inside larger metal ammunition boxes for use with the M60 machine gun.

Visitors and employees are reminded they should not collect artifacts on Fort McCoy or other government lands and leave the digging to the professionals.

Anyone who excavates, removes, damages, alters or defaces any historic or prehistoric site, artifact or object of antiquity on Fort McCoy is in violation of federal law.

The discovery of any archaeological artifact should be reported to the Fort McCoy Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division Natural Resource Branch at 608-388-4793.


Dorothy Robson is editor of the Westby Times. Contact her at 608-637-5625.

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