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ARCHIVE PHOTO OF THE DAY

'Atomic cannon' crew, 1956

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: February 16, 2021

Gene Bane ©Stars and Stripes
Bad Kreuznach, West Germany, September, 1956: 264th Field Artillery Battalion soldiers from Battery C's 2nd Gun Platoon, who set a 280mm gun firing record, pose with the "atomic cannon." They are, in the front row from left to right, 2nd Lt. Loyal G. Hightower, Sfc. Wilbur H. Smith, Spc. 3 Clarence B. Rabe, Sgt. Harry Erickson, Spc. 3 Joe Stachon and Pvt. William Leady; in the back row, Spc. 3 Anthony J. Popelka, Spc. 3 Burgoa E. Figueroa, Spc. 3 Frank R. Pereyda and Pfc. Edward Welch. The massive gun was capable of firing both conventional and nuclear shells; it was transported on two vehicles whose drivers kept in touch by telephone.

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