Fort Sill in Comanche County, Oklahoma — The American South (West South Central)
280mm Heavy Motorized Gun M65
(Gun Nr. 21 on Carriage Nr. 3)
At 8:31 a.m. on 25 May 1953 this gun fired the world's first atomic artillery round, at Camp Desert Rock, Nevada. 19 seconds later and 7¾ miles distant, the shell that could wipe out an enemy division exploded on target with a roaring violence equal to 15,000 tons of TNT. 3,100 participating military officers and men crouched some 5,000 yards from the churning mass of heat and flame that surrounded the core of the atomic fireball. The event was a milestone in military history and in the advancement of nuclear weaponry.
The test was carried out at the request of the Atomic Energy Commission and as directed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Major General A.M. Harper, Commanding General, The Artillery Center, and Commandant, The Artillery School, Fort Sill, was charged with responsibility for the firing. Cannoneers of "A" Battery, 867th Field Artillery Battalion of Fort Sill manned "Atomic Annie" for the shot, thus becoming the first ground troops in history to deliver a nuclear weapon.
The 280mm gun required 8 years of research to develop. When linked up with its two transporters it weighs 85 tons, has a length of 84 feet and a width of 10 feet. The barrel is 40 feet long. It could travel cross-country as well as on roads at a speed of 35 mph, had a range of 20 miles, and all-weather capability.
Atomic Annie's emplaced here at the same elevation it had when firing the atomic round, 84 mils.
This plaque commemorates those individuals who were members of the Artillery Test Unit, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, whose combined efforts resulted in the successful firing of the first atomic artillery projectile at Frenchman's Flats, Nevada, on 25 May 1953, marking another milestone in the illustrious history of the Artillery.
[This text is followed by a list of over 200 service members from 11 different organizations who were part of this test]
Location. 34° 39.967′ N, 98° 23.05′ W. Marker is in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in Comanche County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Randolph Road and Corral Road, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is located at the north end of the gun emplacement pad. This is at the east end of the artillery display park located adjacent to the U.S. Army Field Artillery Museum. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Sill OK 73503, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Proud American (within shouting distance of this marker); Post Headquarters (approx. ¼ mile away); Fort Sill (approx. 0.3 miles away); Infantry Barracks (approx. 0.3 miles away); Post Guardhouse (approx. 0.3 miles away); Post Chapel (approx. 0.4 miles away); Satank Killed (approx. 0.9 miles away); Quinette Crossing (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Sill.
More about this marker. The marker and museum are located on Fort Sill, an active military installation. The museum is open to the public, but appropriate photo identification is required for access to the post.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. These HMDB listings are the three Atomic Cannons still in existence.
1. Fort Sill's Atomic Annie
More photos of Atomic Annie can be seen in the HMDB listing ID# 48587 (The Atomic Cannon Marker).
— Submitted November 5, 2012, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama.
Categories. • Peace • Politics • Science & Medicine • War, Cold •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 5, 2012, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. This page has been viewed 638 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on November 5, 2012, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. 7, 8. submitted on April 13, 2015, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 9. submitted on November 5, 2012, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.