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Final American Shot of World War I


"Calamity Jane" 155mm Schneider of Battery E, 11th Field Artillery

At the eleventh hour, on the eleventh day, of the eleventh month of 1918, World War I was officially over. Word of the armistice had come down hours before, so there was time for some ceremony to be planned around this unceremonious atrocity of the last four years.


For most American soldiers, all that was left to do now was fire a few more shots, dodge any incoming rounds, keep an eye on your watch, and wait.


For Battery E of the 11th Field Artillery, however, things would be different. They would fight until the very end, as they had been selected to fire the “official” final American shot of The Great War. Exactly why they were chosen is lost to history, but it could be because they also fired the first artillery shot on November 6 on an important German railway hub at Metz-Sedan in the Meuse-Argonne campaign, but that’s just a guess.


The gun selected for the honor was a 155mm Schneider, serial number 3125, nicknamed “Calamity Jane.” She would fire the final shot at 10:59:59 from her position east of the town of Beaufort.

Actual photo of the final shot at 11:59:59

The fact that the shell wouldn’t land until the war was over was, I guess, just a technicality.


Either way, The War to End All Wars was officially over, and the crew of “Calamity Jane” in Battery E, 11th Field Artillery had fired the final official American shot.


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