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WWII gun barrel finds home at Va wildlife refuge

Saturday - 5/25/2013, 12:39pm  ET

CAPE CHARLES, Va. (AP) -- The Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge is celebrating its newest addition.

The 1,123-acre refuge is now home to a historic World War II gun barrel from the USS Missouri. The 120 ton, 68-foot gun barrel was on board at the time of the Japanese surrender on Sept. 2, 1945.

The barrel adds more military history to the refuge that was transferred from the Air Force to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1984.

The area first known as Fort John Custis encouraged military use because of its location at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.

Large bunkers housed 16-inch guns designed to protect naval bases and shipyards in Virginia Beach and Norfolk.

The base was acquired by the Air Force in 1950 and was occupied until 1981.

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