The biggest mortars were fired from the concrete gun emplacement that still sits in the underbrush beside the driveway of Robert Herzstein's elegant home near American University in Northwest Washington.

Smaller rounds would fly over what is now Woodway Lane and go as far as Sedgwick Street. The four-inch mortars could reach as far as the future Tilden Street. And the fat eight-inch Livens shells, whose firing tubes were steadied in the concrete, could loft across what would become Dalecarlia Parkway into the woods beyond.

That flight path is what brought geophysicists Ryan Coolbaugh and Lynelle Brode and their weird red metal detector there one day last week in the ongoing quest for buried World War I munitions.

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