Tacoma

Battle brewing over World War II cannon

Battle brewing over World War II cannon
PARKLAND, Wash. -- A battle is brewing between a museum and some local veterans over who rightfully owns a World War II cannon, and now it looks like a judge will have to sort out the mess.

In 1949, the American Legion asked for a cannon and the Army gave them one. For 63 years, the much-loved cannon rested outside of a building in Tacoma.

The building used to be a legion hall, but in 1991 the legion was forced to sell it. Karpeles bought the building, and the cannon was left behind.

The vets first asked for the cannon back in 1998, and they continued to ask for more than a decade.

That all changed about two weeks ago, when some of the boys from the American Legion Post Two in Parkland hired a flat-bed truck, loaded up the cannon and hauled it away.

"As far as I'm concerned, the paperwork says I have the authority to move it," said Keith Foley of the American Legion. "It doesn't belong to them and I moved it."

Foley got a deed of trust on the Cannon from the Army, and he says he had every right to move it.

Now the cannon sits at the legion hall in Parkland, and nobody wants to give it back.

"It belongs right here at the American Legion," said George Phillippe.

The day after he moved the cannon, Foley said he received a shocked phone call from the museum's owner.

"I received a phone call from the owner down in California. He says, 'I can't believe you took the cannon.' I says, 'I didn't take it, I moved it,' and he hung up," Foley said.

The people who own the museum want the cannon back, and now Foley is looking down the barrel of a lawsuit.

On Wednesday, they all went to Pierce County Superior Court to find a solution. The judge asked for more paperwork, so for now the cannon will remain at the legion hall.

If neither side backs down, the cannon case could end up in a jury trial.