“Go in close, and when you think you are too close, go in closer”; Finding historical records of downed US naval aircraft

Jennifer F. McKinnon, James Pruitt


The archaeological research of downed WWII US naval aircraft has been underway since the late 1980s and historical research much longer. Nevertheless, the field of research still lacks a comprehensive list of combat losses to use in our efforts to identify and research submerged aircraft wreck sites. This article outlines the process of conducting historical and archaeological research on a specific aircraft lost in the waters of Saipan during WWII Pacific operations. It outlines the most useful sources and archives in an effort to streamline the historical archaeology approach to conducting historical research on crashed US naval aircraft.

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