The Kwajalein MIA Project

Author(s): Mary Schmidt

Year: 2017


Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands, is located in the western Pacific, ~2,100 miles southwest of Hawai'i and is home to U.S. Army Garrison Kwajalein Atoll. During WWII, it was the site of Operation Flintlock and major bombing operations in the Pacific Theater. The Kwajalein MIA Project (KMP) is a public archaeology project dedicated to identifying aircraft and wreckage in the atoll lagoon that are linked to missing U.S. servicemen from WWII. The project is comprised of an all-volunteer team that includes veterans, active-duty military, and civilians that specialize in boat operations, diving, archaeology, fundraising, and historical research. The KMP has located 3 of 8 American aircraft that were lost in the lagoon and are currently facilitating efforts with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency to recover the associated servicemen. This project exhibits how a public archaeology project can help provide closure to MIA-families who have waited decades to hear of their loved ones’ fates but also how it can function as a source of pride and healing for team members who have more recently served our country and for those who have been affected by the invisible impacts of war that are not exclusive to those in uniform.

Cite this Record

The Kwajalein MIA Project. Mary Schmidt. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429441)

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Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: 111.973; min lat: -52.052 ; max long: -87.715; max lat: 53.331 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15306