Are We Covered?: The Status of Non-US Navy Vessels Under the Sunken Military Craft Act

Author(s): Barry J. Bleichner

Year: 2016

Summary

The Sunken Military Craft Act (SMCA) defines vessels covered under the act as any "sunken warship, naval auxiliary, or other vessel that was owned or operated by a government on military noncommercial service when it sank."   While the definition clearly covers most ships commissioned by the U.S. Navy (USN), the status of non-USN vessels under the SMCA is less certain.  This presentation concentrates on the last class of defined vessels by examining the "owned and operated" and "military noncommercial" components of the definition. The two elements are analyzed from a legal and historical perspective by focusing on the status of two classes of vessels - Liberty ships and privateers.  Coverage of foreign wrecks in U.S. waters is also explored through investigation of domestic and international laws and conventions devoted to protection of underwater cultural heritage.

Cite this Record

Are We Covered?: The Status of Non-US Navy Vessels Under the Sunken Military Craft Act. Barry J. Bleichner. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434310)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 832