Forensic Archaeological Investigation and Recovery of Underwater U.S. Naval Aircraft Wreck Sites: Two Case Studies from Palau and Papua New Guinea

Author(s): Richard K. Wills; Andrew T. Pietruszka

Year: 2016

Summary

This paper will examine two recent underwater forensic archaeological efforts undertaken by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) to address Second World War-era U.S. Naval aircraft wreck sites associated with unaccounted-for U.S. Military service members.  These efforts, in the Republic of Palau and the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, serve as case studies that illustrate the intersection between the responsibility of site preservation, and the duty of personnel accounting via forensic science and the human identification process.  These efforts also serve as examples of productive coordination between interested government organizations - in this case, between the DPAA and the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC).  Finally, these case studies serve as informative examples of collaborative public-private partnerships that have developed between the DPAA and non-government organizations and private individuals.  As such, these efforts and the lessons learned from them may serve as models for successful future public-private collaborative efforts.

Cite this Record

Forensic Archaeological Investigation and Recovery of Underwater U.S. Naval Aircraft Wreck Sites: Two Case Studies from Palau and Papua New Guinea. Richard K. Wills, Andrew T. Pietruszka. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434315)

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 980