Identifying an Aircraft Wreck From 370m Above


American B-29 Superfortress aircraft flew missions against Japan from air bases in the Marianas Islands near the end of WWII. Combat damage or technical failures forced many B-29s into the ocean surrounding Saipan and Tinian, but no losses in deep water were discovered until 2016, when a NOAA exploration cruise investigated sonar targets in the Saipan Channel. Disarticulated wreckage from a B-29 was located at 370m over a large area.

Telepresence enabled exploration from NOAA’s ship Okeanos Explorer allowed scientists on shore to view live streaming video and to work collaboratively to guide the investigation. Experts in aviation archaeology, corrosion studies, WWII history, forensic studies, marine biology, and oceanography participated in the survey using an ROV, highlighting components which could lead to possible identification of the B-29 in situ, and conducting an environmental characterization of the site. This presentation will discuss the survey, results, and post-processing products.

Cite this Record

Identifying an Aircraft Wreck From 370m Above. Megan Lickliter-Mundon, Frank Cantelas, Wendy Coble, Jeremy Kinney, Jennifer F McKinnon, Jeffrey Meyer, Andrew Pietruszka, James R. Pruitt, Hans Van Tilburg. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, New Orleans, Louisiana. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441547)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Spatial Coverage

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

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 928