Dauntless Protection: Managing the U.S. Navy Aircraft Wrecks of Lake Michigan

Author(s): Blair Atcheson; Alexis Catsambis

Year: 2020


This is a poster submission presented at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

From 1942 to 1945, the U.S. Navy conducted extensive Carrier Qualification Training in Lake Michigan. The training program was highly successful with only 120 aircraft lost in the lake, a considerably low number when taking into account the 120,000 successful landings and 35,000 pilots qualified. As a group, and individually, these wrecksites represent an important and unique piece of World War II and naval aviation history. Due to Lake Michigan’s relatively shallow depths and cold, freshwater preservation conditions, the sunken aircraft have long been the focus of salvage and recovery operations. Therefore, the Naval History and Heritage Command’s Underwater Archaeology (UA) Branch has launched a multi-year effort to collect a comprehensive accounting of Navy’s sunken military craft in the lake and to develop a long-term management plan. This poster will focus on the archival, historical, and GIS work accomplished so far and outline future archaeological studies.

Cite this Record

Dauntless Protection: Managing the U.S. Navy Aircraft Wrecks of Lake Michigan. Blair Atcheson, Alexis Catsambis. 2020 ( tDAR id: 457400)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Aviation Military WWII

Geographic Keywords
United States of America

Temporal Keywords
World War II

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): 607