An Aircraft Search and Recovery Mission in Southern England: A Case Study in Rehabilitation Archaeology


This is an abstract from the "Applying the Power of Partnerships to the Search for America's Missing in Action" session, at the 86th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

In September 2019, American Veterans Archaeological Recovery (AVAR) served as the lead partner of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) in the search for aircrew losses associated with a World War II-era B-24H crash in southern England. Fieldwork consisted of a site survey and bulk excavation. Over a four-week period American military veterans from AVAR worked under technical supervision provided by the National Park Service, alongside British veterans from Breaking Ground Heritage (BGH) and students and a consultant from the University of York. These international partnerships were necessary for the completion of the 2019 archaeological objective, but the integration of American veterans, British veterans, students, and archaeological professionals also added value to the mental wellness improvement component of the AVAR and BGH programs. The recovery of human remains has an inevitable emotional impact on excavators but project results suggested that with proper mental health protocols in place, this impact can be positive for veterans, for whom the DPAA mission has a unique resonance, as well as for civilians. This poster will illustrate the archaeological work completed as well as suggesting methods by which mental health measures can be integrated into this particular fieldwork environment.

Cite this Record

An Aircraft Search and Recovery Mission in Southern England: A Case Study in Rehabilitation Archaeology. Stephen Humphreys, William Griswold, Steve Roskams. Presented at The 86th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. 2021 ( tDAR id: 467261)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -13.711; min lat: 35.747 ; max long: 8.965; max lat: 59.086 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 32981