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2002, English Heritage, Military Aircraft Crash Sites - Archaeological guidance on their significance and future management

2002, English Heritage, Military Aircraft Crash Sites - Archaeological guidance on their significance and future management

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Archaeology

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Military aircraft crash sites are an important part of Britain’s military and aviation heritage. Predominantly dating from World War II, during which there was a massive expansion in air activity over the UK, they comprise the buried, submerged or surface remains of aircraft, most of which crashed either in combat or training. Some crash sites are visible, for example as spreads of wreckage within upland environments, or are exposed at low tide. In most cases, however, a scatter of surface debris may mask larger deposits, often buried at great depth. The initial impetus for recoveries comes from both eyewitness reports and documentary research. Belonging to a period still well within living memory, crash sites have significance for remembrance, commemoration, their cultural value as historic artefacts and the information they contain about both the circumstances of the loss and of the aircraft itself. Crash sites may on occasion also contain human remains, giving them additional value and status as sacred sites and war graves. This study looked to provide guidance in the management of such sites.

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