Evaluation and Assessment of Significance
Archaeological Site: 8BY1817 (Aircraft Crash)

Task Order TY-16-0019
Tyndall Air Force Base
Bay County, Florida
Gary Francis Quigg, M.A., R.P.A.

Final Report, April 24, 2017, page 2.

Previous Investigation (April, 2015)

8BY1817 was identified during systematic pedestrian survey in April 2015 The site was interpreted as the remains of an aircraft crash from surface observation of artifacts determined to be fragments of a mid to late twentieth century aircraft. The fragments were recorded as strewn over an area approximately 130m by 75m, oriented northeast-southwest in an ovate configuration. The site was mapped with GPS and photographs were taken of some of the artifacts. A metal detector sweep was conducted with negative results. No shovel tests or other excavations were conducted. The report from this initial field reconnaissance recommended further investigation to determine whether or not the site was eligible for the NRHP.2

Preliminary Findings

Figure 1. Close-up view of number “205191-3R” on artifact #8BY1817-3

Figure 2. Wing fuel tank assembly fragment (8BY1817-3).

The initial survey of 8BY1817 reported above provided a general time period and type of structure from which the artifacts originated (“mid to late twentieth century aircraft”). Research by TIGHAR prior to Quigg’s arrival on site was conducted by reviewing photographs taken during the 2015 field reconnaissance. One of the artifacts located on site during the initial survey was an aluminum aircraft skin fragment exhibiting a smooth, unpainted finish on the exterior surface and an interior surface with remnants of green zinc chromate paint. Zinc chromate paint, most usually green in color, has been a common corrosion inhibitor used on interior aircraft component surfaces since the 1930s. A complete aircraft part number, stamped in black ink, on the interior surface provided the digits: 205191-3R.

Archival research and consultation with staff at the United States Air Force (USAF) 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Restoration Group (AMARG) on Davis-Monthan AFB in Tuscon, Arizona have identified Artifact #8BY1817-3 as a fragment from a wing fuel tank assembly applicable to three types of aircraft. The following three aircraft types from which Artifact #3 may originate were manufactured from the late 1940s through the 1950s by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation of Burbank, California: T-33A Shooting Star, T2V-1/T-1A SeaStar, and F-94A/B Starfire. Further verification of artifact #8BY1817-3 originating from a Lockheed aircraft is provided by a Lockheed inspection stamp visible on the interior surface and numerous Lockheed inspection stamps on several other artifacts in situ. No other aircraft manufacturer inspection stamps were located on site.3

After intensive surface reconnaissance, no manufacturer data plates or remnants of a painted serial number were found on site identifying the specific aircraft, leaving archival research as the sole method by which the precise aircraft might be determined. The total numbers of crashes on or near Tyndall AFB for each of the three aircraft types identified as potentially creating 8BY1817 are: T-33A (21), T2V-1/T-1A (0), F-94A/B (12). As it was determined there are no documented crashes of a T2V-1/T-1A aircraft on or near Tyndall AFB, this aircraft type was withdrawn from consideration, leaving only the T-33A, and F-94A/B. A review of all twelve F-94A/B aircraft crashes on or near Tyndall AFB determined none of the locations were near 8BY1817. Therefore, the F-94A/B aircraft type was also withdrawn from consideration as the origin of the site. From this point forward, all archival and artifact analysis focused on T-33A aircraft documented to have crashed on or near Tyndall AFB.


L. Janice Campbell, Jennifer Wildt, James R. Morehad, Ryan N. Clark, and Benjamin Stewart, “Cultural Resources Survey of TY-107 Task Order TY-14-0008 Contract W9128F-12-2-0002: Cultural Resources Management Support, Tyndall Air Force Base, Bay County, Florida,” (Mary Esther, FL: Prentice Thomas & Associates, January 2016), 216-221. Back.
3 Email communication from Craig Fuller (Aviation Archaeological Investigation & Research) to author, February 3, 2017. Back.
Abstract & Introduction Previous Investigations and Preliminary Findings Site Specific Aviation Historical Context Site Specific Aviation Historical Context 2 Artifact Analysis
Artifact Analysis 2 Archival Research NRHP Assessment of Eligibility & Recommendation Bibliography  

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