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

Abstract

From February 21-25, 2017 TIGHAR archaeologist Gary Francis Quigg, M.A., R.P.A., conducted an assessment of significance and evaluation of archaeological site 8BY1817 on Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB) to assess the eligibility of the site for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). This work was conducted at the request of Three Rivers Resource Conservation & Development Council in compliance with Section 110 of the NRHP. Methodology employed on site included visual examination, artifact analysis, text notes, and detailed measurements, as well as digital photography and video taping. Prior to this assessment and evaluation, an archaeological field reconnaissance was completed in April 2015 by Prentice Thomas & Associates which resulted in the initial identification of 8BY1817 and a recommendation for further analysis.

The February 2017 fieldwork confirmed 8BY1817 as a 1950s aircraft crash site with less than 5% of the subject aircraft remaining on site. Subsequent archival research determined 8BY1817 is the crash site of Lockheed T-33A-1-LO Serial Number 49-9995A which occurred on September 14, 1955 in which two United States Air Force (USAF) officers were killed. The site has been substantially disturbed since the crash event by wreck salvage, clear cut timbering, firebreak construction, mowing, and possible looting. Upon completion of field review and related archival research composing the assessment and eligibility review of 8BY1817, TIGHAR recommends the site as Not Eligible for inclusion in the NRHP due to loss of integrity resulting in an inability to convey significance under the applied criteria.

Introduction

From February 21 through February 25, 2017, Gary Francis Quigg, M.A., R.P.A., of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) conducted an archaeological surface reconnaissance evaluating in situ artifacts and assessing the significance of the aircraft remains comprising site 8BY1817 regarding its eligibility for NRHP. The site is located on Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB) property, East Peninsula, Bay County Florida. This draft report describes only the archaeological fieldwork conducted by TIGHAR and does not provide details on the initial field reconnaissance which relocated site 8BY1817 conducted in April, 2015 by archaeologists from Prentice Thomas & Associates under contract to Tyndall AFB.1 

Quigg conducted historical research concurrently with fieldwork, and was unable to perform fieldwork in the afternoon on February 21 and the morning of February 22 due to inclement weather. During these partial days the archaeologist investigated pertinent archival materials in the Bay County Public Library, reviewed publications and online resources relevant to the identification of the aircraft and historical operations on Tyndall AFB, and consulted with Tyndall AFB historian Ted Roberts. Upon conclusion of field review on February 25, Quigg visited the United States Air Force Armament Museum adjacent to Eglin AFB at Fort Walton, Florida to perform comparative analysis with aircraft on exhibition there. During March, the author continued archival research, ultimately determining the precise aircraft involved in the crash that created 8BY1817.

After establishing the site boundaries at the start of fieldwork, Quigg conducted a detailed analysis of the aircraft remains, recording text notes with particular attention given to diagnostic design elements such as identifiable components, assemblies, and fragments from the airframe and engine. Special emphasis was placed on locating manufacturer data plates, part numbers, and inspection stamps, as well as paint colors and stenciled markings in order to aid aircraft identification. Quigg photographed general views of the site, debris concentrations, the identifiable components, and other artifacts of interest. The archaeologist also videotaped the site entirely from multiple perspectives providing a walk-through tour, with narration, as a secondary source of both visual and verbal documentation. Work at the site was limited to surface investigation only. No artifacts were recovered. A detailed review of the site investigation is presented below.


1

TIGHAR’s work was carried out under contract with Three Rivers Resource Conservation & Development Council of Milton, Florida. 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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