Condition Assessment of Historic Aircraft in Yap


During the week of June 18 to 24, 2006, The International Group for Historic aircraft Recovery (acronym TIGHAR, pronounced tiger) conducted an archaeological assessment of World War II-era Japanese aircraft wrecks in the State of Yap, Federated States of Micronesia.  The work was carried out by a four-person team of experienced TIGHAR researchers under contract with the Historic Preservation Officer of the State of Yap. Thomas F. King PhD provided off-site supervision as PI. The contract called for the documentation of what were thought to be four "Zeroes" on the old Colonia Airport,  an assessment of their  current condition, and recommendations for their management.  The TIGHAR team, working closely with local government officials and landowners, identified a total of eight Japanese aircraft wrecks on  the old airport - six Zero fighters, a rare "Kate" torpedo bomber, an  equally rare "Betty" bomber, and a "Tabby" transport. They also located two protective revetments and a gun emplacement.  All of the aircraft sites, with the exception of the Tabby, were mapped, sketched, and documented with both still and video digital photography. The Yap HPO is currently reviewing a draft report and recommendations prepared by Dr. King.  The final report is due September 30, 2006.


TIGHAR is also working closely with the HPO of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and with the Underwater Archaeology Branch of the Naval Historical Center in Washington, DC to evaluate two extremely rare and largely intact American aircraft on the bottom of Jaluit lagoon. TIGHAR's work in Yap and in the Marshalls mark the first time that Micronesian governments have contracted with aviation archaeology professionals to address the management of their aviation-

related historic properties.