Partners, Colleagues and Friends

By Dr. Jennifer. McKinnon

Aichi E13A "Jake" floatplane animation

Partners, Colleagues and Friends

It's always a bit bittersweet, the end. But it is not really "the end", rather the start of the next round of work which is analysis and write-up. This project, as you can see by the list of crew, has drawn together a range of colleagues, friends, and students from all backgrounds. Some of us went to graduate school together, others were out in the Pacific back in the 1980s collecting data on the same sites, and still others are just beginning their careers and starting their thesis research. The mix of people on the project is mostly what makes it so special and so much fun. As we fly off to our parts of the globe, Australia, North Carolina, Japan, Santa Fe, Florida, etc. we each take parts of the project with us to continue to work on.

Group Photo Saipan 2017 (Photo by Genevieve Cabrera).

To reflect on what we've accomplished, we've conducted conservation surveys on 15 sites including both Japanese and US aircraft, amphibious vehicles and shipwrecks. We've also created 10 photogrammetric models of these sites. We've located and recorded two new sites on Tinian. We've surveyed a crashed B-29 on Mount Tapochau. In two weeks, that's a good deal of effort and results!

Over the next several months we will be writing up the results of the conservation surveys, creating new models of legacy data we collected since 2009, conducting more historical research, and writing the final report for the grant. For a couple weeks in the field it takes months of post-processing, analysis, and writing to produce the results expected. Eventually, this report will be online and made available to the community of Saipan as well.

Captain Richard (right) and first mate Linton (left) (Photo by Jennifer McKinnon).

Speaking of community, this is truly the bitter part of the sweet at the end of the project. It is saying goodbye to those on island who are partners, colleagues, and friends. With that said a few folks should be mentioned. Jim Pruitt (fellow ECU pirate) and the entire staff of the Historic Preservation Office were fundamentally instrumental in the success of this project; thank you Jim. Our colleague and friend Genevieve Cabrera contributes to this project and past projects in many ways from connections, to local knowledge, to the amazing boonie stomping tours. Thank you again to Scott Eck for his assistance with logistics, boats, and even the loan of tanks - your contributions to every project keep the wheels greased and running. Thanks to John John San Nicolas for providing, yet again, a working platform and lots of laughs. Others, in no particular order, who contributed to this project either through knowledge, connections, feeding us, and other useful and encouraging ways include: Scott Russell (Humanities Council), Alius owners and crew (Captain Richard), Mr. Lee (Dive Saipan), Betty Johnson, Fred Camacho, Dr. Daniel C. Lamar, and Rosemund, Gary and Gordon at KKMP.

The boat sails by, the shore remains. Cambodian Proverb

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