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Lecture: Jennifer McKinnon, “The Archaeology of an Underwater Battlefield: The WWII Battle for Saipan”

by | Mar 16, 2023

TBM-1C “Avenger” Aircraft from squadron VT-2, USS YORKTOWN (CV-10) enroute to Saipan. Photo received 1944. [Navy History and Heritage Command]

The lecture will be held March 21 @ 7:30 p.m. in the VAC – 117 Semans Lecture Hall

About the lecture: From shipwrecks to aircraft wrecks to amphibious vehicles, Saipan’s waters in the Mariana Islands contain sunken sites that together tell the story of a critical battle in the WWII Pacific War between US and Japanese forces in June and July of 1944. This lecture will provide a brief overview of the WWII battle for Saipan and highlights of over a decade of archaeological research, much of which has involved working with the community members and medically retired Special Forces operators.

 About the speaker: Jennifer McKinnon, chair and associate professor of history at East Carolina University, has a background in historical and maritime archaeology and cultural heritage management. She has worked in the U.S., Australia, the Pacific, and Europe on sites ranging from the colonial period to WWII. Her research areas include Spanish colonial archaeology, archaeology and history of the U.S. Life-Saving Service, conflict archaeology of WWII in the Pacific; landscape and seascape archaeology; in situ conservation and preservation, and Community Archaeology. Jennifer has published a number of book chapters and journal articles and co-edited (with Dr. Toni L. Carrell) a book with Springer Press entitled Underwater Archaeology of a Pacific Battlefield: The WWII Battle of Saipan (2016). McKinnon is a Research Associate of Ships of Exploration and Discovery Research, Inc., a non-profit organization with which she has partnered to conduct WWII-related research in the Pacific.

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