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York archaeologists help to uncover the remains of Americans killed in World War II

Posted on 4 November 2019

American and British veterans work together to bring home the remains of US aircrew.

In September 2019 American and British veterans worked together to recover the remains of American service members who were killed when their B-24H Liberator bomber crashed in southern England during World War II.

The project represented the first partnership between American Veterans Archaeological Recovery (AVAR) and Breaking Ground Heritage (BGH), organizations that place American and British military veterans, respectively, on archaeological excavations to build peer-support communities and enhance mental health.

Technical support and staff was provided by the Department of Archaeology at the University of York.

Department of Archaeology Lecturer, Steve Roskams said:
"This site is of major significance to both the families of the deceased air crew and to the local Sussex community, for whom it is an important part of their World War II heritage."

Dr. Stephen Humphreys, AVAR Chief Executive Officer and project lead said:

Both AVAR and BGH exist to help our veteran communities and this project represents a chance for us to share best practices, learn from one another, and demonstrate that the bonds that were made when the crews of these B-24s were flying from England are just as strong today. We could not carry this mission out without the support of BGH, the University of York Department of Archaeology, and the Arundel community.
The project utilized the latest methods and technology available to modern archaeological excavation.