2014 fieldwork plans

World War One started 100 years ago this August.  As we reach its centennial, IMH plans to map and assess the remains of approximately 15 large, wooden steamships from that war.  They were built for the US Shipping Board’s Emergency Fleet Corporation, and now lie submerged or partially exposed in an area of the Potomac River called Widewater, near Aquia Creek and near Mallows Bay, Maryland, where more than 150 of their sisters were burned for scrap in the 1920s.  We will also search for other wrecks in the vicinity, assess perhaps 15 more sites in transit, and report all findings to the Maryland Historical Trust or the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, depending on site locations.

Fieldwork is scheduled for the period from 13 September to 5 October.  This project will provide an excellent opportunity to engage volunteer divers in the assessment of a large number of large wrecks from a crucially historic period whose effects are still keenly felt today, in an area that is geographically convenient to Washington DC, and in diving conditions that are benign, if somewhat turbid.

Please review the attached project summary.  Then, if you are interested in participating, either click the “Contact” button above, or email david.howe@maritimehistory.org.