Artefacts

Leather StrapLeather StrapSeveral pieces of textile were seen in different areas on the site. Some items were half-buried, while others were entangled in and around wreckage. The generally good preservation of the textiles suggests that it was buried until recently.
 
Most of the items on site were difficult to recognise. Strips of olive drab material were observed entangled around fuselage. White fabric, possibly parachute silk was also seen in several areas around the wreckage. A leather strap with buckle attached to olive or khaki fabric was stuck in a piece of aluminium fuselage on Wing 2.
 
To the west of the wreckage, a thin blue fabric with a white floral pattern lay half buried. This could be the remains of either a shirt or a scarf.
 
Snorkel parkaSnorkel parkaThe most diagnostic item on the site was the orange lining of an olive flying parka. This was wrapped around Engine 1. A label attached to the lining is decorated with a floral border and reads “Original Snorkel Parka”.
 
This type of parka was not a standard military issue item during the Second World War, but looks very similar to the standard issue N-3 snorkel parka that was introduced with the formation of the USAF in 1947.
 
The N-3 snorkel parka or heavy flying jacket was based on prototypes tested from 1942- 1945. During the war it was common for military personnel to supplement issued clothing with privately bought items. The snorkel parka on the site could either be a test prototype, although the non-military label makes this less likely, or a private item bought by an airman to keep warm at high altitudes in the unpressurised and unheated aircraft.