UH West Oʻahu student Morgan Fernandez assisted in the excavation of a World War II aircraft in France this summer, in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Command, whose laboratory is based in Hawaiʻi on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
Fernandez’s work consisted of careful digging with shovels and trowels and working the soil through mesh screens looking for aircraft parts or bones. She also helped to clean and sort through the bits of wreckage looking for serial numbers.
This opportunity provided Fernandez, an anthropology major, the chance to experience her prospective career now. “My future goals are either to work as an archaeologist or in a museum so this was a great opportunity to actually get out in the dirt and experience an excavation first hand,” she said.
For Fernandez, the most memorable park of the excavation was meeting Frank S. Fazekas, the son of the pilot whose aircraft she helped to excavate.
Ella Axelrod, a Waiʻanae graduate, also participated. Both Fernandez and Axelrod were recommended by UH West Oʻahu Assistant Professor of Archaeology, Dr. William Belcher, to assist with the excavation in France due to their archaeological field experience and participation in UH West Oʻahu’s summer archaeological field school.