Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Abigayle Lutz
Naval History and Heritage Command
Naval History and Heritage Command's (NHHC) Underwater Archeology Branch completed the conservation of a World War II artifact, an M1 Garand rifle, Feb. 3.
In 2016, the National Museum of the Marine Corps (NMMC) began collaborations with NHHC's Underwater Archeology Branch to assist with the artifact's conservation. NHHC's conservation team utilized their skills and resources to save the artifact from further deterioration.
"The M1 Garand is quite a unique object," said Shanna Daniel, Lead Archaeological Conservator at NHHC. "When it first came into our laboratory, we were doing an assessment of it, and we started realizing different aspects that we didn't see before."
U.S. Marines used the M1 Garand during the World War II battle against Japanese military forces on Makin Island. For over 50 years, the artifact was submerged in a marine environment before its recovery in 1999.
"You can put an M1 rifle on display, and people will look at it and say, 'okay, that's an M1 rifle,'" said Jonathan Bernstein, an NMMC arms and armor curator. “This is an M1 rifle that was there, that fought in the Battle of the Makin Island Raid.”
With conservation efforts complete, the rifle is scheduled to return to NMMC for curation.
Article source: https://www.dvidshub.net/news/414853/nhhc-underwater-archeologists-complete-conservation-wwii-artifact