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Searching for a WWII Bomber

By: Anonymous

Today I had an opportunity to work with the Central Florida Metal Detecting Club and the U.S. Navy to search the crash site of a SBD5 plane in Osteen, Florida that has been missing for 70 years. As we drove to meet with fellow club members, I had a feeling of excitement as I had never done this before.


Before the hunt, we were given instructions on where we were going to search and what we were looking for. Along with the club members, we worked side by side with Dr. George Schwartz, U.S. Navy Archaeologist.

I started hunting around 9:00am. My first find was a piece of metal about the size of a dime. I swung my detector about two more feet and it gave me a high tone in the 90’s. I began to dig about 6” deep and saw something rectangular covered in dirt. My heart started racing. I picked the object up and showed my Dad. On showing it to Dr. Schwartz he said “This will be taken back to Washington for further identification.”

I continued hunting for another couple of hours until the archaeologist called off the hunt as the club found so many targets that it was overwhelming. Back at the meeting point, I was congratulated by fellow club members on finding an important part. Many pictures were taken of the find and me. I felt very special.

Then to my surprise a reporter from Bright House 13 News came to interview me. During the interview he asked me why I was not in school. I replied “This is a history lesson.” Today was a very exciting day. I feel hopeful that this piece will identify who the pilot is and make closure for the family.