Conservation Solutions, Inc: Art + Architecture + Artifacts

Martin B-26 Marauder Aircraft Assessment and Treatment - Yukon Government Storage Compound

Yukon Government Storage Compound, Whitehorse, YT, Canada

The Martin B-26 Marauder was designed to meet the U.S. Army Air Corps demand for a high-speed medium bomber. Martin’s proposal was considered to be so far superior to the other proposals that the company was awarded an “off the drawing board” contract for 201 aircraft in 1939, and the first production B-26 flew by year’s end.

Shortly after America’s entry into WWII in 1941, the Army was winterizing aircraft at the Sacramento Air Depot in California and then flying them up the Elmendorf Field near Anchorage, Alaska to help protect the northern territory of the US. The long journey from Sacramento to Alaska required that the aircraft be refueled several times. One of the refueling stops was an airfield in Watson Lake, Yukon.  Unfortunately, many aircraft crashed either trying to take off or land at this remote outpost.  This particular aircraft landed short of the runway and crashed on January 16, 1942.  The damage was so severe that the aircraft was scavenged for parts and then dumped into the lake at the end of the war.  In July 2009, the nose section was recovered by a private citizen but was forced to surrender it to the RCMP.

Conservation Solutions (CSI) was hired by the Yukon Government to perform a conditions assessment, develop a treatment and maintenance plan, and implement specified treatments.  In an effort to prolong the life of this artifact, CSI cleaned and stabilized components, while preserving the aircraft as a historic crash, maintaining evidence of damage, patina, and its scavenged state.