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Naval History & Heritage Command lead conservator Shanna Daniel discusses the Howell Torpedo No. 24 discovered by Navy dolphins off the coast of San Diego in 2013. The Howell torpedo was the first propelled torpedo.

Naval History & Heritage Command lead conservator Shanna Daniel discusses the Howell Torpedo No. 24 discovered by Navy dolphins off the coast of San Diego in 2013. The Howell torpedo was the first propelled torpedo. (Rick Vasquez/Stars and Stripes)

Naval History & Heritage Command lead conservator Shanna Daniel discusses the Howell Torpedo No. 24 discovered by Navy dolphins off the coast of San Diego in 2013. The Howell torpedo was the first propelled torpedo.

Naval History & Heritage Command lead conservator Shanna Daniel discusses the Howell Torpedo No. 24 discovered by Navy dolphins off the coast of San Diego in 2013. The Howell torpedo was the first propelled torpedo. (Rick Vasquez/Stars and Stripes)

The back end of Howell Torpedo No. 24 discovered by Navy dolphins off the coast of San Diego in 2013.

The back end of Howell Torpedo No. 24 discovered by Navy dolphins off the coast of San Diego in 2013. (Rick Vasquez / Stars and Stripes)

An identification marking the Howell Torpedo No. 24 discovered by Navy dolphins off the coast of San Diego in 2013.

An identification marking the Howell Torpedo No. 24 discovered by Navy dolphins off the coast of San Diego in 2013. (Rick Vasquez / Stars and Stripes)

One of two propellers on the Howell Torpedo No. 24.

One of two propellers on the Howell Torpedo No. 24. (Rick Vasquez / Stars and Stripes)

Naval History & Heritage Command lead conservator Shanna Daniel works on an artifact recovered from a 1942 shipwreck.

Naval History & Heritage Command lead conservator Shanna Daniel works on an artifact recovered from a 1942 shipwreck. (Rick Vasquez/Stars and Stripes)

Naval History & Heritage Command lead conservator Shanna Daniel works on an artifact recovered from a 1942 shipwreck.

Naval History & Heritage Command lead conservator Shanna Daniel works on an artifact recovered from a 1942 shipwreck. (Rick Vasquez/Stars and Stripes)

The interior of the middle section of Howell Torpedo No. 24 discovered by Navy dolphins off the coast of San Diego in 2013.

The interior of the middle section of Howell Torpedo No. 24 discovered by Navy dolphins off the coast of San Diego in 2013. (Rick Vasquez/Stars and Stripes)

Naval History & Heritage Command lead conservator Shanna Daniel talks about the USS Emmons Destroyer builder’s plaque.

Naval History & Heritage Command lead conservator Shanna Daniel talks about the USS Emmons Destroyer builder’s plaque. (Rick Vasquez/Stars and Stripes)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Recovering underwater artifacts and preserving Navy shipwrecks is a top priority for archaeologists and researchers at the Naval History and Heritage Command, located at the Washington Navy Yard.

"The challenges that some of these artifacts are bringing in are just interesting," said Shanna Daniel, lead conservator and outreach manager with the NHHC's Underwater Archaeology Branch. "Usually I have dealt with one particular era. Here I have everything.

"I like the challenge of having to conserving wood from an 1812 shipwreck [and] at the same time working on an aircraft engine [for which] I will have to figure out a conservation plan. So I really like that about my job."

According to NHHC officials, the Underwater Archaeology Branch is responsible for the management and study of more than 3,000 shipwrecks from the Continental Navy period to present time, and of more than 14,000 lost aircraft from the 1920s to the beginning of the Cold War.

hardy.kenyon@stripes.comTwitter: @KenYonHardy


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