Wordl war

Published 06 Mar 2017

Table of content


As a result of Second World War in 1943, that leads to the crashing of the Navy TBD-1 Devastator in the Florida coast. After which Mr. Chaplin salvaged the devastator and the controversial issue surrounding the retaining of the devastator to the US Navy. This essay tries to unveil the legal approach in the attempt to justify the duo action of the either part to the argument. the essay looks at the definitions of the confusing terms and tries to rate between n lost, misplaced and abandoned property which applies to the case and why. Then it gives an evaluation of interlink of the government and private property issues weighing the possible common good for the citizen. While yielding the ethical and legal recommendations about the issue of devastator TBD-1 between Mr. Chaplin and the US Navy. As we pose a challenge to the federal government as to why see the need to retrieve the devastator now? And why did Mr. Chaplin was allowed to salvage the devastator? The source of authority and documentation?

In regard to federal government which is the unity of several partly governing states that have a central government system. This includes governments like Belgium, Canada, Australia, Brazil and the US. Under federal system of government property legally is considered an aggregate of rights which are guaranteed and protected by the government. The term property right also incorporates rights of use and enjoyment for lawful purposes (Jan, 1998 p. 231). Pertaining the issue summing the devastator that crashed in 1943, eight miles of the coast of Florida, in order to establish between the federal US government and Mr. Chaplin who the plane, its point of worth looking at fundamental issues about the plane. These issues include as to whether the plane was lost, misplaced or abandoned.

The lost property is a property that has been left somewhere by the owner negligently or carelessly. While the misplaced property is a property that the owner has intentionally put that property in a place but unintentionally leaves it there. This is not clear whether the owner is conscious or unconscious in the circumstances surrounding the misplacement of the property. Lastly, the abandoned property is that property which is left somewhere by the owner intentionally and he has no intention of retrieving that property. From the above insight into the plane matter. (William, 1987, p.825)It’s clear that it was abandoned by the virtue that it was a federal property in the first fact, and then secondly the federal government thought defense of Navy made no efforts to locate the plane since the time it crashed until Mr. Chaplin recovered it. Therefore it meant that the Navy officials and only after Mr. Chaplin retrieved it they saw the significant value of the devastator. This may also mean lack of the concern with government property.

History of property ownership laws

Law relating to property historically as it continues to be modified from natural law to community where the current law draws the distinction; private and government property. But however this law system in civil society is greatly influenced by the lawyers in their interpretations when arguing the case out because of the technical jargon involved. But have specification for authority in the federal property. (William, 1987, p.895).

For instance the license in respect of federal real property shall be signed by the minister having the administrator of the property (section 6 to 15 of the act). There it brings the question as to whether man exists for the sake of government or government for man. In view with historical ownership of property the essence was that the property was lawful power, which a person has to a thing. The right of a person to property can be seen as possession part, possession and use and lastly in the dispose. In the case devastator initially was possessed by Navy in the government and then abandoned. When Mr. Chaplin retains it he posses it and uses although he doesn’t meet the legal notion of the Navy TBD-I Devastator as his property, because at first he was not authorized by the minister of defense and therefore lack the legal obligation to own the plane. But on the other hand then it after chaplain has located it using his own resources (Jan, 1998 p. 131). Pay the fact that property right is the possessing and use which Chaplin used and though abandoning the grant had the right for disposition. However, the grant has the advantage of due to legal support it has over Mr. Chaplin who took the possession of the plane through the laws of jungle.

Because of the sovereignty reasons of the government it therefore calls for government to remain protected and privacy over its property cannot be same and in fact the government should always give the description and guidelines on the private property ownership. This is because the government objective will be well defined like keeping the devastator in the National Museum Moral Aviation. That will be in the defense purposes for entire federal state. Unlike Mr. Chaplin who can decide any day at any time to change it use and has no scrutiny measures to his decision. Recovery of federal property by the private organization should be regulated depending on the sensitivity of the goods and their technological appeal. Therefore the government property laws should not be same as those stipulating private ownership. Because the the government always aims at safeguarding the common good.

Mr. Chaplin recovery bid is limited since he can not consult the Navy because he had no legal authority to do so. Legally he did not own the plane, but however it needs to be seen that those firms that have contract with the government need to be protected so as not to undergo injustices arising from unconsitutionalized policies (William, 1987, p.892)

The US law can be applied in the sense that it states that the buyer is not authorized to export, re-export, or transfer goods or trade them without authority from minister concerned with the department under which the good falls. This gives the bench mark by the fact that devastator was a government technology and was meant to be protected by the government. In this regard the government was secure when the devastator was below the ocean than in the hands of a private owner in this case Mr. Chaplin. Because an individual will not take into account the value, consequences and impact of such technology so therefore cannot be entrusted with it.

Ethically, Mr. Chaplin is entitled to reimbursement, because should the US Navy had done the salvage of the devastator should they have not spent? So therefore Mr. Chaplin deserve to be given the value of the resources used in the operation to retrieve the devastator in the view that the plane belonged to the government which is true, while the money used to salvage it was Mr. Chaplin’s. Definitely the Navy should have devastator back because of protection of their technology, archeological and historical reason to protect sovereignty and privacy of the government. The big question is if proper documentation was used before the start of salvage of the Devastator, and who authorized with what capacity.

In conclusion, then federal government has different property laws from the unit government systems. In the main issue surrounding the claim of legal authority to own the devastator, there is no clear legal policy structure in determining the legal issue surrounding property ownership in relation to government and private or organizational ownership. This also results into no clear legal course to be used for the private company or organizations or individuals in claiming the ownership of government property. Because there is lack of legal policy structure to prosecute and sue the government (William, 1987, p.491)

However, the constitution amendment in 2006 on disaster recovery personal protection act, tries to give light in regard to property acquisition and ownership as it gives private organizations best protection against losses that they may incur during business transactions in emergency times against the over protection of the government by constitution during such times especially in trade of fire arms. However his are some of the sensitive dealing that needs extra precaution when giving out such ago a head order from the government to the private businessmen and organizations (Jan, 1998 p. 284). The other big issue is to clarify the degree of possession of ones property between the federal government property possessed by private entity and the private property possessed by the government.


  • Frank .I, (1970). Comments and cases; New York, West pub .co.
  • John wingine, (1919). Source book of law and legislation of military in times of war; New York, West pub. Co.
  • Alice m. Rivrin, (1992). Reviving the American dream; Eelarvapolitica. Brookings inst. Press.
  • William Greider, (1987). How the reserve runs the country; New York, federal reserve banks.
  • Jan Liatos, (1998). Laws of protection of property rights; Michigan, aspen publishers William, 1987, p.895)
Did it help you?