A World War II dive bomber removed from the depths of Lake Michigan flew combat missions during that war, an official from a Hawaiian museum told the Waukegan (Illinois) News-Sun on June 20.
Kenneth DeHoff, executive director of the Pacific Aviation Museum, said the Douglas SBD Dauntless raised from the Great Lake near Waukegan will make its way to the aviation museum in about three years, after being restored at the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida.
“The plane had been at Pearl Harbor,” DeHoff said of the bomber, after it emerged from a depth of 300 feet. The SBD crashed into the lake on Feb. 18, 1944, when its carburetor iced up. Its pilot, Lt. John Lendo, survived the crash.
DeHoff credited a donation from former McDonald’s Corp. Chief Executive Officer Fred Turner for helping to raise the historical treasure.
“We know this one once flew off the Enterprise and has combat experience,” DeHoff told the News Sun, referring to the famous aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, which was Admiral William F. Halsey’s flagship through much of World War II.