Pulling an SBD out of Lake Michigan

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Chief Master Sergeant
Mar 29, 2006
Phila, Pa
Saw this on the net. Dragging a late model (by the look of the paint anyway) SBD out of Lake Michigan. Wonder who they had to con in the Navy to get the rights to do it.

Anyway, looking very good.

Historic World War II Aircraft Pulled From Lake
Douglas SBD Dauntless Bomber Had Been Submerged For 63 YearsWAUKEGAN, Ill. (CBS) ―

This World War II Douglas SBD Dauntless Bomber plane was pulled from Lake Michigan after being submerged for some 65 years.

The Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bomber was lifted onto a pier at Larsen Marine in Waukegan. It was rusty and covered in zebra mussels, but it will be restored for future viewing.

"I'd say it (was pushed) over the left side of the carrier," said Grant C. Young of Lanark, Ill., who flew bombers just like it out of Glenview Naval Air Station in December 1943.

"You see how the one propeller is bent backward. That tells me the engine was at idle -- if it was at full speed when it hit the water, they'd be bent forward."

During World War II, the plane departed from the Glenview Naval Air Base for a carrier qualification training exercise. It was supposed to land on either the U.S.S. Wolverine or the U.S.S. Sable, two paddlewheel steamboats that were converted to aircraft carriers for training exercises. But instead, it ended up in the lake.

The plane crashed in Lake Michigan during qualification training in the 1940s, and has been in 315 feet of water about 25 miles off Waukegan since then, said AT&T Recovery President Taras Lyssenko, whose firm is handling recovery efforts.

More than 17,000 pilots completed that training, including former President George H.W. Bush.

The Douglas SBD Dauntless was credited with winning the Battle of Midway and turning the tide of the Pacific Theater in America's favor.

"The recovery of this aircraft and others is the continuation of a program started in the 1990s to recover and preserve Navy aircraft lost in World War II," said Navy Capt. Robert Rasmussen, director of the National Naval Aviation Museum.

Over the years, the effort has recovered more than 30 vintage aircraft, Rasmussen said.

Many of the planes are on display at aviation museums or other public venues across the country, including O'Hare and Midway airports.

Agencies began recovering lost planes in the late 1980s, but the process was on hold for the last 12 years until Navy officials pushed for its resumption.

"This plane is an object that Americans built with American ingenuity that won a war in the face overwhelming odds," Lyssenko said.

Once the plane is extracted and eventually restored, it will be displayed at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.

Complete restoration is expected to take three years, officials said.

"The only thing high school kids know about World War II is that Hitler was in it," Lyssenko said. "Through these planes, we want them to know more about the history of the war and the freedom we enjoy today."

Here's a link to the site with video

Historic World War II Douglas SBD Dauntless Bomber Pulled From Lake Michigan - cbs2chicago.com
I wonder if they intend to make it a flying bird, its been in deep fresh water corrosion shouldn't be a prob(i believe) the zebra mussels (a lovely gift from europe) will fall off with a slight electrical charge
I wonder if they intend to make it a flying bird, its been in deep fresh water corrosion shouldn't be a prob(i believe) the zebra mussels (a lovely gift from europe) will fall off with a slight electrical charge

No. It was stated it would be restored as a static display for the WWII Aviation Museum. Correct me if I'm wrong , but I believe that is where Osh Gosh (sp)is.
Great to see her breathing air again! Static or flying, she shouldn't be left to rust!
It's great to see that there getting more of these important aircraft out of the lake. The Kalamazoo AirZoo here in michigan got an sbd about 10 years ago or more and have already restored it back to static display and it looks fabulous.


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Reading this made me wonder about the fate of the TBD-1 that Doug Champlain and the Navy locked horns over back in the late 90's - Has there been any progress since the lawsuit, or it still continuing to rot away as we speak?
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