For The 80th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor, Kalamazoo Restored Bomber Is In Hawaii
The words of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt spoken almost exactly 80 years ago: "December 7th, 1941 - A Date Which Will Live in Infamy." After the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, this was the event that saw the United States enter World War II.
(War Archives via YouTube)
A part of the work being done at the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo is the restoration of planes from World War II. This specific plane is the Douglas Dauntless SBD-2P Dive Bomber, a historic WWII Navy aircraft that was sent to do reconnaissance at Pearl Harbor, but after new models began to be built, this plane was used for training purposes at naval air bases, such as Glenview, outside of Chicago.
Crashed and thought lost in Lake Michigan
It was during one of those training missions this plane crashed into Lake Michigan and was thought lost forever. But a recovery project headed by the former chairman of McDonald's, Fred Turner, recovered the plane in 2009, and it was brought to the Air Zoo in 2016. An estimated 40,000 volunteer hours were put into restoring this aircraft (with more recently, a self-imposed deadline of mid-2021, so that the place to would be in place at the Pearl Harbor aviation museum, for the 80th-anniversary ceremonies.)
According to the Air Zoo, as of December 1st, the fuselage, the body of the plane, has arrived safely in Hawaii, but the wings and other parts are still in Los Angeles waiting to be shipped for the ceremonies.