WWII bomber removed from Lake Michigan

June 20, 2009 at 2:31 PM

WAUKEGAN, Ill., June 20 (UPI) -- A dive bomber removed from the depths of Lake Michigan once flew missions during World War II, an official from a Hawaiian museum says.

Kenneth DeHoff, executive director of Hawaii's Pacific Aviation Museum, said the Douglas SBD Dauntless bomber raised from the Great Lake at Waukegan, Ill., will eventually make its way to the aviation museum in about three years after being restored at the Naval Restoration Museum in Pensacola, Fla., the Waukegan (Ill.) News Sun reported Saturday.

"The plane had been at Pearl Harbor," DeHoff said of the bomber raised Friday from a depth of 300 feet.

The aircraft crashed into the lake Feb. 18, 1944, when its carburetor froze 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 raise the sunken historical treasure.

"We know this one once flew off the Enterprise and has combat experience," DeHoff told the News Sun, referring to the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier.

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