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Sunken Treasures (West Wing)

In 1942, Commander Richard F. Whitehead proposed an idea for the carrier qualification of the thousands of Naval Aviators expected to fill the ranks of the Navy and Marine Corps with the entry of the United States into World War II. Whitehead proposed operating training aircraft carriers on Lake Michigan. Two training carriers, Wolverine (IX-64) and Sable (IX-81), were developed and maintained a brisk operating schedule.

As could be expected, a number of aircraft were lost in training; decades later, however, several of those aircraft, some one-of-a-kind examples or actual combat veterans, have been recovered from the bottom of the lake and restored by this Museum. An F4F Wildcat and SBD Dauntless are displayed as they were recovered from Lake Michigan.

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