WW II Fighter Plane Pulled From Lake Michigan

Crews removed a FM-2 "Wildcat" Fighter aircraft that crashed in Waukegan Harbor in 1944

Friday, Dec 7, 2012  |  Updated 8:57 PM PDT
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The Naval Aviation Museum Foundation sponsored the recovery of the plane, which coincided with the 71st anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. Nesita Kwan reports.

The Naval Aviation Museum Foundation sponsored the recovery of the plane, which coincided with the 71st anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. Nesita Kwan reports.

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A relic from World War II was unearthed Friday from the depths of Lake Michigan.

Crews removed a FM-2 "Wildcat" Fighter aircraft that crashed during a training mission on Dec. 28, 1944 in Waukegan Harbor. It went down in about 200 feet of water in an accident blamed on engine failure.

More than 17,000 pilots completed the training in Lake Michigan. That included World War II pilot and future president, George H. Bush.

The aircraft carriers used for the training docked at Chicago's Navy Pier. The pilots flew from Glenview Naval Air Station in Glenview.

The Naval Aviation Museum Foundation sponsored the recovery of the plane, which coincided with the 71st anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. The foundation wants it to eventually go on display in the Chicago area.
 
Two thousand people are expected to gather for a moment of silence today at Pearl Harbor to mark the 71st anniversary of Japanese attack that catapulted the U.S. into World War II, The Associated Press reported.

President Barack Obama called for flags to fly at half-staff on Friday. Obama also urged all Americans to observe the day of remembrance and honor military service members and veterans.

"Today, we pay solemn tribute to America's sons and daughters who made the ultimate sacrifice at Oahu," Obama said in a statement. "As we do, let us also reaffirm that their legacy will always burn bright - whether in the memory of those who knew them, the spirit of service that guides our men and women in uniform today, or the heart of the country they kept strong and free."

Forty-nine civilians and 2,390 service members perished in the attack.

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