'Pristine' WWII aircraft lifted from Lake Michigan

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Dive bomber will be put on display at Pearl Harbor

The Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor currently displays a full-size fiberglass model of a type of dive bomber that played a crucial role in World War II. Now that museum officials helped bring about the recovery of one of those historic planes from the bottom of Lake Michigan, the model will be replaced with the real thing.

A Douglas SBD Dauntless, one of several types of aircraft the U.S. Navy used to defeat the Japanese navy at the Battle of Midway, was raised yesterday from a depth of 300 feet where it had lain for 65 years. The museum's executive director, Ken DeHoff, flew to Waukegan, Ill., to observe the retrieval, an operation that took about a year to plan.

When the plane broke the surface of the water, everyone present was "ecstatic," DeHoff said.

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