The restoration process for the U.S. Navy Douglas SBD-2P Dauntless Dive Bomber is expected to take 3-5 years to complete, the Kalamazoo Gazette reported. The restoration will be done mostly by volunteers.
The plane is the third Lake Michigan-recovered aircraft project granted to the Air Zoo. The plane was lost during a secret Great Lakes training mission, when Lt. Junior Grade John Lendo of Massachusetts crashed into Lake Michigan on Feb. 18, 1944. Lendo survived the incident.
The aircraft was recovered from the lake in June 2009. It arrived at the museum on Friday.
Air Zoo President/CEO Troy Thrash told people gathered for the plane's arrival that restoring the aircraft is more than about preserving the object, but about restoring the stories of the people who served the country.
A and T Recovery lifted the plane from Lake Michigan on behalf of The Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The museum sponsored the discovery and recovery of the aircraft through a donation from the late Fred L. Turner, honorary chairman and former CEO of McDonald's Corp.
The aircraft will be displayed at the Pacific Aviation Museum once the restoration is completed.