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updated: 8/5/2013 11:12 AM

Restoration set for WWII plane found off Waukegan

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  • The FM-2 "Wildcat" Fighter in its prime

      The FM-2 "Wildcat" Fighter in its prime

  • The World War II era FM-2 Wildcat is pulled out of the water at Larsen Marine in Waukegan last December.

      The World War II era FM-2 Wildcat is pulled out of the water at Larsen Marine in Waukegan last December.

 
Associated Press

PORTAGE, Mich. -- A Michigan aviation museum is helping to restore a World War-II era plane that was recovered from the bottom of Lake Michigan.

The plane crashed during aircraft-carrier training near Waukegan, on Dec. 28, 1944. The FM-2 "Wildcat" Fighter went down in about 200 feet of water in an accident blamed on engine failure. Crews recovered it in December after it was in the water for nearly 70 years.

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TV stations WOOD and WWMT report the Air Zoo, an aviation museum and attraction in southwestern Michigan, planned to show off the plane Monday. The Air Zoo's Flight and Restoration Center, a Smithsonian affiliate, is directing the restoration project.

The Naval Aviation Museum Foundation sponsored the recovery and plans call for the plane to eventually go on display in the Chicago area.

More on the recovery

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