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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, February 11, 2010

WWII plane to join museum displays

Advertiser Staff and News Services

A Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless Dive Bomber, an aircraft that operated during World War II in the Pacific, is joining the collection at Pacific Aviation Museum-Pearl Harbor tomorrow.

The Dauntless is on loan from the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, Fla., while another SBD is restored.

On June 15, 2009, the Pacific Aviation Museum took part in the recovery of an SBD-2 Dauntless from Lake Michigan that eventually will be part of the Ford Island museum's collection.

Restoration of the recovered aircraft is expected to take about three years, and the arriving Dauntless is on loan from the National Museum of Naval Aviation until the restoration is complete.

The aircraft's removal from Lake Michigan and the restoration were made possible by a donation from Fred L. Turner, honorary chairman and former chief executive officer of McDonald's Corporation in Oak Brook, Ill.

The Pacific Aviation Museum said Turner, "a friend of the Museum, has generously committed a $1 million personal gift toward this project."

Pacific Aviation Museum Executive Director Kenneth DeHoff said the SBD Dauntless "was a key contributor to the victory at the Battle of Midway June 4, 1941, when two squadrons of Dauntless Dive Bombers sank four Japanese carriers. It's a proud addition to our rapidly expanding aircraft collection."

The Dauntless carried a crew of two and was powered by a 1,000-horsepower Cyclone 9 cylinder engine, with a top speed of 250 mph.