Over the past thirty-five years, a small team of explorers have surveyed the southern basin of Lake Michigan in search of World War II US Navy aircraft. The aircraft were lost during mishaps that occurred during an almost forgotten naval project which had trained thousands of aircraft carrier pilots between the years of 1942 through 1945.
Because the explorers became so proficient at locating and recovering the aircraft, the Director of the National Naval Aviation Museum engaged them in an effort to rescue dozens of aircraft for presentation to the American public. Today, these wonderful machines, which had been used by the Greatest Generation to preserve the world's freedom and liberty, are viewed by and touch the lives of millions of people each year.
As with all good things in life, it is the end result that is most known. The trials, troubles and effort to get there is almost always forgotten. This book tells the stories of how the exploration team succeeded through an odyssey within a realm no others have dared to enter.
About the Author
TARAS LYSSENKO is known for the recovery and preservation of history that had been lost under water. Taras is one of the leaders of the team that has recovered dozens of aircraft on behalf of the National Naval Aviation Museum. Additionally, Mr. Lyssenko has initiated, brought forth, and successfully passed through the US Congress several legislative efforts. This includes what was termed as the "Florida Keys Water Quality Improvements Act of 2000." He successfully achieved a Presidential Determination under Defense Production Act Title, III for his efforts in titanium production. He has led teams that were the recipients of R & D 100 Awards, including one for titanium production and another for the rapid generation of new natural gas.
Table of Contents
1 The Project that Set Everything in Motion 13
2 Our First Pensacola Contract 25
3 Who Was D. Blan Stewart? 31
4 We Had to Recover as Many as Possible 34
5 The Early Holocene Forest 45
6 Trying to do Something Against the Law, Change the Law 50
7 UC-97 52
8 The Naval Historical Center Had Become Involved 59
9 And Then There Was "Midway Madness" 62
10 Recovery Continues with SBD-1 1612 69
11 The Rewrite of the SecNav Instruction 82
12 O'Hare International Airport Wildcat 84
13 The Naval Historical Center Comes Back True to Form 85
14 The Invaders Have Arrived 88
15 A SBD Dauntless for Midway Airport 91
16 Recovery begins again in 2008 under Rear Admiral Jay A. DeLoach, USN (Ret.) 96
17 A Helldiver in the Lower Otay Reservoir 109
18 Hellcat 118
19 A "Bird Cage" 125
20 Air Zoo Aircraft 133
21 The Wells Burt, Thomas Hume, and a Few Other Shipwrecks 147
22 SBD-1 Bureau Number 1612 153
23 A Never Ending Story 159