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From the Depths of Lake Michigan to the Deck of USS LEXINGTON CV-16

Corpus Christi, TX – During WW II, Lake Michigan served as training ‘ground’ for thousands of Navy pilots flying the SBD Dauntless dive-bomber. Collier ships were fitted with makeshift flight decks and gave many pilots their first experience landing on an “aircraft carrier”. By the end of the war an estimated 300 planes went down during training.
In 1993 this SBD was lifted from the bottom of Lake Michigan and was delivered to Lexington on a flat bed truck in horrific condition to become a part of our permanent collection. During the next 20 years Lexington crew and volunteers began to renovate this plane that had spent 50 years under water.
This new exhibit is located at the entrance to the ship and has been staged on a facsimile flight deck with a 65-foot long mural in the background depicting battle scenes from World War II.