In 1942 an ambitious project to qualify
Navy pilots for Aircraft carrier landings and take-offs began at Navy
Pier, Chicago. Two former passenger liners the Sea and Bee and the
Greater Buffalo were to become the U.S.S. Wolverine and the U.S.S.
The superstructures were removed and
makeshift flattops were installed.
The U.S.S. Wolverine was the first of
the two ships to be ready for duty, beginning in late 1942.
Two Aircraft carriers docked at Navy
Aircraft carrier Underway.
Fighter, Dive-bomber, and Torpedo-bomber
pilots were qualified. The TBF/TBM Avenger was the airplane developed
The Lake Michigan Flat-tops trained
over 15,000 pilots between the years of 1942 and 1945. Although there
were accidents, human casualties were few and the program was a remarkable
The small number of actual airplanes
lost in the Lake during the training has provided the opportunity
to present history to future generations.
The above images are the courtesy of the Chicago
Recovery, Chicago-based firm, has already recovered 31 World War
from the lake on behalf of the National Museum of Naval Aviation