Early World War II Archives - NNAM

Early World War II

SB2U-2 Vindicator

The SB2U represented one of the major developments in aircraft design before World War II—the shift from biplanes to monoplanes.  Despite this advancement, it was a transitional design, most of its surfaces covered in fabric.  The airplane on display is the only example of the Vindicator in existence and was recovered from Lake Michigan, where

F4F-3 Wildcat

The Navy’s front-line fighter for the first part of World War II, the Wildcat flew in the landmark battles at Coral Sea, Midway and Guadalcanal, with eight F4F pilots receiving the Medal of Honor.  A unique design feature of the airplane was the fact that the pilot had to retract the landing gear himself by

Prowling the Burma Road: The Flying Tigers

Its centerpiece a P-40B Tomahawk fighter with the famous shark mouth on its cowling, this exhibit tells the story of the American Volunteer Group (AVG), its members recruited from the ranks of the U.S. military.  Called the Flying Tigers, they were contract pilots of a private company and paid by the Chinese government to fight