World War II Archives - NNAM

World War II

B-25J Mitchell

On April 18, 1942, sixteen of these Army Air Forces medium bombers flew one of the most daring missions in military history, launching from USS Hornet (CV 8) to bomb Japan.  All volunteers under the command of Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle, the Doolittle Raiders sparked a boost in morale for the American public and proved

PBY-5 Catalina

One of the most versatile aircraft of World War II, the PBY flew a range of missions, including hunting for German U-boats, low-level night attacks against Japanese positions and air-sea rescue of downed aviators.  PBYs were the aircraft that first spotted the approaching Japanese fleet during the Battle of Midway in June 1942.  In the

PBY Catalina Cutaway

This exhibit includes the fuselage of a PBY damaged in an accident at Naval Air Station Pensacola during World War II and displayed on the base for decades afterward.  It provides a close-up look at the interior layout of the venerable flying boat and the various positions where crewmen worked to enable the airplane to

SBD-2 Dauntless

The museum’s Dauntless is one of the most historically significant aircraft in the collection.  It survived Pearl Harbor and attacked Japanese shipping in New Guinea while flying from USS Lexington (CV 2) on March 10, 1942.  The lone remaining airplane to have participated in the Battle of Midway in June 1942, it returned from an

F6F-3 Hellcat

The Navy’s front-line fighter during the final two years of World War II, the F6F produced more aces, including leading Navy ace Commander David McCampbell, than any other Allied aircraft.  At peak production the airplane’s manufacturer delivered one Hellcat an hour around-the-clock.  The aircraft on display is a combat veteran of the Solomon Islands campaign

FG-1D Corsair

Originally produced by Vought, the Corsair was in production by multiple manufacturers longer than any piston-engine fighter and flew combat missions in both World War II and Korea.  Its most recognizable design feature was an inverted gull wing that was necessary to keep the blades of its 13-ft. propeller from striking the ground.  During air

TBM-3E Avenger

Nicknamed the “Turkey,” the Avenger entered service at the Battle of Midway and was the largest airplane assigned to fly from carriers during World War II.  This was the type airplane flown by future President of the United States George H.W. Bush during his World War II service as a Naval Aviator.  In one of

PB2Y-5R Coronado

The museum’s airplane is one of a select number of Coronados use by  high-ranking officers and features a plush interior and all of the conveniences possible in an airplane of the era.  This airplane transported members of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz’s staff to the surrender ceremonies ending World War II, becoming one of the

USS Cabot (CVL 28) Flight Deck

This exhibit depicts the decorated light carrier USS Cabot and includes a replica of the wooden flight deck and island superstructure.  Assisted by his son, the same sailor who painted the original scoreboard highlighting the combat record of the ship and its embarked air groups duplicated his work for the museum.  Famed war correspondent Ernie

Underwater Treasures of Lake Michigan

The museum began recovering aircraft from the bottom of Lake Michigan, where they crashed during World War II carrier qualification, in the early 1990s.  This exhibit takes visitors to the depths, preserving an F4F Wildcat and SBD Dauntless in the conditions in which they were found after spending decades underwater.  A short film produced exclusively