World War II on Lake Michigan

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More than 100 WWII aircraft rest on the bottom of Lake Michigan just off the Chicago shoreline.

This is the story of how they got there.

During World War II, just off Chicago’s shoreline, the US Navy trained over 15,000 carrier pilots on two makeshift “flattops”; both former, coal-fired, side wheel passenger steamers.

Not every pilot landed on the pitching decks of the USS Wolverine and USS Sable, and many aircraft crashed to the lake bottom.

This is the story of the recovery of those rare warbirds and the ingenious training program that changed the course of the war in the Pacific.

Underwritten exclusively by the Chicago Marine Heritage Society, and its chairman, Capt. Dave Truitt.

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HEROES ON DECK is airing nationally on Public Television. Check your local listings for dates and times.


"Enjoyable doc... catnip for aviation nerds"

- Neil Genzlinger, NEW YORK TIMES


"Should be seen by anybody looking to learn about unexpected chapters in city and military history" 

- Steve Johnson, CHICAGO TRIBUNE


"Extremely well-done, enlightening, and tastefully presented. Schools and public libraries will find it useful" 



"This highly recommended video will be of great interest to history buffs" 

- Cliff Giaviano, LIBRARY JOURNAL