Huffpost Chicago

WW2 Plane Recovered: 'Beer Can With Wings' Underwater For Nearly 70 Years (VIDEO)

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On the 71st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, a World War ll artifact is back on dry land after spending nearly seven decades at the bottom of Lake Michigan.

(Scroll down for raw footage of the plane being pulled from Lake Michigan.)

The FM-2 "Wildcat" Fighter was pulled from the lake in the North Shore area near Chicago Friday morning as part of a special recovery mission sponsored by the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation, reports WGN.

The plane originally crashed during a training exercise near Waukegan, Ill. on Dec. 28, 1944. The Associated Press said engine failure was to blame for the crash. According to the Tribune, the pilot, William Edward Forbes, survived to finish training.

Recovery Specialist Taras Lysenko explained in CBS Chicago that the plane had to be moved from the open waters of Lake Michigan to the shallower Waukegan Harbor to prevent the wings from being ripped off in the recovery process.

With its bulky but lethal body--the plane had six 50 caliber machine guns and self-sealing gas tanks--Lysenko called the Wildcat fighter “a beer can with wings.”

The plane will start on a new mission as it's shipped to a hangar in Wisc. Originally the plan was slated for restoration at the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, Fla. where the Tribune said the process could take up to five years. However, the as of July 2013, it was determined the plane would be restored closer to the Great Lakes.

"The plane will certainly be in Kalamazoo for restoration," Ben Dulmage of the Kalamazoo Air Zoo told HuffPost Chicago in August. While the plane will get its fix-up in southwest Michigan, the aircraft's final home is yet to be determined.

Local preservationists hope the plane lands permanently at the Naval Air Station Glenview. As the AP notes, during WWll, aircraft carriers used for the training docked at Navy Pier in Chicago, while the pilots flew from Glenview Air Station.

WATCH: Raw video of WWII plane pulled from Lake Michigan:

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