There are some many incredible stories that came out of World War II that we set out on a mission to try to find as many of them as we can and to share them with you. Although we’re trying to stick to the aviation related ones, there is no shortage of stories. Some of them, of course, are heartbreaking while others heroic and serve to inspire us.
This one is a combination of both.
When we found this particular fact we started digging through hundreds of websites to get to the bottom of it (no pun intended.) We were going to write a detailed article about it, but we found something that eliminates that need. There’s a short documentary which tells the whole story.
“They were able to chop off the top decks, and they literally just welded on makeshift landing strips..”-Brian Kallies | Producer of Heroes on the Deck
Called Heroes on the Deck, it chronicles the makeshift carriers that were put on Lake Michigan to train young Navy pilots how to land on them. There were so many accidents on that lake from 1942 to 1945 that over 100 planes ended up on the bottom of it. Some are being pulled out right now, however, so they can be restored.
We actually found a trailer of it so you can watch it for yourself. They have some really great restored footage of these landings, so it’s really worth checking out.