A historic World War II F6F-3 Hellcat fighter plane was raised from Lake Michigan on Nov. 30 and was greeted by the chairman and CEO of Enterprise Holdings — parent company of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent A Car, and National Car Rentals — who financed the operation, according to the Lake County News-Sun.
Andy Taylor, chairman and CEO of Enterprise Holdings, said his father flew a Hellcat 52 years ago and received two Distinguished Flying Cross medals and five other medals while flying off the USS Enterprise.
Taylor made the donation in honor of his father, Jack Taylor. Because of the donation, the plane will be refurbished at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Fla., and then put on display there.
The plane was found 53 miles southeast in Michigan waters about 260 feet down. On Jan. 5, 1945, the plane landed on the carrier but went off the side, with one wing breaking before it fell into the lake. The Coast Guard immediately picked up the pilot, Lt. Walter B. Elcock, 89, who still lives in Atlanta.