Museum Adds World War II Navy Wildcat Fighter to Gallery

. May 6, 2014

Sixteen-year restoration of warbird complete

SEATTLE – After 16 years of meticulous restoration, The Museum of Flight’s 70-year-old General Motors FM-2 Wildcat fighter plane is now on permanent display in the Museum’s World War II gallery. This Grumman-designed aircraft was built under contract by General Motors for the U.S. Navy and delivered on December 27, 1944. The warbird served aboard the escort carrier U.S.S. Petrof Bay with Composite Squadron VC-93 during the invasion of Okinawa in April 1945. The Museum has restored the plane’s markings to reflect its service during that battle.

General Motors FM-2 Wildcat on display at The Museum of Flight. Ted Huetter/The Museum of Flight, Seattle.

General Motors FM-2 Wildcat on display at The Museum of Flight. Ted Huetter/The Museum of Flight, Seattle.

After the War, the Wildcat spent 13 years at the Marine Corps Reserve Center in Tacoma, Wash. It was retired in 1959, then given to the Seattle Parks Department and installed as a children’s attraction at Astroland playground in the community of White Center. Ten years later the dilapidated aircraft was acquired by The Museum of Flight. Finally in 1998, Museum staff and volunteers began the long restoration that would bring the Wildcat back to its original fitness.

The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, Exit 158 off Interstate 5 on Boeing Field half-way between downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $19 for adults, $16 for seniors 65 and older, $16 for active military, $11 for youth 5 to 17, and free for children under 5. Group rates are available. Admission on the first Thursday of the month is free from 5 to 9 p.m. courtesy of Wells Fargo. McCormick & Schmick’s Wings Café is on site. For general Museum information, please call 206-764-5720 or visit www.museumofflight.org

Category: Science Technology

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