Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Clock Becomes Part Of Dive-Bomber Restoration

ERMA — A clock saved from a World War II carrier-based dive-bomber has found its way from Naval Air Station Wildwood (NASW) to National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Fla.

Dr. Joseph Salvatore, founder and chairman of NASW, said he saw a newsletter from the Glen Curtiss Museum in Hammonsport, N.Y. indicating they had donated two elevators (tail portions) from a SB2C Helldiver aircraft.

The Glenn Curtiss Museum found out the museum in Pensacola had just taken a SB2C out of a lake in California so they donated the elevators for a planned restoration of the aircraft. Mercury Aircraft, also in Hammonsport, donated an oil tank.

Salvatore looked on his desk and found a clock from a SB2C that a local Navy captain, now decreased, had donated to Naval Air Station Wildwood.

Captain Paul Hunter, a World War II naval pilot, was flying in Hawaii, crashed and grabbed the clock from his SB2C.

Salvatore contacted National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola to see if they could use a clock for the SB2C found in the lake. He said they welcomed donation of the clock.

“It’s interesting that the admiral in charge of Pensacola (museum) used to be lifeguard in Ocean City,” said Salvatore.

The Hunter family gave their permission for the clock to be sent to Pensacola for the plane restoration The back of the clock has the story of the crash on a piece of paper.
It reads “Paul lost an engine in his SB2C over Malachi, Hawaii 1945, left the plane, took this clock.”

Salvatore said Hunter was WWII was hero in the Pacific and returned to the U.S. to train other flyers. He was a frequent visitor to the museum, he said.

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