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Restored Wildcat fighter plane is on display at Museum of Flight

General Motors FM-2 Wildcat is on display at The Museum of Flight.  - Ted Huetter/The Museum of Flight
General Motors FM-2 Wildcat is on display at The Museum of Flight.
— image credit: Ted Huetter/The Museum of Flight

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.

After the War, the Wildcat spent 13 years at the Marine Corps Reserve Center in Tacoma. 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 at Boeing Field in Tukwila Finally in 1998, museum staff and volunteers began the long restoration that would bring the Wildcat back to its original fitness.

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