News & Events

Heroes On Deck Screening

Heroes On Deck Screening

March 12th, 2018 2:00pm


Join us Monday, March, 12th at 2:00 p.m. in the Nimitz Museum Grand Ballroom for a special screening of HEROES ON DECK: WORLD WAR II ON LAKE MICHIGAN. This screening is free to the public.

HEROES ON DECK tells the little-known story of a bold and innovative response to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Following that catastrophic event, the U.S. Navy was desperate for aircraft carrier-qualified pilots. With enemy submarines patrolling both coasts, Commander Richard F. Whitehead, of the Ninth Naval District - Chicago, proposed a radical idea. Why not train pilots in the safety of Lake Michigan? Two Great Lakes passenger steamers were immediately converted into makeshift aircraft carriers, the USS Wolverine and USS Sable. Between 1942 and the end of the war, more than 15,000 aviators – including future President George H.W. Bush -- were trained aboard these “freshwater flattops.”


Crashes and “water landings” often led to serious injuries and occasionally death. As a result, more than one hundred fighters and dive-bombers sank to the bottom of the lake. To date, more than 40 aircraft have been brought to the surface. HEROES ON DECK captures some of the key recoveries and restoration efforts, and celebrates the stories of the brave pilots who survived this ingenious training operation. Narrated by legendary CBS and A&E newsman BILL KURTIS, HEROES ON DECK, brings to life a vital chapter of American history.


HEROES ON DECK is exclusively underwritten by The Chicago Marine Heritage Society and it's Chairman Capt. Dave Truitt


 Executive Producer, Harvey Moshman will be here to introduce the film and follow it with a Q&A session. 


Harvey Moshman (Executive Producer/Aircraft Recovery Photography) is a multi-Emmy® Award-winning producer and editor, having worked at Chicago network affiliates for NBC, CBS and PBS. During his tenure at WTTW/Chicago, Moshman produced The Eastland Disaster, which was called “one of the best documentaries ever produced for local television” by the Chicago Sun-Times. His more recent film, Lost & Found: The Legacy of USS Lagarto, aired nationally on Public Television.

Latest News

Experience the human story of WWII in the Pacific Theater told through 55,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, over 900 artifacts, and audio/visual displays.

Membership has its privileges! Join today for free tickets and other benefits.

Learn more about individual and business membership programs.

Already A Member?

Renew your Membership