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This WW II plane was at the bottom of a lake for 64 years. Now the Dottie Mae is flying again.

The “Dottie Mae,” a P-47 Thunderbird, was lost in World War II. Vintage Air Frames, an Idaho company, restored the plane in time for this year’s Warbird Roundup on Aug. 26-27.
The “Dottie Mae,” a P-47 Thunderbird, was lost in World War II. Vintage Air Frames, an Idaho company, restored the plane in time for this year’s Warbird Roundup on Aug. 26-27. Warhawak Air Museum

This year’s Warbird Roundup hosted by the Warhawk Air Museum Aug. 26-27, will feature something extra special, a look at the fully-restored “Dottie Mae.” The P-47 Thunderbolt is considered the last World War II fighter plane lost in combat.

The Dottie Mae crashed — ironically, during a celebratory flight as the war was ending — over the Austrian Lake Traunsee in 1945. Pilot Lt. Henry Mohr was able to escape, but the plane sank to the bottom of the lake. The Dottie Mae remained there, under 200 feet of water for 64 years. In 2005 crews located and retrieved the historic craft — an event that became the subject of a National Geographic program, “Shot Down: Search for the Lost Fighter.” Vintage Air Frames in Caldwell restored the plane to mint condition, tending to every detail, even repainting the pin-up girl on the Dottie Mae’s nose.

The air show will mark not only the public unveiling of the Dottie Mae, but her first public flight since 1945.

The plane will only be in Idaho during the two-day air show. The show will also be a chance for attendees to see other rare World War II aircraft, Heather Mullins at the Warhawk Air Museum said, including a P-38 Lightning “Glacier Girl,” an F4U-1A Corsair, B-25 Mitchell Bomber as well as P-40s, P-51s, N3N “Yellow Peril,” and 0-1 Bird Dog and more.

Guest speakers will include Mike Breshear, owner of Vintage Air Frames and Bob Cardin who recovered Glacier Girl from a Greenland icecap in 1992.

The Warkhawk Air Museum is at 201 Municipal Dr. in Nampa. Tickets to the Warbird Roundup are $20 general admission, $18 seniors/military, $10 children ages 5-12. Buy tickets online at warhawkairmuseum.org. Tickets are valid for Saturday or Sunday.

The schedule of speakers and flights is still being finalized, Mullins said. Check for details and updates online.

Read more about the Dottie Mae on the Allied Fighters website, alliedfighters.com.

Aviation lovers are also gearing up for Gowen Thunder 2017, set to take place Oct. 14-15 at Gowen Field in Boise. That show, the first at the Idaho National Guard base for decades, will feature the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and their Canadian counterparts, the Royal Canadian Snowbirds.

General admission is free, but special seating is available. Chalet seating is sold out, but seats in the bleachers ($28 general) and in the VIP Thunderdome ($149, including parking on site) are still available for both days. Buy tickets online at gowenthunder.org.

Event parking will be available at seven locations in the Treasure Valley: the Idaho Center; Scentsy/Blue Shield/Joint School District 2; Western Idaho Fairgrounds; BSU/Albertsons Stadium ($5 all day fee); Downtown Boise parking garages ($5 all day fee); Micron and outlying parking lots at Gowen Field (limited space available).

Free shuttles will travel to all seven sites throughout the day.

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